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Old 03-29-2012, 05:49 AM   #29
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #30
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This "SKY" sounds interesting. I presume it is necessary to direct the antenna to find the strongest signal? or is the antenna direction of no importance?
Does the SKY just act as the repeater station, or does the tv coaxial cable play a part (besides power) in the signal amplification?
If the SKY is just a repeater station, then it could be powered by any tv signal amplifier?? which would allow normal cable tv reception if wanted.
The amplifiers are inexpensive to buy and it would just be the coax cable to run to the placement of the SKY.

Dave

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Originally Posted by Zigidachs View Post
Two options seem reasonable based on rec's from others and the site link posted above:

1) The WiFi Ranger "Sky" + the WiFi Ranger ( not the Pro)
Advantages: easy to install on bat wing antenna, wireless to the WFR inside your AS, no need to run "hard wire" into your AS.
Disadvantages: does not allow the "boost" feature for reception. So number of WiFi spots may be more limited without the boost feature. Must use the "boost" feature from the over air antenna for the signal---would eliminate watching TV thru the cable connection, unless you have a split option which we do not have as a standard.
Cost: about 250.00

Zigi
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #31
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I decided I'd get old and grey if I waited 'til I found The Perfect Solution to my connectedness situation. I don't plan to do too much boondocking in the near future, I have AT&T iPad and iPhone service, long story as to why hotspotting off the iPhone is not going to work until I get a new iPad/AT&T does the hotspot service with the iPad, and J has to have reliable and fast-ish service for work, so I've bought (for now) a Cradlepoint CTR35 (refurbished off Amazon), and purchased a Virgin modem (on the Sprint network, and which is what I'm running off of as I type), and will also be getting a Verizon modem (probably from Millinium) and possibly an AT&T modem.

I figure that way I will generally be able to find signal for J (if there's any at all to be found), should have more than enough data service with the ability to buy more if we need it, and can do it all PAYG, so I don't lose my shirt when I don't need the modems and can survive on the AT&T signal and my mobile devices.

Am going to see whether I need a signal booster; will be trying the whole "system" out on this trip to the West Coast in a few days.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
This "SKY" sounds interesting. I presume it is necessary to direct the antenna to find the strongest signal? or is the antenna direction of no importance?
Does the SKY just act as the repeater station, or does the tv coaxial cable play a part (besides power) in the signal amplification?
If the SKY is just a repeater station, then it could be powered by any tv signal amplifier?? which would allow normal cable tv reception if wanted.
The amplifiers are inexpensive to buy and it would just be the coax cable to run to the placement of the SKY.

Dave
I have some e-mails from the WifiRanger people and am trying to translate them into English. I'll have to call them eventually. But, here is what I think I understand:

The antenna for the Ranger Sky and some other models, but not all, attaches to the Winegard antenna. All you have to do, I guess, it raise the antenna. Maybe you don't have to do that, but elevation always helps.

The TV and Ranger share the coaxial cable. I think the e-mails say it does not interfere with cable TV reception. I do not understand whether the Ranger works better with the antenna booster is on. I know you can send multiple signals down a wire and each signal can be received by different devices, so that is not a problem.

That is all I can figure out so far. I am completely confused by LTE's (I thought that meant "letter to the editor"), DFW ("Dallas Fort Worth") and HSPA+.

Gene
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #33
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Maybe I am making it complicated just because I have not thought about this much.
1) Is the coaxle cable to the Wingard powered? of just a signal carrier and then amplified at the power box. ( I'm thinking now it is not powered to the antenna. Correct my if I am wrong.
2) So if the SKY is not powered, but only the signal is amplified at the power box, then the amplifier would have to be on?
3) I don't think my cable TV runs thru the power amplifier, so it should not effect it if the amplifier is on. Mine runs thru a selector box that you pick your signal source.

This SKY sounds like it would be a good addition with minimal installation hassle.

Dave


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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I have some e-mails from the WifiRanger
people and am trying to translate them into English. I'll have to call them eventually. But, here is what I think I understand:

The antenna for the Ranger Sky and some other models, but not all, attaches to the Winegard antenna. All you have to do, I guess, it raise the antenna. Maybe you don't have to do that, but elevation always helps.

The TV and Ranger share the coaxial cable. I think the e-mails say it does not interfere with cable TV reception. I do not understand whether the Ranger works better with the antenna booster is on. I know you can send multiple signals down a wire and each signal can be received by different devices, so that is not a problem.

