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Old 12-15-2018, 08:36 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Freespool View Post
I am looking to add a wifi to the boat. To be clear, it's for when I am in a marina I can connect to the internet. Maybe I am looking for a wireless booster?

Quite a range of advice here, some good, some not so much.


The term for what you are looking for is a WiFi range extender. The function is to provide a longer range connection to a shore-side WiFi access point (AP) and distribute that signal inside your boat over some combination of Ethernet and WiFi. A number of people have referred to "hotspots" which have a cellular connection to the Internet and distribute that connection over WiFi.

The three big players in this space are the Ubiquiti Bullet (which is oft relabeled with private brands), the RedPort Halo & Optimizer, and the Mikrotik Groove. The Bullet is the 800 pound gorilla. The good news is that support is readily available, the equipment works great, and the user interface is pretty easy to understand. I do not recommend the private labels as many use custom firmware that is not as stable and support can be disappointing. The Halo is great if you are moving around a lot and want to integrate WiFi range extension, cellular data, and satellite. Downsides are that supported accessories, especially cellular, are limited. The Groove is a clone of the Bullet router with no bridge capability; you don't care about bridges if you don't already know the difference between a bridge and a router. *grin* The overwhelming advantage of the Groove is the customer service of Bob Stewart at IslandTimePC.



At the high end you can use a Bullet and a Cradlepoint inside router to build a bullet-proof (ha!) system that can take you around the world.



I sure would like to see what is being delivered for $6,000US. I am shipping a system on Monday to a customer for less than $420 completely configured ready to connect to 12VDC (including ring terminals for the electrical panel circuit breaker). Bullet, Air802 antenna, mounts, Linksys router, POE, 100' Ethernet cable, configuration, pack and ship. Customer screws the ring terminals to the breaker and ground bus, flips on the breaker and logs on to WiFi with her boat name and her requested password. Nothing particularly special about this configuration service -- same as Bob Stewart provides at IslandTimePC. I think you can get something similar from Rob Anderson at SeaTech systems.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:43 AM   #62
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+1 for the Island Time set up. excellent value and it works great for my purpose.

I have Xfinity cable internet at home, and it comes with the ability to find Xfinity or Comcast hotspots and use them securely as part of your service. I find Xfinity hotspots by the dozens (and even hundreds) in New England and Florida coastal waters. There's probably lots more hotspots than I've found. Each Xfinity customer is automatically a hotspot as the modems have two units included; one for the subscriber and one as a hotspot. it's a great system and doesn't impact the individual subscribers.

I set up my Island Time to automatically log in to Xfinity send the signal to my old AirPort Extreme router, and the entire boat has wifi internet which is just like we have at home. Blistering fast and no throttling.
Do you have to first find/notice the hotspot on your device, connect, and then tell it to auto connect in the future? Not aware of a way to auto connect to a hotspot I haven't used before.
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Old 12-15-2018, 09:01 AM   #63
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Do you have to first find/notice the hotspot on your device, connect, and then tell it to auto connect in the future? Not aware of a way to auto connect to a hotspot I haven't used before.

Xfinity access points are a special case as all the passwords are the same. The same works for AT&T customers at AT&T provisioned APs at places such as McDonalds. They should just hook up.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:25 AM   #64
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Hi Firstbase,
What Auspicious said. Works great. If there aren’t any Xfinitiy signals I can still search and find others. Verizon supposedly also offers hotspots but I haven’t needed one given the ubiquity of Xfinity where I cruise. Otherwise we use Verizon from an iPhone sharing. Also have used Verizon travel pass with great success.

Hi Dave,
How are things? Hello. As you can see I crossed over to the dark side, at least temporarily. Evelyn and I just too busy to cruise long term at this time.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:31 AM   #65
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Thanks guys, as an Xfinity customer its good to hear. Did not know this.
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:20 PM   #66
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If you're only looking to boost existing WiFi signals, its pretty cost effective to look at a Ubiquiti Bullet or MikroTik Groove solution as folks above have stated. You can buy the parts yourself for less than $150 or you can pay someone $450 for the same thing pre-configured, or with their software on the devices.

Where I cruise, WiFi is not an option except for in specific marinas. Most of the rest of the places require cellular connections.

That's where things get expensive. The LTE routers are controlled by some good, some bad companies, and they all have higher prices than anything in the WiFi world because WiFi is commoditized and we all have it at home/work, while mobile cellular connections are not. Throw in amplification, marine quality outdoor antennas, and you start adding more zeros.
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Old 12-15-2018, 12:27 PM   #67
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I was frustrated when the WIFI signal at many marinas was too weak for me to connect my laptop to the internet. I finally had a hot spot put on my phone, and have successfully been using that method of connecting to the internet for the last two years. It is inexpensive and worked well everywhere we went, i.e. Intercoastal Waterway, Chesapeake and Delaware Bay, Hudson River, Erie Canal, St Lawrence River.
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:47 PM   #68
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It is my understanding Xfinity and Spectrum (including Brighthouse) have a hot spot reciprocity agreement so members of either can login to either hot spot.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:10 PM   #69
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Hi Dave,
How are things? Hello. As you can see I crossed over to the dark side, at least temporarily. Evelyn and I just too busy to cruise long term at this time.

