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Electronic Communications 13 years 10 months ago #1378

  • monkey44
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the next step in our WIFI project is to get input from you guys on the road and see what technology you use ... so, if anyone here can tell us what you use for Internet communication, cell phone communication, and TV stations, we'd like to hear it.

For clarity and efficiency -- please use the below format and respond here... and use one post for each individual type of technology you're talking about so I can copy and paste into a log, and later compose an overview of every type separately without interpreting several different items in one post ...

Type of technology your describing -- that is, WIFI, Cell, Cable, TV, whatever ...
What equipment you need to operate it
Do you buy or lease or rent the equipment
Approximately what the equipment costs to buy or lease
Does the service require a "monthly fee" and if so, how much.

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Re: Electronic Communicaions 13 years 10 months ago #1379

  • franknsandy
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We use a Verizon Air Card, which we purchased a year ago for about $100.00. We pay a monthy fee of about $60.00 for unlimited air time. I have built in wi-fi but rarely use it. The air card works great and we have internet access about 99.9% of the time, basically if you have cell phone reception you have internet. Also most areas are now broadband available so the speed is very good. For a full timer this is a great way to go. No satalite to set up, aim etc. It just plugs into the laptop and your good to go. To bad the monthy rate is so high, but we use it a lot. It will also pick up local WI-FI as and you can choose to use that or the Verizon access. Normally, unless the wi-fi is strong we just use the Verizon.

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 10 months ago #1380

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SO, the Air Card does internet only, and you must also pay another fee for the cell phone service, or it the $60 a month for both??

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 10 months ago #1383

  • oldchief46
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type of technology your describing -- We use WiFi only. If the park does not have WiFi available then I seek out a hotspot (McDonald's, Starbuck's, etc.)

What equipment you need to operate it -- Built in WiFi card in my laptop.

Do you buy or lease or rent the equipment -- NA

Approximately what the equipment costs to buy or lease -- NA

Does the service require a "monthly fee" and if so, how much -- No but many times, especially at military campgrounds I have to pay for the WiFi access as we go. I try to pick the parks we are going to from the ones that list "free WiFi" if at all possible.

We are not full timer's yet but we do spend approximately seven months out of the year on the road.
Rick Stone, YNC, USN(RET)
2007 Monaco Cayman XL
2006 Chevy HHR
oldchief1.blogspot.com

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 10 months ago #1384

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Yeah, about $60.00 EACH. The Air Card is internet only, and plugs into most every loptop I have ever sceen. I have a $120.00 a month going to them automatically and this month my bill was $95.00. We have the plan with a lot of minutes as my wife spends a lot of time talking to family in Vegas, Oregon, Virgina, South Dakota. So the nationwide plan with lots of minutes is good for us. I can easily remember paying $120.00 a month alone for a land line only so I count this a blessing. If I was really watching the dollar I think I would opt for a lesser phone rate plan, or retink the Air Card. But we are confortable with it.

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 10 months ago #1385

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I sent you two reply's, but an error message came up and said I had exceeded the two messages per hour limit, so I don't know if you got them. If not, try reaching me via my email address and I will try to answer your questions direct.
Frank
BTW, I only sent two messages, I don't know why it said I exceeded the two message limit. I am sure Larry will read this and take corrective action if needed.

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 9 months ago #1506

  • wb4zit
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type of technology your describing: Satellite internet using Hughesnet (Direcway)

What equipment you need to operate it: Hughesnet DW7000 modem. I have an auto pointing Motosat Datastorm dish on the roof and I also carry a spare dish and tripod for when I am parked in the trees and the roof mount cannot see the bird. Linksys WRT-54 wireless router in the coach so the wife and I can sit under the awning and check our email or whatever.

Do you buy or lease or rent the equipment: Buy

Approximately what the equipment costs to buy or lease: Bought all equipment used and installed it myself, mostly off of eBay. Satellite modem = $150. Motosat Datastorm = $950. Tripod mount and extra dish = $250. Linksys WRT-54G = $39. Roll of 100' dual RG-6 coax for tripod use = $25
A new Motosat Datastorm is about $5K installed by an autorized dealer complete with modem.
A new tripod setup runs between $1200 and $1500 complete with modem depending on vendor.

