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Old 03-31-2006, 02:49 PM   #1
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Satellite, Internet, TV

We met an Airstreamer in 2003 at the Bill Thomas Rally. He installed and sold satellite systems. I believe he had satellite telephone, internet, and TV. We would like information about this. Of course, we can't find his card. He was a WBCCI member and had a 34 foot Classic trailer.

We really would like to be able to use the internet on the road. Has anyone used satellite for internet?
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Old 03-31-2006, 05:25 PM   #2
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I think the guy's name is Blair Prestin. He's active on Hunter's Airstream list-serve on yahoo. I dropped him a line and he will email you. He usually comes to the Bill Thomas rally up in Sedalia Mo. I've met him, nice guy.

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Jack
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrnaw
We met an Airstreamer in 2003 at the Bill Thomas Rally. He installed and sold satellite systems. I believe he had satellite telephone, internet, and TV. We would like information about this. Of course, we can't find his card. He was a WBCCI member and had a 34 foot Classic trailer.

We really would like to be able to use the internet on the road. Has anyone used satellite for internet?
You can also get internet thru a variety of cellular carriers. I use a Sierra Wireless Aircard thru Cingular. Not as fast as DSL or cable, but it works well anywhere you can get a cell signal........and WAY cheaper for the set-up and hardware than a special dish. Plus you don't have to worry about clouds or storms or aiming.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
You can also get internet thru a variety of cellular carriers. I use a Sierra Wireless Aircard thru Cingular. Not as fast as DSL or cable, but it works well anywhere you can get a cell signal........and WAY cheaper for the set-up and hardware than a special dish. Plus you don't have to worry about clouds or storms or aiming.
My new computer has WiFi but I doubt it will be useful in the boondocks. How does the cellular hook up work? We use Verizon.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:48 PM   #5
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Internet/Wi-Fi

It was Blair. He is "in" the business and knows his stuff! You can trust him to give you the skinny on what all is involved and the cost.

I use a portable satellite dish, sold at CW. I grab one of the receivers from my home Direct TV set up and take it on the road.

Patti
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myrnaw
We met an Airstreamer in 2003 at the Bill Thomas Rally. He installed and sold satellite systems. I believe he had satellite telephone, internet, and TV. We would like information about this. Of course, we can't find his card. He was a WBCCI member and had a 34 foot Classic trailer.

We really would like to be able to use the internet on the road. Has anyone used satellite for internet?
i don't use satellite for the web yet....i've been waiting for the price to decline.....

the system available in 2003 would have been motosat....which is still the principle web/dish....around 5k$ to start for a system...and 100+ month...

my understanding is that winegard.....who does several mobile tv systems will be adding a tv/web system very soon...like april/may. don't quote me...

haven't heard anything about pricing......hopefully it will be less than motosat.....wild asrs guess 2500$ plus a monthly...fee.

web by cell phone is ok for email...not much else....and limited to cell signal zones....there is a new higher speed web by cellphone, but presently it's only offered in 40-50 metro regions....

while i carry a wifi computer.....for urban hot spots and the occasional rv park....my favorite rural connection is the local library or senior center....


use the search function......there are several threads on the topic...and we do have a member who has started a digital rv forums.......good stuff......but another forum to join.....

http://www.digitalrv.net/index.html

cheers
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
My new computer has WiFi but I doubt it will be useful in the boondocks. How does the cellular hook up work? We use Verizon.
I have Verizon service and also have a Sierra Wireless Aircard (Mod. 555D). Typically, the rate for unlimited National access service is between $60-$70 per month. The aircard fits in the PCMCIA slot on your laptop.

Lewster is right on the money regarding the speed not being close to that of DSL and cable, and I have found mine to be rather dependable in most areas wherever there is a cell signal. I have been able to significantly improve my signal by buying an external antenna that adapts to the aircard. Right now I have a "patch" antenna that sticks to the inside of the windshield of my TV, but plan to get an external magnetic base antenna to get outside the vehicle. Hopefully, by using the top of the vehicle as a ground plane, it will further improve the signal. Granted, this won't work on aluminum, but just getting the antenna outside the AS will improve the signal.

