Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

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So, the world is migrating to free internet access.  Even the NYTimes,
today, has an article on the subject, saying, in effect, "It's not coming,
it's here!" (The first paragraph, in part: "No fewer than 300 cities and
towns around the nation have taken wireless Internet access, or Wi-Fi, to
the people. San Francisco's aim is to make the entire city a hot spot,
Chicago plans to blanket the city with access, and large parts of
Philadelphia are to go wireless soon.")
(http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/06/opinion/06tue3.html?th&emc=th)

Many airports, umpteen hotels, and countless other sources intentionally
offer their bandwidth freely.  So, please spare me the moralizations and
legal citations about stealing someone's signal as we address the following
technical challenge:

I'll be on a boat full time.  I'll be in range, more or less, of lots of
freely available access - such as San Francisco Bay, for example.  I want to
be able to sit in the cabin (less signal due to fiberglass, mast, rigging,
etc.) or on deck, and access *WITHOUT WIRES* the available signal(s) on my
laptop.

Where I am now, there are very marginal signals available from several free
sites. There are also stronger signals available from several subscription
sites. So, I need either my external antenna's configuration utility, or my
internal Windoze Zero Configuration utility to be able to specify to which
of the access points I wish to associate my computer.  Because I'll be in
differing locales, I'll not know the SSID or MAC addresses in advance.
Likewise, because I have no control over what's used, I have no assurance
that what I have installed will be the same manufacturer's in the AP.  So,
requirements that I have the same mfr. gear, or specify SSID or MAC are out.
Likewise, as subscription sites are likely to have more powerful stations,
or just where I am at the time might have such differences, just having the
gear associate with the strongest signal won't get it either.

Previous attempts to find something I could put up the mast, with some minor
amplification to enable returning the signal, and about an 8.5dBi omni
antenna to hear the signal (omni because at anchor one never knows the
direction we'll face, and it changes all the time, and 8.5 because it's
strong enough without having a totally narrow pattern which would limit what
it saw) have failed miserably.

However, I'm reasonably sure that's just because I haven't looked in the
right places.  I have a relatively unlimited amount of 12V available to
power this setup, whether POE or directly wired.  If it doesn't come that
way, I can put whatever it is in a NEMA waterproof enclosure, keeping it
safe, with the antenna N-mounted to the box or the mast, putting all that
very high up, assuring good range.

So, who knows what I need to accomplish this?  Recall that I want to be able
to have my laptop see the shoreside point, through whatever is up the mast,
and be able to communicate with it, in the same fashion as I'd do if I were
in immediate laptop range.  Intermediate steps (such as seeing the SSIDs and
manually entering the one I want after selection from what's available) are
acceptable, but definitely not preferred over WZC or the like's point and
click.

I've entertained, but had defective/faulty/somehow not work
ethernet-connected bridges with the same omni 8.5dBi antenna setup associate
but fail to actually pass data, to a station known good as I can (like now)
communicate over it with my USB external antenna.  As both of the Senao
2611CB3 Deluxe units I had behaved in that fashion, I assume this is another
case of manufacturer specific or other limiting circumstances, as I (gasp!)
about wore out the owner's manual, and did every possible change, one at a
time, with no success (other than association and the same signal and link
ratios as found on my USB antenna).  So, I've given up on those.

Is there a plug-and-play solution to this technical challenge?  Anybody done
the equivalent (something free-standing, some distance away from your
laptop, and a very long distance from the selectable AP you're using)?

Thanks for the assistance.  We're getting ready to leave, permanently, and
would surely like to be able to access all the free APs now arising.

--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! 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."
 



Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Skip Gundlach wrote:
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Typical pointless newspaper article. How could they claim "its here"
when most of those cities are in the thinking about it stage?


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Actually you posted in a public forum so if you are using it without the
owners permission then what would you call it?


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So it sounds like you have an answer already.


So, I need either my external antenna's configuration utility, or my
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Thanks so much for the enlightenment and entire disregard for objective.
I'll try to remember your name so I don't waste any more time than this on
you, which doesn't include the very obvious observations which are begging
for view to your comments, left below for the entertainment of archive
readers.