There is no dark side. On the one hand the biggest difference between the average sailor and power boaters is that sailors only motor 90% of the time. *grin* On the other hand there is magic in a deep broad reach under spinnaker.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemitchell View Post
If you're only looking to boost existing WiFi signals, its pretty cost effective to look at a Ubiquiti Bullet or MikroTik Groove solution as folks above have stated. You can buy the parts yourself for less than $150 or you can pay someone $450 for the same thing pre-configured, or with their software on the devices.

$150US is quite a price for everything. I don't believe it.



Here is the best I could do last week:
Bullet M2 HP 98.97
Air802 9(ish)dB antenna 85.00
WRT54GL inside router 29.99
100' cat 7 Ethernet cable 37.59
POE injector 6.99
shop fee 12.00
Shipping 15.00
Configuration 125.00 (hourly rate, one hour)

Total 410.54


My shop fee includes two 12VDC power adapters, ring terminals, shrink wrap, and wire ties for a turn key system.


Please tell me how to do this for $150US. For DIY you can lop off my time. With Amazon Prime you can take off half the shipping. How do you get real cost down below $275US?



Configuration includes setting up the inside router with the boat name, requested password, WPA2 encryption, setting up the power harness, and testing the system (I run my home and lab through each one for 24 hours).



I'm not trying to sell anything to anyone here. Frankly WiFi is a loss leader for me. It takes more than an hour to do the work with shipping and receiving and illustrated instructions.


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Originally Posted by stevemitchell View Post
because WiFi is commoditized and we all have it at home/work, while mobile cellular connections are not. Throw in amplification, marine quality outdoor antennas, and you start adding more zeros.


Well, not more zeroes. Without looking up the numbers (I can if you want) the last WeBoost 4G-X I shipped with decent external antenna and coax (not what Wilson Electronics offers) was right around $1000US. The big problem is world travelers. Four GSM bands and 22 LTE bands are not available in one piece of equipment. For US/Bahamas/Canada/Mexico it's easy.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:15 PM   #70
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...We joke that rural England, Midsomer County, is the most dangerous place on earth!
Two English villages called Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter sound as if they could challenge Midsomer,but are just pretty rural villages.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:37 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
$150US is quite a price for everything. I don't believe it.

Here is the best I could do last week:
Bullet M2 HP 98.97
Air802 9(ish)dB antenna 85.00
WRT54GL inside router 29.99
100' cat 7 Ethernet cable 37.59
POE injector 6.99
shop fee 12.00
Shipping 15.00
Configuration 125.00 (hourly rate, one hour)

Total 410.54
Those costs don't look bad. However, I was not quoting an entire indoor/outdoor system - just the WiFi outdoor amplification part, which is what (somewhere back in the beginning of this thread) I thought we were talking about.

A MikroTik Groove is $99 on Amazon. It comes with an antenna, and does both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The Bullet you quoted for the same price only does 2.4Ghz. It also comes with a PoE injector that can be connected to 12V directly.

100' of CAT7 cable seems overkill both in length and in the spec. Even if we cut that in half cost wise, you're still under $150 if you are ordering this yourself.

There are plenty of guides online about how to configure these things, and I suspect most people would want to at least know some basics about that if they're dependent on it wherever they are traveling.

However, if you want to have all of that pre-configured, or even installed by someone, then of course the cost goes up from $150.

I've personally installed over 250 WiFi/router/LTE systems locally, and provided support and advise for 100's more, and there is a product solution for any budget. If the end user wants a plug and play system, then of course they would be paying more because someone would not only pre-configure it as you have mentioned, but would likely install it as well, which drives the cost up even more.

There are also a ton of folks who prefer to DIY and in those cases, the cost can be dramatically lower, not factoring in the extra hours (!) of time that may be spent installing and learning yourself!
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:57 AM   #72
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Those costs don't look bad. However, I was not quoting an entire indoor/outdoor system - just the WiFi outdoor amplification part, which is what (somewhere back in the beginning of this thread) I thought we were talking about.

Part of the problem is that people think it is just a couple of bits of hardware. The odds and ends really add up. Mounting brackets and hardware can get expensive if you don't choose the right antenna - that's why I like the Air802.


Quote:
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100' of CAT7 cable seems overkill both in length and in the spec. Even if we cut that in half cost wise, you're still under $150 if you are ordering this yourself.

The customer is on a sailboat and the Bullet and antenna are going on the highest spreader. 60' down the mast and then routing through the boat to make pulling it back for removing the mast lead to about 85' made a prebuilt 100' cable make sense.


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There are plenty of guides online about how to configure these things, and I suspect most people would want to at least know some basics about that if they're dependent on it wherever they are traveling.

Agreed. My configuration includes written guidance and tech support including Teamviewer. Take that out, as some of my customers have, and the number comes down a lot. Although I don't think it is very hard I've had a number of customers tackle DIY and end up shipping to me to sort it out and then ship it back. More cost for extra shipping.


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There are also a ton of folks who prefer to DIY and in those cases, the cost can be dramatically lower, not factoring in the extra hours (!) of time that may be spent installing and learning yourself!

