WaveRV WiFi revisited, 400mw redefined?
When I first heard of the WaveRV Marine USB WiFi combo radio/antenna last year, I wrote that the radio pumped out 400 milliwatts. One Panbo commenter wrote in doubting that figure, and he was right (that was AdriftAtSea, and hearts out to him for his recent tragedy). As you can see in the connect software that comes with the WaveRV (and is quite good), the actual “Tx Power Level” is 100 mW. When I questioned RadioLabs about this, they said that their 400mW spec is based on the combined power of the amp and antenna, justifiable since they are physically combined. Well OK, fellas, but how about putting that information clearly into your specs?
RadioLabs has scaled down its performance claims from the “Up to 30 Times the Range of Standard Integrated Wireless Cards. Line-of-sight up to 4 Miles.” on the original press release to the “Over 15x the range of your notebook wireless card!! Up to 1 mile of range to a wireless access point.” now on their Web site. But I doubt I saw any ranges approaching a mile when testing the WaveRV in Maine, the Netherlands, and Florida over several months. But it certainly did increase my range as compared to the Intel PRO radio built into my HP laptop. I also tried it in the same Camden Harbor locations as I did the Port Networks Ethernet radio and, while changes in the APs spoiled a direct comparison, I’d say that PN’s box did better. (And I also tried it with an older laptop, but the connection was pokey due to the limitations of USB 1, not the WaveRV.)