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Old 09-14-2008, 10:50 AM   #21
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We have a Macbook with Airport and don't have any problems connecting.
Same with us, Airport is way cool.
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:51 AM   #22
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I installed a Wilson amp and antenna, down through the refer vent, and have a direct connection wired under the couch to the laptop. Have had good luck (makes the difference between no signal and one bar). Have $60/m Verizon. Nights, will pick up Broadband, days will pick up the slower National Access. That's 50 miles from nowhere on the Crow reservation in Montana. I could download the paper every morning (given you want to do that...)


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Old 09-14-2008, 12:18 PM   #23
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A little 'fuel to the fire'.............

I have been using AT & T for several years now. I recently upgraded to a Mac and had to get a new air card also. Had a deal for $100, less a $100 rebate (equals ZERO net cost) and they actually sent the $100 debit card, which I immediately went out and spent!

The fee is $59.95/ month for 'unlimited' usage (I haven't read the fine print yet) but I get good service most places (2.5G network) and pretty fast 3G network in the larger metro areas where it's in effect. It is much faster and more reliable than the old card that I had in the PC.

I use a Digital Antennas amplifier set-up for both the air card and cell phone, and it definitely works in the fringe areas like Wyoming, Montana, southeastern Oregon, Utah, places like that.

So far....so good.
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Old 09-14-2008, 01:01 PM   #24
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looking back now in more detail at the o.p. product...

this is basically a "mobile" wireless router and broadband service plan.

the 500$ +29$ or 59$ monthy charge is certainly more that the cost of...

buying an a/c powered router (that accepts an air card), a 12v inverter and wiring it yourself...

their supplier has packaged the 3 items (aircard/router/power supply) for customers.

chrysler is apparently going to use this system in some of their new vehicles and some rental cars already do use it.

i cannot find a coverage map or info about which telecommunications company is involved (att/sprint/verizon/tmobile)...

while it suggests "100 feet" of range, my guess is access FROM the 'stream might be an issue, if it's installed in the tv.

as lew and hs' report the antenna/amp add ons REALLY boost range.

5 benjamins is a lot to spend on a connection interface that is tied to ONLY one service plan vendor.

the nearly free (or as lew posted FREE) broadband cards (pic a network) and monthly data plans...

STILL look like the best over all approach (along with mooching wifi when possible)

i don't carry, use or pay for any month cell phone service.

initially VZW was the only vendor who would sell a broadband plan WITHOUT a preexisting/new phone contract.

that, and the positive reviews from full timer friends made the choice easy 4me.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #25
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I've used the Verizon Wireless aircard for 59.99/mo for my previous job. It worked fine where I traveled but it depends on how where you go. Moved about as fast as DSL but not nearly as fast as cable. I found it to be very convenient and usually reliable.
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Old 09-16-2008, 01:42 PM   #26
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Airport in the Airstream...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Same with us, Airport is way cool.
Soooooo....since this conversation started, I managed to "free up" my Airport in the house. My plan was to put it in the Airstream.... Are you just "war driving," as my kids used to call it, hooking into any open WiFi connection that your Airport picks up?
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:13 PM   #27
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... I managed to "free up" my Airport in the house. My plan was to put it in the Airstream.... Are you just "war driving...
r u are referring to 'freeing up' an airport base station to use in the stream?

these are labeled airport express, extreme or time capsule units.

airport base stations are transmitters, so the unit still needs to be 'connected' to a signal, they don't scan and connect to wifi.

many newer macs have airport antennas and receivers bulit in. the 'airport' in the laptops is an example.

these airports are 'receivers' for the signal and do scan for a signal from the 'puter.

scanning for locally available wifi transmission zones in this manner...THAT is wardriving.

there are ways to use a airport base station downstream from a mac that has an airport antenna...

is THAT what u wanna do or are u hoping to 'catch' a signal with an airport base station?

picking up GOOD wifi signals INSIDE a stream is an issue (the metal cocoon) without an extra antenna...

having used local library access for an internet connection (including their computers)4 many years...

and campground wifi, coffee shops, diners, paneras, mc'd, parking outside shops with signals and so on...

a broadband cellular card is SO MUCH easier to use, more secure and may be LESS expensive than mooching wifi...

IF the cost of fuel to get 2nfrom the 'free wifi signal' is considered.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:30 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
r u are referring to 'freeing up' an airport base station to use in the stream?

these are labeled airport express, extreme or time capsule units.

airport base stations are transmitters, so the unit still needs to be 'connected' to a signal, they don't scan and connect to wifi.

many newer macs have airport antennas and receivers bulit in. the 'airport' in the laptops is an example.

these airports are 'receivers' for the signal and do scan for a signal from the 'puter.

scanning for locally available wifi transmission zones in this manner...THAT is wardriving.

there are ways to use a airport base station downstream from a mac that has an airport antenna...

is THAT what u wanna do or are u hoping to 'catch' a signal with an airport base station?

picking up GOOD wifi signals INSIDE a stream is an issue (the metal cocoon) without an extra antenna...

having used local library access for an internet connection (including their computers)4 many years...

and campground wifi, coffee shops, diners, paneras, mc'd, parking outside shops with signals and so on...

a broadband cellular card is SO MUCH easier to use, more secure and may be LESS expensive than mooching wifi...

IF the cost of fuel to get 2nfrom the 'free wifi signal' is considered.

cheers
2air'
Hi 2air,

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 present.

We have been doing what you do....campgrounds, coffee shops, Paneras, CofC's, libraries, etc., that offer free WiFi. Like you said, there are security issues (especially if you do on-line banking) and now the cost of gas, just driving to these places. The issue for me is that I got burned by Verizon once before, so I am sort of "gun shy," I guess.

You are right about all the "Airport" terms floating around.....we have all the ones you mentioned! At least they gave Time Capsule a new name....
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:23 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warbler5 View Post
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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