I would like to improve my wifi reception on a sailboat in Marinas.
Often small marinas have a weak wifi signal, particularly when you are inside the boat (lower than docks).
So I am thinking to use a repeater with on external outdoor antenna that I can mount up on the mast (at mid-hight for example), using two AR150. One dedicated to reception,the second one dedicated to emission.
I understand that I can unscrew the antenna from the AR150 and screw instead a cable running to my high gain antenna (yagi for example) outdoor on the mast.
This is for the reception. I don’t want to emit from this outside antenna, only to receive. So, I can to the internet signal from this first AR150 through an ethernet cable and connect it in the input ethernet outlet of a second AR150 that will be dedicated to emission.
Now for the emission of a local wifi in the boat…
This is what I imagine, please let me know if it can work or not… :
I would like to run an ethernet cable from my first AR150 to my second AR150, so the second AR150 will acquire internet signal from the ethernet cable and be set in access point mode and will broadcast the signal to wireless devices (phones, tablets, computer) inside the boat.
Will it work ?
Yes, it should work. Just make sure you set the second router in the boat to AP mode. On the outside router, turn off the wireless in the GUI, so it will only output to the Ethernet cable. Remember that the AR150 is only works on the 2.4Ghz band.
Thanks for the answer !!
So I will try it.
I know AR150 is only 2.4Ghz band.
Do you think I will be better with a dual band ?
In fact there is so much different model of GL inet routers that I am not sure what is the best for my interest.
For the reception I need one with one external antenna that I can unscrew and replace by my outside high gain antenna. So the AR150 seems good for me because it has one external antenna.
For the emission inside the boat maybe I can choose an other model but which one ? What can be the best for me ? We will connect approximately 3 or 4 mobile devices and one computer.
Stick with 2xAR150. You may find the ath9k Driver abit buggy going above 150mbps
Is GL-AR300M better (for the emission inside boat) ?
It is almost the same price.
AR300 has 16M flash,128M memory and 650Mhz compare to 16M, 64M 400Mhz.
AR300 will be better, but for some reason higher Wifi speed causes the WiFi to crash out.
You will not get higher speed due to bottle neck of Ar150 on the outside
I found traveling around via a car, and not on a boat, that only having 2.4Ghz is an issue when trying to find open WIFI hotspots. Many places I have gone to recently only have open 5GHz hotspots, or their 2.4GHz hotspot is overloaded and is very slow. I am currently on travel and I am using a AR300M16 that I have added a USB WIFI adapter that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz based on the MT7612u chipset. I use the AR300M16 2.4GHz band radio as my local AP to connect to my devices and right now I have a Windows 10 PC and an Android phone connected, but I have had more devices on it in the past. I use the USB WIFI to connect to the remote AP as this allows me to connect to either a 2.4 or 5GHz remote AP. The USB WIFI adapter is much more sensitive than my AR300M16-Ext, even on the 2.4 GHz band, and as it only cost about $15, the combination of the AR300M16 and the USB WIFI adapter is cheaper then buying a AR750 or AR750S. With two separate radios, I get much better speeds then when I was using a single radio.
Now the bad news is the only way I was able to make this work was giving up on the GI iNet firmware and running OpenWrt 19.07.7. The combination seems stable and as the USB Wifi adapter is connected via a USB extension cable, I can move it around to catch the best signal. OpenWrt supports all the VPN protocol that the GI iNet firmware does, so I feel secure while running on open WIFI hotspots. It took some time to get it working, but it is great now!
Very interesting answer !!
You make me think twice about my solution.
I thought it was impossible to acquire wifi signal through USB but I understand you achieve it (by changing firmware for openWRT… Of course it add complexity for the configuration for me since I am not a Tech savvy).
But I really need outdoor antenna (because inside the boat it is lower than the docks and marina and signal is worse than of on the docks so I need to mount the antenna little bit higher, so outside)
USB wifi adapters are mostly for indoor, not for outdoor. …
So… I am still try to find the best solution !
