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Old 02-16-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Internet / Satellite Hookups

In four or five years, when I reach retirement, I plan on taking extended trips with my yet to be purchased Airstream.

I'm am a neanderthal and a computer dummy..........what are my options for:

#1: computer internet hookup

#2: TV reception.....i.e. satellite hookup
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
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Welcome,
You can use the search bar at the top of this page to find out anything you want about almost anything haveing to do with camping and Airstreams Come on in.
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill benton
Welcome,
You can use the search bar at the top of this page to find out anything you want about almost anything haveing to do with camping and Airstreams Come on in.
What key words would you suggest?
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:08 PM   #4
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it's all out there!

I put a Verizon Wireless card on my laptop - sometimes a bit slow, but good coverage. There is also the possibility of finding hot spots and just getting on someone elses broadband, but viruses, etc are a risk.

Many people have ground mount or roof mount dishes. I don't bother cause I'm not going camping for TV.

NICE radio/CD/DVD player in my Airstream. Finding a good channel for weather is nice.

Paula Ford
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:27 PM   #5
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wtmark:

Go to the Escapees forum Escapees Discussion Forum - Powered by eve community. Scroll down to the forum section titled "Internet Access On The Road" and the forum section titled "Satellite Television and Radio". This should have all the informtion needed. Escapees is an RV organization supporting the fulltiming and extended timing lifestle.

Hope this helps.

Bluebird.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtmark
In four or five years....
tv and the web in 4-5 years?

no one has a clue.

my decoder ring doesn't do 2012...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-16-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
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We use an Alltel Aircard for internet; it has decent speed and works about anywhere.

Most campgrounds these days have cable, so we haven't really looked into any of the dish systems. I think that we will be getting our TV over the internet in the near future.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird
wtmark:

Go to the Escapees forum Escapees Discussion Forum - Powered by eve community. Scroll down to the forum section titled "Internet Access On The Road" and the forum section titled "Satellite Television and Radio". This should have all the informtion needed. Escapees is an RV organization supporting the fulltiming and extended timing lifestle.

Hope this helps.

Bluebird.
WOW.....what a link........thank you......thank you.......thank you
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
tv and the web in 4-5 years?

no one has a clue.

my decoder ring doesn't do 2012...

cheers
2air'
I realize it's quite a stretch for the old crystal ball, but I'm just getting into this whole thing and want to see what's out there now.
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
tv and the web in 4-5 years?
no one has a clue.
my decoder ring doesn't do 2012...
cheers
2air'
2airishuman is absolutely right. If we go back four or five years and look at what RV parks were supposed to be installing in order to be "in," it doesn't resemble at all what's current now. A couple of examples:

+Back then, telephone hookups at sites were The Big Thing, according to the campground rating gods. Now, site telephone hookups are history, and the expensive wiring has turned into rabbit food.

+Back then, there was lots of pressure to put in cable TV hookups at sites. Now, there are so many suppliers of RV satellite systems, and so many people with those systems, that cable hookups have become passe.

So what's to happen four or five years from now? Heaven knows. Try the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (and bring a divining rod)!


Lynn
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:42 AM   #11
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We've been fulltiming since May '06 using Dish satellite and a T-Mobile aircard. Works great now!
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:01 PM   #12
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Y'all will probably poke fun at me..........but I'm probably the last adult left without a cell phone...........like I said, I'm a dinosaur.
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Old 02-17-2007, 03:50 PM   #13
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"Hook ups" in the teenage language means something else. Since you appear to be in your 50's you are mostlikey alright using that terminology here but do not use it when discussing it with your grandchildren. To be more serious, WIFI at campgrounds should be fairly common by the time you retire. If they do not have it, you can park in front of most Staples or Office Max and get good free service. There are a few cities that already have hot spots thru out the city and within a few years there will be alot more.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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Smile Alltel Aircard

We also use an Alltel Aircard for internet in my laptop computer. It works pretty well. But.... is about $60 a month.
We are just now checking into Sat. systems for Cable. Not sure we would use it that much.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:36 PM   #15
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Thought I would revive this thread for those who may be interested in a brief, non-technical, report on the application of an external cellular antenna and a signal amplification system to improve the signal strength for both cell phones, and a broadband aircard.

Now that Verizon EV-DO broadband is available in a large part of the state, and is rumored to become more available in the near future, I am evaluating the aircards and related equipment for statewide law enforcement applications.

