Jump to content
wolfe10

Wi-Fi Booster and Antenna

Recommended Posts

To help us stay connected while on the road, I researched Wi-Fi boosters and antennas.

This setup looked like it would do the trick -- the Wave WiFi Rogue: http://www.landandseawifi.com/products/wavewifi-rogue

I installed it last week, just before we left on our trip. Well, two days into the trip, we got a chance to check it out. We were in a park in the panhandle of Texas. Fired up the computer -- no wireless networks detected by Windows Vista.

After setting up the Wave Rogue antenna and plugging it into the booster, nine Wi-Fi hotspots came right up. Several were open (non-encrypted) and we were able to get right to the Internet.

Less powerful antenna/boosters may help in campgrounds with weak signals, but this one also pulls in hot spots from miles away. We got on to an open hotspot in a coffee shop at least two miles away. I was impressed.

I debated on a permanent mount, but decided it was too much of a compromise -- high enough to clear the rooftop obstructions like A/Cs and it would be a "tree trimmer." Low enough that it would not have clearance problems, and the antenna would not have a clear line of sight over roof-mounted obstructions.

So, I mounted the antenna on the top of a expandable pole (got it at Home Depot in the paint section). Drilled a hole down low and about half way up the lower section so I can put a bolt and wing nut and secure it in U-shaped mounts on the side of the coach (from Zip Dee -- same as our awnings). The pole collapses to fit across the basement and extends to place the antenna above the roof. I routed the Cat 5 ethernet cable up from the basement to my "work station" and left enough in the basement that it can be erected without connecting/disconnecting. Takes less than one minute to erect/stow.

The booster operates on either 120 VAC or 12 VDC.

The user interface and documentation on the Wave Rogue are TOP-NOTCH. It took me less than five minutes after plugging it in the first time to pull up all the hot spots in the area, determine which were encrypted, and find a coffee shop with a good signal and get online.

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brett,

Thanks for sharing this. Did you get the 110 volt or the 12 volt?

Ron

I got both-- use 120 VAC when on shore power, 12 VDC when dry camping.

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got both-- use 120 VAC when on shore power, 12 VDC when dry camping.

Brett

Oh, I thought it was either or, as it looked like you had to buy one or the other. I didn't realize it is a combination unit.

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also have a wifi booster antenna by Real Tec similar to the one sold by C Crane. Ours is weather proof and attached to the top driver's side of the MH. Works great as long as the hot spots are on that side of the MH. Like the suggestion of a telescoping contraption. Think we'll revise our set up to one that will get the unit above the AC unit. It will undoubtedly allow a many more connection options. Thanks for the tip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brett,

Thanks once again for sharing your knowledge and research. We have been considering our options for this as we continue to prepare for fulltiming. This looks like exactly what we need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have Verizon Wireless and for $ 25 per month I have added Tethering feature to my cell phone. THis lets the cell phone we my wireless modem for our computer. As long as you have cell phone service you can get your computer connected to the internet...remember that minutes used surfing the web count toward you monthly minutes plan so make sure you have enough minutes per months to surf the net..but it works great and we even watch Netflix movies over the Internet if we have a good signal. It seems easier than buying a lot of hardware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Sprint wireless card that can go directly into the laptop... however after some research decided to get the Kyocera K2 router... that way we can use as many pcs as we want online at the same time.. In all our travels we have yet to find a dead spot EVDO service has been amazing... its everywhere.. even in places where the sprint phone doesn't work.. I also have my networking printer connected to it and its an awesome setup for us as it is 24/7.. we don't have to wait until we set anything up.. its online when we leave the house which is a big plus for some people. It works seamlessly. !! I hope this helps someone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought the Sprint Overdrive HotSpot in Florida and used it both on the road and parked for three months from the southeast to the far northeast and across to the northwest. It is a combination device and it will service three computers. We never had less than 4 bars and weren't dropped one time. You get 5 gigs of upload/download for $60 per month. The device was free since we're longtime Sprint customers. I don't even try the campground wifi anymore. It's always been much less than satisfactory.

Joe Greenwod

Yelm, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You still have to find an open access point or one can get access to for that to be any value. I bet I do as well for a lot less cash out of pocket.

I have also become very proficient and mooching WiFi. There is a USB unit that can run up to 1watt rf, and you can get a 9dB antenna to screw on it. The unit is made by Alfa and can usually be found on Ebay for ~40$. They can be had as 802.11g/n. (Mine is g.) I hang it in the window of the coach and can find wire if it is available anywhere in the area. Admittedly, only one user at a time, but you can buy and use as many as you want.

