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Old 06-29-2014, 08:34 AM   #1
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WI-FI Booster?

First lets start off with, I am not too computer savvy. Ok, I am just out of range for the Wi-Fi signal at my marina and I am blowing through my cellphone data plan at an alarming rate. Is there some sort of Wi-Fi booster that I can install on the boat to suck the signal to me? Like I said not to savvy with tech. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:15 AM   #2
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Your solution is here:
http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html

Especially if you're not very comfortable in this WiFi world, Bob will provide the help you need whenever you need it.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey S View Post
Your solution is here:
Marine WiFi Systems

Especially if you're not very comfortable in this WiFi world, Bob will provide the help you need whenever you need it.
...

Now that I understand it all better...sure there are simpler/cheaper solutions...but Islandtime is just about plug and play tho some don't like it when you change feeds.

If all you need is a little boost..many claim the $30 dollar or so USB amps work for pulling in a weak marina signal.

There are some great threads already..tried searching...no easy success...should have used that google TF search feature.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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Most of the better systems utilize the Ubiquiti bullet / which is frequently referred to as a radio receiver/transmitter. The bullet attached to an exterior antenna will do the job for weak signals over a good distance.

A cheaper approach is the Alfa series of wifi connectors with the larger antenna. In a marginal situation these will work very well and are inexpensive ($34 or so).

Matter of convenience in that the Alfa is a direct link to the computer with an antenna which cannot be permanently mounted on the exterior whereas the bullet can be set to work with a router so that you have a wifi hot spot and the antenna can be permanently mounted.

Of a single computer in the same marina I would try the Alfa first.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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...A cheaper approach is the Alfa series of wifi connectors with the larger antenna. In a marginal situation these will work very well and are inexpensive ($34 or so)....Of a single computer in the same marina I would try the Alfa first.
We have the Alpha AWUS036EW which comes with a 5 dBi omni directional antenna. I replaced the antenna with a 9 dBi one. It works good in the marina. Less than $35 invested. And thanks to someone on the forum who posted this previously.


Alfa AWUS036EW 500mW USB Adapter Realtek RTL8187L

Alfa 9 dBi gain ARS-N19 indoor dipole antenna RP-SMA connector
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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For performance and probably the best GUI (graphic user interface) I recommend the Wave WiFi ROGUE.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:24 AM   #7
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If all you need is a little boost..many claim the $30 dollar or so USB amps work for pulling in a weak marina signal.

Yep, although ours was more expensive than that, I think.

RadioLabs Wave Magnum. Simple USB external WiFi radio. Sometimes with a USB extension cable, so I can move the thing around the cabin if necessary (usually not necessary).

We've gotten good signal from a measured mile with it. Further, as well, but I didn't get measurements.

-Chris
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:32 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys, I have some reading to do. I looked but wanted to know what people here were using. I also tried using the search feature on TF but could not get it to produce any results? Yes I tried multiple tags and phrases.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:11 AM   #9
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Look the reason I suggested the higher cost ROGUE was that you can use this unit anywhere from in the marina up to 3 miles if the shore based access point is properly performing and placed. Why not get the benefit of being able to use WiFi data in more places than just your marina? You'll be happy that you can keep your cellular data plan cost's lower. WiFi shouldn't be used in place of cellular 4G data. Cellular data works while you are cruising WiFi really requires that you are anchored or not moving as in cruising. However once your anchored my initial choice is using WiFi. If WiFi isn't available then I use my cellular 4G LTE data service.
In a properly equipped vessel high performance 4G data and WiFi devices both have a place.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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This is a good little router for the boat. It also does a pretty good job of pulling in signals. It can be used with an outside antenna connected. You can run most everything on the boat through it including printers and smart TV. About $130.00 on Amazon.

