Re: Wifi extenders and the bonding system

Scott SV Tengah

I think it really depends on your use case. We are rarely in marinas and in some of the places we've been, mobile data is quite expensive and generally not truly unlimited. In Hawaii, anchored nearly 1/2 mile offshore, we could easily get wifi from shore as long as our antenna was mounted high. During our 14 day covid quarantine time, we were pretty happy for that.

In any event, I was using a 2.4ghz Bullet model and then a 2.4ghz Alfa model. 2.4ghz generally travels further but is more prone to interference, as some have noted. For longer distance connections, it's usually the way to go.

Mikrotik has a wifi extender product that does both 2.4ghz and 5ghz and can do it with one antenna (Groove 52 AC), but I would not recommend Mikrotik's products unless you have access to a very capable network engineer or you understand how to create interfaces in their configuration software for the wifi wan portion, the local lan portion, create virtual interfaces for each of the aforementioned wan/lan physical interfaces and then create a bridge that connects them. Oh and you have to setup DHCP servers and Clients manually. I had my VP engineering friend do it and I still probably couldn't repeat it. When I first got my Mikrotik Wap AC (internal wifi router), I couldn't even figure out how to connect to the device to set it up! But once setup, it's extremely powerful and reliable. Better than any router I have ever used.

As a side note, I asked on Mikrotik's technical forums regarding case grounding. I was told that the Mikrotik Groove/metal, Ubiquiti Bullet and Alfa ALL have the antenna connector connected to DC- via the circuit board. That means the only way to prevent introducing DC- to your rigging is to either put the whole wifi extender device into a non-conductive housing and mount that or get the plastic version of those devices and mount it via the plastic case. Any other way and you violate Amel's floating ground bonding. And if you don't have a later model a54 or newer, your Amel Mass+/- tester light won't show this leak since prior to later A54s, the rigging wasn't connected to the bonding system and hence the Amel tester light.
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah

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