--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! 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."

Quoted text here. Click to load it




Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

[POSTED TO alt.internet.wireless - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

"Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at gmail dotcom> wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Just a thought:  You're more likely to get free help you seek if you get the
chip off your shoulder and exercise more restraint.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

I recommend an oudoor short or long range 2.4 GHZ cpe unit. You can buy
one at this place http://store.totalaccess.net online. They range from
179 to 229 based on how far away you want to reach. Then you can plug
this into DC power system of the boat, and simply add a short range
access point so you can wirelessly get internet anywhere on the boat.

Visit there places for examples:
http://www.wirelessworlds.com


Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

well said, John.

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Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

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Hi, John, and group,

Given the absolute avalanche of helpful info, I conclude my original
cautions to be right on target.

The chip on my shoulder comes from being very specific in my requests,
including observing what has *not* worked in the past in order to save
effort of those interested in either the outcome or being part of the
solution, on many prior areas of discussion, only to find them either
totally ignored or blatantly flouted.

As I presume responders here are considerably smarter than the average bear,
that infers either stupidity or more rudeness than Boortz.  Most of the
other fora, whether mailing list, web forum, usenet or otherwise grouped
interest areas in which I participate have a considerably higher signal to
noise ratio, along with rather more civility, than I've observed here in the
infrequent times I can access the group.

As I was merely asking for those who may have seen a working example of a
solution, not asking for someone to (take the time to) devise a debugging
exercise, nor any more "free help" than "I've seen XYZ work; here's a link",
I didn't think I was being very opportunistic.  I certainly wasn't trolling,
nor attempting to generate other than a "Here's something which I know to
work" response.

I've gotten nearly nothing of the sort, or, responses which ignore my
specifications, in fora which (I assumed - silly of me, of course) addressed
this sort of thing.  Interestingly, non-technical fora seem to have been
fairly productive of info and leads.

Ah, well.

The question still stands: how to be able to *wirelessly* connect my
computer to a shoreside AP via some sort of mast-top repeater which can pass
through info - and not have as a requirement that it either be manufacturer
specific, nor manually entered SSID info.  And, as specified, I'm willing to
manually enter SSID info once displayed if that's what it takes, but would
prefer a point and click solution similar to WZC or the utility I use with
my current (stationary, not needing height, wired - all of which won't be on
the end result) solution.

By this time, of course, with the preceding deafening silence other than to
take me to task, however, I expect none other than opprobium.  Should I be
mistaken, I'll be grateful and surprised. Should I be correct ...

... Well, it will prove the point.

--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! 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."
 



Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 17:36:52 -0400, "Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at

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Given your attitude in this post, I conclude my original assessment of
the chip on your shoulder to be right on target.

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My advice was based on what actually works.  Perhaps you should rethink
not only your attitude, but also your requirements/expectations.

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The Wiki is pretty much all signal.

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Again, my advice was based on what actually works.

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Good luck to you then.

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Indeed.


Your question was actually answered.  If you're really serious, take a
more open look at the answer, and ask whatever questions you might have.
If OTOH you're going to continue to assume you know more about this than
we do, and think it's appropriate to reward free help with discourtesy,
then good luck to you -- please don't waste any more of our time, and
don't let the door smack you in the tush on the way out.

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I think you've actually proved my point.  I'm frankly not surprised
you're having so much trouble getting an answer.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 17:36:52 -0400, "Skip Gundlach"
<skipgundlach at gmail dotcom> wrote:


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You continue trying to "think" you know what to do then
blame the hardware for not doing it, instead of doing what
can be done with the hardware available.



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PAY ATTENTION-

You do not need to focus on "manufacturer specific",
anything.  That is why there are standards for wifi.  Any
open networks that you are allowed to use will connect if
you have a clean enough signal and don't go  trying to
outthink things and screw it all up in the process.