That is all I can figure out so far. I am completely confused by LTE's (I thought that meant "letter to the editor"), DFW ("Dallas Fort Worth") and HSPA+.

Gene
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I have some e-mails from the WifiRanger people and am trying to translate them into English. I'll have to call them eventually. But, here is what I think I understand:

The antenna for the Ranger Sky and some other models, but not all, attaches to the Winegard antenna. All you have to do, I guess, it raise the antenna. Maybe you don't have to do that, but elevation always helps.

The TV and Ranger share the coaxial cable. I think the e-mails say it does not interfere with cable TV reception. I do not understand whether the Ranger works better with the antenna booster is on. I know you can send multiple signals down a wire and each signal can be received by different devices, so that is not a problem.

That is all I can figure out so far. I am completely confused by LTE's (I thought that meant "letter to the editor"), DFW ("Dallas Fort Worth") and HSPA+.

Gene
The WFR Sky connects to the bat wing antenna of the AS as illustrated in the previously posted videos. The WFR connection is directly to the cabling into the AS from the TV bat wing antenna. To receive the antenna signal from the WFR, if I understand the process correctly, one MUST use the booster mechanism inside the AS as one would use to receive the "over the air TV" signals. HOWEVER, if you use that booster switch, you will not be able to receive a clean signal from the cable connection in the RV CG.

The reception is more limited with the WFR as opposed to the WFR Pro. The WFR Pro CAN be connected to the "BOOSTER" antenna designed for the WRF Pro, but involves running a cable into the AS itself, which then connects to the WFR router. With the "Pro", you can receive WiFi signals via the router, NOT have to use the "over the air TV" booster, and can also watch cable TV with a clean signal.

Trade offs everywhere. Personally I do not want to have to deal with the hassle of running a cable into our AS. If we opt for the "Sky" option, (much easier to connect, but has many more limitations in terms of access to WiFi connections)--- I can see conflict if I am "busy" surfing on the net, as I am want to do, while my co-pilot wants to watch TV via the cable connection, but cannot because I am on the web and have to use the TV "booster" .

So I believe that the WFR Pro, and the accompanying "booster" module may be the best of the best options.

The only other question I have is the transmission rates and connectivity for the "hot spot" on the cell phones for to the computer, and if the WFR enhances the reception...I don't believe it does, but not certain.

How then does one connect to a WiFi when boon docking and without having access to a WiFi signal, and thus the only other connection would be the "hot spot" on the cell phone? (The AS skin seems to really limit quality of the cell phone reception inside the unit itself.)

Thanks for this forum. It really helps to think through this process by writing about the problems and potential solutions.

Thoughts??????? Zigi
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:39 PM   #35
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Zigi, I think you understand it better than I. I too don't want to run another cable, but may have to—down the fridge vent and then into the trailer is the best way I think. This, of course, only works when there is wifi nearby. A cellphone or a data plan on a computer may need a cell booster and paying for a plan, and that is another confusing and expensive story.

Wifi Ranger tells me their setup is of no use for cell signals. Why they can't build a combination unit is beyond me, but they don't.

I have to get around to speaking to Wifi Ranger people on then phone, but you have make an appointment and that is a pain. Only on the phone can I get info that I can understand when questioning the tech, I hope.

Gene
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #36
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This is the response I got from Wifi Ranger about the cable connection and the antenna booster. I can't say I understand it.

"The WiFiRanger Sky does not affect the TV, as the Coax going up to the Winegard Batwing antenna is downstream of the wall plate. With the Retrofit Kit, you can run the WiFiRanger Sky / Batwing while simultaneously watching Cable TV. This is because most wall plates will switch the antenna off when in Cable mode, but with the Retrofit Kit, you can switch it into Cable mode while also having straight 12V bypassing the wall plate and going up the Coax to the Sky."

Maybe if I look at the trailer this will make sense. Maybe the Airstream is wired differently. If you intercept the wifi signal before the antenna booster, I guess it works. Without going out to the trailer, it seems the coax goes to the back of the wall plate with the antenna booster button, but I may have forgotten what is back there.

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Old 03-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
This is the response I got from Wifi Ranger about the cable connection and the antenna booster. I can't say I understand it.

