Monday, 11 July 2016

A simple way to extend your Wifi range afloat.

We rely on a typical 4G wireless dongle for internet access when cruising coastal waters on Our Dreamtime.  As long as we are not too far offshore,  mobile phone coverage along the Australian east coast is pretty good on the whole. However we still often find ourselves unable to connect, particularly when anchored in island bays shielded from the mainland by high hills.

The 4G dongle goes into the waterproof phone case for hoisting. The tape is simply to reinforce the plastic of the phone case as we don't want any chance of it splitting and losing the dongle.

In these instances we increase the range by putting our Wifi dongle in a water proof phone case and hoisting it up the mast to the spreaders on our pennant line. At many of the anchorages we have been in along the coast, particularly in the Whitsundays, we have found the extra height gained this way often provides the difference between getting a connection and not.
It’s comforting to get access to our favourite weather sites and have the ability to stay in touch with family via email and social media etc when we would otherwise be cut off. The downside is that we never know when the battery in the dongle is about to go flat halfway through posting a blog or similar but that’s a problem we happily live with in return for staying connected.

Tied very securely and hoisted to the spreaders on our pennant line for additional range
When we venture further offshore, our recently acquired Iridium Go will provide voice call, sms and email capacity along with access to Predictwind forecasting and weather routing.

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  1. if you do the same to an antenna, and use the ropes that goes al the way up, you will get signals from even longer distanse.

    1. Good tip. Unfortunately our dongle doesn't have an antenna connection.


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