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Old 05-01-2005, 11:03 PM   #1
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Anbody have a Datastorm dish on your travel trailer?

Hi, folks,

After a lot of looking around I haven't found a single picture of a Datastorm dish mounted on a curved roof Airstream tt. I telecommute and have a job where I don't have to be anywhere in particular, but I do need internet access every day. My "new" '79 Excella 500 31' also wonders why it's sitting here...

So far, it appears that the choices center around DirectPC and Hughes. One option is a tripod setup. Some dealers really make this easy, but it might be uncool in some of the places I might want to spend some time, and besides I might want to spend that same time doing other things when I arrive.

The Datastorm weighs 105 lbs! I'm willing to sacrficie the Winegard omni TV antenna for room (the coach came with a powered Skyliner), but is this too much weight to put up there without shoring up the roof?

I'm thinking I could relocate the TV antenna rearward (aft behind the air conditioner) and fish the wiring for the Datastorm from the old Skyliner control panel up to the roof and then put the DS's control panel where the old antenna's was.

I'm looking at the F1 and F3.

http://www.motosat.com/products/specs/index.html

Opinions? Advice? Other options? (Thanks.)

Lamar
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:59 AM   #2
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Lamar,

First off welcome.

From what I have heard, there is a problem with mounting the datastorm on the roof of an Airstream. You hit the nail on the head with the weight issue. The roof was not designed to hold that kind of weight where you are planning on putting it. In fact the only spot that was designed to do it is around the AC.

I know that i have see a couple of them, but the roofs have to be reinforced to make the install work without the possibility of damaging the roof.

The real question is how far out are we trying to get form civilization. There are some cool new systems that piggy back on the cell phone network and have throughput that are at the least equal to the satellite system you are looking at. There is also a BIG difference in equipment cost . The monthly fee is comparable. The big bennie is that you have a wi-fi hot spot in the trailer and are not tied to wires. If it is nice out you can work while sitting under your awning, not cooped up.

This is something the Airstream Life is doing a beta test on for Airstream, Inc. They buy it as a kit from a supplier. The antenna is a 8-12 inch mast. IF you want to read more on it go here

Vintage Thunder Blog
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
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I'm not sure if your dead set on Satellite Internet or not, but you might want to check out the Verizon Broadband/Nationwide Access ( http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobileoptions/broadband/index.jsp?action=broadbandAccess ).

We have a home in Mesa Az and one in the mountains near Prescott AZ where no broadband services are available. We converted about a month ago and have found the Verizon service using a Sierra AirCard 580 PCMCIA wireless card to be quite good. Our download speeds in "Broadband Service Areas" runs between 400kbps and 1Mbps. In the "non-broadband (Nationwide Access) areas our download speeds range from 80kbps to 150kbps -- quite a bit better than our old dialup service in the mountains at 33kbps best case.

The cost is a little pricey ($79/mo) but this allowed us to disconnect our mountain home from the land line phone service completely.

We haven't used it traveling yet, but the coverage areas for "nationwide access looks pretty good and broadband is available in quite a few metropolitan areas.

When I looked into Satalite service my concern was reliability of the connection and customer service of Direct PC
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:25 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys.

Brett, I have not decided on the satellite, but it offers the coverage and uptime I'd need. I'll keep an eye on the Airstream Life blog! (I'm not above adding some ribs and stringers - I have an aircraft maintenance background.)

Dave, I'll look at that Sprint offer too. I don't think I've ever seen anybody using an Aircard in a restaurant or elsewhere around here, so I'll have to check that coverage map to see if it's even covering me here...
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:02 PM   #5
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On the road

Ive just bought a new TREO 600 phone with service from Cingular (DC area). With it, I also purchased PDAnet software (one time $30 cost). With it, and the TREO data service (unlimited for $19 a month), PDAnet software turns the TREO into a data modem with connection speed of 57k....not too shaby, with unlimited data connectivity...I've used it in DC, Charleston, SC, Boston, MA, Fort Monmouth, NJ, and up and down the I-81 corridor. I also use it in my hometown at the coffee shop. The phone itself gives me all three of my email pop3 accounts, and full web access with it's browser. Put PocketExpress on it, and it's even more powerful.

TREO600 - www.palmone.com

Rob
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:25 PM   #6
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Hi, Rob,

Thanks! I work for a company that makes GPS mapping solutions for Treo 600/650 and other Palm, Pocket PC, and Windows Mobile Smartphone devices. I have thought of using a Treo as the heart of a removable car-puter navigation and communications center when in transit. A fellow on TreoCentral.com has done this - pretty cool. :-)
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:33 AM   #7
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Tripod Satellite System

I was looking at the idea of installing a datastorm, and in addition to the weight, one of the other issues was if I ended up in an area with lots of trees. What I ended up getting was a tripod mounted satellite internet system. There are several companies that now offer them, and it is working great. The tripod it's mounted to is a heavy surveyor's tripod, and if there's trees, I'm able to move it to where I can get a complete signal. Setting it up is a breeze, and you don't need to be an engineer - the pointing software guides you through, and the dealers all offer great help.

Oh... another thing... it's about $3,000 less than the datastorm.
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ayresdream
I was looking at the idea of installing a datastorm, and in addition to the weight, one of the other issues was if I ended up in an area with lots of trees. What I ended up getting was a tripod mounted satellite internet system. There are several companies that now offer them, and it is working great. The tripod it's mounted to is a heavy surveyor's tripod, and if there's trees, I'm able to move it to where I can get a complete signal. Setting it up is a breeze, and you don't need to be an engineer - the pointing software guides you through, and the dealers all offer great help.

Oh... another thing... it's about $3,000 less than the datastorm.
What brand/make tripod mounted satellite internet system did you get that's $3,000 less than Datastorm, now that would be nice to know
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