Friday, January 21, 2011

Wireless LAN on Waiouru

Google has been assisting me search for an internet solution to our data and international voice communications we will use on Waiouru. 
In a previously post I described how we have purchase a high gain external aerial to be fitted to the roof of Waiouru.  This means our modem must have an external aerial socket.  The MiFi looks a good option but it doesn’t have the external socket.  Searching around I found this site <clicky> which provides a comparison of the various dongles.  From this I have selected the Huawei E122.  It has the external aerial socket and a reasonable speed (7.2 Mbps down and 2.0 Mbps up).  It’s also dual band.  One can be purchased from ‘3’ which from what I’ve been reading generally provides the best coverage.
I don’t particularly want to plug the Huawei E122 into the laptop or the netbook as it will mean one of them will always need to be tethered to the dongle, which in turn is tethered to the aerial cable.  It would be preferable that the dongle connected into a wired or wireless LAN.  That way all the machines can access the network from anywhere in the boat. I’m specifically thinking of the laptop, netbook, iTouch, printer, eBook, Network Media Tank, etc).  Going down the wireless trail will give greater opportunity for expanding the network.
I’ve stumbled across the following device, <clicky> from Solwise.  It’s a small wireless router which will accept a usb dongle.  I’ve checked their website and the Huawei E122 is compatible.  The website mentions it operates on 240v AC but also mentions 5-12v DC so I’ve written to them asking if the router can be powered by 12v DC.  The device has a 2nd USB port and can take a webcam.  I’m thinking it might be possible to link the security module on the Empirbus system to the webcam and the wireless router so the security module could waken the webcam and send a live feed via the router and usb dongle to a mobile phone. 
Early days and only an idea!

2 comments:

Peter Berry said...

You may be much better informed than I am on the subject of mobile wi-fi in the UK, I don't know, but after trying many devices myself, always had annoying problems relating to low signal, I eventually found the best success in a Huawei E585 data card from Three, (you are correct, they do provide the best UK coverage). In nearly all canalside locations though there is insufficient signal within the confines of the steel boat, but this device can be placed under the cratch cover, for example, and linked to the laptop wirelessly. Alternatively, link to an adaptor, NET-3G-ADPT-024 from Solwise, and then to a booster antenna. I wrote a post on my blog about this very problem. This particular device from Huawei can link up to 4 wireless devices simultaneously.

About us: Tom & Jan said...

Peter,
I'm in Australia so I wouldn't claim to be nearly as well informed about the UK mobile wifi coverage as a local! I've previously identified signal strength may be an issue which is why we will bring an Australian outback high gain antenna to fit on the roof of the boat. The purpose of the onboard wireless LAN is to give access to the internet and printer from anywhere inside the boat.

I will read your blog entry on the subject with interest