Last night I dug out my old WRT54G wifi router, which conveniently takes 12V (and also has a nice 100-240V 50/60Hz AC adapter), and flashed it with DD-WRT. I set it up as a wireless repeater for the marina’s network, and boosted the TX power to 200 mW, although that’s probably too high and I’ll probably reduce it to 84 mW later. The built in antennas are enough to improve signal strength a bit. I haven’t yet experimented with moving the router around to alternative locations. I’m considering building an antenna (probably omnidirectional but maybe directional) that could possibly be mounted on the solar panel rack at the stern. Unfortunately my router is a v8, which means its antennas are not detachable, so I’d have to take it apart and solder on a pigtail. I might at least go look at some parts later this week to decide if it’s worth the cost.
This morning I took a few minutes to do MPA’s “online self assessment for cruising permit”, which is apparently a replacement for a real PPCDL for visiting yachts. It was an interesting little quiz, mostly about local knowledge, with questions like “Which of the following four islands is used as a live firing range by the SAF?” or “Which immigration anchorage is mainly for use by yachts and pleasure craft?” Anyway, I passed it:
I’m not sure what it actually gets me, but supposedly it’ll be easier for me to apply for cruising permits now? I guess I’ll find out next time I want to go for a sail.