Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-07-2019, 08:47 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
woodscrew's Avatar
 
City: Barnegat Light
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Northern Star
Vessel Model: Bristol 42 1970
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 49
wifi antenna recommendations ?

We have been in many marinas on our way down the ICW this fall and have found few where the WIFI is really good. Like good enough to watch TV without stopping and starting, pixelating/fuzzy picture, etc. When the WIFI is bad enough, we use ATT personal hotspots w/unlimited data from our Iphones which really works well (assuming we have good LTE reception) but it doesn't take many hours of viewing before ATT slows down the speeds. I am looking at the Shakespeare WIFI-2 antenna for about $335.00, and a Netgear router for about $70.00. Anybody have experience with either ( especially the antenna)? Or any alternatives? If it lives up to the manufacturer's hype $400.00 is okay with me for the increase in wifi capability.By the way I'm an idiot with this kind of thing so assume I know little or nothing. Thanks, Woodscrew
__________________
Advertisement

woodscrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 10:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
City: Bayfield, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: All Night Long
Vessel Model: Regal 2765
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 302
Are you sure the issue is Wi-Fi reception? A lot of marinas we've stayed at have VERY little bandwidth available to start with, and it's being shared by dozens of folks most of them trying to stream something.

Even a perfect signal isn't going to help you there.
BD
__________________

BDofMSP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 12:20 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Sabre602's Avatar
 
City: NW Washington State
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kingfisher
Vessel Model: 37' converted gillnetter/crabber
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 321
Assorted bits of information....

https://sailbits.com/modular-cheaper...-and-mikrotik/

https://sailbits.com/best-lte-antenna-booster-boat/

https://sailbits.com/marina-wifi-hard/

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/overview/
__________________
Anson & Donna

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~The Dalai Lama
Sabre602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 05:32 AM   #4
Veteran Member
 
Flatswing's Avatar
 
City: Windmill Harbour, Hilton Head Island, SC
Country: United States
Vessel Name: River Girl
Vessel Model: 2003 DeFever 49 RPH
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 48
I had excellent results with the Ubiquiti Bullitt antenna and Microtik router. Bob at Island time pc sells an excellent and simple DIY kit complete and is an excellent resource for those like myself who are tech challenged. I found it was great for picking up weak signals or distant signals (for instance while in a mooring field near a marina). In practice though, few places have open WiFi that you can jump on these days. Most marinas don't have sufficient bandwidth to do anything beyond emails and limited web browsing, so streaming is impossible. On my new boat I didn't buy a powerful WiFi antenna like the Bullitt. Went with the MoFi 4500 3g/4g/WiFi router which is fine for marina WiFi use, adds a LAN to the boat and amplifies the cell signal for tethering
to allow streaming.
__________________
Jeremy
Flatswing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 07:45 AM   #5
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 4,083
We just use a RadioLabs Wave Stealth (or some such name) USB-powered external WiFi adapter. It's just a little external radio with it's own 2.4- and G-gHz antenna, inexpensive, usually good for at least a quarter mile reception... and that's with the thing just perched in the saloon somewhere...

Then we either use "Connectify" on the older laptop, or Win 10's built-in capability, to create a hotspot on board...

Places where that's not been sufficient have always been places where their WiFi system is complete rubbish to start with and/or compounded by a bazillion users trying to stream TV... and an antenna won't fix either of those.

-Chris
__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2019, 03:02 AM   #6
Veteran Member
 
Transaxial's Avatar
 
City: Edmonton area/Nanaimo BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Soul Fisher
Vessel Model: Palmer
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 39
[QUOTE=Flatswing;729681]I had excellent results with the Ubiquiti Bullitt antenna and Microtik router. Bob at Island time pc sells an excellent and simple DIY kit complete and is an excellent resource for those like myself who are tech challenged. I found it was great for picking up weak signals or distant signals (for instance while in a mooring field near a marina). In practice though, few places have open WiFi that you can jump on these days. Most marinas don't have sufficient bandwidth to do anything beyond emails and limited web browsing, so streaming is impossible. On my new boat I didn't buy a powerful WiFi antenna like the Bullitt. Went with the MoFi 4500 3g/4g/WiFi router which is fine for marina WiFi use, adds a LAN to the boat and amplifies the cell signal for tethering
to allow streaming.[/QUOTE

I have a Bullet on my boat. Since I am not familiar with this type of electronics equipment, I got a local major boatyard to do some little jobs for me. One guy recommended the Bullet, and another installed it. Horizontally under the fiberglass cowling above the windshield. I told him to install it up high on the radar mast, and I thought obviously in a vertical direction. I never heard of mounting this type of antenna any way but vertical and since have never seen instructions on mounting orientation, assumed it was so obvious that it was not mentioned. I have been on the fence as to which way is correct since professionals did it horizontally. Until recently I read in another brand of similar antenna, that it has 360 degree coverage around when mounted vertical and 200 degree vertical coverage. That tells me it is only designed for vertical mounting. Who is right? Thanks in advance.
Transaxial is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2019, 05:17 AM   #7
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 18,533
Generally standard antennas have dead spots coning outward from the top and bottom.

