GeoSat Solutions’ high end marine WiFi
One problem with putting together a high power marine WiFi system is the need to use finger-thick low-loss LMR 400 coax—the shorter the better—between the high-gain antenna and the radio. The stuff is hard to run and particularly ungainly when plugged into the dinky connector on a laptop’s PCMCIA card. One solution is a WiFi “Ethernet bridge” which can be installed near the antenna and then connected to the boat’s computer or network router via a slim, no-loss Ethernet cable. GeoSat Solutions has gone the next step by designing a 12v, 250 mW bridge into a waterproof box and packaging it with a 10 dB omni-directional antenna. This is a serious ($1,395) big boat system.
It’s a little confusing but note that one of these bridges—there are inexpensive non-marine versions—can connect to a conventional WiFi router. Thus a boater can use a normal WiFi laptop on board, connecting to shore via two WiFi hops. Here’s an interesting example of such a system installed on a Greenpeace vessel.