"The WiFiRanger Sky does not affect the TV, as the Coax going up to the Winegard Batwing antenna is downstream of the wall plate. With the Retrofit Kit, you can run the WiFiRanger Sky / Batwing while simultaneously watching Cable TV. This is because most wall plates will switch the antenna off when in Cable mode, but with the Retrofit Kit, you can switch it into Cable mode while also having straight 12V bypassing the wall plate and going up the Coax to the Sky."

Maybe if I look at the trailer this will make sense. Maybe the Airstream is wired differently. If you intercept the wifi signal before the antenna booster, I guess it works. Without going out to the trailer, it seems the coax goes to the back of the wall plate with the antenna booster button, but I may have forgotten what is back there.

Gene
HI Gene,
Perhaps I am in error, but I thought that one had to have the "booster" setting to "ON" when using the WFR Sky. If that is the case then we can't watch cable TV. I was embarrassed about this topic in a CG where I complained about the TV cable connection and low and behold it was my fault because I had the booster turned on...red faced. At least I didn't make a fool of my self when I "gently" complained.

The other question tho, is whether the Sky will really work that well. The Sky uses only the WFR and not the Pro...which is much better in pulling in signals from about 3000 feet away ( with the booster module)!!!!! That (!) should cover most CG's!

Most of the time we are in a CG or in a spot close to Starbucks etc, where there is a free WiFi signal. That's why I am inclined to go with the "Pro".

Do you know of any device that will "boost" the reception of a cell phone....e.g. "hot spot" for connection to WiFi service? I cancelled my "card" b/c I was being charged 60/mo with a contract, and on the road about 120 days a year. Not worth it. Still I had trouble with reception using the card.

I'll keep researching.....and you do so too, my friend....Zigi
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:18 PM   #38
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HI Gene,
Perhaps I am in error, but I thought that one had to have the "booster" setting to "ON" when using the WFR Sky. If that is the case then we can't watch cable TV.

The other question tho, is whether the Sky will really work that well. The Sky uses only the WFR and not the Pro...which is much better in pulling in signals from about 3000 feet away ( with the booster module)!!!!!

Do you know of any device that will "boost" the reception of a cell phone....e.g. "hot spot" for connection to WiFi service?
We are all confused. I think that WFR said the Sky would work, but maybe I am mistaken. The idea, as I understood it, was that the wifi signal was intercepted before the TV antenna booster, so it doesn't have to be on. The WFR devices that attach to the Winegard antenna have an adapter that splits with one connection to the Winegard and one to the WFR antenna mounted on it. The signals of both travel down the coaxial cable into the trailer.

In our trailer, a coaxial cable comes through the partition next to the fridge and plugs into the antenna booster. Perhaps that is where you connect a splitter that goes to the wifi booster. One coaxial cable comes out the wall behind the TV and that one will supply cable or air (boosted if the switch is on). The other leg would go to the TV antenna booster. This would solve the antenna booster issue. The WFR booster would plug into the 12 v. plug at the antenna booster plate for power. After the antenna booster, the coax must split again to provide a signal to the antenna connection in the bedroom. A cable comes out of the wall behind the TV to send a signal to the TV. I wish I could see the wiring behind the partition through the fridge compartment, but without removing a lot of things, I can't. That would give me a better idea of how the wiring works. I use a splitter behind the TV because it has separate coax connections for air and cable. The more splitters, the more degradation in the signal I believe, but I haven't seen a problem with the splitter I installed. If you intercept the Winegard cable before the TV antenna booster, the whole thing seems simple. It seems to me the radio antenna would be another way to get a signal inside, but it may be the wrong length (see below).

The Sky and the Pro cost the same, so it is a question of picking the best one.

I have seen lots of cell boosters on the internet, but don't know anything more.

For both, there are interior high gain antennas that plug into the computer or somehow get a signal to a phone. Different phones have different connections. The iPad must have a wireless connection so far as I know. Some have a booster (electronic), some don't.

External antennas (antennae if you suffered through Latin) have to be either wireless or use a cable to get a signal inside. The cabled ones use a booster inside and a wireless or USB connection inside. The ones without a cable, transmit from a wireless booster outside presumably powered by batteries. Magnets seem to be the way the exterior antennas with wireless booster attach to the trailer. You have to mount is high to get better reception and remember to remove it before you drive off.

So far as I can tell, the only difference between wifi and cell systems are they receive different frequencies and either use a better antenna than you have on a computer or phone, maybe boost the signals, and find a way to your computer or cellphone by wire or wireless.