Maybe I can use an outdoor access point in bridge mode to get wifi to ethernet…
Please note firmware for usb wifi are never tested on openwrt and you maybe lucky. I did test realtek 3570 and had bad experience with usb iwfi, bad throughput and crashes
I have had good success with two different USB WIFI adapters with the OpenWrt firmware. In both cases I read through the OpenWrt forum looking for chipsets that work with OpenWrt. The first was a 2.4Ghz adapter from Panda, the PAU08, based on the RT3070 chipset. It works great for the application I’m using it for, which is to connect an out building to the main house WIFI. It has much better range then the GI iNet router’s 2.4Ghz radio. The second is the TEROW ROW02FD USB WiFi Adapter base on the MT7612u chipset. This one was much harder to get to work, but supports both 2.4 and 5GHz bands. The driver in OpenWrt 21.02rc1 for this chipset has known issues, where the driver in 19.07.7 works fine. I had to modify the usb-mode.json file to make this device visible and had to make several other changes noted by other users in the OpenWrt forum, but right now it is working great to connect to a remote AP. I had issues when testing it as an AP, but that is not the use case I need it for, as I use the GL iNet radio for my local AP.
This site has some great information on Linux support for WIFI USB devices.
I stay away from RT3070 as it uses the same driver for RT 3570.
Never play with MT7612u, might be the way to go esp 2.4/5 Ghz
Hello again !
I am still searching for best solution and I just found something in GL inet website :
Brume + wifi dongle.
Isn’t it exactly what I need ?
For reception :
Using the external usb antenna that can be moved on the roof with a usb extension. Or is not strong enough I can unscrew the antenna and screw instead a high gain antenna.
For emission :
Using the “Brume” antennas.
Is that right or I am mistaking in this device’s purpose ?
Usb 2 cable length is 5m , usb 3 is 3m for operating limit.
How far away is antenna from the unit?
You can also do it with Ar150 right?
Here is an active usb 3 - 5m which should work :
There are others, longer, like 15m active usb 3 which should work, however I didn’t tested
First thing to note is that the USB Wireless Adapter is NOT dual band so you will only be able to run it in 2.4 OR 5.0Ghz mode depending on needs and you would be able to change it in the Brume Interface. The Brume internal WiFi is only 2.4Ghz
Other things to consider:
Cable length will effect signal lose (coax or USB cable)
This is not an outside/weatherproof antennae
Maybe 3 meters cable would be enough. From the cabin table through the ceiling hatch and up to the mast. If fixed on the mast at 1,5 to 2 meters high, it will be maybe enough because sometimes wifi is nearly nul in the boat but when going outside and sitting on the roof, it’s OK. Need to test it !
Else I may go up to 5 meters but no more.
@sammo I can’t do it with AR150 because, I understand only the Brume device is able to use a USB Wifi dongle.
My first solution with two AR150 still can work but only in 2,4GHz and like Eric said, it is possible some marinas only have 5GHz (or the 2,4 is saturated) so I will prefer a solution where I can choose best signal between 2,4 or 5 GHz. That’s why I am still searching.
@limbot I don’t mind to have only 2,4Ghz emission inside the boat but I want to be able to choose best signal between the two bands for reception. Will I be able to see the signal strength and choose in Brume’s interface ?
Will the Brume (the model with wifi) be available again ? (Currently it is out of stock on the website online shop)
do as Eric suggested, get the usb wifi dongle.
you will have better luck with driver for ar750/ar750s/ar300/ar150 devices than brume.
ar750/ar750s will have dual wifi inside the cabin and the weather proof usb wifi dongle on 3M usb extension on the outside. Then you need 1 unit/device.
The reason you would have 2 units is the mask is 5+m metre away, then the Ethernet cable would be better.
you will also need to think how to get power to the outside unit if you do down the 2 devices route
Here is a helpful topic on how to configure a Slate to work with external WiFi adapter:
Finally… If you want the end of the story :
After lots of reading on the forum (thanks for the links), I got more and more confused about how to set up the wifi dongle and which one to choose.
I think it is too much for my current technical knowledge.
So I gave up !
I still bought the Creta (AR750) but with it, instead of a wifi dongle, I bought an outdoor dualband access point that I will use with bridge configuration and run the ethernet cable to the Creta router.
Thanks all for your help !