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Boost WiFi & Cellular

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My brain is hurting and I need some help! I'm trying to find a cost-effective way to boost WiFi and Cellular coming into my 40' sailboat. I've looked at the Pepwave Surf on the go router which is really affordable and am thinking I can use it with an unlocked modem along with a cellular amplifier and antenna and then perhaps add a wifi antenna in future if the built-in one isn't enough. Does this sound like a reasonable solution? I want to be able to use this setup in Canada, the USA and Mexico (TelCel) and don't want to spend an arm an a leg! Any suggestions or feedback would be much appreciated as I'm not super-technical but have a high-level understanding of all of this! Thanks.

3 Replies

  • oh, and I'd like everything to run off the DC panel if possible!

  • I have a Pepwave MAX BR1 which is similar in features. I have several other Pepwave products and love them, and have helped a bunch of other boaters implement the same type of systems.

    I have an unlocked SIM (my modem is internal) and use a booster antenna for the 4G/LTE side which increases my range and throughput significantly. I sometimes use the built-in WiFi antenna to glom onto local signals, but it cuts the performance in half because it's doing dual duty.

    I had an external antenna for the WiFi side I played around with a bit, but it didn't improve things significantly in my case.

    The base setup you're talking about should work great.

  • There are combo systems available, with shared antenna and signal boosters. At ~$1200 price I found PDQ (advertised here by Defender) factory seemed good on pre sale, am installing now during haul out, will fire up on a few weeks.

    You need to place onboard / ashore antenna out of plane to get isolation and avoid feedback, e.g. Masthead and mast base.