question

unckdecamp avatar image

Best Wifi USB for CCGX (As of August 2020)

I'm adding solar to a boat that I built and it's docked at my brother's house on the river. His wifi is good, but the boat will be about 120 feet away from the house, so I need a long range usb wifi dongle.

I'm confused on the best solution for the CCGX.

The current documentation (Section 1.6.2) found here: https://www.victronenergy.com/live/ccgx:start#internet_connectivity

says that there are 4 solutions, but only shows the 2 with victron part numbers. What are the other 2 options?

Also, when I google BPP900200300, the result is a 1 antenna device, and the ASUS model has 2 antennas.

Which is better?

Has anyone experienced this weird gap and confusion of information in the documentation?

Any insight would be very helpful!


Cheers,


Mark

CCGX Color ControlVictronConnectwifi
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8 Answers
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA avatar image
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA answered ·

Hi @UnckDeCamp,

The other "two" (actually three) USB wifi dongles are no longer available, as mentioned directly below the passage to which you're referring.

The Asus dual-antenna model will have better range/reception/transmission, by nature of its design.

In reality, other USB wifi dongles may well work, but simply haven't been tested and approved for use. That expandability is no longer being particularly pursued/tested since, in general, it is strongly recommended to use the wired connection instead. Add to that the fact that Victron's internal wifi is also continuously improving, and further testing/research/establishment of new approved wifi dongles is simply not a high priority, thus the lack of documentation - that's really a pretty old manual, though still applicable.

Personally, if it were me, I'd invest in a long-range wireless repeater with a Cat6-out and then plug the CCGX into the Cat6 so you don't need to worry about the compatibility of a USB dongle.

There are a dizzying array of options, of course, but I've had some great results with TrendNet devices; TPlink is also a good manufacturer of wifi extender/repeater options that often have a Cat6-out port.

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unckdecamp avatar image
unckdecamp answered ·

Interesting...

The repeater idea is cool, but I don't have AC power out there.

I honestly hate having to use wifi, but it's the only thing that might work, other than paying a monthly charge for cell coverage, which seems really stupid to me for this project.

I'll give the ASUS wifi adapter a go and see what happens.


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Trina avatar image
Trina answered ·

Wifi makes sense but ONLY vs. The $20us for good cat6 ($34 for 300 ft). So essentially a FAR more robust and worry free, hassle free system will be direct cable to the internet router. Easy to run on a dock but maybe less easy crossing from there to the router location.

I'd go direct cable as you'Il never use or need the dongle while using the boat and more problems than the price and effort of a simple cable esp. since the idea is remote monitoring and you won't be able to fix problems (or even reset -the most common solution) without being on-site (to my knowledge)!

If you do use the Wi-Fi repeater it could be helpful if you are a cruiser in which case check the cruiser forums (or RV crowd) as they will have dealt with and tried everything over the years getting Wi-Fi while at marinas or boon docking.

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pracman avatar image
pracman answered ·

A general rule of thumb in home networking says that Wi-Fi routers operating on the traditional 2.4 GHz band reach up to 150 feet (46 m) indoors and 300 feet (92 m) outdoors. Older 802.11a routers that ran on 5 GHz bands reached approximately one-third of these distances.


Wired is best if you can. If not EZR33-Y4O might work.

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Peter Buijs - NL avatar image
Peter Buijs - NL answered ·

I recently installed the Asus USB-N14 (28 Eur. Netherlands) on the CCGX it worked on the fly, not even a reboot.

Configuration is easy..

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unckdecamp avatar image
unckdecamp answered ·

Just a follow up for future researchers...

I ended up ordering the dual antenna ASUS model and it works great on my CCGX.

It loses connection every once and a while, but I have the CCGX set to reboot if it can't see the VRM portal, and it solves the issue.

I couldn't be happier with the results though!

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Roel Broersma avatar image
Roel Broersma answered ·

I just went to a retailer and bought 4 USB devices. Put them in the Cerbo GX, one by one. Check the WiFi Settings pages, rebooted and again checked the WiFi settings page.

1. Fritz WLAN Stick AC860 -> LED on stick is ON but it doesn’t seem to work (no change on the WiFi settings page, even not after a reboot)


2. ASUS USB-AC51 -> it looked like there is a small hole/pin on the device, I’m not sure if it’s a LED but it doesn’t light up and the Cerbo doesn’t seem to detect the Asus stick. No change on the settings page, also not after a reboot.


3. Netgear AC2100 WiFi USB Adapter -> Doesn’t seem to be recognised by the Cerbo. No change on the settings page, also not after a reboot.


4. TP-Link AC600 -> Doesn’t seem to be recognised by the Cerbo. No change on the settings page, also not after a reboot.


So, all 4 adapters doesn’t seem to work!


Can you guys please update the firmware and add some drivers for some newer devices? It shouldn’t be that hard and is the least a customer should expect.


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corkery avatar image
corkery answered ·

Same experience as Roel. Bought an AC600 as it's a widely available nano adapter. My Colour GX does not recognize it. Adding a CAT-6 is several hours work as this is not a new installation. Please update firmware to support a broader range of standard wifi adapters.


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