Network Connection into the BlueBoat - Options

Yeah, it’s just connected with USB. It doesn’t need to sit on the Pi’s GPIO header

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Just managed to setup ZeroTier “multipath” between WiFi and Cellular networks on the bench. As a temporary solution I will try to mount the included sma antenna through a M10 hole.
Working towards a more permanent solution, I am reluctant to use a bell shaped antenna, as these are not removable and are intended to be mounted on a pole or already be positioned high enough. So I intend to follow the existing setup and install a N-Type bulkhead connector, which is by default “weatherproof”, and mount an antenna like this one (alpha aoa-4g-8m) or preferable a foldable like the built-in WiFi one, if I manage to source one. If not, I can remove it for transportation.
I also noticed that there are “multiband” antennas that serve both 4G/LTE (800-2600MHz) and WiFi (2400MHz). Do we have a part# for the builtin antenna so we can lookup the specs and possibly source a similar one?

Hi @cyamin -
Glad you got that setup - pretty easy huh?
Getting co-ax connectors into the vehicle is a pain - to me it seems easiest to either go with something big like the N-Type we’re using, or cut the cable, pass it through a WetLink, and re-terminate it on the other side. I’ve been using dual “bell” antennas (see link in earlier post) on the deck of my Blue Boat- they have an o-ring face seal on the underside and fit the 14mm penetrator holes nicely. I’m not sure what you mean when you say they aren’t removable? I haven’t done any major missions to test the range, but was operating over 1 mile from shore without issue!

Regardless, especially for WiFi, antenna height can play a major role in range. The Omni antenna that comes with the Blue Boat only has one “specification” besides its N-Type connector, a gain value of 7 dB. Multi-band antennas are cool, and definitely seem worth testing if you’re trying to get more out of a single penetrator - ideally they’d have internal connectors for each frequency range? You could adapt the antenna protector mount to work with a different diameter antenna potentially, if you want to keep it folding down or just give the connector some strain relief.

Hi Tony,

It was fairly easy because there’s plenty info online! Raspberry Pi and linux is not something I know.

Well I meant that you cannot readily detach from the hull without having to open the hull and disconnect the cables. I intend following the existing design by installing two N bulkheads, permanently fix the cables below decks and screw the antennas on top prior to each use. Antennas sticking out are looking forward to getting broken.

Sometimes you get better reception “offshore” when there are no obstructions. I usually have problematic cellular reception “nearshore” in rough terrain. So I try to do the best I can on my side and most probably check directional WiFi antennas for the BaseStation.

The proper ones do, like this one. Of course, you can’t excel in all bands. Also it seems a 4G/LTE antenna is inherently fit for 2.4GHz WiFi but not the other way round.

Hi everyone,

About the connection between the Blue Boat and the Base Station… I haven’t got the chance to figure out and setup the Blue Boat to be equipped with 4G cellular connection (with ZeroTier)… I am wondering on whether it is possible to setup the Base Station (+ laptop) on the deck of a small watercraft (inflatable boat, skiff or stable kayak).

So, as the Blue Boat starts to loose line of sight to the Base Station … blocked by trees, structure or becomes too far away from the Base Station… I can steer the the water craft with the Base Station on it closer to the Blue Boat to maintain good connection.

Like in this Blue Boat youtube video in minute 1:16, where the Blue Boat was launched from an inflatable boat.

The cases that I am thinking is in doing surveys at a marina, harbor, canals or coastal area with mangroves…

Hi @knarotama
You can absolutely use the base station from a boat, following the Blue Boat! This is a great way to overcome range limitations and more importantly keep an eye on the vessel, especially if it will be navigating in high traffic areas or regions with obstacles. You’ll want to put the base station antenna as high as possible to maximize range. It’s much like using an rov on a boat!

Thank you @tony-white