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Old 01-22-2021, 06:51 PM   #1
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WIFI System on BC Coast

I am looking at installing a router for a wifi sytem on the celluar signal and/or any free Wifi signal I might be able to use, eg. Yachtclubs while visiting.

I was looking at Glomex as an introductory platform. I have included a review from a cruisers formum below.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...es-215579.html

What systems are you guys using? Tell us about your WIFI systems and any thing you would do differently.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:45 PM   #2
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marina wifi and smartphone when available.

No comment on the system except to say have you explored 5G. I am holding off a phone upgrade for a 5G model
Edit: May be better but not for distance as more antenna needed to increase speed of service.
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:08 PM   #3
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I'm sure you are aware that going into areas - fjords and inlets - will often compromise the signal. I know others here at TF have found items like Garmin Inreach, phones, etc wouldn't work in some areas along the Inside Passage.

I have my boat set up for Sirius radio but I am really waffling on subscribing. I have a subscription for my car. The problem in my area is that the satellites are situated quite far south to hit the bulk of the American population, anything in Canada is an after thought. So driving along, the radio cuts in and out all the time, even just driving around Qualicum Beach, down to Victoria, up to Comox and Campbell River.
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Old 01-22-2021, 11:26 PM   #4
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I was at pirates cove and had no cell service, that was a surprise so close to Nanaimo. Just behind a hill.

The question was on Glomex, so I looked it up and the claims are 15-20 miles offshore. Line of sight I can get cell service that far, so missing the benefit of it unless you are running off the coast a lot.
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Old 01-23-2021, 06:17 PM   #5
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My experience in BC has been if you are near a population center you can get a cell signal. If, as stated in a bay or unpopulated area, no signal.

We have a Wilson booster that helps, but a lot of places on the inside passage does not have cell service.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:32 PM   #6
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We missed the last two years but in the past we found that only within sight or otherwise close to a settlement would there be cell service.
Otherwise there is no cell service. Text sometimes would get through due to short broadcast of signal it only took a couple seconds, I am guessing.
But any conversation was hopeless. If you did get through the signal would be dropped soon after.

The marinas have limited wifi although it is there. Especially marinas that are not part of a town such as Port McNeil. The outlying marinas depend upon satellite so it is limited.

If you MUST have connection you will have to provide something that will get through, ie a satellite connection.

There is simply not the population to support a comprehensive cell system except near settlements/towns.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:13 PM   #7
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WiFi is crap in most marinas so we have a WiFi booster. We have a Wilson cell booster that adss 1-2 bars on the cell - where there is some cell. And we have a Garmin inReach for no cell coverage, which is common. There are even places with no Coast Guard or weather for the VHF (Kitkatla).
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:14 PM   #8
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In Alaska, At&T runs all the cell service in small communities. Good cell service in K-Town, Sitka and Juneau with Verizon, T- Moble etc.

If you are not AT&T, then you find out where the local library for internet WIFI.

AT&T does not allow non- customers access to internet in these small communities.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:05 PM   #9
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I just installed (today) a Pepwave Cat18 router and Poynting LTE antenna. The router is under the upper helm, in the eyebrow area. The antenna’s just tacked down for now until I get better hardware. (The top of our radar arch also needs some TLC.) I may get a second external antenna one of these days, but the improvement in cell reception with this system is significant. The wifi network on the boat is also robust. Much of the info I relied on in choosing a system came from Sea Bits, which is edited by a TF member, Steve Mitchell.
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:32 PM   #10
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As others have stated, cell service is spotty throughout BC. There is actually better service once you get into Alaska, as they have installed towers to help cover the fishing fleet and tourists. That said there are still a lot of places without service, especially off the major travel routes. Service in Alaska is through ATT or GCI, calls will still go through with other carriers but many won’t get data service.
Marina wifi is crap in most places so expect to go to libraries and coffee shops if you can’t connect through cellular. Iridium with a good external antenna works in all but a few places, and SiriusXM works just about everywhere. Beware that I said with a good external antenna, we have seen both Iridium and Sirius get fair to poor reception with the built in antennas.
Sadly, VHF reception has gone downhill in the past several years as CG antennas need maintenance that is not being completed. Folks up here are very good about relaying messages if need be or repeating weather info, but it is sad that it has come to that.
I’m happy to answer specifics about SE as we live here and marine communication was part of my work in the past.
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Old 01-29-2021, 03:46 PM   #11
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Over the last several years, on the BC inside route northbound above Port Hardy, I've found spotty Wi-Fi or Verizon cell signals at the following locations:

Open Wi-Fi: Lodge at the head of Pruth Bay, Calvert Island
Cell: Bella-Bella area, Shearwater at anchor.
Open Wi-Fi: Fish farm in Jackson Passage
Cell: Just as exiting west end of Jackson Passage
Open Wi-Fi: Klemtu, sometimes a resident leaves their Wi-Fi open
Cell: Just after rounding Pt Cummings, Gribbell Island.
Open Wi-Fi: Hartley Bay, sometimes a resident leaves their Wi-Fi open
Cell: Prince Rupert area
Cell: Upon crossing the Dixon Entrance.

I place the cell phone in roaming mode, propped up against the pilothouse window glass, and when signal is received, use the phone in place! Of course your mileage may vary!

Alex on Wild Blue
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
In Alaska, At&T runs all the cell service in small communities. Good cell service in K-Town, Sitka and Juneau with Verizon, T- Moble etc.

If you are not AT&T, then you find out where the local library for internet WIFI.

AT&T does not allow non- customers access to internet in these small communities.
Are you sure you don't mean AP&T (Alaska Phone and Telegraph)?
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Old 01-29-2021, 09:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tator View Post
Are you sure you don't mean AP&T (Alaska Phone and Telegraph)?
I was told AT&T.
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Old 01-30-2021, 12:37 AM   #14
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My Boat is equipped with;
- A Mikrotik GrooveA 52.
- A Mikrotik RB951Ui-2HnD Routerboard 5xPort Lan Wireless WiFi Router.
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Old 01-30-2021, 07:01 AM   #15
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I've done a little research on this topic, but so far have no experience. I've been looking mainly from the perspective of an RV...but the situation is really the same. Lousy campground wifi and often rural/sketchy cell signal.

It seems that a lot of folks have cell boosters, but the issue is that if the signal is poor for data, then you're just boosting a poor signal. You get more bars but still lousy data throughput. It seems that perhaps the better approach is a directional antenna attached to a router....

I'm very curious how this Starlink idea is going to pan out.....
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