You do not need to manually enter a SSID if you are allowed
to use the signal.  If you are instead trying to find some
way to hack into networks illegally then no wonder nobody is
going to help you do it.

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

[POSTED TO alt.internet.wireless - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

-0400, "Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at gmail dotcom> wrote:

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That's a pretty big leap.  Time will tell if it spreads, dies, or remains a
niche.  The big issue is how to pay for it.  Cheap services tend to be, well,
cheap.

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See Wi-Fi on sailboats in the Wi-Fi How To below.

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Doesn't really matter in any event.

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Not usually how it works -- most software, including Windows, make a
connection from a priority list of profiles.

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Covered in the Wi-Fi How To.

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There are companies selling packaged solutions, but they're pretty expensive.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Hi, John, and groups,

(about the wiki stuff)

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I went to the wiki, and found that it addressed wired solutions.  I'm trying
to achieve a wireless solution.

I know several ways to skin a cat about using wires, from amplifiers and
mega coax, to ethernet to cards with antennas, to active USB connections,
but all of them have wires running to the computer.

If I give up, I'll likely use an ethernet solution to an amplified bridge
(not huge amplification - just enough to get to shore - so I'm not a
bigmouth overkiller) along with a high (not so high as to have a pancake
pattern - more like a bagel that's been stepped on, not as fat as a donut)
gain omni antenna.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Any suggestions as to whom and what they are?  And, of course, to a tinkerer
who wants to make cantennas, anything in three figures - maybe even in the
high twos! - is expensive.  OTOH, communications at sea can run into 5 and 6
figures (I'm not in that league!!), and the failed solution I have beat
myself to death with was over $400.

If I can achieve continuous at-anchor communications, a few hundred bux
isn't a deterrent.  Several thousand will have me considering other options,
but to put it in perspective, a HAM or SSB (Single Side Band, aka marine
radiotelephone) modem and software (that's without the radios, of course) to
accomplish the equivalent of 1980s dialup speeds is well into the teen
hundreds of dollars.  Of course, the advantage there is that it works in the
middle of the ocean (relatively speaking; one doesn't alway succeed in
connection), and the downside is that it's distinctly not a browser; text
email is all you get on one, and 50k limit on size on another.

Satellite phone comms is another option, giving the advantage of being at
sea as well, but with the same limitations, and accompanied by a high
minutes cost, accompanied by areas of no-coverage; no single provider has it
all. Globalstar runs out of steam in the south Caribbean with very spotty
coverage in the other hemisphere, Iridium doesn't talk to almost anyone in
the Atlantic, etc.

Various cellphone companies with GSM3 phones can give voice if near a cell
tower, internationally it is spotty, but there are many countries which are
included.  However, none do internet for free, and not many of them do it at
all, so while voice is possible in some areas, email and other internet
based stuff isn't, and outbound minutes are breathtakingly expensive.

So, you see my dilemma...

Thanks for the help, if you (or anyone) can...

Quoted text here. Click to load it


--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! The vessel as Tehamana, as we
bought her

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover."   - Mark Twain



Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 18:00:40 -0400, "Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at

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You either didn't read carefully enough, or made unwarranted
assumptions.  You're going to have to run a power cable up the mast
anyway, so it only makes sense to use it for signal as well, avoiding
the fairly serious problems of a repeater in a location like that.  If
you want wireless on the boat, then put a wireless access point at the
lower end of the cable.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Again, see the Wiki.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

hello, again...

Well, I went back and reread all I'd seen.  I don't want to seem
contentious, so I'll not cite all the citations listed as solutions which
don't meet the specifications I outlined (yes, I agree that there are many
other ways to skin the cat as long as one doesn't mind being joined by a
wire).

However, one solution wasn't clear, and perhaps it's the one to which you
refer as meeting my specs.

It's the one where there's a bridge (even specifying essentially what I
have, a weatherized, NEMA box mounted, 2611CB3Deluxe [later 2611]) which is
POEd and data-connected to an AP.