There is no way to use a Verizon broadband card part of the year. You buy it (was 150$)and sign up for 60$/mo for 24 months and that is it (in short, you get slow service for 2 years - need it or not - for just 1570$ - thank you - no). But, any broadband phone can be enabled and tethered for about 3$/day. You just need to get or download VZ access (free). Most broadband phones only need a USB cable.

Because my coach was my office/meeting room/service shop and occasional motel and I was frequently in areas with real bad cell coverage, I installed a dual band repeater. It works with everything. That is good, but Verizon is still disappointing as far as cost and service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow they get a premium price for the radio... The radio is nothing more than a repackaged Ubiquiti Bullet, http://www.ubnt.com/bulletm The Bullet M2 MSRP is only $79.00, add a power injector, Cat-5 cable and antenna and you are probably not over $125-$150 just according to what antenna you get. The normal Ubiquiti power injector takes 12vdc so you can either power it via the coach batteries or a 110vac brick.

Also, this is NOT a "Booster" as it does not boost the signal to your WiFi Device. The unit is a full blown Client Radio (CPE) and can also be used as an Access Point. You connect to to your Ethernet port of your laptop or router.

Here is my latest setup in our MH:

AT&T Lighting USB device

Ubiquiti Bullet M2, a/b/g/n, 600mw

8dBI vertical antenna

Bullet and antenna attached to ladder with CAT-5 running inside

Cradlepoint MBR-900 router

All run off the 12vdc house batteries

With this setup I can have multiple computers on the Internet while traveling or stopped. I have two laptops, a RVPuter, and my iPhone thato the router via WiFi.

The RVputer is installed but in development stages. Currently it functions are to monitor engine functions, AM/FM/HD Radio, DVD/CD Player, iPhone hands free, GPS and media player. I control the RVputer via a 7" touch screen monitor that I installed in place of the AM/FM radio or I can use a wireless keyboard/mouse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have Verizon Wireless and for $ 25 per month I have added Tethering feature to my cell phone. THis lets the cell phone we my wireless modem for our computer. As long as you have cell phone service you can get your computer connected to the internet...remember that minutes used surfing the web count toward you monthly minutes plan so make sure you have enough minutes per months to surf the net..but it works great and we even watch Netflix movies over the Internet if we have a good signal. It seems easier than buying a lot of hardware.

Try software called PDANet. It runs about $40 and tethers your smartphone using your data plan. It does NOT use any phone minutes and access is unlimited if you have an unlimited data plan. I have been using this connection all summer on my Verizon smartphone and it works perfectly. You'll also save yourself $25/month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brett, I just came across your review of the Wave Rogue Wi-Fi booster unit. Interesting since I have been looking for a good unit that will actually do the job. I have tried several of these "boosters" of recent and I have yet to find one that will do what it claims that it will do.

I noticed that you mention that it is, both AC and DC, but I see on the web site that it appears to be either-or, but not both.

The price-point of #365.00 seems to be just a little steep for a item such as this when compared to other "boosters". But then, if it really works like the claims made, then the price-point falls into the satisfactory range fast (especially when one pays $50, $100 or $150 a pop for a "booster" that does not "boost"!).

Do you have any other words of wisdom to share with me/us on this Wave Rogue Wi-Fi booster/antenna set-up?

Thanks in advance Brett for your straight-forward overview on this item.

Trust that all is well with you these days. Will we be seeing you at the FMCA Convention in Redmond next month?

Happy trails,

-Jim Casey

:rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read texnet's post with a good deal of interest ($$). I am not sure that I understand the installation. Perhaps someone will detail just exactly what gets connected to what & where. I searched Ubiquiti's site and was not able to find a "power injector" offered anywhere.

Thanks.

Jim Baird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can't order directly from Ubiquit, you have to go through a reseller. I have used http://www.titanwirelessonline.com before and they are very good about getting shipments out.

Here the basic items you need:

  • Ubiquiti Bullet M2 High Power $79.00
http://www.titanwirelessonline.com/Product...ode=CP-BULL-M2H
2.4GHz 8dBi Omni Antenna $29.00 http://www.titanwirelessonline.com/Product...tCode=AT-8OM-24
Black PoE Injector $5.00 http://www.titanwirelessonline.com/Product...ctCode=PE%2DINJ
18V Power Supply $13.00 http://www.titanwirelessonline.com/Product...tCode=PE%2D18VS
A router if you want to have more than one computer connected
At least 2 CAT-5 cables, one to go outside to the Bullet and one from the bullet to the computer or router.

