Internet / WiFi / CAT 5 installation

Discussion in 'Installation Photos/Specs' started by hynespa, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. hynespa

    hynespa Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    Marina Del Rey, CA
    2005 420 Sundancer
    T-VD-8.1 S HO MerCruiser (T-420 hp)
    I recently did a project on my 420 Sundancer to install 12V Internet including running CAT5 ethernet cables to key components. The "network closet" is beneath the cabin circuit breaker panel (same place where the Beam vacuum is located).

    1) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.13.04 PM.png I purchased a Netgear LB1121 4G LTE modem. I got this item because it accepts a SIM card from AT&T, and I can add this to my existing AT&T family plan. It also runs over PoE (power over ethernet) which enabled me to install it in a remote (high) location for a better signal. It also has an external antenna adapter.

    2) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.19.08 PM.png I originally was going to mount this in the cabin, but I could only get 2 bars. When I experimented and put it on the arch I got a better signal. So I ended up mounting it with adhesive velcro (I didn't want to drill any holes in case I changed my mind later). I mounted it behind the cockpit TV so that it would not be visible.

    3) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.23.38 PM.png I bought the external MIMO antenna which fit into the external antenna jacks on the LB1121 modem. This was the item most often paired with the modem on Amazon as well.

    4) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.26.04 PM.png I velcro'd the MIMO antenna to the fiberglass canopy of the boat. I can therefore remove the antenna when I go home and/or we are not really using the Internet. My preliminary review of the MIMO antenna is that it is pretty useless (does not seem to really add a bar over having no external antenna plugged into the modem). If anybody has used a different antenna I would really love to hear about it.

    5) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.29.03 PM.png I purchased a PoE injector (Power over Ethernet) so that I could power the modem via the same Ethernet cable that I was using to patch between the modem and the router. I had to do quite a bit of searching to find a PoE injector that ran off 12v instead of household 110v. I wanted the 12v version so I could run the Internet without shore power or generator.

    6) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.32.06 PM.png I purchased the NETGEAR N600 WiFi router because a) it's input voltage is 12v so I was able to directly wire into the boat 12v power system b) it has both WiFi as well as 4 Ethernet jacks (more about that later).

    7) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.34.17 PM.png I mounted the NETGEAR WiFi router to the inside of the space under the cabin circuit breaker (where the Beam Central Vac is located). Here is how the CAT5 ethernet cables are set up:
    a) The Green ethernet cable goes to the PoE Injector and then to the LTE modem.
    b) Top Blue cable goes to the Fusion stereo (which only supports WIRED ethernet).
    c) Middle Blue ethernet goes to the mid cabin PS4. When I removed the defunct 2005 DVD player, I modified the cabinet opening to fit a PS4 console. When my son brings the PS4 from home (so he can play Fortnite on the boat - ridiculous I know) he can simply plug it into the spare power cord I bought, the HDMI to the TV and the Ethernet cable and not have to configure anything on the box.
    d) The bottom blue goes to the Cockpit Samsung Smart TV.
    e) The Salon Samsung Smart TV is connected via WiFi.
    f) The Raymarine MFD is also connected via Wifi.

    8) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.44.17 PM.png I am powering the whole thing from 12V from a Blue Sea Systems 6 circuit sub panel. This sub panel is fed off the "Satellite TV" breaker in the cabin breaker panel.

    9) Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.46.50 PM.png I mounted the sub panel in the same location as the router (described above) and installed blade fuses just above the rating for each component (PoE injector powering the modem / WiFi router). I also ran 12v to near each TV so I have the option of powering each TV off an individual inverter if I don't want to run the generator while not on shore power.

    VERDICT: The Internet speed is OK - probably on par with setting up your iPhone as a hotspot. The main advantage is that I have a power up and go Internet solution (by just flipping a single circuit breaker) that also works with the Raymarine MFD and Fusion stereo (enabling remote control of the Fusion from any phone associated to the WiFi). The Internet speed is good enough for my son to play his beloved Fortnite as well.