Of course, the antenna has to work with the length of the signal wave. Longer waves work best with a antenna that is the same length or either half or a quarter or a multiple—something like that. Maybe the law of harmonics explains it—that's beyond me and I don't know that law. The difference between cell and wifi signal systems may be simply that the antenna size is very different. This does not seem insurmountable to me, but I don't really know.

Gene
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #39
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Do you know of any device that will "boost" the reception of a cell phone....e.g. "hot spot" for connection to WiFi service? I cancelled my "card" b/c I was being charged 60/mo with a contract, and on the road about 120 days a year. Not worth it. Still I had trouble with reception using the card.
I use a Wilson Electronics outside antenna with my Verizon USB-720 wireless modem and it can make the difference between "no service" and fairly decent service.

Wilson also makes a wide range of cell phone repeater/amplifiers for weak cell phone signal applications.
Cell Phone Signal Boosters and Antennas at Wilson Electronics - Wilson Electronics Inc.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:21 AM   #40
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Hi All..

Let me try to clarify how the SKY/WFR Pro work with the cable setup. I'll use bullets to make it quick and simple. I'm the guy in the video.

1) WFR Sky uses the Batwing and the Coax cable as a mount and power feed only. No signal goes "down" the cable, we simply leach 12Vdc out of the cable to power the SKY.
2) The SKY is not directional. Will work up/down on batwing.
3) Watching Over The Air while the SKY is on works fine. Infact, the SKY powers on whenever the booster is powered on.
4) Watching cable while the SKY is on is doable, but depends on your coaches wiring. Some cable TV feeds/distributions are isolated from the Winegard by a switch, or the actual controller itself. Many variations, but a sure fire way to resolve is to put in a $15 cable/OTA switch which solves the problem if you have it.
5) The SKY does nothing for boosting cell signals. Different frequencies and lots of good Wilson products for that.
6) When no WiFi exists, one can connect the SKY to their Hotspot on their phone, and then stay connected to the SKYs wireless network.
7) Using a SKy/Pro together gives added functionality, like LAN ports (wired devices) and a USB port inside the coach for connecting USB 3/4G modems.
8) The SKY has demonstrated pulling in WiFi up to 3/4 mile away, but that also depends upon the other side of the equation (the transmitting access point)
9) Sky owners connect all their devices to the Skys private, WPA network, and then have it negotiate the connection to the incomiing WiFi signal. This simplifies thing dramatically, (ever tried to program a TV to get WiFi for streaming with a remote control?? Once is enough....) and once set up you leave things set up that way.

The entire design of the Sky was one thing. Simple Install. If you ever have tried to put a cable in an Airstream, after the fact, you are up for a job. The only real place to bring one down is the 3" wall typically near the tank vents, and then there's barriers in the way. So...

If you are a Park type traveler, then the Sky alone will work well. It will give you 5 bars in your coach, on your own network which you dont have to change every park, and give you the added ability to use the raised batwing to get your Sky up and pull in WiFi from the parks system.

Hope this helps, and if not, what kind of videos would explain things better? We're doing several right now and maybe we can add some topics.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:55 AM   #41
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Thanks for the post Ranger. A wiring diagram specific to Airstreams would be a great help. I tried to explain the wiring I could see in my trailer and am unclear how I can attach the Sky in the system I have to ensure I could watch cable at the same time the Sky is operating. And, how does the Pro differ?

I appreciate the attempt to allow easy installation. Many of us are trying to figure out how to run (or not run) cable into the trailer, so a system using the TV coaxial cable certainly simplifies that issue, but how to connect a unit to the existing wiring is the question.

This gets a little bit easier to understand over time.

Gene
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:54 PM   #42
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Great response! Thank you Ranger. The Sky appears to be an easy and reliable solution for CG's.

Question: when watching TV "over the air" , one must activate the "booster" function on the inside panel in the AS ( to use my grandson's language: the little green light comes on, papa) . If that booster button is not activated, does power still reach the bat wing to activate the Sky? That is the point of confusion in my head!

We ran wiring into our AS from a roof mounted Weingard Direct TV dish...works wonderfully BTW, and used the refer vents into the interior as with the cabling for the solar panel. Not an easy feat.

Thanks again, Ranger....now I have to decide btwn the Sky and the "booster" antenna/Pro combo for longer ranges......?
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