Unfortunately, whether it's the nature of the specific beasts, or something
else, a 2611 won't play with another one, whether by crossover or direct
cat5 connection.  Worse, in the two supplied me, neither would even act as a
bridge successfully.

As I know you prefer to keep this to the usenet, I can't send you what I
did, step by step (and it's way too long for general discussion, I think),
eliminating all the potential possibilities under the manufacturer's
instructions, one at a time, but the 2611s I have will interrogate, given
the same IP and subnet families, will allow me to select an AP and show it
associated with that AP, but not pass any data.

That makes me not very enthusiastic about pursuing that line.

Later, you refer to putting an AP on the other end of the cat5 for wireless
comms.  From that I infer you mean the AP will talk to the laptop, and to
the bridge, which will talk to the shore point.  That, in fact, is what was
sold to me - but all located in the NEMA box...  Perhaps some other pair
might, but these won't even live together, let alone cooperate, and, as
above, if a hardwired 2611 bridge won't pass data, I'm SOL.

Ideas?

Thanks.


--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! 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."



Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On Fri, 16 Jun 2006 19:34:09 -0400, "Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at

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So, either you've got (1) some cockpit error you haven't figured out, or
(2) you've got some buggy gear that won't do the job.  OTOH, the gear
and configuration in the Wiki *will* work.

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I think I've already seen it.

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So cut your losses.

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NO -- not the same thing!

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Standard gear, configured as described in the Wiki, *will* work.

See <
http://i6.tinypic.com/14msa3p.png.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Hi, John, and thanks for the continued dialogue.  Comments inline:

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The testing I did was to go from computer to XO cable to 2611 with antenna.
It's entirely possible I've got buggy gear.  Lord knows I've about worn out
the CD with the manual on it.  That there are two units which fail in the
same fashion (on multiple computers) is either frustrating or confirming of
the problem in them.

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(snip)
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:{)) Heh.  Have done, and recently sent the 1/2 ream of documentation to
Discovercard to reinstitute the refund and eventual return of the
product(s).

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This is where, following your miniURL, I guess I'm missing the point.

How is locating the AP and Bridge - connected by ethernet - in the same
place different from locating them in different places, connected in the
same fashion other than a longer C5?

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As above.  Of course, with all the bruiting of their superiority (the
various commentary from other failed attempts to use them by others and the
failure of the reps to follow up - all in these usenet groups - enhancing),
the failure of the 2611s was a bitter pill to swallow, as I was convinced
that they *should* work - even if it took inserting a router in between.
That the recommended gear in the wiki was also a senao makes me nervous to
start over.  That just walking into the local bigbox joint doesn't seem to
produce readily available (and returnable) alternatives further discourages
me.

But I'm still here, and still listening...


--
L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! The vessel as Tehamana, as we
bought her

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover."   - Mark Twain
Quoted text here. Click to load it



Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 00:03:06 -0400, "Skip Gundlach" <skipgundlach at

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A repeater is *not* the same as a client bridge wired to an access point
-- way more difficult to get working: compatibility issues, interference
issues, on and on.  OTOH, my way *does* work.  If you insist on doing it
some other way, then you're on your own (no offense intended).

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No, no, no!

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Any good client bridge will work.  The Senao is just one that's known to
work very well.

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Your needs aren't what they are addressing.

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Fair enough.  Take it step by step -- prototype the whole thing on the
deck *before* doing anything major.  If you do it right, following my
instructions, it *will* work.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Hi, again,

Back on the boat, with a couple more questions:

John Navas wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

My question wasn't about a repeater - I think we've covered the ground
that has it that a repeater won't do what we're trying to accomplish.

It was about your kind direction to a diagram which showed a bridge
connected via ethernet cable/Cat5 to an AP, the bridge being at the top
of the mast, and the AP being in the boat.

My question was to see if it made sense to have them both in the same
place - a weatherproof housing with a common power supply - connected
with a pigtail, rather than 60+ feet of cable.  That's the
configuration sold to me by the Senao.us (as compared to all the other
flavors of Senao.xx) vendor, and which he repeatedly asserts will work,
despite it clearly not working, while we sit together on the phone
trying to make it happen.  At the very end, even he thought including a
router might be a useful step.  Hoiwever, his promise to test it was
just a way to get me off the phone, I have concluded, as that's the
last I ever heard from him, despite many emails.  But, I digress...