Sure. I help people--free--all the time DIY. Karma. I think it's great that people understand their systems. The challenge is that the sources your refer to are usually "do this, then do that" instead of boiling the underlying concepts down to something understandable so the steps make sense.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:35 PM   #73
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We have the rogue wave as well and connect to a mofi router with a cellular option as well for when we are out of wifi range.

Attachment 83299
Hi Tozz,

What antennas are you using with the Mofi and where are they mounted? Do you have any pics? I think I am going to go a similar route as you but with a generic Mofi ($40) with the Cat 6 modem ($120) and a Ubiquiti bullet or Microtik Groove. The issue I see is I would only be mounting one cellular antenna on my mast and am worried how that will work (as I see you are using both cellular antenna ports).

Thanks
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:21 PM   #74
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Hi Tozz,



What antennas are you using with the Mofi and where are they mounted? Do you have any pics? I think I am going to go a similar route as you but with a generic Mofi ($40) with the Cat 6 modem ($120) and a Ubiquiti bullet or Microtik Groove. The issue I see is I would only be mounting one cellular antenna on my mast and am worried how that will work (as I see you are using both cellular antenna ports).



Thanks

Wave rogue is in the brow and for cellular we have a digital antenna wideband bullet antenna up on our mast.

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Old 01-29-2019, 12:36 PM   #75
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anyone find any good DC PoE injectors? Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:42 PM   #76
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anyone find any good DC PoE injectors? Thanks!
Depends on what voltage input and output you need.

For variable 10-14V, I use pass through ones similar to what comes with the MikroTik Groove series. Cut off the barrel connector, wire it into your house 12V source, and you're done. Works with things like the MikroTik and other PoE devices that can take between 10-15V DC. Your device has to support it though, but it is the cheapest and lowest power since there is no conversion happening.

For stabilized PoE, I have used the Tycon series for years with great results. They have models with every voltage I've come across, both input and output.

The one I've used the most is the TP-DCDC-1224 which accepts input voltage from 9V-36VDC, and outputs a stable 24V PoE voltage.

I've used these on boats, cars, RVs and in solar applications in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:59 PM   #77
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Depends on what voltage input and output you need.

For variable 10-14V, I use pass through ones similar to what comes with the MikroTik Groove series. Cut off the barrel connector, wire it into your house 12V source, and you're done. Works with things like the MikroTik and other PoE devices that can take between 10-15V DC. Your device has to support it though, but it is the cheapest and lowest power since there is no conversion happening.

For stabilized PoE, I have used the Tycon series for years with great results. They have models with every voltage I've come across, both input and output.

The one I've used the most is the TP-DCDC-1224 which accepts input voltage from 9V-36VDC, and outputs a stable 24V PoE voltage.

I've used these on boats, cars, RVs and in solar applications in the middle of nowhere.
Thanks! I did come across the Tycon but at $50 each they were by far the most expensive.

I guess the big question is whether I need "stablized" power? My house bank is 12v but can run at a range of 12-14.5V depending on state-of-charge and whether its being charged. Can I do damage if the power level varies in that range?

If its safe to do so, I think I will just use the supplied PoE injector for the Mikrotik and cut off the end as you have suggested.

I will have an expensive modem/router I need 48v PoE for (it does not come with an injector) so need to decide between a cheap PoE injector, a Tycon, and stablized I guess?

Thank you
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:09 PM   #78
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Thanks! I did come across the Tyco but at $50 each they were by far the most expensive.

I guess the big question is whether I need "stablized" power? My house bank is 12v but can run at a range of 12-14.5V depending on state-of-charge and whether its being charged. Can I do damage if the power level varies in that range?

If its safe to do so, I think I will just use the supplied PoE injector for the Mikrotik and cut off the end as you have suggested.

I will have an expensive modem/router I need 48v PoE for (it does not come with an injector) so need to decide between a cheap PoE injector, a Tycon, and stablized I guess?

Thank you
Well, if you have an expensive router, I would think spending the extra $50 would be a no brainer....

If the router requires 48V, you will need a PoE injector that converts from 12v DC in your house bank to 48v DC for the injector. The one that comes with the MikroTik does not - it's just wires with no circuitry/converter.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:20 PM   #79
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Well, if you have an expensive router, I would think spending the extra $50 would be a no brainer....

If the router requires 48V, you will need a PoE injector that converts from 12v DC in your house bank to 48v DC for the injector. The one that comes with the MikroTik does not - it's just wires with no circuitry/converter.
Thanks yea I think I will splurge for the Tycon for the cellular router/modem but do you think the Mikrotik will be OK running on 12-14.5 volts input if I use the PoE injector it came with?
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:23 PM   #80
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Thanks yea I think I will splurge for the Tycon for the cellular router/modem but do you think the Mikrotik will be OK running on 12-14.5 volts input if I use the PoE injector it came with?
I've used MikroTik's that way for a long time. They have wonderfully robust power circuitry and don't seem to have any issue with the varying battery voltage.

I have the same setup - using the PoE injector that came with the MikroTik, and a dedicated PoE injector for the more expensive router/cameras/devices.
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