Expedition Expedition Navigation Software

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5/24/2020 7:07 am  #1


Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

We are running Expedition on a Toughbook below decks and using TeamViewer to view/control on a tablet on deck. The AP is a Ubiquiti bullet mounted on the pushpit. Connectivity in the cockpit is abysmal. The boat is a full carbon Ker 46. I have to be sitting pretty much on top of the bullet to have a reliable connection. Anything forward of the wheels is essentially unworkable. How do others deal with the carbon fiber interference issue? Is anyone running a mesh comprised of multiple bullets? If so, where are you mounting your additional AP nodes? Previously, we have used portable battery powered mifi type devices in waterproof sleeves, but this isn’t a particularly robust solution. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

5/24/2020 1:29 pm  #2


Re: Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

JKV, that sounds very odd.  Here in TP52-land (more carbon than a coal mine), we have mounted the Bullet below on the mast ring frame, and have the aerial tucked safely behind the mast instrument display bracket.  Works just fine huddled at the pushpit.  So I think adding extra APs won't fix the problem, and may actually make it worse by weakening the signal going to each AP.
I think Bullets like the shortest possible run of coax to the aerial, and I assume upstream of the Bullet is ethernet?
Have you tried a wirless strength monitor like NetSpot to see what's going on?  I use Splashtop rather than TeamViewer, no idea whether that would make a difference.

 

5/24/2020 6:19 pm  #3


Re: Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

Hi Duncan,
Thanks for your reply. Signal strength is fair except within 2-3M of the bullet. Forward of the wheels drops down to weak. We have a set of carbon fiber “granny bars” just aft of the wheels to help our owner get across the cockpit. They are about “ass” high, so a little bit under a meter. I’m wondering if they, along with the wheels, are creating a signal barrier at the Helm. It sounds like I should have a really strong signal with a clear line of sight and close proximity, though. Based on your response Im going to look at the wiring and measure the dB loss in the run. Or maybe it’s the bullet itself....

     Thread Starter
 

6/15/2020 4:54 am  #4


Re: Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

I am a novice at Exp but have some Unifi experience (not with the bullet, we use a ton of the classic Unifi APs). The bullet is extremely strong, and should have no trouble reaching anything on a boat. Its not strictly designed for access point use, its more like an AirMax infrastructure link between network parts. That said a lot of people use it.

If you have bad or intermittent signal, the forst thing I'd check is the antenna connection and the antenna itself (dont remove the antenna if its powered!). Check for clean connections and if possible test with another antenna (you need a simple one with N-type connectors).  90% of the time this is where a performance problem lies. The bullet wants its antenna directly on the casing, dont put any extra cables between. Also, check that the bullet and the antenna is not touching metal, as it can detune it. We use a lot of wireless antennas mounted on cars and boats etc, and we have 3d-printed a cradle that holds the antenna to the roof bars. If suspect this is the case just see if signal is vastly improved by moving it a feet away. Theoretically no metal should be within about 8-10" of the device. If all works, I'd expect a 600mW bullet to work within an 80 meter range over water.  

 

7/03/2020 11:03 am  #5


Re: Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

Try using a WiFi analyser app and play with settings, including lowering the power output on the m2.


:::Campbell Field::::::www.fieldyachting.com:::
 

7/06/2020 12:26 am  #6


Re: Ubiquity Bullet connectivity on full carbon hull

Thanks to everyone for their help. Problem was due to faulty antenna. Installed a new one and it works great.

-John

     Thread Starter
 

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