You can also just plug 12vdc from your battery into the POE Injector and you won't need the 18V power supply.

I am headed overseas tomorrow morning so I may be slow in answering any questions but send me a message if you want more detail!

DISCLAMER: I do NOT work for nor will I receive any money if you order from Titan Wireless. I owned an ISP business in Texas from 1995 until 2009 when I sold the business. I am now retired. I have been in computers since 1979 but now my only involvement with computers is helping church organizations, missionaries and other RVers and I do all that for free!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Brett, I just came across your review of the Wave Rogue Wi-Fi booster unit. Interesting since I have been looking for a good unit that will actually do the job. I have tried several of these "boosters" of recent and I have yet to find one that will do what it claims that it will do.

I noticed that you mention that it is, both AC and DC, but I see on the web site that it appears to be either-or, but not both.

The price-point of #365.00 seems to be just a little steep for a item such as this when compared to other "boosters". But then, if it really works like the claims made, then the price-point falls into the satisfactory range fast (especially when one pays $50, $100 or $150 a pop for a "booster" that does not "boost"!).

Do you have any other words of wisdom to share with me/us on this Wave Rogue Wi-Fi booster/antenna set-up?

Thanks in advance Brett for your straight-forward overview on this item.

Trust that all is well with you these days. Will we be seeing you at the FMCA Convention in Redmond next month?

Happy trails,

-Jim Casey

:rolleyes:

Yes, we will be in Redmond.

I have little doubt that someone in the high tech industry (as texnet is) can piece together a setup that will work just fine for less money.

BUT, for those like me who want a "plug and play" solution, this one works great-- in fact I am on it right now in a small CG in the CA wine country.

Brett

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have little doubt that someone in the high tech industry (as texnet is) can piece together a setup that will work just fine for less money.

BUT, for those like me who want a "plug and play" solution, this one works great-- in fact I am on it right now in a small CG in the CA wine country.

Brett

When I get back if enough are interested I will put together a set of instructions and add the part numbers and where to purchase all the items!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I did not realize there were so many options available out there. I built my setup without getting advice or opinions from a Forum. Maybe I should have done more research.....but, my system has never failed me. I built a setup for wifi and cell service and I have been using it for about three years now.

On the exterior, I use a Tripod that I can bungee cord to the ground. (It stores away easily and is out of sight.) On top of the Tripod I mounted a Omni Directional Cell Antennae from http://wilsonelectronics.com part#301133. The antennae cable is small and runs to a Wilson Dual Band Amplifier (SOHO) Part# 801245. Then, a cable runs to a permanently installed directional INSIDE antennae that distributes the cell signal throughout the full 40' length of my RV. The dual band allows for Janet to chat on her cell phone while I use my AT&T card in a Linksys Access point (model#WRT54G3G-AT). There is one point you should know. The Wilson setup uses a external antennae and a inside antennae. Normally, the two have to have at least 25' separation or oscillation occurs. But with the inside antennae being directional, that distance drops to 10' as long as the inside antennae has it's back to the outside antennae.

Now, back out to the Tripod. Under the Wilson antennae, I mounted a Hawking Technology http://hawkingtech.com 14db gain Outdoor Direction Antennae (Model# HAO14SDP). The cable runs directly to my network card in the computer. (No amplifiers or power required.) I looked at amplifiers and found that they only amplify what the antennae is able to receive or transmit. I suggest a directional antennae MIGHT be just as good as a amplified omni-directional with less expense and no power requirement.

The only hassle is pointing the antennae around until you get a signal. Janet usually sits on the computer looking at the signal strength while I rotate the antennae. It almost always get a full meter from somewhere. There are USB net cards that allow for a external antennae hookup and Hawking sells everything you need.

Another thing is that I run the two small cables in a window. I have been meaning to permanently wire the interior and install two male connectors to the exterior wall of the coach. This way, I could setup the Tripod and simply screw the antennae cables to the connectors when I want to use the antennas. A rubber boot could be slipped on the connectors when they are not in use.

Cost for all of this was about $750 but I notice prices have dropped since I bought everything.

Dan Harvey

webmaster@sunrisers.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not confuse the 2 wireless technologies here.

