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Old 06-24-2021, 01:45 PM   #1
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2017 30' Flying Cloud
Dallas , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 10
Working FT on the road

We’re moving to being Fulltime nomads, My job keeps me on the phone or connected email/conf calls a lot. What’s the best solution people have used that have to be connected for work.
I’ve heard NomadInternet or leaning toward the PepWave with dual SIM cards.
I’m sure that I’ll run into one of those days that we will struggle with connects but anyone have some pointers would appreciate it
~manny
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Old 06-24-2021, 02:17 PM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,544
Hi

Where do you intend to "hang out?"

Here at home we run in the 500 to 1,000 GB a month pretty consistently. There is no plan or combination of two plans that works well for that sort of bandwidth. In some parts of the country, you will have a very difficult time getting past a few 10's of MB (not GB) a day.

How much bandwidth to you typically use? That will drive how many (maybe how many dozen) SIM cards you will need to have in inventory. As you get into the "lots" range, ease of swapping them out is going to become pretty important. Two or three routers / connect devices also makes this a bit easier.

Bob
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Old 06-24-2021, 03:09 PM   #3
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Schaumburg , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 276
We are not working full time from the road, but we do take trips that include working weekdays remotely from the airstream, then weekends are free. We are getting by with a VZW cellular internet approach, but we have to be careful and select places we know, or we have good intel that cellular internet is pretty good. We also have to save our bandwidth for work (no streaming and very minimal YouTube and the like). We have a 15GB monthly quota on a “hot spot” device, if we exhaust that we go to using a phone as a hot spot or tethered to a laptop (each phone is unlimited, but each gets throttled after 15GB in a month)

We are hoping Starlink becomes commercially ready for RV type mobility soon. At the moment they only support fixed registered address usage (ie at your sticks and bricks location) but in the future they say you can move about. Don’t think it will ever be like cellular mobility but I don’t know that level of future capability. It will be expensive ($99/month) but it looks like the best option on the horizon for “go anywhere” internet service.

Another good resource for info on the general topic is this website :

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:29 AM   #4
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,544
Hi

One *might* be tempted to look for campgrounds with WiFi ... forget about it. The typical campground WiFi is heavily overloaded pretty much all the time. Getting enough bandwidth for a video call .. not so much.

One alternative is to set up the "office" in the tow vehicle. You drive over to the local mall and use the WiFi from the stores. For us, that gets really old really fast ....

Bob
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:07 AM   #5
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2020 23' Flying Cloud
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 52
Anyone have recommendations for equipment that will boost the cellular signal for hot spot use? FT living/working 'streamer and must have internet to consult w/ clients.
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Old 06-25-2021, 11:15 AM   #6
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
Schaumburg , Illinois
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Posts: 276
Using signal Boosters to improve your internet connectivity is generally considered a marginal idea based on what I think I know about that. The problem is all devices that are “fast” depend on 4G or 5G, and more specifically MIMO (simultaneous use of multiple frequencies on multiple antennas). The newest devices I know of are typically 4x4 MIMO (ie simultaneous use of 4 channels). The signal booster path is improving a single frequency(single channel) so you lose MIMO, and only get as much signal improvement as one channel can provide. If lower speed/bandwidth is an acceptable situation in your internet connectivity, a signal booster absolutely can provide an improvement in poor signal areas but nothing is certain.

A simpler analogy is to think of filling your kiddie pool from a garden hose. One hose, long wait. Simultaneously use 4 hoses, from 4 different houses ... fills MUCH faster.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:31 PM   #7
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 10,544
Hi

A signal booster might take you from a 30Kb/s to 100Kb/s. Neither one is going to be adequate for video conferencing. It could also take you from 300K to 1Mb. That might help a bit.

Often the problem is not signal strength. It's simply that the one tower serving that entire county is "full". They are portioning up the capacity available so that everybody gets something and nobody is dropped.

WeBoost is a pretty normal outfit to go with for a cell booster. Your device needs to be quite close to the "trailer" end of things to do much good. That's just physics.

WiFi boosters aren't worth the hassle. There simply isn't anything to connect to.

Bob
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:27 PM   #8
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2018 30' Classic
Shawnee , Kansas
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 58
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1StreamDream View Post
We are not working full time from the road, but we do take trips that include working weekdays remotely from the airstream, then weekends are free. We are getting by with a VZW cellular internet approach, but we have to be careful and select places we know, or we have good intel that cellular internet is pretty good. We also have to save our bandwidth for work (no streaming and very minimal YouTube and the like). We have a 15GB monthly quota on a “hot spot” device, if we exhaust that we go to using a phone as a hot spot or tethered to a laptop (each phone is unlimited, but each gets throttled after 15GB in a month)

We are hoping Starlink becomes commercially ready for RV type mobility soon. At the moment they only support fixed registered address usage (ie at your sticks and bricks location) but in the future they say you can move about. Don’t think it will ever be like cellular mobility but I don’t know that level of future capability. It will be expensive ($99/month) but it looks like the best option on the horizon for “go anywhere” internet service.