    As stated above, I am disappointed in the effectiveness of the external antenna.

    Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.53.11 PM.png I considered buying the "Glomex Web Boat 4G/LTE Cellular Internet Dome" but it was a good deal of money and I couldn't find any review online from boaters who had actually installed it. For that much money it better give much better Internet than I am getting off the (much cheaper) Netgear LB1121. If anybody on this forum has experience with the Glomex Internet dome I would love to hear what you think!
  2. Ctsearay

    Ctsearay Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 19, 2009
    Milford Ct
    2002 360 Sundancer Twin 8.1's Tender
    10ft Hardbottom Walker Bay Genesis with Johnson 15 Hp
    Twin Pleasure Bringing, Fire Breathing Mercruiser 8.1 HO's
    VERY nice Job!!! Dang impressive for sure.
  3. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    I’m in the process of doing the same, except I’m on a Verizon Jetpack and I have a Bullet for WiFi. My jetpack accepts a MIMO antenna and they make a marinized version that mounts to a 1”-14 Marine antenna mount.

    I’m going to mount the jetpack, bullet and PoE injector in the arch, and just run 12v and Ethernet line back to the cabinet and distribute via a netgear wired/wireless router from there.

    I’m accumulating parts, but like where you hid things.
    hynespa and Ctsearay like this.
  4. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Been reading up on the Netgear 4g LTE Modem. Seems it works with Verizon. I ordered one to try it out. Would simplify my system.
  5. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    I got a nice surprise the other night despite typically crappy cell reception in my boat my at my dock.
    I installed a third smart TV on the boat in the aft cabin. Like the two I installed in June, it required downloading and installing updates to the TV and registering it with Vizio.
    Not wanting to drag the TV home to accomplish this I decided to use my iPad (with unlimited data plan) as a hotspot despite only having two bars of reception.
    Worked like a charm!
    Next, I signed in to my Amazon and Netflix accounts from that TV. Once that worked, I streamed content from both providers with no buffering problems at all.
    Couldn’t believe I was able to stream clearly despite a weak cell signal on my iPad.
    Did the same with the other two TV’s and got the same surprisingly good results.
    Watched it for several hours between Friday night and yesterday and it streamed flawlessly.
  6. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Been researching antenna options. The trick to 4g LTE is MIMO, hence you need 2 antenna. In an outdoor arrangement (boat), they should be about 3 to 6 feet apart roughly. The hardest part with the cheap consumer grade 4g LTE routers are they all tend to use TS9 antenna connectors which are not robust. SMA would be better and marry up to marine grade antenna easier. If this works well, a future upgrade could be a more robust lte router.

    Bought the router and PoE injector today. Hopefully have a functioning stereo and data streaming system soon.
  7. paul hsu

    paul hsu Member

    Mar 15, 2018
    liberty landing , jersey city
    2008 280da sundancer
    twin 4.3 mpi Alpha drives

    I don't use internet while in motion, but I needed better internet at the dock, my marina has wireless internet but the signal did not reach my boat. I installed a Halo wifi extender. It pulls in weak signals, amplifies them and creates its own wifi network. you just log on to the new wifi and you have pretty good internet, good enough for Fortnite!
  8. dtfeld

    dtfeld Water Contrails GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 5, 2016
    Milton, GA
    410 Sundancer 2001
    Cat 3126 V-Drives
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? I used Hynespas idea and added a few improvements. Installed behind the TV above the fridge.

    Black box is a i3 media server running Plex server as a service. The 48 VDC PoE injector powers the Netgear LB 1121 4g modem, and the 24 VDC is going to power the access point.

    I installed the modem in the arch, getting great signal and downloads are 25Mbps, same as I get at the house.

    I’m going to install a ubiquity access point under the arch.

    57261256-9CB6-495F-A385-CCEC59E5D1E2.jpeg 537D8245-1DA2-416B-9D2C-CDC95365C5EC.png
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018 at 8:36 AM

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