Does the service require a "monthly fee" and if so, how much: Several speed plans available. Home Plan = $59 month. Pro Plan (The one I use) = $69 Pro Plus Plan = $79

Reason for satellite: I have been out of cell tower range out west many times but I rarely have been where I could not eventually find a hole in the trees to see the satellite.
Mel Linville
US Army MSG (Ret)
2020 Ram 2500 Hemi and shopping for a cheap, used, small 5th wheel

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 9 months ago #1513

  • cheldreth
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We are actually living in our driveway waiting for the house to see before we go full-time. I am in a real quandary about which way to go for Internet access on the road.

My options appear to be Hughes Net either on dish on a tripod ($1400) or an automated dish permanently mounted on the roof of the Bounder ($5000).

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Curt
Curt Heldreth
Retired US Army
Retired HS Teacher
Copilot: Mary, NC Guardian ad Litem
Activities Director: Roscoe the Beagle
2006 Bounder 35E
2010 Malibu LS

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 9 months ago #1514

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Curt,

Not knowing your tolerance for pain when dealing with electronic gadgets, I am reluctant to give advice about which way to go. I will tell you that pointing a tripod mounted Hughesnet or Starband dish can be frustrating until you develop some expertise at hitting the satellite and passing cross pol. Some folks get it right away, some fight with it every time they move. Having both, I will tell you that the roof mounted Datastorm is great if you are parked where there are no trees between your dish and the satellite. Push one button or click on one icon and about 5 to 10 minutes later you are on the net. However, I will always carry my tripod because trees happen.....more frequently than you think. A lot of Datastorm folks check their compass before they pick a camping space in order to get one with a clear shot. I prefer to park in a nice spot and, if I have to, use the tripod if the Datastorm cannot find the satellite.

If you decide you want the Datastorm unit you may want to go to www.datastormusers.com and watch the Marketplace - For Sale and Wanted forum. Frequently dealers with have used and refurbed Datastorm systems they have taken in on trade and you might save yourself $1500 to $2000. If you read some of the other forums on that board you will also be able to tell very quickly which installers out there you would like to do the installation (and tech support).

The simplest and cheapest solution is, of course, the cellular broadband cards. And they work great if you are in a populated area with the high speed data network coverage. If you get out in the boonies where you only have a basic cell phone tower you will be reduced to speeds lower than a dial up modem. And if you go out west you will find large areas that do not have any cell phone service so you will not have any access at all. I went with the satellite service because I wanted service from Baja to southern Canada and if I can find a hole in the trees I can get service with satellite. If you are in an area with no cell phone service there is nothing you can do except hope the campground has wi-fi.

Now, the really good thing about the cellular cards is that you can use them while going down the road. You definitely cannot do that with the satellite so if being on the internet while moving is important to you then the cell card is the way to go.
Mel Linville
US Army MSG (Ret)
2020 Ram 2500 Hemi and shopping for a cheap, used, small 5th wheel

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Re: Electronic Communications 13 years 9 months ago #1516

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Curt
The Verizon air card or pc card is faster than dial up, not slower as Mel stated, however I had a T-Mobil card that was slower. Also you can speed up the rate by using a slower or faster "Venturi" rate. What this does is increasses or decreasses the quality of pictures, example, the faster the transfer rate the less the quality of the pictures are. If I am surfing I set it about medium and unless I am really inspecting the quality of photos the transfer rate is just fine, (for me).
Yeah, I would like a faster internet, but I just can not go the big expense of Directway or what ever it is called today.
Most military bases I have been to have broadband available in the local area (the base is not the provider, but I do get it there), also most average size cities now have broadband and more are coming on line with it all the time. Verizon does provide a great value and I understand that it is getting better all the time. We are out west about 6 months of the year or better and have NEVER been without service. That is from San Diego to the Canadian boarder (my sister is a customs agent at the boarder in Lynden, WA.
Hope this helps in your www decisions.

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