Surf-On-The-Go Comparison | Peplink
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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For performance and probably the best GUI (graphic user interface) I recommend the Wave WiFi ROGUE.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:41 AM   #12
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Pepwave makes some great combination routers where you use your own USB cellular modem and the unit for WiFi. Installing external antennas for both cellular and WiFi makes this router a nice combination unit. I'd also suggest looking at the older Cradlepoint CTR35 which has been replaced with a newer version. I use my CTR35 with a Samsung UML290 Verizon 700MHz LTE USB stick and an external cellular wide band Omni. In many markets Verizon has launched addition LTE spectrum in the AWS bands. The Samsung router has been replaced with the UML295 to be able to acheive the highest cellular data speeds available. Honestly to get the highest data speed requires having good RSSI (signal levels) and CINR/SINR (carrier to noise) on both cellular 4G as well as WiFi. The best way to achieve this is by using properly mounted external antennas for each device/ service.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:47 AM   #13
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+1
Not a put down on my wife but even she can use the Wave WiFi devices. She knows nothing about computers or routers. They use a very simple interface to scan the WiFi environment and it generates a web page so you can choose the WiFi hot spot you want. It's also an excellent performer, I have been Beta testing the new 802.11N version of the EC unit I'm very impressed. They Wave also have a new N version of the ROGUE, while it's quasi N it works very well. To get the best performance using 802.11N one needs a cross polarized Omni antenna. I use the AirMax dual polarity antenna it really rocks when paired with a properly installed shore based access point or Hot Spot.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:01 PM   #14
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Pepwave makes some great combination routers where you use your own USB cellular modem and the unit for WiFi. Installing external antennas for both cellular and WiFi makes this router a nice combination unit. I'd also suggest looking at the older Cradlepoint CTR35 which has been replaced with a newer version. I use my CTR35 with a Samsung UML290 Verizon 700MHz LTE USB stick and an external cellular wide band Omni. In many markets Verizon has launched addition LTE spectrum in the AWS bands. The Samsung router has been replaced with the UML295 to be able to acheive the highest cellular data speeds available. Honestly to get the highest data speed requires having good RSSI (signal levels) and CINR/SINR (carrier to noise) on both cellular 4G as well as WiFi. The best way to achieve this is by using properly mounted external antennas for each device/ service.
Bill
Our Surf On The Go gives about a 5 meg download speed and 2 meg upload speed. That is plenty fast for our use. It can also work as a 3G or 4G cellular booster. Everyone on the boat has WIFI available.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:29 PM   #15
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In my home marina I installed 4 access points for the marina's boat slips and the general public's use. I installed a closed system at 900MHz using the Ubiquiti Rocket M900 and the Airmax 120 degree sector it's our long range WiFi and it works very well past the usual brick wall for 2.4GHz WiFi which is in reality 2-3 miles. This requires a Rocket M900 on the vessel and a pair of cross polarized Omni's. I have had excellent results as far as 10 miles over an all water path. We only have 6 boats at the marina that use this system because it requires specialized equipment on the boat's wanting to use the 900MHz system. Then I have a Ubiquiti Bullet 2HP with a conventional Omni antenna for use around the marina by everyone who agrees to the terms of service splash page. I also have a Ubiquiti Rocket M2 on 2.4GHz using an Airmax 120 degree sector this gives true N performance and it can be used as far as 3-4 miles over water if the boat is equipped with an external WiFi antenna like the Airmax dual polarized Omni. This gives excellent speeds 20 mbps DL and about 10 mbps UL this AP gets the most use. Finally I have an AP labeled high speed it's on the 5.8GGHz band using a Rocket M5 and an Airmax 120 degree dual polarity sector antenna set up as a bridge/ router. Again only a handful of users can access this system if they use their Smart Phone or a stand alone laptop due to the more limited range of the higher frequency band. The air speeds are very impressive (>100 mbps) and the real life throughput is 30-40 mbps DL and 20-25 mbps UL depending on your vessels location in relation to the access point and the vessel external equipment available (device stand alone or external equipment). I have a Rocket M5 and the Airmax dual polarity Omni and I regularly am able to use this while anchored anywhere from 2-3 miles.
So WiFi can and does come in many flavors and use different bands, most people chose the 2.4GHz band but it is by far the most polluted WiFi band. Years ago the AP's were far and few between I monitor the local RF environment and in the past my old Wave EC with a 9dbi Omni used to pick up 5 to 10 access points. As WiFi has become more popular I'm now way past 50 access points that are showing up using my monitoring tools. That's a whole lot of interference to deal with and it's no longer about finding an AP it's about finding one that isn't on a channel shared by 10 other strong AP's.
That's why I installed and work with other boaters at my marina to get them on the 5.8 or 900MHz access points.
WiFi sure has matured since the cable companies started the free WiFi alliance.
While in the middle of Little Egg bay I actually have a real problem with XFINITY (Comcast) hot spots because they all share a common name I see over 15 and none can be closer than 2 miles because of my anchoring location.
I have a dedicated 100 mbps business class service provided by Comcast for the access points backhaul to the Internet.
This all started in 2006 when I installed a Wave 1 watt access point and a 120 degree standard (vertical) polarization Hot spot antenna. Back in 2006-07 I could easily do 5 plus miles having the SIRENS/ WAVE high power EC unit on my boat. I can't do anywhere near that now with all the pollution and interference on the 2.4GHz band.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #16
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I'll second Island Time. Last February we were ready to leave for the Bahamas and the Bullet connector failed. I called Bob, and since we were leaving the next day, he sent the replacement unit to a friend of mine who was crossing over shortly after me. I finally got it a month later when my friend, who was not going as far south as we were, gave it to another boater, who brought it to us in Georgetown. All Bob asked was that we return the old unit when we returned to the states. That's customer service.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #17
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I'll second Island Time. Last February we were ready to leave for the Bahamas and the Bullet connector failed. I called Bob, and since we were leaving the next day, he sent the replacement unit to a friend of mine who was crossing over shortly after me. I finally got it a month later when my friend, who was not going as far south as we were, gave it to another boater, who brought it to us in Georgetown. All Bob asked was that we return the old unit when we returned to the states. That's customer service.
I think you'll find that kind of customer service at Wave WiFi as well. Get a hold of Richard and the guy will forward you almost anything. Wave's customer service is second to none in my opinion. Then again I'll admit to Beta testing their products and having input on the various upgrades they have supplied over the years since the break up between Syrens and GeoSat (Wave WiFi).
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:15 PM   #18
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BillyIII set me up with the Wave Rogue wifi years ago and it's been great. The farthest is seen it pull in signals was 4 miles south good line of sight. Don't expect the 7 miles they advertise.

