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WFRanger relevancy, and a question


John Laninga

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I was an early adopter of WFR and its many permutations. They have always given good support and after some finagling the hardware worked. Even posted a web site about my experiences https://wfranger.wordpress.com . But I haven't used it much lately, my last post was in 2012. I have been using a variety of hotspots, although I always route everything through my WFRanger Go...... we run at least 7 connected devices in our coach..

 

So now I have the WFRanger Go, and a WFR Boost on top of the RV. I recently re-did some other things on my rooftop and accidentally damaged the network cable going from the WFRBoost to the WFR Go inside the coach.

 

So question one, with all the new stuff from WFRanger, is my original WFR Go and WFRBoost still relevant?

 

And question two, if I want to route a new network cable between the Boost and the Go, do I need a special cable? One for outside use? Are the connections straight through, or do they use reversed pinouts?

 

Thanks for your help. I haven't been keeping up much so I need all the help I can get.

 

== John

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Hi John:

 

To answer your questions, your old Go is rather long in tooth. It will run the latest firmware update but it will work hard to do it and may not be as stable as you wish. For quite some time the WFRBoost has been an "orphan"; it is, of course, the same hardware as was the WFRMobile, but it runs Ubiqity firmware not WFR. It's your decision as to when to upgrade them, but that hardware is ~5 years old which is a couple of generations in today's electronics.

 

WFR has just introduced a series of dual band, 802.11ac hardware and there's an introductory sale in effect through 12/5. See my previous post for details. I've been using a GoAC for a couple of months and it is all I need for my current location. I may eventually add an outdoor unit, but I'm in no hurry to do so.

 

If you do need to replace the "network cable" between the Go and the Boost, it is just CAT6 cable. As long as you use one that is rated for outdoor use you should be fine. The connectors are standard Ethernet configuration; no special pin patterns.

 

Joel (AKA docj)

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...For quite some time the WFRBoost has been an "orphan"; it is, of course, the same hardware as was the WFRMobile, but it runs Ubiqity firmware not WFR. It's your decision as to when to upgrade them, but that hardware is ~5 years old which is a couple of generations in today's electronics...

While WFR may have moved away from the Ubiquiti products, they are still in production. I am still using Ubiquiti Nanostations as Boosts with both a WFR Go and Go2 with no real issues other than those related to the inadequacies of campground Wifi and the fact that enough businesses have switched to secure systems that, in my experience, it is getting rare to find an open signal at other than a Walmart, Lowes, McDonalds, etc. which are rarely close enough to campgrounds or real boondocking locations (those actually in the boondocks). In my experience, more and more campground Wifi systems are using technology to prevent streaming and other high volume/speed usage so having the latest and greatest high speed equipment is not that much of a benefit unless you are using it with cellular which can get pricey if you do not have an unlimited data plan. You can get an outdoor rated Ethernet cable for a lot less than the cost of the latest and greatest WFR router and an Elite (the newest version of the Boost).

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You can use cat5, cat5e or cat6 OUTDOOR (not plenum) cable. If you are terminating the ends yourself you will likely find it easier to work with cat 5 cable.

 

You should upgrade your equipment. Period. Stuff that old will no longer be reliable, and the current firmware running on it will tax both processor and memory. That is my opinion, anyway.

 

Take a look at the SkyPro Pack and the Sky2 pack. You can pretty much base your selection on if you want AC protocols inside. If you have no capability to use the interior AC speeds then I'd likely select the Sky2 pack. My opinion - others will vary. There are discount coupons available, and some sales....

 

You might wonder why I'm not recommending the Elite. Well, it certainly is available and outperforms the Sky packs. But almost no one needs the extended capture range it supports. Certainly not within the confines of an RV park. Again - MY opinion. Others can/do have needs for that level of technology. Or just "want" it. :)

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Take a look at the SkyPro Pack and the Sky2 pack. You can pretty much base your selection on if you want AC protocols inside. If you have no capability to use the interior AC speeds then I'd likely select the Sky2 pack. My opinion - others will vary. There are discount coupons available, and some sales....

 

 

 

Regardless of whether or not the equipment on your network can fully support AC speeds, the new 802.11ac WiFiRanger hardware provides much greater throughput relative to the speed your internet connection provides. My local Verizon tower is lightly loaded and usually provides 35-65Mbps download speeds. Even with both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz broadcasts operating on my GoAC I get >80% of that bandwidth through the WiFiRanger. With the 2.4GHz turned off the throughput is in the 90% or better range.

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If the ubiquity/boost is working well for you, it is IMO a good combo with an antenna for pulling in weaker WiFi signals.

 

As mentioned, the GO is really very similar to my Commodore 64 I still have as a conversation piece. (And dang it, someday I'll master Asteroids:)!)

 

I'd upgrade to the latest and greatest GO series, and suspect he Boost will keep feeding it a good signal.

 

We did go from the GO to the GO2 a few years back. Waiting a few months before making any upgrades in that area.

 

We have the Boost, but have changed it's OEM antenna with the now also discontinued 8.5dBi XT Antenna. Pleased with the performance of the Ubiquity/Boost/Bullet. The XT Antenna pulls in signals at some of our favorite campgrounds, that were marginal with the Boost's OEM antenna.

 

And a final comment. In this years 6 months of travel, we only needed to depend upon campground WiFi two times. Both times, our Verizon phones unlimited data was non useable. So a good 95% of the time we had Verizon coverage and our Samsung S6 Hotspot fed our inside Data needs. Grandfathered Unlimited Data, so no need to economize on usage. (With the GO2 connected to it, to provide outside the RV coverage.) Out of that last 5%, maybe 10 times we had no to too low of coverage via the Verizon on this years travels. Those times, two times that I recall, park WiFi provided coverage.)

 

So for us, slow but steady on the next jump up the WiFiRanger ladder:)!

 

Best of luck to you,

Smitty

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  • 2 weeks later...

question for those in the know. I currently have the Go2 with the EliteFM antenna. I have already ordered the GoAC to replace the Go2 and was planning on pairing it to the EliteFM. Can I do that? I know that the FM will not get the 5gHz bands. That is not the question.

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AFAIK there's nothing keeping you from having them pair but the issue isn't really with the ability of the EliteFM to receive 5GHz signals. Presumably, you set up your system like most people with the Elite's broadcast disabled. When you do that the devices on your network communicate with the inside router and the outdoor one connects to the wifi access point. Since there aren't yet a lot of 5GHz AP's you're not losing much in this regard. But the more significant issue is that the EliteFM probably can't handle the full throughput that the GoAC is capable of providing.

 

In most situations this won't really be an issue. You'll continue to connect at speeds compatible with 801.11n which is far faster than many internet connections can provide, anyway. At some time in the future you can always upgrade the Elite to an AC model.

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