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Old 05-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #15
Join Date: Aug 2012
Home Port: tampa
Posts: 16

Actually most of the units today worth installing have the radio attached directly to the antenna therefore no cable losses. Signal is then sent via network wire to computer. And height equals range in line of sight transmission no matter how you look at it. Certainly when at dock a high gain ant will allow more options but a yacht swinging at anchor will produce nothing but frustration for most.

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Old 05-27-2013, 04:00 AM   #16
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Join Date: May 2011
Home Port: Brisbane
Vessel Name: Shenoa
Posts: 1,549

Yes, the antenna I'm using goes straight to the USB port. I don't know of any omnis with inbuilt electronics but it's many years since I ran a wireless PoP on land so maybe they exist nowadays.

Rules of thumb for land-based wireless are not applicable here. Height equals range is true but irrelevant when the range at 6' elevation ASL already exceeds the capabilities of the transmitter, which being microwave is essentially line-of-sight. The difference in path from my yacht to the bridge at 6' and 40' would be miniscule anyhow, simple trigonometry will confirm that.

I agree that the antenna movement is frustrating. Imagine how much more of an arc the antenna would traverse at mast height ... and with no way to rotate and point it. I'm considering a switchable array, meanwhile the only solution is to move the yacht closer to the internet source. I'm really stretching it at this distance.

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Old 05-27-2013, 05:19 AM   #17
Join Date: Feb 2010
Home Port: the boat
Vessel Name: Skipping Stone
Posts: 79

I think on a boat that is traveling, height is a huge thing. A masthead antenna could line of sight over a hill or building that 6' off the deck might not.
You really need to try the bullet or BadBoy type systems before you sink money into other stuff. Right now we're about 3/4 of a mile from the access point swinging at anchor in 20 to 25 knots of wind and still have a pretty fast signal; fast enough to watch a flik on NetFlix!
I don't sell these things, nor am I involved in the companies, but for once I've found a product that does exactly what it's supposed to do very, very well and it seems to be holding up in the marine environment.
"Any a**hole can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one"
Spike Africa, aboard the Schooner Wanderer, Sausalito, Ca. 1964
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:32 AM   #18
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Vessel Name: Shenoa
Posts: 1,549

Hi Capta,

As I already pointed out in a much earlier post, anything over 500mW is illegal in most parts of the world whilst the BadBoy runs at 4 watts. I have a whole $32 invested in the one I bought, not much of a concern there. The BadBoy retails for $289.95 plus delivery and I'd expect it to eat power by the bucketload.

I wouldn't think mounting the antenna higher would make much difference to the range of the one I have unless the only connection is on top of a hill with houses in between. In both cases I've tried so far - Sydney and Brisbane - there are a multitude of connections to be had from 300m from shore, in fact in Brisbane there's one commercial network with awesome signal strength. I just don't want to pay by the hour. :-)

Once you leave the big city there might be a case for it, but I can't comment on that as yet except to say that my need for an internet connection in remote locations is fairly low, having HF radio aboard both yachts for email.

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