Another good resource for info on the general topic is this website :

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/
Tech savvy son-in-law states StarLink will be much slower than wired internet you're enjoying at home, whether it will be useable would be the question!?
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Old 07-03-2021, 02:32 PM   #9
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2021 27' Globetrotter
San Francisco , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagabonds_2 View Post
Tech savvy son-in-law states StarLink will be much slower than wired internet you're enjoying at home, whether it will be useable would be the question!?
“Slow” means what in that sentence?

I think a lot of folks have a misconception that Starlink is high latency, because “It’s a satellite” and those are “far away”, but that only true for geosynchronous satellites (older systems). Starlink flys extremely close from a Speed of Light point of view, I’ve seen pings in the mid double digits.
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Old 07-03-2021, 08:32 PM   #10
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 135
I live and work full time in my AS, and I wrote a post about my PepWave / Poynting with ATT & Verizon plans.

I easily get 80-100Mbps down on LTE, so far I only once did not have signal in the Adirondacks, NY. Otherwise I zoom and Netflix in the wildest of places.

It’s not cheap but you need it to work, $1,500 setup and $200-300 a month.
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Old 07-04-2021, 03:46 AM   #11
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2020 23' Flying Cloud
Fort Worth , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMHM View Post
I live and work full time in my AS, and I wrote a post about my PepWave / Poynting with ATT & Verizon plans.

I easily get 80-100Mbps down on LTE, so far I only once did not have signal in the Adirondacks, NY. Otherwise I zoom and Netflix in the wildest of places.

It’s not cheap but you need it to work, $1,500 setup and $200-300 a month.
Can you post the link to your write up on the pep wave/pointing please.
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Old 07-04-2021, 05:34 AM   #12
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Malibu , California
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https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...on-218318.html
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:55 PM   #13
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2020 20' Caravel
TBD , California
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 14
Some notes/thoughts:

1. Starlink right is limited due to capacity and the fact that most of the satellites still have to transmit down to a gateway on the ground. Once they get all the satellites up with laser links, it should be much faster, but they'll still be capacity limited. Latency should be on par with fiber optic networks, unless your traffic is on hold waiting to downlink...not sure how they're doing it though.

2. There are several factors that affect data rate from a user perspective, and signal to noise ratio is key among them. Basically you want the most gain possible to boost the signal prior to entering the receiver electronics. This usually leads you down the road of a large directional antenna with a narrow beamwidth, high gain, and hopefully limited view of interfering or noise sources. However, most of us don't want to fuss with pointing an antenna every time you move, especially if you're going to install it fixed to your roof. The antenna radiation pattern for most dipoles/omnidirectional antennas is allows for strong gain outward around the antenna, and weak gain at the top and bottom. However, with convenience you do also allow for more source of interference and noise to enter the antenna, so there's no free lunch here. Your booster you want to keep as cold as possible, since thermal noise is typically the highest source of noise.

So the signal to noise ratio prior to boosting with with an amplifier is going to be whatever it is. You typically need to hit a received power and a SNR ratio threshold to get to the data rates most of us enjoy in our houses that don't move. The MIMO setup is interesting, but if you're only talking to one tower, I'm not sure how much it's doing for you aside from potential beam forming, which allows you to electronically steer a narrower beam.

With all that said, I'm playing around with a couple different boosters, one in my TV, one in the airstream using verizon as the data provider rotating through devices as a mobile hotspot. I'm also going to get a wifi extender for improving the quality of campground wifi, without installing an external antenna to try to avoid monthly data caps on mobile hotspots from verizon. Interestingly, the worst 2 locations I had so far at were at Yosemite, when the cell tower was maxed out and our RSRQ (think SNR) was around -20 dB and it was really difficult to get any data, and the second time, the cell tower was fairly close, but the tower was up high on a hill and we were down in a valley on a river, and the signal strength was just bad and too weak to boost. Potentially a direction antenna would have fixed the issue, but i'm not sure at this point.

It would be cool to do an experiment and compare multiple setups in the same location under the same conditions to see the pros and cons. As with most things in life, there are pros and cons, and the "best solution" depends on a lot of different things.
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Old 07-13-2021, 06:46 AM   #14
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dammmittt View Post
Some notes/thoughts:

.... Basically you want the most gain possible to boost the signal prior to entering the receiver electronics. This usually leads you down the road of a large directional antenna with a narrow beamwidth, high gain, and hopefully limited view of interfering or noise sources. .....
Hi

I believe Starlink is a LEO setup. That will make directional antennas very hard to do. Powering the servo motors and running them all the time is going to be a bit of a disaster off grid.

As the sat's move around, you will hand off from one to another. Doing that with a steered high gain dish is going to take a bit of time ( = dropouts ....)

Bob
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Old 07-13-2021, 07:03 PM   #15
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2020 20' Caravel
TBD , California
Join Date: Jul 2021
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Hi Bob,

Point 1 was about Starlink, point 2 was mostly about cell boosters. However, starlink uses a satellite tracking phased array antenna for beamshaping to follow the satellites.

Since I'm new aroung here one thing you should know is that I'm a "space guy" and I've taught courses on satellite communications...so I'm not just spitballing here.

Craig
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