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Old 09-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #29
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What I have are two MBP's and I want to set up a WiFi network in the Airstream, similar to what we have in the house. I guess what we need is an external antenna, an amplifier, and a router that accepts a broadband card. There is no point in including the Airport Extreme, since we don't plan to include any shared peripherals....at least not at present.
Here is what we are considering:

https://www.maximumsignal.net/store/...2&cat=7&page=1

Any comments anyone?
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:09 PM   #30
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...We have been doing what you do...
warbler...

i stopped relying on the wifi thing 2 years back, after opting for an express 34 card and verizon.

of course i still use wifi when it's there and GOOD, but don't go out of the way looking for it, unless there is no cell signal.

since i don't carry a cell phone, and didn't have an account with any cellular vendor...

Vzw was the only company (at that time) willing to sell JUST the broadband card and service account.

after 10+ years of bad service related to cell phones, like almost everyone else,

i expected no better from vzw, but have been really pleased with coverage, service and data speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by warbler5 View Post
...What I have are two MBP's and an Airport Extreme (replaced in the house by a Time Capsule), and I want to set up a WiFi set-up in the Airstream, similar to what we have in the house. I guess what we need is an external antenna, an amplifier, and a router that accepts a broadband card. There is no point in including the Airport Extreme, since we don't plan to include any shared peripherals....at least not at preseny...
your equipment list, as described is pretty much exactly what's needed.

the challenge becomes WHICH broadband card (usb or express 34 pci) and vendor.

i'd get the aircard FIRST and just use it with the mbpros (card can be used in multiple 'puters)...

then add the antenna and signal amplifier, after being satisfied with the card and to expand signal strength some.

LASTLY i'd add the aircard capable router, and don't give up on using the base station yet....

there is a way to do this (in theory) and i'm going to test it in a few weeks....

basically it WILL (i hope) work like this....

1. insert aircard into mbpro #1 and get a signal then 'connect'
2. plug ethernet cable into mbpro #1 and into a powered up airport base station, placed near a window or outside the stream...
3. enable 'sharing' via either net in the 'systems preferences' menu on mbpro #1 ...
4. use mbpro #2 (or ANY wifi enabled pc or mac) to find the base station signal...

so IF this works there is no need to buy another router, i'll let ya know in a few weeks...

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:32 PM   #31
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I just had to chime in real quick here and say that we have had the Verizon card about a year and a half and have been all over the country with it in National Parks, rural Texas hill country and even tucked into a deep dark woodsy crevice in Big Sur, California and we have almost always been able to get online. Yes, sometimes it is sketchy but hey... that is usually when we are in the middle of nowhere and you would fully expect it to be sketchy. I am online all day every day and most nights too running our online business full time and we have never gone over and been charged any additional fees. It just does not seem to be such a complicated issue as it is being made out to be here! For the price I think it is an excellent opportunity to maintain an online presence on the road.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:42 PM   #32
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What silverpeanut said, only ours is an AT&T card.

Fast and good coverage. Unless you are gaming on line, or downloading whole movies, you will never download the max of 4GB per month.

Love it.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:50 PM   #33
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Ditto to what SilverPeanut said, except our carrier happens to be Alltel. We have been pleasantly surprised with the good connections we've been abot to maintain while on the road...we are in Anza-Borrego CA State Park right now and we have a very good connection...the park has WiFi (that you have to pay additional for) but we declined because our Alltel Axcess Broadband is so good. I often must work while on the road, and I am able to carry on normal business quite nicely, including file transfers, etc.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:55 PM   #34
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I love Anza-Borrego!

Yeah... while staying in Big Sur I remember people marveling at the fact that I was checking email. I mean granted, I had to go sit in the middle of the campground's basketball court to get signal but whatever! I was able to get my email and then go back to enjoying being somewhere my cell phone does not work! Noooooobody had to know that I could get calls in certain spots!

Anyway, I think it is just about keeping your expectations realistic. We have never been disappointed with our service.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:03 AM   #35
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I agree, been with Verizon 3 years, but one thing I do is bring it in and exchange it for a newer release about once a year.

It makes a big difference.

In fact I'm doing it today before we head to Topsail.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:10 AM   #36
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I had the AT&T Unlimited data plan (I don't think they're available any longer) using a Sierra 3G Aircard and it worked great for the first 60 days (the trial period where you can cancel the contract without any penalties) and then it slowed down considerably on the 62nd day after I was committed. It worked reasonably well for a year or so until the day that the 3G Ipods came out and then my connectivity and throughput went to hell (with NO changes at my end) and after two weeks of fighting a series of Indian chimps over the phone with no improvement (and I already had an external antenna connected to it so it wasn't a radio signal problem), I cancelled my contract with AT&T and I took the $175 hit for early cancellation. I even had an AT&T rep try to tell me that there wasn't anything wrong with their network and it was all at my end (hey I'm an IT guy - don't try and BS me), and I hung up leaving them with the closing statement that I wouldn't buy anything connected to AT&T ever again.

I agree with Mike Leary that there aren't any good deals.

