What's everyone using for wifi?

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Re: What's everyone useing for wifi?

Postby rweeks6508 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:15 pm

Fred
I would get a access point that can be used as a bridge set it up so that you connect the bridge to the marina wifi and then connect your laptop to the access point. The access points are stronger then the built-in antenna in the laptop and all you have to do is set it on top of the dodger and wifi yourself to death.

I use the same IBM laptop as yours and I can connect to the Rock Hall YC access point (at least a 1/2 mile away) if I am sitting in the cockpit rather down below. I have an a D-Link and will take it down to MD on the next visit and see if I can get it setup.

Bob
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Re: What's everyone useing for wifi?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Sun Dec 21, 2008 7:29 pm

Finally we got her up and running. At the moment I have the Engenious upstairs and associated with an open wifi network that we could not hook up to with any other combination of equipment we have. Not even my snazzy ravioli cantenna and the new 400 mw usb adapter. This proves out the performance of the radio gear. Unfortunately it's every bit as clunky an interface as Geoff points out and even worse! But we also have it hooked up to a linksys router to re-distribute wifi throughout our house. I can even use it out in the shop.

George
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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:21 pm

I finally gave up on the Engenious router. We will use it on the pump house down on the dock to tie our security cams into the internet.

Instead, we are now running a Linksys WRT54G router with DD-WRT firmware. What a huge difference in usability. I'll have to watertight box the router to keep the coax run to the antennas down to a minimum but another advantage of running DD-WRT is that I can software select which antenna I want to use. So we can have the Yagi as an option and the Omni as a primary antenna. We don't even have to have a permanent Ethernet cable hooked up because now that the software is up and running I can get to the gui via wifi. I've set up a secure virtual router that effectively gives us our own wifi network aboard without having a second physical device and I have that secured.

It's been a long trip, but I believe we have finally got there. The system has been running stable for two weeks now (knock on wood as it seems that boast-posting here seems to be the kiss of death!).

And the next project is to build that omni antenna! heh heh

George
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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:02 pm

George,

I'm curious as to your experience with the WRT54G. I used 1 for a while (actually have an additional one for backup), but wasn't happy with the range. You really can't crank up the output wattage without destroying the signal quality according to what I've read.

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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:45 pm

I'm getting good range by *not* cranking up the power too much. Using good antennas instead. In fact signal distortion is a problem with most transmitters running up the power. Compared with the Engenious which has wonderful radio gear, the WRT54G set at 89mw is outperforming it hands down. It's been running rock solid now for over 2 weeks. With the WRT54G you have another problem which is that apparently at the 251mw output they tend to... melt. So keeping it cool *and* dry might be a problem for most people. I'm still open for suggestions but I'm probably not going to run with anything I can use third party software on. We might end up with some Buffalo gear.

Today I got my stuff from Tower Hobie and an electronics supply house and I'll be building my first Omni Antenna. I'll report back on that soon.

George
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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:32 pm

My issue was that I had a good antenna and I could hear the base station, but they couldn't hear me...or at least that was my impression. Many marinas/homes use the little antennas that come with the router and don't have good (external) antennas. I could pick them up, but not visa-versa. Once I increased my transmit power, my range increased markedly. My longest distance connect was about 3 miles off-shore while cruising along the coast of Nova Scotia this past summer.

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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:13 pm

I'm looking at the Ubiquiti Bullet 5HP now. It will run DD-WRT. This might be the high power solution.

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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:24 pm

If I remember correctly, it only handles 802.11a and there are many access points that only support b/g.

Also, save yourself $16 at http://www.wlanparts.com/product/BULLET5/

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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:38 pm

Next up for you inspection would be the WiliGear WBD500. Also, Bullet 5 and Bullet 5HP are two different products. The HP has a 1 watt radio. I didn't know about the "a" only. Maybe the HP does "g". I'll be checking into that.

George
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Re: What's everyone using for wifi?

Postby Robert » Fri Feb 06, 2009 9:47 am

In general, cranking up the power is not a substitute for a good antenna. The problem is noise and noise degrades the digital signal and noise is a problem with a weak signal, amplify this signal and you amplify the noise and can potentially degrade the signal further.
Robert

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