I recently upgraded from the Sierra 555D aircard (CDMA 1x only) to the Sierra 595 card (CDMA 1x and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A broadband). Overall, the 595 showed a slightly improved signal in most areas than the 555D, even without an external antenna. With an external antenna (Wilson: Model 301103-magnetic mount) to get outside the vehicle, the signal strength improved by one to two bars (I told you this was non-technical) in most areas. With the addition of a Direct Connection Cellular/PCS Dual-Band amplifier (Wilson: Model: 811201), the signal strength improved an additional 1-2 bars in all areas.

In a more practical application that relates to this forum, I took this setup to a boat race in New Jersey this weekend which was held in an area where cell phone reception was dismal, with about 50% of cell calls being dropped. The external antenna/amp setup increased the signal strength on my cell phone from 1 bar to 5 bars, and I was able to receive a dependable EV-DO broadband signal (2+ bars) all weekend. I had the amp inside the Bambi, ran the cord through the door, and placed the magnetic antenna on a small metal sheet, which served as a ground plane, and set it on top of my awning (It wasn't perfectly vertical).

I'm very encouraged by these results so far, and after testing some different brands, and larger, more powerful antennas, I will likely purchase these setups for most of our patrol vehicles.


Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics

Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:37 PM   #16
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I have exactly this setup and have used it for some time now. In addition to the antenna, the dual band amp, and cable to connect to the Verizon aircard, I have a second cable that allows me to use the amp and antenna with my cell phone -- this brings it to a full 3 watts of power. I haven't tried the amplifier and antenna on the road yet, but use it in the mountains of Arizona where the broadband signal is too weak to work. With the amplifier and the antenna broadband through the aircard works great. Although the Verizon Broadband service is a little slower than DSL or Cable (it runs about 400-500 kbps) it is more than adequate. Also, it, or the slower "Nation wide access which runs at about 130kbps) and is available most places now.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:24 PM   #17
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The three watts boost for CDMA 1x, and 2 watts for CDMA EV-DO seem to be a vast improvement. I have used it both stationary and mobile, and as long as there is a signal, it works fine either way. I did the same for my cell phone. They make adapters for just about every cell phone and aircard that is capable of accepting an external antanna. I had no idea there were so many different interfaces. I even got one that attaches by velcro to the exterior of the cell phone or the aircard. I haven't had time to try it yet. The manufacturer was up front by saying they aren't as effective as the direct connect cables. If it works, I'll report back.

I will also try some antennas that claim to have better gain than the ones that I currently have. Next I'm considering evaluating the wireless amps. They claim to be able to simultaneously amplify multiple cellular devices within a specific range, which may have applications for an event/incident occurring in a poor reception area. Again, the manufacturer states that nothing beats the direc connection cables, but if there's any improvement at all, it should be worthwhile.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:53 PM   #18
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I just ordered a couple of new toys today. Neither of our laptops have a provison for an external antenna and buying new PCMCIA cars plus the antenna seemed more expensive than this:

Buffalo AirStation / WLI-TX4-G54HP / 54Mbps / 802.11g / 4-Port / Wireless Ethernet
Bridge with AOSS Technology


Since we're really not on the road very much I can't justify an AirCard or Clearwire. From what I've seen Clearwire seems to be the performance champ. The few times we've tried to get a wireless connection at campgrounds the signal strength inside the trailer has been too low. I'm hoping that the AirStation near a window will do the trick. If not then I'll try it outside. If that's what works then I'll go for the external antenna.

For TV I just ordered this gadget:

Kworld ATSC 315U HDTV TV Box

I mostly wanted this for home. The kicker being I needed something with QAM, the standard for HDTV over cable. We've had an HDTV set for a couple of years. Works great with DVDs and as a computer monitor. Wasn't really interested in over the air HDTV since the programming has been virtually non-existant until recently and where our house sits I doubt we'd even get a digital signal without extreme heroics. I'd hoped to get a QAM box that didn't require a computer but this was cheap, will let me know if it works and now that I've bought it what I really want will probably come on the market in the next week

I hope full hook-up campgrounds trend toward a coax connection for TV and Internet. I think that's much more robust than wireless. If there's 50 people all sharing a wireless connection it's going to be slow as molasses no matter how good the signal strength. Plus my 1978 triailer came stock with an external coax. Argosy sure was forward thinking, huh?

-Bernie

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Old 04-30-2007, 04:17 PM   #19
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I'm really interested in knowing how your Wi-Fi setup works out. My internal Wi-Fi card didn't get good reception on several occasions so I got a Buffalo card with an external antenna port (MC card adapter), but haven't hooked it up to an antenna yet. I was thinking about getting the Cantenna, or making one myself.

WiFi Antennas-Super Cantenna Wireless Booster Antenna
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:07 PM   #20
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COMPUTERS ... HOOKUPS... CARDS...
Now I know why I listen to my old collection of 45's ..
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