If I weren't stationary, I'd install an external WiFi antenna that connects to my computer and I'd war drive with my trailer in tow looking for open hot spots when I needed to check my email or surf. I'd think that an AS rig parked for a while within range of a hot spot would be innocuous enough to not attract attention of the local 5-0 and run into Homeland Security laws against using them without permission.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #37
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As a matter of fact I am a fulltimer. I tried Verizon a year or so ago when they had a supposedly try it for a month free. Kept the unit for 27 days and during that time I had exactly 2 days when I was able to get good I-net service. Spent 5 days right next door to Charleston, SC and during the entire time I was there doubt I had 3 hours when I had even marginal service. To make a long story short I turned the stuff back in and after assuring me at the start that there would be absolutely no charge if it was turned back in before the month was up they then sent me a bill for 73 bucks. I called and talked to them and was told it would be taken care of but instead they turned it over to a collection agency - I told them that for the first time in my life I would not pay the bill and I haven't. As far as I'm concerned Verizon stinks and given my experience I have trouble believing some of the claims I hear from people about the great service. Don't get me wrong - I'm well aware that there is not 100% country wide coverage. But 5 days next to a city as big as Charleston and virtually no service - something is rotten in Verizon Land.
Be careful! At least in Wisconsin if you do not respond to the collection (not pay, just respond as a dispute) the debt is considered as good...I wonder how much our elected representative collected for that little favor. Also beware of the collection agency or verizon may put something on your credit references. Remember--if you think you need an attorney then you probably do need an attorney. When Charter did that to me we ended up in court. The judge read them the riot act and threatened them with criminal mischief punishments if they did not desist.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:31 PM   #38
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For what it's worth, internet and cell phones have become as necessary a utility as old fashioned phones are, but they cost much more and service is often bad. It's easy to talk about how good the free market is, but it's not working here. One of the things Obama has promised is far better internet availability and I hope it comes to pass. The US is pretty far down the list of countries with good broadband service.

When we travel, we have a Verizon phone which works in some places in the West, not others. It's kind of like land lines and electricity in the 1930's when much of rural America had neither. We look for campgrounds with WiFi, some of which say they have it, but it doesn't work well. Sometimes I have to take the laptop outside to get a connection. Verizon cell phones don't work in much of Canada because one of the dominant cell companies doesn't allow anyone else's phones to use their towers. Libraries are still a good backup in remote places, though I have managed to stay sane without an internet connection on my laptop for as much as 3 days. I don't know what would happen after that.

It seems that some people have the time (and $) to figure this out. If I had infinite money, a sat phone would solve everything. The biggest problem is paying bills, though we had an experience last September when we absolutely needed phone service on the Oregon coast and service was spotty.

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:53 PM   #39
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...we are in Anza-Borrego CA State Park right now and we have a very good connection...the park has WiFi (that you have to pay additional for) but we declined because our Alltel Axcess Broadband is so good. I often must work while on the road, and I am able to carry on normal business quite nicely, including file transfers, etc.
Not only do you have to pay for their WiFi.....they have a picnic table set up near the entrance kiosk, because the router is in the park office and doesn't reach as far as the campground! We drove in to the Borrego Springs CofC office (near the circle) to check our mail and take care of any on-line business the last time we were there (Mar 2007).

We love Anza-Borrego, as well!!! I wish we were there with you right now....especially since it's either rainy, foggy, or bitter cold here right now. We are headed to Death Valley in early February, on our way down for the Dead Horse Luau rally....see ya then!

I think we are going to try out the Verizon card (v740), since you can turn the service off when you are not using it. Maybe we can compare at Deadhorse!
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:20 PM   #40
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...<snip>.... Maybe we can compare at Deadhorse!
See you at Dead Horse III if all goes as planned! It should be a great rally...it's a fun and crazy bunch of Airstreamers. Re the Internet...the last time we were there we had a very good internet connection with Alltel.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
.....the challenge becomes WHICH broadband card (usb or express 34 pci) and vendor.

i'd get the aircard FIRST and just use it with the mbpros (card can be used in multiple 'puters)...

then add the antenna and signal amplifier, after being satisfied with the card and to expand signal strength some.

LASTLY i'd add the aircard capable router, and don't give up on using the base station yet....

there is a way to do this (in theory) and i'm going to test it in a few weeks....

basically it WILL (i hope) work like this....

1. insert aircard into mbpro #1 and get a signal then 'connect'
2. plug ethernet cable into mbpro #1 and into a powered up airport base station, placed near a window or outside the stream...
3. enable 'sharing' via either net in the 'systems preferences' menu on mbpro #1 ...
4. use mbpro #2 (or ANY wifi enabled pc or mac) to find the base station signal...

so IF this works there is no need to buy another router, i'll let ya know in a few weeks....
Soooooooooooo, 2air, how did this work out?
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:38 PM   #42
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I got Verizon card six months ago. We went 45 days from Montana to Utah to Colorado to Michigan and back. Only two days were out of range for at least the National Access (slow). Most of the time we got Broadband Access (fast), but even in state parks and in North Dakota we got enough coverage to read my home newspaper and keep up on email.

However, I have a Wilson antenna on the trailer, and amplifier too (in the refer compartment). I put a switch inside with a red light, to avoid leaving it on when not in use.
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