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Old 05-19-2017, 09:38 PM   #1
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Cellular modem and antenna recommendations

I'm just starting my boating life, and one thing I'm definitely bringing with me is my local network. Rather than going with one of the marine-specific cell services, I plan to use my Verizon access to connect my LAN to the net (WAN). Apart from the fact that I'm a software engineer by trade, I enjoy my wireless connectivity for recreation as well. :_)

It looks like a cellular modem (to provide an Ethernet connection for my router) plus a good antenna will work for me. I've seen some offerings from Sierra and Cradlepoint which look promising, and antennas galore offering 6-9 dB signal strength.

Can anyone describe a setup which is working for them, with specifics on your equipment?

Thanks-

Bob
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
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Greetings,
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Too much maybe?
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:33 PM   #3
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Watson? Watson, come here... lol
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:44 AM   #4
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I'm very happy with my Netgear Nighthawk M1

Gigabit LTE Mobile Media Streaming Travel Router | Nighthawk M1 - MR 1100 NETGEAR Mobile Router

It might be an Australia-only device, but you should be able to use one of the Netgear 4G LTE Modems offered in the USA. Call Verizon and see what compatible offering they have.

Depending on your anticipated locations you might need some kind of amp as well. You can use the cradle-type boosters AFAIK. They are the cheapest solution and can work well, but are not legal here. We can use a repeater, providing its certified. The Cel-Fi GO is working well for me also. Use their recommended antenna, and get as much vertical separation between the external antenna and the indoor unit.

https://www.cel-fi.com.au/cel_fi_go_repeater.html
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:45 AM   #5
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Cellular reception

Hi Bob, of aenlic:

We used a Wilson brand Cellular antenna/booster on Foresight..worked great near- and off-shore. They come in both 12v, great for the boat, and 110v -- like the one I am about to use in my RV. https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/marine-boat-kits/ -- as long as you are within cellular coverage (it'll boost even weak signals).

You get the external antenna, and then use an interior amplifier... I had a 3G setup:
https://www.wilsonamplifiers.com/web...ne-kit-470311/

But I see they also have a 4G setup also. I have also attached a photo of the antenna (with threaded spikes for the ground plane)...worked Great. Call them; they give great service over the phone.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:30 AM   #6
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I use a Cradlepoint with a Sierra dual antenna USB modem.

Dual antennas gives you better speeds.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:15 AM   #7
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Thanks all.

Brian, I had a Very Bad experience with a Netgear product (turned into a brick with NO helpfrom Netgear) two months after warranty.

Thanks for the Wilson referral and link, Sailsheer. I'm more focused on a gateway with an ethernet connect, so that I can continue to use my own WiFi router (a Google OnHub, ASUS model), but a booster may be in my future.

Captain Bill, which Cradlepoint model do you use? Are you using a USB modem for a single computer, or ??? I'm puzzled at why you'd need that in addition to the Cradlepoint.

Thanks-

aenlic
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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MBR 1200B

The USB modem allowed us to install two cellular antennas for data better speeds.

Here's a picture of our telecommunications cabinet.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:15 PM   #9
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Here's a picture of just the Cradlepoint and USB modem.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:40 PM   #10
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Thanks, Captain Bill.

That looks like it's not one of the ruggedized models; being new to boating, I don't have a feel for how important this is for longevity of electronics. I'm considering the 650B, and wondering if it's overkill.

How long have you been using yours? Is there a reason that you use a USB modem rather than an embedded one?

Really appreciate the input. :-)

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Old 05-20-2017, 02:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aenlic View Post
Thanks, Captain Bill.

That looks like it's not one of the ruggedized models; being new to boating, I don't have a feel for how important this is for longevity of electronics. I'm considering the 650B, and wondering if it's overkill.

How long have you been using yours? Is there a reason that you use a USB modem rather than an embedded one?

Really appreciate the input. :-)

aenlic
Had this on for 2 or so years with no problems.

We went this route at the time to give us the ability to input two antennas to get the best data speeds.
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