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Old 03-09-2019, 03:11 PM   #113
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Again I agree. There may be situations (like my friend's) that this feature is useful, but 99% of the time, it just gets in the way of the cell side of WiFi. I believe a better approach would be to make the WiFi as Wan optional and turned off as the default. When a customer calls support about getting WiFi from the campground, turn it on for him. Why this works so well is that Airstream will never receive that call.


Have to say I agree with your logic of having wan turned off as default. Really doesn’t make sense to have wan turned “on” as a default when you have unlimited data plan.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:33 PM   #114
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Peplink flaw / the answer, finally!

I have the answer for you! In a discussion on the Mobile internet Resource center and gentleman chimed in a few minutes ago with the reason why the Wifi WAN seems to work in a campground with good wifi and in my case, with no WIFI, it interfered with the Cell side.

This is the documented proof that the Peplink has a flaw in the way it handles the "campground" feature. Without control over the Peplink modem, we cannot turn the feature off. This is also the reason why everyone should have Airstream turn off the feature.

I will let him explain:

Peplink does have one big flaw with their WiFi Wan and I have brought this up before with Peplink when I discovered it on my SOHO over a year ago.

When WiFi wan is enabled but it cannot find a network to connect to it will scan for one every few seconds, in order to scan the radio goes into promiscuous mode for a short time. During the scan it cannot serve LAN traffic, this ends up causing about 10% packet loss.

On a Peplink you must be able to disable WiFi wan if not connected to a network. I use their iOS app to do so before leaving a campground.

they could improve the situation by changing the scan interval to minutes rather than seconds, or better yet have a setting to adjust which I believe Cradlepoint does.

Dual radios is the best of course. In the airstream they should have paired with a indoor access point due to metal skin.

This is what the packet loss looks like, the first half is with WiFi WAN enabled but no network found and scanning, the second half is WiFi WAN disabled:
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:41 PM   #115
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I did not reveal the name of the gentleman who gave me the data as I have not spoken to him yet. I'm sure it will be fine but I just want to be sure. I am not taking credit for his finding!

When testing the peplink using my Google home, I discovered a "pulsing" dropout where the home would disappear every 2 seconds. This explains the pattern. It made no sense at the time but makes a lot of sense now. I believe I talked about it here when it happened in the other thread "Flight of the Airstreamer".
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Old 03-16-2019, 08:43 PM   #116
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Thanks for the info Turk! This is good to know. I’m not a tech expert but this seems logical and pretty easy to follow along.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:49 AM   #117
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Here is a bit of more information:

Just want to make this clear there is no real firmware fix, there is simply no way around the scanning issue with a single radio no matter who makes it. The problem is Peplink decided that scanning every few seconds was a good setting, and honestly I see no reason why, if your wifi network goes down then comes back it will connect back quickly but meanwhile your getting significant packet loss while its not there, if it where say a minute between scans yes you would lose a few packets once a minute, probably never notice and your wifi network reconnects a minute slower big deal. Better yet be able to adjust, go to 5 minutes or 10.

Really though Airstream made a poor design decision regardless IMHO, even without the scan issue they should have added an internal WIFi AP to account for the metal skin especially for the price tag.


Although the antenna is outside, the signal is very strong inside. I think Airstream made the right decision as we do spend a lot of time outside our trailer.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #118
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Airstream made the decision to go with the single band radio probably because someone at Frontier Computing or Peplink said this would work for them. Airstream found out later that they had a problem. They now are committed to the product now and are looking for a workaround. JH said, there is no fix and no way around the scanning issue. Increasing the interval will improve it though.

Airstream is certainly looking at new equipment for the future. A dual band modem such as the new Peplink BR1 mk2 would be a better choice. It is not just that it has both 2GHZ & 5 GHz frequencies, but that in the router firmware you can prioritize which channel is used by the Cell side and the campground wifi side. 2GHz travels further and is perfect for campground WiFi. The 5GHz in or near the trailer will double the speed. By using two radios you don't have the problem of "searching" that they have now. If Airstream would have known the issues up front (and they did not), I bet they would have opted for the dual band.

I believe they should address this, especially with new dealer installs. The Br1 Mk2 is $200 more in price. Since it would not involve the Czone system technology, it could be incorporated pretty easily in an existing trailer.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:11 AM   #119
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A little birdie told me that Colonial is using a price of $2000 for the Connect system and install. Watch for others to follow.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:03 AM   #120
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New “Airstream Connected” LTE-WiFi Dealer Installed

In the end I decided not to move forward with the Airstream Connect plan / peplink equipment. The largest attraction by far was the AT&T plan itself - unlimited data, no throttling and no network management. The trifecta unicorn!

The downside was the mandated hardware and installation, and locked out BR1 Mk2. (I really just wanted access to the plan / SIM card so I could deploy hardware of my choosing).

I ended up moving forward with the Verizon Pre-paid plan with unlimited data, no throttling, but has network management at all times. The hardware is the current generation inseego 8800L - manufactured jetpack, a category 18 LTE device with 4x4 internal MIMO antennas and ability to plug into an external 2x2 MIMO antenna. For the exterior antenna I am using a netgear directional 2x2 MIMO based on the recommendations and testing at rvmobileinternet.com (rather than omni-directional roof-mount MIMO) that I can manually aim at the tower and then stick to the window accordingly.

For secure LAN and WIFI-WAN functions I am using my existing pepwave SOHO MKIII router with 3x3 WiFi MIMO antennas which is fixed to the front window of my unit behind the curtain. I can tether the jetpack via USB or use WIFI-WAN to connect, depending on where it is located in the trailer.

