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Old 02-20-2014, 11:41 PM   #29
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One thing that affects the speed of any connection is what the mobile providers call "backhaul" - basically the network connection from the towers back to the central office. A 4G LTE connection is often limited by how fast this connection is, along with how many people are using it at once... Kind of like in campgrounds where they clearly don't have enough bandwidth to share between everyone.

Backhaul and the number of concurrent users are becoming even bigger factors as mobile providers continue rolling out better and better LTE with "theoretical" speeds that boggle the mind for someone like me who remembers being online with a 2400 baud dialup modem.

The fast and furious upgrades to carriers backhauls is also great for 3G connections. The increased capacity in the backhaul basically means that 3G connections are now able to work closer to the limits of the wireless signal. So, I think that's why I'm pretty satisfied using sprints 3G these days as I think I'm getting 2 to 3mbps.

To be precise, the theoretical max for evdo rev a - a 3G standard used by sprint - is 3.1 on the download side and 1.8 on the upload. I think they have even gone beyond evdo-a now too. I usually have no trouble watching YouTube or even Netflix on 3G. It's really more than sufficient for my internet needs. I was thrilled 15 months ago when I started my airstream adventures and realized that the state if mobile internet was equivalent to a basic home DSL connection - at worst - in so many places.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:06 AM   #30
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I have been thinking of installing a wilson RV/Trucker antenna on my Safari, but i was hoping to somehow attach it to the batwing antenna so that I can crank the antenna up and raise the Trucker antenna as to improve it's reception.

Has anyone done this or can anyone see any issues with doing this?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

-J
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:04 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpons View Post
I have been thinking of installing a wilson RV/Trucker antenna on my Safari, but i was hoping to somehow attach it to the batwing antenna so that I can crank the antenna up and raise the Trucker antenna as to improve it's reception.

Has anyone done this or can anyone see any issues with doing this?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

-J
As long as the antenna doesn't need a ground plane (i.e. isn't intended for roof mounting) there should be no particular problem.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:14 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by jpons View Post
I have been thinking of installing a wilson RV/Trucker antenna on my Safari, but i was hoping to somehow attach it to the batwing antenna so that I can crank the antenna up and raise the Trucker antenna as to improve it's reception.

Has anyone done this or can anyone see any issues with doing this?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

-J
This is commonly done here on the lower Colorado River.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:50 PM   #33
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The Wilson Trucker and Super Trucker both have horizontal radiating spokes which act as a ground plane and are located below the plastic encased tuning coil. So, no additional ground plane is needed and the antenna can be mounted anywhere.

This message is going out through a Super Trucker, via a Verizon MiFi. The antenna is mounted on a post on the rear corner of my (winter residence) Mobile Home located in a difficult reception area in AZ.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:50 AM   #34
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Thanks folks, looks like a batwing mounted trucker antenna is in my future.

-J
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:26 AM   #35
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It's true Verizon requires a contract for MiFi, but you can always switch your line to a cell phone line - you just need an old Verizon phone. It's only $10/month for a cell phone line as opposed to $50+ for the internet.

During the months we don't travel, we make the switch and pay $10 instead of $50. It works great.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:33 AM   #36
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It's true Verizon requires a contract for MiFi, but you can always switch your line to a cell phone line - you just need an old Verizon phone. It's only $10/month for a cell phone line as opposed to $50+ for the internet.

During the months we don't travel, we make the switch and pay $10 instead of $50. It works great.
Verizon now has the option of month to month pay as you go for mifi. The one I have costs $60 for 3 gig of data bandwidth, and $90/month for 10 gig.
The kicker is I had to buy the device, which was on sale for $99 or $129....I can't remember which.
Had I been willing to go into a two year contract, the device would have been free. For my occasional use on the road, I decided to buy the little box and go month to month.
I have cable internet at home.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:58 PM   #37
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We have taken several long trips with our Virgin Mobile hotspot, it uses 3G from Sprint. We hook it up to a 120 Volt inverter plugged into one the many 12V ports in my Excursion. The cost is $25.00 per month with no contract. The reception has been excellent with no external antennas.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:40 PM   #38
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GMW - keep in mind that you can move your mifi to millinecom for about the same price as you are paying to Verizon direct, and you will get 20GB for essentially the same price on exactly the same network. It is also month to month in the sense that you can cancel anytime, however there are extra fees on startup. You can also suspend your service for periods if I recall correctly bit there may be a fee and limits on how many times you can start and stop per year.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:42 PM   #39
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GMW - keep in mind that you can move your mifi to millinecom for about the same price as you are paying to Verizon direct, and you will get 20GB for essentially the same price on exactly the same network. It is also month to month in the sense that you can cancel anytime, however there are extra fees on startup. You can also suspend your service for periods if I recall correctly bit there may be a fee and limits on how many times you can start and stop per year.
Thanks for the followup comments CA Tallguy.
I am now back home from being on the road, and just looked on the Verizon website and see they have lowered their plan prices now. 10 gig used to cost $90 for the month, and now is $60.
I found that the last month I was out, for me, 3 gig was not enough, 10 was way more than I needed, so if I were doing it now, I'd probably do the 6 gig for $40.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:06 PM   #40
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The only thing you have to watch with ATT, Verizon, and Sprint is that they themselves are offering a hybrid approach, to my knowledge, of pay as you go. The satellite companies that use their towers offer the real savings. You can find these companies and what parent towers/network they use and save some money. Pay as you go should not have vacation or startup fees.

I know that straight talk data plan uses Verizon or ATT (depending on the equipment you buy) network and charges mthly on their accounts for up to 2GB. The 4 and 5 GB are 60 day accounts then you refill as needed. The straight talk is 5gb for 60 days@ $50. There are no fees.

Internet on the Go is a full pay as you go data plan so there is no expiration on your prepaid minutes. They use Sprint. It is $45 for 3GB with no expiration.

So, it all depends on how regular you are in use and quantity of data. I get a monthly emailing on prepaid. It is constantly changing. Here is a link to some interesting info.:

http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011...and-plans.html

Here is one on the data plans (a table mind you!)

http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011...-compared.html

One I just noticed that offers faster speeds but at a min of $48/year fee is Freedom Pop
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:58 PM   #41
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See this very entertaining article on Riveted about satellite - been there, done that....

Getting Connected - Riveted

As for me, I picked a variant on option #4,:Verizon USB modem with external antenna, plugged into a PepWave Surf to Go access point. But JetPack is very attractive too. I chose the modem because I didn't need to sign a 2 year contract.
OK, I bear my technically challenged soul with this question.....but we are exploring the various options for portable internet to use on the road.

It appears Verizon now has month to month plans available for about $60/month for 3 GB with no contract...utilizing the JetPak. We would only use the data for email and some limited surfing...such as checking options for campgrounds on the road....no movie streaming.

My question revolves around the JetPak....would it work as well as the PepWave? The JetPak does not come with an antenna, I assume one would be desirable?

Would appreciate your input if you have experience with the two systems. Thanks in advance. Tom
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:30 PM   #42
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Smile mobile internet

I have verizon jet pak also called mifi $49.99 per mo. for 5gb overage is $10 per gb. I have not found any spot where it does not work. We run 2 laptops and desk top at same time w/out any prob. My wife works in legal field of spec. education so must have coverage. She has used inside of A.S. w/out any external antenna or power boosters w/out loss of signal, works for us. Bill
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