For eifi it may not be a huge problem, but horizontal is not the optimum mounting.
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2019, 07:42 AM   #8
Guru
 
Maerin's Avatar
 
City: East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Maerin
Vessel Model: Solo 4303
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 581
As others noted, most marina wifi is pretty poor. You're working with a signal that by its nature is scattered by line of sight obstructions (read: sailboat rigging), so getting a good signal is trouble to start with. Even with an external antenna and radio to connect to the marina's access point (AP), you're dealing with an AP that in many cases is handling signal from multiple clients (your and your dockmates' connections) with a router that can handle limited bandwidth. It's a wonder it works at all, and many are so poor as to be non-functional. That's compounded by the prevalence of boosters, like the Bullet, that most folks set up at the highest transmit strength, just compounding the noise and interference issue. The exception is OnSpot, which, if available, just works. They use a different approach to coverage, and are successful at providing good connection with high bandwidth.
Most marinas provide 2.4gHz coverage, its signal doesn't lend itself to high bandwidth, and there's a narrow frequency band, so it's very subject to interference and noise, both cause data stream errors, and subsequent re-sending of data packets between the client and AP, = SLOW if even useable.

5G has a wider frequency band, not as prevalent in it's use, but increasing, but SIGNIFICANTLY higher bandwidth although at a bit shorter range. So if you have a choice, 5G can provide exponentially higher bandwidth. Signal isn't everything.

If you use a 2.4gHz booster like the bullet, learn how to adjust the transmit power, and reduce it as much as possible. Most connections should be able to function at a 12dB level, perhaps lower. It will reduce the noise level of your connection, improving the throughput, since that is what the goal is. Signal strength is only part of the equation. With multiple client radios screaming at the AP, none end up cutting through the noise, and nobody gets good access (throughput). This is where 5G makes a huge improvement; despite its shorter range, it has the capacity for more data, and since it's not as widely used (right now), it's less crowded. If you're considering a new booster, look into a dual band (2.4G + 5G) antenna and radio to take full advantage of what's available.

And encourage your marina to go with OnSpot. They have it figured out.
__________________
Steve Sipe
Selene 4303 Maerin
http://maerin.net
Maerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 06:44 PM   #9
Member
 
City: Green Cove Springs
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 14
I have a Wifi Ranger Elite which from memory is a dual band Ubiquiti Bullet and a Microtik Wifi Router. You could home brew the same solution for less if you are willing and capable of spending the brain cells and time but I just paid up and got it. I added an AT&T MIMO Hotspot and the setup works well for both wifi and cell data.

Also Wifi Ranger help desk is very responsive if there are any issues.

Regards

Paul
PaulGel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2019, 07:22 PM   #10
Guru
 
Donna's Avatar
 
City: Palm Coast
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Southerly
Vessel Model: 1986 Marine Trader 36' Sundeck
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodscrew View Post
We have been in many marinas on our way down the ICW this fall and have found few where the WIFI is really good. Like good enough to watch TV without stopping and starting, pixelating/fuzzy picture, etc. When the WIFI is bad enough, we use ATT personal hotspots w/unlimited data from our Iphones which really works well (assuming we have good LTE reception) but it doesn't take many hours of viewing before ATT slows down the speeds. I am looking at the Shakespeare WIFI-2 antenna for about $335.00, and a Netgear router for about $70.00. Anybody have experience with either ( especially the antenna)? Or any alternatives? If it lives up to the manufacturer's hype $400.00 is okay with me for the increase in wifi capability.By the way I'm an idiot with this kind of thing so assume I know little or nothing. Thanks, Woodscrew
I know where you are because my home port is the marina you are staying at. We met the other day. Donít bother with the external booster. It doesnít work there. I have tried all different kinds of methods. None has worked so far. If I come across an extra 4 grand once I get finished with my windows, Iíd like to install an intellian. Iím on f dock and will be there tomorrow. We will chat.

By the way folks, they have a BEAUTIFUL boat!
Donna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2019, 10:20 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
City: tallahassee
Country: United States
Vessel Model: 1979 Mainship 34
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 322
Try a wifi extender before you get radical.

I went from 1 bar/horrible wifi signal to pretty much 100%. I left it as an open access point for the other cruisers who are on the other side of the marina.

It was under $40.
__________________

Mrwesson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012