I would be - at this point, rather than just "yes, it works; out of the
box is what I ordered" - *ECSTATIC* if I could make this configuration
work.  However and whyever, though, the rep's best efforts and mine
have both failed to induce even the ability to interrogate them when
they're connected, let alone see and select from stations without
manual entry.

And, moving the end up to here:

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Being a belt and suspenders sort of guy, I wasn't about to put
something on the mast top (not a simple project to merely get it
mounted, let alone properly connected, etc.) without testing it.

My original thought was to have it work on deck (functionally where all
the testing has occurred, more below), and then put the guts in a
plastic bucket and haul it up via halyard to demonstrate the success
and improvement in signal.  Actually, that's (raise per use) a
recommendation of some of my correspondents for actual use, rather than
having it up there all the time (weight aloft issues).  I'd have to
design something a great deal more stable than a bucket, but it's not
out of the question, as the only times we'd use it would be at anchor
or (very unlikely; marinas are out of my league other than to get to
the fuel or water dock) tied up.

Back to the story, however, I did, indeed, do all my testing in a
benchtop mode. From the nav desk below, connected via the supplied cat5
cable, to the unit powered with an extension cord and connected via 6"
pigtail to the stick 8.5dBi antenna topsides.  That was just to see if
I could get the bridge to behave in a wired fashion; the vendor and I
never succeeded at making them play together on the workbench.

And as I was very disappointed to discover, it (neither of the units,
configured as bridge, tried consecutively in case one was defective)
wouldn't work even in a wired connection mode.


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Since it's been a while and you're very active with other questions, a
review to say that the reason for the router was to allow it to assign
addresses, where otherwise the only conversations the two units had
previously had between them were about IP conflicts (no data passing,
only conflict messages, regardless of computer used to test, and
regardless of IP and subnet families used to isolate from any
computer-originated issues).  If I don't need one, I'm thrilled to have
it simpler, cheaper, in the end.

moving on:

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The one in the wiki isn't the same as what I have (I have the 2611 CB3
Deluxe units in breadboard form, i.e. no case, as marketed by that
particular vendor) - do you feel that to be the nature of the problem
(that the 2611s aren't suited to the purpose)?

Any comment on why neither unit will pass data, both crash (can't be
seen or interrogated) on all flavors of dhcp setting, but otherwise are
interrogatable via URL over ethernet NIC and see and can select SSIDs
in the same name and values (signal and connection levels) as seen with
my external Hawking desktop USB (same as mentioned in another thread
you've been active in) unit?

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Heh.  No kidding :/))

So, to summarize:

Will it work to put the AP and Bridge in the same NEMA enclosure?

Do I need to buy some other Senao unit(s), or find the problem with the
ones I have, or do some other equipment solution?

Thanks again for your patience.  My apologies if I appear contentious -
it's not my intent; I'm just trying to identify what I've tried with
repeated failures.  I'm obviously both clueless and missing
something...

L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig   KI4MPC
http://tinyurl.com/p7rb4 - NOTE:new URL! 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."


Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On 22 Jun 2006 10:56:32 -0700, "Skip - Working on the boat"

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The problem then are:
1. More power needed over Ethernet.
2. Second antenna needed for boat coverage, with possible interference.
3. Larger physical size.

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What's actually in the box?  TWO Senao units?  Or Senao and something
else?

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A router won't help.

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There are two different firmware images for the Senao 2611CB3, (1)
access point, and (2) client bridge.  Did you flash the client bridge
image?  The access point image won't work as a client bridge.

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Could you connect to the Senao config interface at all over Ethernet?
If not, my guess is that the network setting weren't correct.  

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You don't need a router, just a wireless client bridge (for starters at
least).  You also need a wireless access point (second device) if you
want wireless on the boat, again not a router, or a router configured as
an access point.  But leave out that 2nd unit until you get the Senao
working.