This Jetpack is latest generation LTE wireless hardware, supports an incredible range of cellular bands, carrier aggregation, 5Ghz wifi and supports theoretical wireless speeds in excess of 1 Gb/s.

Thus far, I have been very pleased with the throughput and speed, and I have not seen network management come into play as of yet, after 2 weeks of testing. I have used about 30 gigs of data thus far testing, including streaming of 5 simultaneous HD screens.

Total hardware investment was $250 after taxes (not including my SOHO which I already had, and bought used for $120), and the Verizon plan was $65/month.

In the event I cannot get signal via the Jetpack (using internal or external antennas), I have a fixed Weebost in the trailer with omni-directional exterior antenna that can be leveraged if needed.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:20 AM   #121
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In the end I decided not to move forward with the Airstream Connect plan / peplink equipment. The largest attraction by far was the AT&T plan itself - unlimited data, no throttling and no network management. The trifecta unicorn!

The downside was the mandated hardware and installation, and locked out BR1. (I really just wanted access to the plan / SIM card).

I ended up moving forward with the Verizon Pre-paid plan with unlimited data, no throttling, but has network management at all times. the hardware is the current generation inseego 8800L - manufactured jetpack, a category 18 device with 4x4 internal MIMO antennas and ability to plug into an external 2x2 MIMO antenna. For the latter I am using a netgear directional 2x2 MIMO (rather than omni-directional roof-mount MIMO) that I can manually aim at the tower and then stick to the window accordingly.

For LAN and WIFI-WAN I am using a pepwave SOHO MKIII router with 3x3 MIMO with is fixed to the front window of my unit behind the curtain. I can tether the jetpack via USB or use WIFI-WAN to connect, depending on where it is located int he trailer.

This Jetpack is latest generation wireless, supports an incredible range of cellular bands, carrier aggregation, 5Ghz wifi and supports theoretical wireless speeds in excess of 1 Gb/s.

Thus far, I have been very pleased with the throughput and speed, and I have not seen network management come into play as of yet, after 2 weeks of testing. Hav used about 30 gigs of data thus far testing, including streaming of 5 simultaneous HD screens.

Total hardware investment was $250 after taxes, and the plan was $65/month.

In the event I cannot get signal via the Jetpack (using internal or external antennas), I have a fixed Weebost in the trailer with omni-directional exterior antenna that can be leveraged if needed.

Looks like you are getting great results with the system. It also will take advantage of a few "newer" cell features that the older Peplink does not have. The only drawback is the higher cost over 5 years.

Airstream is $30/month $360 year. $1800 for 5 years plus $2000 install - add second wireless router $79 for a total $3879/5 yrs.

Your system is $65/month $780 year. $3900 of for 5 years plus $250 hardware - total $4150/5 yrs.

The big advantage is that your equipment can be moved to another trailer if need be or a cabin, hotel room or even home. I used 5 years thinking technology will change during that time.

A great alternative at relatively the same price and giving you full control of the system. If unlimited data plans start to get competitive, you will be far ahead of the curve.
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:04 PM   #122
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I just got the Verizon hotspot too and the prepaid unlimited (thanks, @Wulfraat), having recently passed on the AS/ATT Connect system as well. A few advantages for me:

I don’t full-time. This year and maybe next we’ll be on extended trips (several months) but we spend most of our time at home. So being able to stop and start the plan AND have unlimited data when it is on will be very useful. I realize Connect system has an as-you-go plan too but it is capped. I’m locked into my phone plan for all sorts of reasons (I get fiber internet from AT&T as well), so it’s nice to not be locked into something else I won’t be using 75% of the year.

Also, I can swap my ATT phone with the Verizon hotspot if I’m in a place where either one of the carriers has bad signal or if for whatever reason I need to spread bandwidth use across accounts/lines.

I’m running a SureCall booster and a WiFi Ranger, the latter mostly just to consolidate and simplify the network connection. It’s all wired to 12V so I don’t need to run the inverter either.

But in all seriousness, after 25 years of working in software and design, I’m looking forward to spending most of my time on adventures that don’t involve the Internet at all.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:10 AM   #123
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Great recent updates . . . thanks everyone.

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Old 03-19-2019, 06:44 AM   #124
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A little birdie told me that Colonial is using a price of $2000 for the Connect system and install. Watch for others to follow.
Not sure who your little birdie is. When I called Colonial they quoted $1450. They were actually the lowest price of the dealers I called. Airstream of Tampa did quote $1999. They were the absolute highest. Most I talked to were in the middle and rather than a set price wanted to charge parts ($999.99) and labor by the hour. After the dealers do a few installs I expect pricing to settle out. I'm going to wait and let them learn and figure things out on someone else's trailer.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:27 PM   #125
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Not sure who your little birdie is. When I called Colonial they quoted $1450. They were actually the lowest price of the dealers I called. Airstream of Tampa did quote $1999. They were the absolute highest. Most I talked to were in the middle and rather than a set price wanted to charge parts ($999.99) and labor by the hour. After the dealers do a few installs I expect pricing to settle out. I'm going to wait and let them learn and figure things out on someone else's trailer.

Thanks,

Steve

I talked to Colonial today and also was quoted $1450 for equipment and labor.
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Old 03-20-2019, 02:02 PM   #126
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I talked to Colonial today and also was quoted $1450 for equipment and labor.
I just shot that lying bird! .

I would also think that every trailer has its own difficulties for the install. $500 seems plenty if Airstream has developed a repeatable procedure.
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