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Old 07-20-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
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AS compatible with WIFI and iPhone?

As a wannabe AS owner, and an almost iPhone owner (ordered it yesterday), I began wondering if the aluminum hull of an AS would interfere with the 3G signal of the new iPhones?

The same question would apply to a laptop that has 3G built in, or accessing the WIFI signal at a campground.

I plan to keep in touch with my business while on the road, but wonder about any interference.

Anyone have experience running these devices from inside an AS?

Thanks!

(I originally posted this as a reply to an old thread by mistake - apologies for the double post).
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:23 AM   #2
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We have an 84 MH, like the trailers, it has an aluminum hull. We have used wifi and/or verizon cellular broadband all over Canada, the US, and Mexico. No worries.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:52 AM   #3
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signal strength inside an Airstream

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeisureTime View Post
As a wannabe AS owner, and an almost iPhone owner (ordered it yesterday), I began wondering if the aluminum hull of an AS would interfere with the 3G signal of the new iPhones?

The same question would apply to a laptop that has 3G built in, or accessing the WIFI signal at a campground.

I plan to keep in touch with my business while on the road, but wonder about any interference.

Anyone have experience running these devices from inside an AS?

Thanks!

(I originally posted this as a reply to an old thread by mistake - apologies for the double post).
I've been using an Apple Powerbook wirelessly inside our Airstream for 2.5 years with no noticeable difference in signal strength inside or outside. Perhaps the windows are enough to mitigate whatever loss might result from being inside aluminum.

The bigger problem is finding an RV park with Wi-Fi that works as advertised. Sure many claim to have Wi-Fi, but the reality is that mysteriously the system will always be down when you arrive. But, don't worry, we've called the provider who promises that we will be up shortly. Yeah, right.

Also, I have been using our iPhone since the first week it was released last year. The iPhone has proved to be much more useful than the elusive Wi-Fi in RV parks because the internet is accessible over the AT&T telephone network. With the iPhone 3G you will have an even better result: 3G, 2.5G and Wi-Fi as you choose.

Apple rocks!!!! Enjoy.
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:18 AM   #4
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no problem with the iPhone with edge ... This post is made from my airstream in a french campground...near Calais. Wifi is not current here
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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Apparently my experience is a bit different. I have used broadband modems, cell phones, and wifi in the Airstream in many different locations. Typically, in a fringe area, signal reception tends to be better near a window, and even better outside. I would imagine the small size of the windows in my Bambi may have something to do with it. My broadband modem has a USB connection with a 3 ft. extension cable, so I attach it to the top of my window with Velcro. An external antenna for the modem and cell phone helps a great deal when the signal is weak. I have also used a digital signal amplifier (Wilson) on some occasions, but the coverage (Verizon) has expanded so much recently, I rarely need it anymore.

Best of luck in your search for an Airstream.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:13 AM   #6
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Our iMac and iPhones all work fine in our Safari.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:42 AM   #7
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There definetly is a difference. At marginal coverage areas often the cell or wifi will work much better outside. Metal is a barrier to electromagnetic waves.

Tom
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:49 AM   #8
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I can use both my iPhone and MacBook in our AS. Sometimes, as said above, it helps to set the computer near a window. The iPhone edge (dial-up internet) works anywhere in the AS, even in bed. Although you did not ask, I will say that my portable XM radio antenna must be placed in a window that doesn't have a screen.
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:10 AM   #9
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Although the iPhone will work anywhere there is ATT coverage, there is limited 3G coverage. Check the ATT site to see if you are in/out of the blue splotches.
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger View Post
... An external antenna for the modem and cell phone helps a great deal when the signal is weak. I have also used a digital signal amplifier (Wilson) on some occasions...
How does an external antenna work? Is there a cable that connects it to your modem and cell?

Same question applies to the digital signal amplifier. Can anyone provide a brief description of how these work?

I was thinking it would be cool to have an external cell antenna (I like the aerodynamic ones on our GMC Denalis) that converted to WIFI inside the AS. Sort of a rolling broadband bubble. Don't know if there is such a device.
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
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How does ...
wifi n cell use different antenna types (and bandwidth/airwaves), and the bubble u imagine would b a 'reception' not broadcast idea.

most (all) of the essential info is covered in great detail in the forum section on computers and connectivity....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451/

there is only one page of threads there to quickly scan...

try it, since the answers are there.

on the cell phone ONLY issue there is also a long list of threads that will help here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f452/

and if you need tele info too, there is a subforum on those issues....

EVERY STRUCTURE impacts a cell signal, radio signal, satellite signal to some degree...

along with neighboring rvs, semis, human made structures, trees, mountains and tower/broadcast coverage...

so do nearby gadgets like rooftop a/c, furnaces, solar panels, generators and so on...

so an a/s isn't different than a house, fiberglass trailer, steel moho, or automobile in this regard.

many of us have added external antennas, signal booster/amplifiers and other gizmos...

these 3 threads and links inside will cover 99.99% of the issue.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...ort-31336.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...rds-42538.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...ups-30168.html

IF that's not enough info, one of the members here, richC has his own website, forum and blog on rv tech gadgets...

Gadget's Airstream Chronicles!

he has also written a book on the area, now in the 2nd edition...

The Digital RV

and a mod might consider moving THIS thread from the 'our community' forum into the appropriate computer sub forum...

cheers
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:47 AM   #12
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
wifi n cell use different antenna types (and bandwidth/airwaves), and the bubble u imagine would b a 'reception' not broadcast idea.
Thanks 2air' - you are the archive master!

Actually this is pretty much what I was describing:

Internet In Motion, mobile internet access

A WiFi access bubble around the AS, using cellular technology to connect to the Internet.

Gotta love technology!
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:17 PM   #13
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never enough gadgets!

but even the folks at i-n-motion confuse the terms...

notice the 'wifi like' phrase?

there have been wifi router/base stations that accept broadband (g3) cards for 2-3 years...

plug the card into the router (instead of into the computer) and you will have a wifi site from a cellular signal.

richL (the famous magazine publisher) does this.

add a roof top CELLULAR antenna and signal booster from wilson technologies to enrich the cell reception...

if you follow the linked threads it's clear many of us are doing this, and with pricing that is LESS than the i-n-motion product.

these sites explain the equipment needs.

EVDOinfo.com

a vendor...

mr wilson's products

satellite signal can also be captured and redistributed via wifi, but it is more costly.

generally no extra wifi antenna or booster is needed 2 use the router wifi box (which has an antenna) signal...

unless u are trying to distribute it to the entire trailer park.

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:04 PM   #14
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Another option which we use is to use a cellphone connected to a laptop via a usb cable. This provides EVDO Internet connectivity to the laptop. Then we "share" the wireless cellphone) connection with a secure peer to peer network, this allows other machines which can connect to the network (my wife's laptop in our case) to use the wireless Internet connection via wifi. The benefit of this approach is that you do not need to purchase any type of 'air card'.
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