Hmm, in double-checking my measurements there's not enough room for much more that the WRT54GS itself. The access panel isn't 8", it's only 6" in diameter. I have to remove the mounting ring in order to get the WRT54GS inside the arch. In fact I have to remove the ring just to get the bare circuit board in there. As it stands I have to pull the front half of the case off, put the pieces up through the opening and put it back together.
This means any sort of self-made box would also have real trouble trying to fit.
So now I'm wondering, what sort of real signal loss am I going to suffer coming down through the arch to a place where a proper box would fit? I'd have to come through the arch (from the antenna) using an N-male to RP-SMA connector, presumably using 195 wire. This to get the connector through the base of the mount along with being flexible enough to allow tilting it down. I'd expecting to use a 2' patch cable here.
But once I'm in the arch and running down to the gunwales I'd be able to use other 'better' cable.
Or should I cobble together some sort of sealed bag or something instead? I could probably just stuff the thing into a bag and use a vacuum sealer on it. Assuming I'd added a heat sink to the processor first. I've actually used the WRT54GS left out in direct sunlight for several days this week and it's pretty tolerant of the heat. Granted, that had airflow, but with the heat lately it wasn't much!
The measured distance the cable would have to be in order to get to a 'box suitable' location is 12 feet. Just how much loss would that incur? It'd be a straight run down the arch to the mounting location, no turns other than the top curve of the arch and that's about a 2' radius.
So what's less worse, cobbling up a sealed bag of some kind or running the
12' down the arch?