Also have the Cradlepoint CTR35 router. Works well and both units are 12v powered.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:34 PM   #19
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I think you'll find that kind of customer service at Wave WiFi as well.
Bill, you also wrote this on another website:
I have sold many (sic) ROGUE units and use the high power Wave unit on my own boat. I have never had one returned, I also use the Ubiquiti Rocket M-5 for my 802.11A&N links to the boat. If you like making a Heathkit by all means purchase a Bullet2HP if you want to enjoy boating and have a great WiFi experiance purchase a ROGUE from Wave/GeoSat Solutions. You are paying for ongoing support, all the components needed for a basic installation and firmware software with the Wave ROGUE.
Since you seem to really be pushing Rogue Wave here, could you explain your current commercial interest in them? Knowing the entire industry, your comments seem just a bit over the top for one of the most expensive products going when there are less expensive alternatives using the exact same hardware.

For what it's worth, I'm a customer of Island Time. I use their products on my own boat. I don't currently nor have I ever sold them. I just like them a lot and have been responsible for perhaps a few hundred (maybe a thousand) boats installing their systems based on my suggestions. I've received $0 because of that. I also know the owners of Rogue and think their product is fine for a segment of the market. But for a good percentage of boaters (probably most), Rogue is just extra money mainly because it's a "boating" product. I have to say that I really dislike that and have told Rogue that directly.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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Bill, you also wrote this on another website:
I have sold many (sic) ROGUE units and use the high power Wave unit on my own boat. I have never had one returned, I also use the Ubiquiti Rocket M-5 for my 802.11A&N links to the boat. If you like making a Heathkit by all means purchase a Bullet2HP if you want to enjoy boating and have a great WiFi experiance purchase a ROGUE from Wave/GeoSat Solutions. You are paying for ongoing support, all the components needed for a basic installation and firmware software with the Wave ROGUE.
Since you seem to really be pushing Rogue Wave here, could you explain your current commercial interest in them? Knowing the entire industry, your comments seem just a bit over the top for one of the most expensive products going when there are less expensive alternatives using the exact same hardware.

For what it's worth, I'm a customer of Island Time. I use their products on my own boat. I don't currently nor have I ever sold them. I just like them a lot and have been responsible for perhaps a few hundred (maybe a thousand) boats installing their systems based on my suggestions. I've received $0 because of that. I also know the owners of Rogue and think their product is fine for a segment of the market. But for a good percentage of boaters (probably most), Rogue is just extra money mainly because it's a "boating" product. I have to say that I really dislike that and have told Rogue that directly.
I thought I made it pretty clear I have a commercial interest in the Wave products Jeff. For the record I don't lurk around boards to sell their products.
However I still think their products are well suited for boaters that want simple and performance. You won't find a single member here that I have sold a unit to through this board. Furthermore they don't sell any 5.8GHz or 900MHz products. I have been a huge fan of using the 5.8GHz products for marinas.
Have I done something wrong?
You have a great product with Active Captain does that mean you aren't entitled to have an opinion about other similar programs? Doesn't AC solicite products through your mailings to subscribers? Does that make you any less credable? I don't think so, you and I have rubbed each other wrong since you insisted everyone should use a VPN back in the Panbo days.
Bill
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