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Old 04-01-2012, 10:26 AM   #43
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To answer your question zigidachs, the batwing power must be energized in order to send power up the cable to the Sky. So yes, "green light must be on.." in order to use WiFi with the Sky, and thats been the issue with some cable hookups.

CrawfordGene, I'll build a schematic showing my cable switch, the injector, and how its ll hooked up and get posted....

Remember, depending upon your set-up, you may need to use the added amperage injector included with the Sky, but its an easy install. The goal is to keep people off ladders and not drilling holes...
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #44
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To answer your question zigidachs, the batwing power must be energized in order to send power up the cable to the Sky. So yes, "green light must be on.." in order to use WiFi with the Sky, and thats been the issue with some cable hookups.

CrawfordGene, I'll build a schematic showing my cable switch, the injector, and how its ll hooked up and get posted....

Remember, depending upon your set-up, you may need to use the added amperage injector included with the Sky, but its an easy install. The goal is to keep people off ladders and not drilling holes...
I like your goal, but I will have to use a ladder to get to the batwing antenna unless you supply pogo sticks too.

Sounds like there is no way around the cable TV problem unless I can bypass the TV antenna booster. This is a big issue for many of us.

Thanks for the schematic in advance.

I have scheduled a call with "Brian" for Wed. and hope he sees this thread and my e-mails to "Evan". Are you all the same guy?

Gene
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #45
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I had a Cradlepoint wifi router and Verizon PCIE 3g aircard. I used it for years and it worked very well. The wifi router had great range, quite a few campsites away under ideal circumstances.

I recently updated to a Motorola Droid 4 smartphone with built in wifi router, 4g. I used it for a brief trip recently.

Wireless wifi output range is much less than Cradlepoint, but sufficient for in trailer use.
4g is crisper and faster than 3g, noticeable on even web page loads, and very noticeable on file transfer. 4g coverage is spotty and limited to mainly urban areas.
Phone itself shows occasional signs of instability. When used as router, was generally stable for hours, but did suffer one disconnect.
I used to locate Cradlepoint/aircard for best reception, not always possible with phone. Sometimes I located it outside.

I updated mainly for the fact the entire package was about $10. month cheaper than carrying a standard phone and an aircard. I do enjoy the positives of having a smartphone, and the 4g speed.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:58 AM   #46
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I just talked to Brian from WFR. He was very helpful.

I had the whole idea of the Sky backwards or inside out or something. The box that mounts on the Winegard antenna is a wireless router. It, therefore, sends a wireless wifi signal into the trailer and anywhere nearby that has the password. It does not send the wifi signal it picks up from a campground down the coaxial cable.

The coaxial cable is attached to it and the Winegard with a supplied splitter. The only reason for this is to get the 12 v. that the antenna booster switch sends up to the Winegard antenna. I assume the actual TV antenna booster is mounted on the Winegard antenna and when you push the button inside, it powers the booster which must be located on the antenna. That is the only reason to send 12 v. to the roof. I always thought the actual TV booster was behind the wall plate with the switch and green light.

I was told WFR includes a work around kit if you have problems with cable reception and it sends a separate 12 v. up the cable without, apparently, activating the Winegard booster.

The WFR Pro is no longer sold, but it appears the features of it have been absorbed into the Sky. There is a Mobile product, but that one has to be hard wired into the RV. A metal box which is the antenna attaches to something outside and a cable has to be brought into the RV somewhere. I believe the router is inside and is not wireless.

I asked whether they could build a unit that does both cell and wifi. The answer was they are different technologies and incompatible. I figured that, but if they can get the technology into a phone, it has to be small and should be able to use some of the same box and antenna and wireless booster. This seems like an opportunity for an entrepreneur—get WFR and a cell booster company to work together and blow away the competition.

The WFR Sky is innovative. I assume they used the coax for the wifi signal, but they use it for power only. I doubt I could have thought of that. Usually an external antenna is nothing more. Maybe it helps that Kelly, the guy who posts as WifiRanger, owns an Airstream and none of us want to drill a hole in an Airstream roof.

This is a small company in Idaho (I think it is near Boise) and they seem very involved and willing to help customers.

I am inclined to buy this, but my wife has to approve a $250 expenditure.

Brian sent me a video and some other information and I'll have to look those over too.

I hope this helps. I may find out how the work-around works in looking at the info sent to me. I can kind of imagine how the work-around operates, but really am not very clear on that.

Gene
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #47
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I am also trying to decide which WiFi and cellular mobile broadband device(s) to purchase. So far, I am leaning toward the Pepwave Surf OTG (On-the-Go). For those interested, 3gGtore.com has the following videos on YouTube, which demonstrate the device:

3gStore comparison of CTR35, Pepwave Surf Mini and WiFiRanger:
WiFi Shootout: CTR35 vs. WiFi Ranger vs. Pepwave Surf Mini - 3Gstore.com - YouTube

3gStore review of Pepwave Surf OTG (On-the-Go)
Pepwave Surf OTG - 3GStore Review - YouTube

Is anyone currently using the Pepwave OTG, or seen one actually in use?

Note: I have a Verizon/Novatel 727 cellular modem (a USB device that has never been used), which I intend to plug into the PepWave OTG when we do not have access to campground WiFi.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #48
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The mud is starting to settle.