Should you decide to give this a try, I would advise you not to order the antenna/adapter apparatus from Verizon. They have botched two consecutive orders by sending an antenna that had an incompatible plug with the adapter. Wilson Electronics manufactures a very good setup which costs a fraction of the Verizon equipment, and works just as well.

I'm still experimenting with the aircard/antenna setups. In my work, 18 of my employees use aircards, so I need to find the most dependable combination.

Then there's wireless broadband, which is reportedly much faster, but at this time, is only available in and around major cities...
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Old 03-31-2006, 11:37 PM   #8
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I'm quite interested in broadband via satellite. We have started to travel each year through northern Ontario, and we find that there is no GSM cellular service between Sault St Marie and Thunder Bay (this is about 2 days of driving through the mountains with an RV). I used to have Vonage at home, and to my mind having satelllite broadband and VoIP would allow me to be accessible at any time.

I have been hoping for a system that would embody 2 LNA's (or LNB's) that would allow me to have internet on one and TV on the other with real time tracking.

Last August (just before I got the '94 LY) we hauled a trailer up to Thunder Bay and had a breakdown (fortunately in Thunder Bay). We had no CB, and there is no 2-metre coverage up there (I'm a ham radio operator). The trip back down to "civilization" was worrisome as the cause of the ignition failure was only finally diagnosed and repaired about 2 months after we got home. While the '94 LY has a CB, I would feel a whole lot more comfortable with broadband and VoIP.
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:04 AM   #9
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I have Satellite Internet and TV at my soon to be sold house. While pointing the TV is realitively simple the Internet dish is not. Once pointed You reallly do not want ot move it. My Interent dish need repointed about a year ago since the wooded post it was on sagged with all the rain we had. I pulled it up and sank a new steel post deeper. I tried to repoint the dish myself but I could not get the fine tuning good enough to get a lock.
I had to call a pro. Since it is a transmitting device you are supposed to have a licensed pro install it. It takes experience to get it right, lots of it.
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Old 04-01-2006, 07:04 AM   #10
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My company and I were researching the feasability of sattelite internet for various applications. 2 biggest down falls were pricing and the speeds involved. The system we looked at was only marginally better than our current dialup speeds (due to VPN constraints). Aircards IMHO are the most viable alternative, but as pointed out don't work in all areas.

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Old 04-01-2006, 08:05 AM   #11
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external antenna

I'm with the Ranger!

I'm currently researching the addition of either a cell repeater for my TV that will enhance the signal and range of both my cell phone and aircard internet set-up, or use a hardwired amplifier that will boost the output to 3 watts thru an external antenna. Either way, it will get a faster connection with more signal strength and clarity.
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:12 AM   #12
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This is going to be a big year for satellite internet service. DirecTV is set to make a major announcement in Q2 of this year, and a couple "new" players in this game are set to enter the field.

While I agree that SatInternet isn't quite "there" yet, it's a decent remote-location solution. Just don't buy into the sale hype on reliability and speed.

As for SatPhone...well...you'd be better off paying roaming charges on a larger cell network.
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Old 04-01-2006, 09:25 AM   #13
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hey guys -

We move locations once a week, we connect to the internet via satellite and have a verizon card for backup (we're working full-time, so we HAVE to be online).

A tripod setup is significantly cheaper than an automatic setup, and it also allows you to park under trees and run cable to your dish in a clearing.

There are many vendors, we used http://www.rvnetworking.com

Though if you're in a house, i'd recomend getting it installed at your house and then removing when you're ready to hit the road. Will save you a bundle, but you'll have to do some research on setup etc...it's out there online.
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Old 04-01-2006, 03:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
I'm currently researching the addition of either a cell repeater for my TV that will enhance the signal and range of both my cell phone and aircard internet set-up, or use a hardwired amplifier that will boost the output to 3 watts thru an external antenna. Either way, it will get a faster connection with more signal strength and clarity.
Lew,
I'm very interested to know how the repeater/amp works out for you. If you do this, please let me know. I have considered this option for some of my staff who work in the more rural areas, but was wondering if it justified the expense.
Thanks.
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