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Ok, so I bought the WaveRv Wi-Fi antenna and hooked it up. I was curious about adding a 5 ft length of cable and how to determine signal strength so I called the tech support # on the web site. First thing they wanted to know was which trailer park I was in! I told 'em I don't do the trailer park thing! I tried e-mailing for tech support a week ago but still no response.

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Comment by LOLA on December 24, 2011 at 1:06pm

Ok I am saving this blog...I am in the market soon.

Comment by Bill Hallett on April 12, 2009 at 6:52am
If you used LMR400 (or equivalent) low loss cable then a single run of cable should work fine. You encountering almost 2.5 dB loss over that length. So, assuming you are using something like an 8dBi antenna your "effective radiated power" is:
23Dbm (EnGenius 200mW unit)
Plus
8dBi gain antenna
minus
2.5dB cable loss
equals
28.5dB and that ain't bad.
Comment by Veranda on April 11, 2009 at 11:41pm
We're using a wave RV antenna set up with an Engenius 220 mw amplifier. We've been using the same system for close to 3 years now. We can pull in a wifi signal as well as anyone in the anchorage.

I wanted to run the antenna cable from my radar arch to the nav station. In order to save signal loss at every connection I opted to have a single 36 foot cable made up to do the job. Works great. When the Engenius finally dies we'll replace it with the Alpha unless there's something newer and better out by then.

Bill
s/v Veranda
Comment by Bill Hallett on April 6, 2009 at 11:20pm
BTW< Bruce. I can't tell you how many times I have referred sailers to our "RV Kits".

The main difference between cruising sailors and RVers, at least in terms of there WiFi needs is that one moves on water, the other on asphalt. They mover from place to place and want the best connection they can get. The RVer usually lives in a "Faraday Cage" while a cruising sailor may have to worry more about interfering wit their running rigging.

Point it, that many of the same approaches may work for both. If you want, I can create a bunch of "Marine Kits" (same components as the RV Kits) and, as someone else suggested, change a premium.
Comment by Bill Hallett on April 6, 2009 at 11:13pm
Yep, we will agree that the word "marine" is often an excuse for raising prices. In the case of our "marine antenna" the swivel mount is the issue. If you don't need that type of mount, don't bother getting that just because it says "marine".

That leads to the "cable" question. Let me just say this...if you don't need the relatively thin and therefore flexible cable to get the antenna where you want or need to put it, then don't waste your money. In fact, don't waste your signal strength unless you need to. Martin Duffy has it pretty well. There is signal loss (in any cable) so if you don't need the cable, don't buy one.

I could make this a very long discussion, but most of the issues are discussed in the white paper we have on the Netgate web site. (http://www.netgate.com/info/marine/Wifi-Marine-v26a.pdf)

Bottom line. Read the write up. If you have questions call us at Netgate. Remember that every boat is different, but the physics of radios, cables and antennas is not. If it says marine, don't automagically buy it. Buy what will meet your needs.
Comment by CAN DRAC on April 6, 2009 at 10:33pm
Yeah, you saved $4 on the base price of that one but it looks like you didn't get the personalized customer service you would have received from Bill at Netgate (See his SeaKnots profile here)

But I agree that some simple items are ridiculously overpriced when sold for marine use. Biggest example for us outfitting Can Drac was anchor chain!!
Comment by Phil Prater on April 6, 2009 at 8:21pm
Just say the word marine. Needed a spark plug for my little 2hp dink motor. Walked into the local Honda shop the other day. Need a couple of NGK BP4HS plugs says I. What kind of bike is it for, was the reply. Told the guy it was for my little outboard, and he informed me that they only had spark plugs for motorcycles, nothing at all for boat motors. Go Figger
Comment by Peter Kafer on April 6, 2009 at 7:47pm
We all know that putting the word "marine" in front of anything is an excuse to raise its price. I went to the site that you mentioned and the wi-fi antenna/external wireless card, Alfa ALFA AWUS036H: 802.11b/g 500mW USB Adapter is the same one I bought from data-alliance for $48.00. You're right, best purchase in a long time. I plan to use an extension cord on the antenna so I can get it up higher.
Comment by CAN DRAC on April 6, 2009 at 6:58pm
Ha, ha,

You'd be better off buying your wi-fi kit from NetGate, at least they have a marine kit:

http://www.netgate.com/index.php?cPath=27_103

Best purchase we made in a very long time!
Comment by Peter Kafer on April 6, 2009 at 5:25pm
I have had very good results with the antenna and external wireless card that I purchased from data-alliance

http://www.data-alliance.net/servlet/the-90/802.11g-USB-802.11b-802.11n/Detail

Its price is much lower than the Waverv--$48.00. It is possible to replace the antenna that comes with the card with a more powerful one and with enough cable to get the antenna much higher. However, I've had excellent results with it right out of the box.

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