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Old 07-31-2013, 09:58 AM   #1
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WiFi antenna recommendations

I'm looking for a reliable, economical WiFi antenna for the boat. I'd like something I can just plug into my laptop to boost the range. Any recommendations out there on what to buy and where?
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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some say small internal to the boat antennas work fine..others say external antennas are necessary for full range.

I have one of these....

Welcome- Land and Sea WiFi Provides Long Range Wifi Boosters for Boats, RVs, and Marinas

and it works well...not as well as some would have you believe...but in many cases I have been able to get wifi from the local neighborhood when the wifi connection at the dock (even expensive marinas) wasn't worth a crap.

I $350 with the router, and it was worth it because of the tech support. If you are a little computer techie literate, have the time and patience...you can buy the same parts for less as I'm sure you will see with other posts and on some blogs. Good for you if you want to go that way....for the extra $100-$150 it was worth buying the package for memas I was in a rush to get going.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:40 AM   #3
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I use my iPhone tethering capabilities (personal hot spot). It turns my 4LTE iphone into a wifi signal that anyone with the password can tap into for Internet. Of course, you have to have a good 3G/4LTE signal. Anyone within the range of my boat/Dock can access. I was surprised at how far i can be away from my phone and still get access. It eliminates lap tops/air cards/routers etc... That clutter up my boat. Good luck.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
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Because we use internet as our television service provider...we need a strong, good band width connection and one that doesn't "charge" for all that streaming.

But a lot of people can get by with just hot spots or wait for other WIFI ...lot's of possibilities to stay connected...but they diminish with distance from civilization and need for streaming.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #5
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We had a Radio Labs 8db antenna that worked well for us at $169.

¤RadioLabs || WaveRV Marine - Wireless antenna
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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I am using one called Bad Boy. It works fine as long as it is in line of sight with a WiFi signal (much like a vhf)so mount it as high as you can get it. I also use their "Unleashed" router for the WiFi onboard, seems to connect everything well.


store.bitstorm.com/bad-boy-xtreme-kits/
Practical Sailor gives a thumbs up to our BAD BOY Xtreme! ... available right at and connected directly to the antenna, the antenna cable is eliminated. ... Rugged, completely weatherproof and continues operating in extreme temperatures.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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Yes, line of sight is critical.

I use Rogue Wave WIFI extender. They advertise up to 7 mile range, but the most I've ever seen is 4 miles.

http://www.wavewifi.com/rogue-wave_13_3572898923.pdf



I can rebroadcast my wifi through my Cradlepoint wifi router to make it available to friends in the area.

I find that I use my 3G cell service and the hotspot feature of my droid more often since free, open wifi is not often available within range of anchorages and while underway. But when open wifi is available, the Rogue really improves the signal level.
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
I find that I use my 3G cell service and the hotspot feature of my droid more often since free, open wifi is not often available within range of anchorages and while underway.
We do the same.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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I'm running a pair of Ubiquity pico stations and a generic 4.5 dbi gain fiberglass wi-fi antenna. The beauty of this setup is that the access point (the unit that receives the wi-fi) is 1000mw, so it has very good range, whereas I can dial down the power on the boat wi-fi side (What I connect to) to as low as 10mw. Less interference to the spectrum that way.

Anyone interested in instructions on how this is setup, feel free to ask.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:10 AM   #10
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The systems used by FlyWright and Sea Moose both are based on the Ubiquity pico radio receiver transmitter. Same as the system (Wifi for Boats) we use on Bay Pelican. There appears to be scores of resellers of this radio who have packaged their own minor software with the Ubiquity software.

In the Caribbean where Wifi antennas and amplifiers are on almost every boat the Ubiquity radio appears to be the standard.

Marty
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:02 PM   #11
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I found the Ubiquity stations very easy to set up, if somebody wants help, just ask.

A pair of them is the way to go if you have multiple wi-fi users on board - One to communicate with the access point, the other to share that connection with other users.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaMoose View Post
I'm running a pair of Ubiquity pico stations and a generic 4.5 dbi gain fiberglass wi-fi antenna. The beauty of this setup is that the access point (the unit that receives the wi-fi) is 1000mw, so it has very good range, whereas I can dial down the power on the boat wi-fi side (What I connect to) to as low as 10mw. Less interference to the spectrum that way.

Anyone interested in instructions on how this is setup, feel free to ask.
Yes I'm interested. How do you set it up?
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:13 AM   #13
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"pair of Ubiquity pico stations "

Could you explain how you are using a pair of Ubiquity pico stations. Is each computer connected by a LAN cable to the Ubiquity radio or do you re-transmit the signal from the first via the second?

Marty
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #14
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RE: WiFi Antenna Recommendations

Nearly all the Lake Michigan marinas berthing more than 20 boats have some sort of WiFi service available, most of which is uniformly poor. I picked up this Alfa unit from Amazon: Amazon.com: Alfa AWUS036H High power 1000mW 1W 802.11b/g High Gain USB Wireless Long-Rang WiFi network Adapter with 5dBi Rubber Antenna and a 7dBi Panel Antenna and Suction cup / Clip Window Mount - for Wardriving & Range Extension: Computers & Acces

for the princely sum of 35 bucks and it smokes. Includes two different antennae: rubber duckie type whip and directional flat plate. Previously useless WiFi in our hailing port of Winthrop Harbor now locks up solid and stays solid thru my sometimes lengthy internet sessions. Cheaper than last week's bar tab at Bamboo Bernies.

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Old 10-05-2013, 05:03 AM   #15
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here's an article about wifi / antenna /cabling etc:

Wi-Fi on a Boat - Wireless Wiki

scroll down a bit...
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
The systems used by FlyWright and Sea Moose both are based on the Ubiquity pico radio receiver transmitter. Same as the system (Wifi for Boats) we use on Bay Pelican. There appears to be scores of resellers of this radio who have packaged their own minor software with the Ubiquity software.

In the Caribbean where Wifi antennas and amplifiers are on almost every boat the Ubiquity radio appears to be the standard.

Marty
I thought most of the systems were based on the Ubiquity Bullet M2. That's what I use on my boat. Works great. For an antenna, I use a Engenius 8dBi Antenna (EAG-2408). I too use a second generic WiFi router for redistribution to multiple connections inside the boat.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:59 AM   #17
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The Trawler Beach House: Simple and Inexpensive WiFi

These guys did their own. With a few pictures on the how-to's.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We had a Radio Labs 8db antenna that worked well for us at $169.

¤RadioLabs || WaveRV Marine - Wireless antenna

Yep, we use a Wave Magnum... USB connector, USB extension, easy.

-Chris
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #19
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We have a WirieAP, works great! Best part it is as a wireless network for the boat and neighbours, so all the ipads, computers and cellphone enjoy it. Only need to supply it with 12volt power supply.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:16 PM   #20
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Alternative

I changed nothing on my boat. My WiFi solution was $59 at Walmart or Best buy. I was so annoyed with the marina's feeble signal that I bought a range extender for them . Dealing with it at the source, I mounted the extender outdoors but near the original point of the signal and raised it up. (actually mounted outside on a fence and enclosed in tupperware)
Not only did I solve my problem but the whole marina now gets proper service.
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