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It should work, but I think you'll have better results with a newer
model that supports 802.11g, not just 802.11b.

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So you can connect to the config interface in the Senao over wired
Ethernet?  What then is the problem?  You really need to take this step
by step, starting only with one Senao and one computer, as listed below.

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Probably, but I don't think that's a good idea.

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I'd prefer a newer 802.11g unit, but you should be able to get the Senao
you have working -- lots of people use it that way; e.g.,
<http://www.townsville.wireless.org.au/index.php/Senao_2611_CB3_Dlx_100/200mW_802.11b_AP .
(Read that carefully.)  And take it step by step:

1. Connect just one computer to one Senao client bridge (with antenna)
by Ethernet cable.  No other hardware.  Power the Senao.

2. Flash the Senao with the latest *client bridge* firmware image.

3. Use the Senao config interface to get the Senao connected to an
access point.

4. Configure the computer to use DHCP.

5. Use "IPCONFIG /RELEASE" and "IPCONFIG /RENEW" to see if DHCP then get
a network address, subnet mask, gateway address (which *won't* be the
Senao, since that's just a bridge), and DNS servers.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

Here I am again :{))

John Navas wrote:
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I'm not sure what you mean by this.  As potential clarification, my
tests have never included the NEMA (it never worked, so why do that
step?), was powered with the wall wart provided (never worked, so why
go to POE or direct power?), and only had the hyperlink stick antenna
provided (well, I did also try the rubber duck provided for the AP,
just to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything).

What do you mean by larger physical size?  The NEMA?  The box provided
was larger than the original I'd asked about, as it was just the bridge
part.  I believe this is what I started with when I was first talking
to them:
http://www.wlansolution.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=2611+CB3+PLUS+OD


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The box I presume you mean was an aluminum NEMA, just a flat square
thingy which I'm not very comfortable with, as it has only a very small
gasket, not a seal.  However, as it didn't work as originally sent
(apologies for bandwidth; story shortened below), out came the parts,
and they have never been back in since.

What arrived was a 2611 and some 5V DLink or Linksys item - a router, I
think, both breadboard (no case) and stacked in this NEMA. using mobo
nylon standoffs to keep the two of them together but not electrically
touching; the whole was velcroed to the back/bottom of the box.  I
complained that I'd specified 12V, he had me ship back the other and
charged me the (substantial) difference for the other 2611 which
arrived in due course.

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the NEMA..


I did an update on the firmware which he sent me; the senao site
defaulted into korean or japanese or whatever other language is native
at that level of drill-down.  I'm not sure which it was that he sent
me.  However, I would expect that as shipped it should have worked,
regardless.


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Yes. That's what is so particularly frustrating.  I can do all the
configuration stuff - and I did each of them in turn until I got to the
dhcp setting - using the same IP and subnet families in the NIC and
card.  Regardless of the other 4 variables set, each time it then
refused to let me communicate with it when I went to dhcp (on the card
- and if I couldn't communicate with it, it required a hard reboot
[push the button; repower wasn't sufficient], which, since I'm not
going to climb the mast each time to get it to talk to me, ain't gonna
work).

Setting the nic to the IP and subnets used got nowhere, as did (not)
setting the NIC to dhcp.

So, yes, I can talk to it all day long other than in dhcp mode.  When I
assign an SSID to associate with, it does so, at the same level of
signal and quality as seen with my Hawking desktop unit up on deck
(with an active usb extension) - which I unhook so as to not get a
false positive - but won't pass data.


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Heh.  No shit.  At the moment I'm in a dispute resolution phase with
Discovercard; I expect the 1/2 ream of documentation (literally) I
provided will have them leaving the credit currently temporarily
applied; whether the vendor wants it back is still open to question.  I
know for sure that without Discover forcing the issue he doesn't as I
tried to send it back very early on in our failures, now over a year
ago.

