S/V Bella Vita - Pearson 530

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Long Range WiFi

26 November 2010 | Vancouver
Rain and cold. Wish I was in Mexico
So let's look at a long range WiFi setup. There are several companies that offer a package for boaters. Prices range from $150 for a simple USB antenna to $600 for a more complex system with RJ45 connection. After looking around I decided to build my own for $140.

I had a few criteria for my needs:

1. Minimum of 1 mile range (this setup can go as far as 10 miles but most residential shore stations don't have the power to transmit that far......however if you are anchored and have a password to one of the commercial antennas of a yacht club or a marina you can sit on your boat insted of going ashore).
2. Ability to connect through a router easily (to be able to use my laptop anywhere around the boat with no cables running).
3. Ability to change the response time on the antenna to match the range from shore (you can have a good antenna to pick up signals but if the shore station doesn't receive your signal in the correct timing you will not be able to stay connected).

So here is my setup:

A. Antenna - 2.4GHz 12dBi Omni Antenna @ $55 (you can go with a 8dBi for $29)
B. Power Over Ethernet Adaptor - 12V @ $5. You need this to power your antenna through the Ethernet cable.
C. The receiver - Bullet M2HP @ $79. This is the heart of the system. It will connect directly to the antenna on one side and an RJ45 Cable on the other side. From here you can connect the RJ45 directly into the computer or into a router.
Let us know if you have any questions or would like to know where to buy the parts.
Vessel Name: Bella Vita
Vessel Make/Model: Pearson 530
Hailing Port: Vancouver, BC
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