All wireless data uses Radio Frequencies. Just like any other radio, more power and a better antenna will give you better connectivity. Remember, it is a 2-way radio connection. Transmit *and* Receive.

Public WiFi like you find in RV parks and McDonalds, etc. is set up to provide shared Internet access. It is "hot-spot" technology and uses 2.4 GHz radio frequencies. The signal does not generally go farther than 300 feet and is very susceptible to degradation from metal objects and moisture.

WiFi adapters built in to computers are not very powerful. There are no "boosters" for the built in adapters. There are, however, higher powered replacement adapters that will increase the effective distance. These are typically connected via USB and you should turn off the internal adapter when using them.

Another, even better (for distance) solution is a WiFi bridge. That is what Brett is using. A bridge takes the WiFi signal and changes it to a wired network signal that can be connected directly to a computer or an internal access point, effectively creating another local hotspot.

Cellular data uses different frequencies than WiFi. The antennas are not compatible. There are many amplifiers and antenna solutions for cellular communications. They extend the distance from the cell tower to your devices, both voice and data.

We have a tremendous amount of free information on our websites. Links from Geeks On Tour.

We will also be presenting our computer seminars at RV rallies in Louisville, Redmond FMCA, Elkhart, and Goshen this summer.

Jim and Chris Guld

www.geeksontour.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Sprint Hotspot.. Overdrive.. Internet with Router.. up to five computers.. and we also used it to printer and keep date on a external drive.. A home a run three (3) computers on in with printers (wireless) One is a I-Mac the other is a Mac Book Pro.. and a Dell Notebook.. This unit can be battery powered, pluged in to the computer (via USB) or 110 connected. Traveling we are using the Mac's..

We went on a trip with the new hotspot and were using the Mac Pro.. while driving.. pretty inpressive.. no 120 or 12v power just on its battery (runs about 3.5hrs per charge) when we reached our camping site in the high desert.. the signal was down to 20% (no towers) well I thought it was going to be very bad.. but to my supprise not so slow' yes but faster than a air card.. I was on 3g only ! way out thier.. after a couple of hours the signal got better ??? 40% signal.. I was impress.. expeding to have to go in to the camping host club house fto use thier wi-fi" I did try it the next day.. not any faster..

I was inside my Coach and had the unit (Hotspot) sitting on the counter.. no pointing at the window or, out side, or on top of the MH... I have to say I' very pleased with unit.. I pay $ 40 a month for it, that unlimited useage.. I spent $ 49.90 for the unit which was set and activation plus the contact for 2yrs. I had Verizone at $69 per month.. what a piece of (#@^&%*%$##$) excuse me I mean crap... It wasa always dropping siginal '

slower some times that dial up..

so I do not think I'm going to but any additional equipment, unless I see or hear about something out of this world...

I hope this help's some of you" JARZ09, 2002 C/C Magna 40ft"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have Verizon Wireless and for $ 25 per month I have added Tethering feature to my cell phone. THis lets the cell phone we my wireless modem for our computer. As long as you have cell phone service you can get your computer connected to the internet...remember that minutes used surfing the web count toward you monthly minutes plan so make sure you have enough minutes per months to surf the net..but it works great and we even watch Netflix movies over the Internet if we have a good signal. It seems easier than buying a lot of hardware.

I also have Verizon using a Droid. I got a PDA/Net through Junefabrics.com. For $39.98, I have Internet through a tether to my phone. It is a flat fee, no other payments. I have Internet anywhere I have cell service. This is a real bargain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wolfe10,

I am like you, I like the plug and play way, I am not educated in computers enough to try the other options posted. (When i get jammed up I ask my teenager for help). I just ordered this product after considering your review, I hope to get the same results as you do and will keep you posted.

Thank you for posting this information.

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cellular data uses different frequencies than WiFi. The antennas are not compatible. There are many amplifiers and antenna solutions for cellular communications. They extend the distance from the cell tower to your devices, both voice and data.

Agreed, but the two antennae can share the same Tripod. I have been doing doing it for three years without any problems.

Also, my setup strengthens the Cell signal using the Wilson amplifier and a internal antennae, hence my ATT&T data card receives a better signal. The Linksys access point then distributes the signal wireless Internet. Unplug the Wilson Amplifier and I lose cell service and AT&T data connect.

One other thing I failed to mention. Do not buy any of the items I mentioned off the Internet. Contact a dealer by phone and bargain with them. You can usually get a good discount by doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...