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At sea internet

Discussion in 'Boat Electronics' started by hhh, Apr 3, 2006.

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  1. hhh

    hhh Guest

    What's the fastest internet connection available away from the dock? I've
    used KVH F-33 before but it's so slow even with their accelator program.
    Is there anything better out there?

  2. RW Salnick

    RW Salnick Guest

    Many wireless PCMCIA cards have a (very small!) jack for an external
    antenna. There is really no practical and effective way to add an
    antenna to an internal wireless card - you are going to have to spring
    for a new card. Of course you will be looking for one with an antenna
    jack, but also pay attention to the emitted power from the card. These
    apparently come either as 20 milliwatts or 300 milliwatts. More is
    better if your problem is getting the base station to hear your signal.

    When you buy an external antenna, get one which is either two or 3
    stacked verticals (two or three straight sections of wire, separated by
    coiled sections). Then insert this antenna at the focal point of a
    parabolic reflector:

    This combination will get you gain into the 20db range.

    s/v Eolian
  3. Bill Kearney

    Bill Kearney Guest

    Many wireless PCMCIA cards have a (very small!) jack for an external
    Entirely not true. Most internal cards have a connector that wires them up
    to an internal antenna. It's a matter of splicing in a new connector to
    allow using an external cable. If you're handy with a soldering iron and
    wiring then it's really not that difficult.

    It may, however, be better to use a card that already supports one.

    OR use a wireless bridge that lets you repeat the detected signal to one
    your built-in card can use.
    Which may be entirely illegal according to the FCC limits. While this may
    not bother some folks be aware that the regs don't allow you to just tack on
    different antennas without the *whole setup* having been approved for it.

    That and using a parabolic antenna on a boat that's moving might be a bit
    pointless (pun intended!).
  4. FYI

    I use the new 3G HSDPA wireless from Sierra wireless Aircard 860 with my
    laptop over the Cingular GSM network for unlimited data at 60$/momth.

    What i like about it: 1- My laptop can surf the net off the boat at home or
    on the road. I'm not stuck with a cost for the boat only. i can take this
    system with me when I travel by airplane too 2- I can downlod NOAA weather
    info and charts, 3- unlinited email access. 4-speed is like broadband when
    in metroplian areas like Seattle. 5-Flat rate for use when linked to
    Cingular GSM 6- i can listern to web radio.

    Dislikes: When crossing into Canada the rate is .01cents per kilobyte (ok
    for email and weather by cost alot when getting NOAA Charts) 2 - Cannot use
    when line of sight to land is lost when in the Pacific (OK in puget sound)

    I have had the NEW 3G system for 4 months befor i use Sprint PCS Data Card
    for the last 3 years, Sprint does not use GSM so i could not use the system
    in Canada or overseas. And sprint cost was $99/Month.

  5. hhh

    hhh Guest

    The boat is 45 ft. and the budget is $4,000. to $5,000. for email and
  6. hhh

    hhh Guest

    The boat is 45 ft. The budget is $4000 to $5000 for email and surfing
  7. Following on to this thread, I was (nearly a year ago) sold a package which
    consisted of two Senao CB3Deluxe 200mw external (breadboard only, not the
    regular enclosure, in a NEMA box, to be mounted mast-top) cards, one to be
    configured as bridge and the other to be configured as AP, with 8.5dBi omni
    antenna on the bridge and 5.5 omni duck on the AP.

    It manifestly doesn't work as desired; I was supposed to be able to connect
    the two with a crossover cable, power them, and surf wirelessly, with this
    functioning as a repeater, using my Microsnot or other wifi selector to
    choose my available AP.

    It doesn't work - either as sold, or, frustratingly, at all. Excruciatingly
    long story omitted; you'll have to trust me - if you want the gory details,
    I'll oblige. Someone who has a lot of experience in setting up large
    municipal and other wifis has suggested I insert a router between them; I'll
    have to manually configure and choose the AP with which the bridge will
    associate, but - supposedly; I've not yet had the opportunity to try that
    out - at least I'll be able to wifi surf an AP ashore.

    PERHAPS (emphasis because I've not even succeeded in that) I could bite the
    bullet and have a cat5 from my laptop to the mast-top, using the bridge
    directly (not wifi) and manually identifying what shore point I wanted to
    associate with. So far, for whatever reasons (not known currently), that's
    required many manual resets (push the reset button on the unit), something
    impossible once it's enclosed and on top of the mast.

    Anyone here, at any price, succeeded in doing what I thought to be a
    manifestly simple, analogous to HAM repeaters, job of being able to surf
    wifi-ish (no wire from my laptop to whatever gear) from my deck or dink or
    wherever I am within range of my mast top, seeing the available (with
    amplification and better antenna) shore points as amplified by the setup,
    and choosing from those available without having to manually (over url)
    configure the hardware each time?




    Morgan 461 #2
    SV Flying Pig KI4MPC The vessel as Tehamana, as we bought her

    "Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
    much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
    boats-or *with* boats.
    In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
    the charm of it.
    Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
    destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
    anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
    particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
    you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."
  8. Bill Kearney

    Bill Kearney Guest

    Anyone here, at any price, succeeded in doing what I thought to be a
    I'm going to setup just this type of rig sometime this summer. I'm going to
    use an old PC laptop running linux to do it. The goal being to pick up a
    shore-based WiFi network and "repeat it" to on-board PCs. The only
    "complicated" part is how to tell this router PC to connect to the on-shore
    access points. If you're willing to do the 'command line dance' it's just a
    matter of knowing which wlanconfig setups to use. But I seem to recall
    seeing a couple of web page setups that could be used to do it as well. As
    in, surf from the on-board PCs to a server page on this router and use that
    to tell it which of the detected access points to use and start routing.
    I'll certainly summarize whatever progress I make with it but it'll be at
    least another two weeks before I can get back into it.

    Meanwhile, if you've got an old laptop that's got at least 64mb of RAM and a
    Pentium 233mHz then take a look at getting it setup with "Damn Small Linux"

    -Bill Kearney
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