FWIW, I expect the original second unit was an AP/router  I went back
and looked at my invoices and found that it was a DLink 900AP, if
that's useful info.


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If we can get these sent back, I suppose I can work up the gumption to
start over.  This (original) stuff has worn me out.  OTOH, is it just
that it's newer, and therefore presumed better/higher tech, that makes
you say that?  Surely, any wifi I'd find wouldn't exceed the b rate...

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I think that's what I've done.  The problem is that it won't pass
data...

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RFI? Something else?  It appears that at least one vendor is doing that
(albeit at a grossly higher price tag) - along with a router in between
(http://www.geosatsolutions.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=EC-AP-HP&Category_Code=WIFI )
- and, while I now don't trust nearly anything I might hear from the
vendor, that was his solution to the original discussion of how to
achieve what I was trying to do.  And, it appears that the geosat is
doing what the other guy (whose recommendation I never got to test
because the 2611s weren't behaving) suggested, which would allow a feed
for Vonage or other similar ethernet devices looking for an ISP input.
However, with Skype migrating to free POTS connections, that may be a
moot point to me later...

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<http://www.townsville.wireless.org.au/index.php/Senao_2611_CB3_Dlx_100/200mW_802.11b_AP .
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I'll read that soon - I'm a bit snowed (heh. Funny use of the word in
this heat here) under at the moment.

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I've done most of that in the course of my prior adventures, but I'll
see if I can find the current firmware.  The rep had me undock the card
and put it in my pcmcia slot to do the flash, as it wouldn't (at the
time) do it over the NIC.  I assume I should be able to do that in the
NIC/cat5/breadboard connection via web interface?

Thanks.  I'll report back after I've flashed it, assuming I can find
the firmware.  I just went to the vendor's site, and the most current
firmware is 12-15-04.  I can't find my original from him, but it was
after that point so I presume I've got the most current.  I'll still
reflash...

L8R

Skip


Re: Free Muni or other hotspot access from a sailboat??

On 22 Jun 2006 15:44:51 -0700, "Skip - Working on the boat"

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It takes a bigger box to hold both a client bridge and an access point
than just a client bridge alone.  If your box has extra room, then no
problem, but I personally would want the smallest box I could find (to
minimize weight and windage),

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OK, two Senao units in one box.  One needs to be flashed as a client
bridge (to shore), and the other needs to be flashed as an access point
(to your boat).

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I have no idea what "never worked" means.  Electrically dead?  How do
you know?  If you want effective help, you need to be much more
specific.

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I hate to sound tiresome, but again, one Senao needs to be flashed as a
client bridge, and the other Senao needs to be flashed as an access
point.  The firmware is different!  The correct firmware has to go in
each unit.  You can't just assume that whatever you got was right.

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Which Senao?!  You need to be much more specific.

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I have no idea what that really means.  I need all the exact details.

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Again, I have no idea what that means.  Did the client bridge ever get
connected?  Can you talk to the client bridge through the access point?

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[sigh]  Still no idea what that means.

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[sigh]  Stop.  Start over.  Take it step by step, just as I wrote
before.  Don't rush ahead.  Don't do anything else.

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Not if you don't have it anymore.

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g is better at getting and holding a connection than b.

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[sigh]  Again, I have no idea what that means.  Do the step by step.
Baby steps.  Not all at once.

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I've already explained why I think that's a bad idea.  Regardless,
I don't care to debate it.

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If you want my help, then you need to start over and take it little step
by little step.  Skip the flashing step (#2) for now, and see if you can
otherwise get all the way to step #5 successfully.  If you run into a
problem at any step, stop there and tell us the exact problem.  Good
luck!

p.s.  I'm off early tomorrow on a long sailboat race, and probably won't
be back on my computer before Sunday, or even Monday.

--
Best regards,   FAQ for Wireless Internet: <http://Wireless.wikia.com
John Navas      FAQ for Wi-Fi:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi
           Wi-Fi How To: <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_How_To
Fixes to Wi-Fi Problems:  <http://wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Wi-Fi_Fixes

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