This is beginning to sound so simple we should have understood how it worked right from the start.

I would like to try the SKY but I also find the cost a bit on the high side. Maybe they could give us Airstream Owners the President's Day discount that was offered recently, and I would order one today.

The PepWave is also of interest and I will have to do more research on that. The link on their site will not show price.

Dave


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I just talked to Brian from WFR. He was very helpful.



I hope this helps. I may find out how the work-around works in looking at the info sent to me. I can kind of imagine how the work-around operates, but really am not very clear on that.

Gene
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #49
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Yes, cost is a factor. The "Presidents' Day" sale extended until a week or two ago. The WFR Sky was $200 and they included a 2nd router (I guess it is the original router) for use at home. It is hard to forget that. Now it is $250 for the Sky alone.

If I knew then what I know now, maybe I would have jumped on it. But it has taken a while to get all this straightened out in my mind and I guess others too.

So perhaps Kelly, fellow Airstream owner and WFR inventor, should give us a special price. Maybe a Pre-Presidents' Day 2013 for Airstreamers Sale starting now. What do you say Kelly?

Gene
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #50
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One point of clarification: The Sky requires the batwing TV antenna, right? (We have the older "crank up and forget it when you leave the campsite" antenna style.)
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:54 PM   #51
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It might be adaptable to other ones so long as you can get 12 v. to the Sky router. Check with WFR.

Gene
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:08 PM   #52
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It might be adaptable to other ones so long as you can get 12 v. to the Sky router. Check with WFR.
Or I could be an idiot - I'm not sure what the "batwing antenna" is. If it's this, then that's exactly what we have.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #53
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Skater, I hate to tell you this, but I believe "this" to be the batwing.

Gene
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:33 AM   #54
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Yes, cost is a factor. The "Presidents' Day" sale extended until a week or two ago. The WFR Sky was $200 and they included a 2nd router (I guess it is the original router) for use at home. It is hard to forget that. Now it is $250 for the Sky alone.

If I knew then what I know now, maybe I would have jumped on it. But it has taken a while to get all this straightened out in my mind and I guess others too.

So perhaps Kelly, fellow Airstream owner and WFR inventor, should give us a special price. Maybe a Pre-Presidents' Day 2013 for Airstreamers Sale starting now. What do you say Kelly?

Gene
I say that sounds like a good idea! Of course there's all those sales and marketing suits that I have to deal with.

Let me get an "AIRSTREAM" coupon code up this week for a great discount. I'll get it valid on Friday for an Sky, and an included WFR Pro indoor unit as well. I'll post here the deal.

Also, on the 3Gstore "shootout" there are some real issues with what they did. The PepWave OTG is a good product, but the problem they made was that they tested the WFR in the middle of the other units, without powering down the outer units. Imagine stnding in the middle of two people talking to each other, and trying to listen to someone 10 feet away. We plan to do our own shootout soon, and with The Sky mounted outside, we anticipate a significant different result.

If others have questions, let me know. I'll jump on getting them answered.

PS. Evan, Brian, David, and Kelly are not the same human. (Thank Goodness!) None of us would want to be any of the others!
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:23 AM   #55
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Skater, I hate to tell you this, but I believe "this" to be the batwing.

Gene
No, it's fine! For some reason I didn't think of that being a batwing antenna - I thought "batwing" referred to one of those fixed antennas kind of like you see on limos sometimes. Since your trailers were newer, I just assumed they were using a different antenna. Anyway, this is one case where I'm happy to be wrong.

Now my wife is very interested, too. Unfortunately, we're trying to save up for some things, and we recently had to replace a car well before we planned, so I'm not sure if we can talk ourselves into it. Still, it would be nice...

Another question: Does it need another router inside? Or does the router on the roof do everything? (Edit: Ooops, I think I see that answer now: Broadcasts 1x Private / 1x Public. So, yes, it can work solo.)
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #56
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My understanding is that all you need is the router on the Winegard antenna. You will have to use a password to keep that guy in the MH next to you from latching onto it. If you get the
Mobile, you will get better range because it is not transmitting through the roof, but is hard wired and has the router inside. But the Sky claims about .47 mile—how much do you need?

When you use your computer or other device, I believe you will get a box on the screen showing you which wifi signals are available, their strength, whether they need passwords and such. I think you can pick the one you want. Apple products give you some of this info from their antennas, but this should be more thorough.

There is the law of diminishing returns. CG's only have so much bandwidth and it seems those closest to the CG antenna get the best reception. The guys with the best boosters are going to get a bigger piece of the bandwidth until everyone has a booster and everyone is back where they were. Some companies that supply the equipment to CG's (Tengo for ex.) restrict bandwidth a lot and no amount of booster may help that much. Tengo is all over the west coast now and I always make a point to express my disappointment to a CG when they have that. Usually I can't upload photos until late at night or before dawn or maybe in the middle of the day; sometimes at Tengo wifi places I can't even get a weather map, map to somewhere I am going and many other websites. It works fairly well for e-mail and not much more if a lot of people are using it at once.

A booster will help and not everyone will get one. The future should have a system of universal wifi, but we are far from getting that. Efforts to bring that to some cities failed several years ago. The best we are getting are expensive cell data plans.

Gene
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