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Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Do You Mean, It Works as Advertised!?!

I mentioned in the last blog, that I had to hook up my “Signal Seeker” before I could continue the set-up on my laptop. As a result of that article, several people have E-mailed me and asked me about the unit and what it does. So, I thought I’d write a short piece on this unusual device and what it does for us.

Kim and I first learned about the Signal Seeker from our friends on BESO, the 40’ Nordhavn Trawler. Our two boats would pull in somewhere and dock, or anchor, near land and, while neither Kim’s or my computers showed any sign of Wi-Fi, BESO would let us know they were on the Internet. They’d be getting weather updates, talking on Skype and doing E-mails while we were in Information Dead Zone mode. In a word, it really stunk! So, when the product finally became available (they were ALWAYS sold out) we snapped one up.

The Signal Seeker is a small 4”x3”x1”, USB powered directional antennae that will magnify a Wi-Fi signal to the Nth power of Unbelievable. For example, as I write this, I’m logged onto a Wi-Fi router that services a 20”x16” boater’s lounge. The lounge is inside a concrete building, that’s 500 yards from the boat. If I had my laptop with built in Wi-Fi card in the lounge, I’d loose the signal as soon as I walked 10’ outside the door, but I’ve got 4 bars of fast Wi-Fi with the Signal Seeker. It comes on a small base, with mounting slots and screws, that will attach on any flat wood or metal surface. BESO uses a Crown Royal bag that’s half full of gravel to stabilize theirs, while I mounted ours on a wood disk with center post, which fits down the drive handle socket on our halyard winch. So, the Signal Seeker is completely adaptable to the user’s particular situation and requirements.

To use it, just install the enclosed software (let them know when you order if you use Window's Vista) and plug the Signal Seeker into a USB port on your computer. When it launches, rotate the antennae until you see a signal on the controller window and log on to the Internet. It’s as simple as that.

When it comes to customer service, we’ve never seen anything like Welkinware, the distributor. They have NEVER failed to answer our E-mails (usually within three hours and never longer than 12) and they've always provided an accurate solution to any issue we’ve encountered; plus they return your E-mails on weekends! It just doesn't get any better than that.

The bottom line is, if you own a boat or RV and want Internet access where you never dreamed it existed (and that includes some pretty remote islands in the Bahamas and Caribbean) or you just need to amplify the signal from which you receive your current Wi-Fi, spend the $99.99 on a Signal Seeker. It's the best investment you’ll ever make.

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