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Author Topic: Satelite Internet...  (Read 4923 times)
Ross
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« on: May 05, 2006, 05:19:46 AM »

OK...So I've pretty much decided that I'm going to take the bus on the road full time.  If all goes as planned...House sold, shop equipment sold, bus finished (it's close), etc. I should able to bug out before winter.  I've also decided that I need internet because I will try to run my business from the road, which is largely internet based.  I seem to remember that there were two internet systems out there...One with high equipment costs and reasonable monthly rates and one with lower equipment costs but stupid high monthly rates.  Can someone give me the low down on what will be the cheapest way to get into high speed internet?  It doesn't have to be in-motion and it doesn't have to have TV capability, although if it did I could get rid of the Winegard crank-up dish.

I'm also thinking about workamping for a while.  Any advice there would be appreciated as well. 

Thanks....Ross
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dug
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2006, 05:41:16 AM »

Ross,

Alot of campgrounds have wireless connections, or wired.  If you are going to be staying in campgrounds, you may want to go that route.  Also, if the campground isn't wifi, you can probably find a starbucks or coffee shop with it.  More and more places are getting wifi.  Rhode Island is even putting in statewide wireless.  http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/internet/05/01/rhode.island.wifi.reut/index.html

Compliment this with a broadband cellphone provider (like Verizon), and you would be in pretty good shape.

I think I would only go with satellite if I was doing alot of boondocking.  Keep in mind that satellite is extremely slow for encrypted traffic (HTTPS: checking bank account, etc).

HTH,

Dug
75 MC8
Arcadia, FL
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El-Sonador
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2006, 06:07:52 AM »

I was faced with that same question a few years back... I thought  I needed that full time level of access that a Sat would provide... but the cost slowed down my decision process long enough that when I finally got on the road, I was glad that I didn't go that way, as WIFI and cable services are abundant and mostly free. While on the road, most truck stops have WYFI.

So like Dug in Florida says, Boondocking would be the only possible exception...


If you are considering Workamping I think that there are only a few states that permit this now of days... [might be a tax thing, but not too sure]

Texas is one for sure and the largest and one of the best RV Resorts in south Texas utilizes workampers to help run the resort... I think they employ about 50 or so, maybe even more... The deal there is that the occupants of your site [you, your wife etc] must collectively work 25 hours per week... That's 12.5 hours for you and 12.5 hours for your wife, OR you can do the full 25 hours and your wife does not have to work. For this, they give you a free site and pay some or all of any utilities you may have. They have other added benefits also, but not to sure what they may or may not be.

This place has both... free WIFI and free high speed cable, 125+ tv channels, your own private phone line, free longdistance calling to anywhere in the world, two large pools, three large hot tubs and much more included with your site...

GOTO... http://www.victoriapalms.com/


Steve


« Last Edit: May 05, 2006, 10:14:30 AM by El Soņador™ » Logged
Ross
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2006, 06:21:11 AM »

So to go WIFI, I would just need a run of the mill WIFI card in the computer which would talk to the WIFI router at the truck stop, campground, Starbucks, etc. ....Right?  That sounds like the way to go.  I'll be boondocking sometimes, but not so far away from civilization that I can't find a WIFI access point.  I'll also probably have to do the workamping thing, as I can't afforrd to live this life of leasure out of my pocket. Smiley   If I got free accomodations plus the money I make from the website, which mostly goes through PayPal, I could get by and have some fun traveling around a bit.

Do you guys use external antennas for your WIFI?  Would that increase the range meaning you wouldn't have to be so close to the source?  Does anyone make a gadget that you could install in the dash so when you were driving around you could see WIFI signal strengths.  IE:  You're driving along, you see a good signal, stop, take a break, check email and move on.
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DJohnson
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2006, 06:23:48 AM »

The most common internet satellite systems are Hughes (formerly Direcway) tripod units.  The equipment and set up cost is usually $1 to $2 thousand, and the monthly cost is $59.  Hughes does not directly market or support this option but ther are a number of dealers that will do so.   A more expensive option is the rooftop setup that will cost something in the area of $4 to $5 thousand to purchase and set up and $79 to $99 montlhy.  Some RVers are also using a Starband tripod system.  I believe the setup and montly costs are similar to the Hughes system.  We have used a Hughes tripod system for over a year and enjoyed being able to get internet everywhere we have traveled.

If you want more information on these options, look at users formum at http://www.datastormusers.com/ which has information on both roof mount and tripod systems, and the Yahoo group RVInternetBySatellite (you have to join the group to read).
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El-Sonador
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2006, 06:36:32 AM »

So to go WIFI, I would just need a run of the mill WIFI card in the computer which would talk to the WIFI router at the truck stop, campground, Starbucks, etc. ....Right? That sounds like the way to go. I'll be boondocking sometimes, but not so far away from civilization that I can't find a WIFI access point. I'll also probably have to do the workamping thing, as I can't afforrd to live this life of leasure out of my pocket. Smiley If I got free accomodations plus the money I make from the website, which mostly goes through PayPal, I could get by and have some fun traveling around a bit.

Do you guys use external antennas for your WIFI? Would that increase the range meaning you wouldn't have to be so close to the source? Does anyone make a gadget that you could install in the dash so when you were driving around you could see WIFI signal strengths. IE: You're driving along, you see a good signal, stop, take a break, check email and move on.

Ross... Hi

Most WIFI cards come with a dinky little antenna that will not reach outside your unit. Living in a metal tube is not that freindly for sending or recieving signals, so I spliced in an extension coax and mounted the WIFI antenna on top of the bus... I did the same for my GPS antenna.

As for on-the-road spotting WIFI connections... I run my computer all the time as I use a computer GPS program. So when a WIFI connection becomes available a notice pops-up telling me its availability [free access or password protected system]

Many places, even private homes use an internal WIFI set-up and they forget to password protect their system, there by making it available to any one parked out in front of their home...

Hope this info and the workamping info is of some help.

Steve


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Ross
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2006, 07:29:51 AM »

Thanks Steve....Victoria Palms looks very inviting.  I actually have reason to visit Corpus Christi, so southern TX is definitely in my sights.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2006, 09:28:55 AM »

Ross,

I use a verizon wireless card on my laptop. It uses national access high speed, or Broadband which ever is available.

For me, it has worked everywhere I've been up and down the east coast and never without a connection!

$50 month.   Its nice not to have to look for hotspots!

Nick-
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2006, 10:10:31 AM »

I do use the same service from Verizon as Nick mentioned. 

I can also get 128 Kb quite reliably through my Verizon cell phone when necessary.

Also carry wifi cards, as that is a nice option to have as Steve mentioned - especially if the data network isn't available in an area I am travelling through.  Got to be resourceful!

When my employer paid for Sprint wireless service, I actually found their data network to be available in more locations.  Many times I could hit the Sprint network out in the AZ, NM and Texas desert regions.  Can't always do that with Verizon.  Sprint is comparably priced.  I used this for about 2 years.  But haven't used the Sprint data network in the last year or so.

However, I would rate the verizon voice network ahead of Sprint as far as voice coverage.

T-mobile also has the same kind of data service available.  But I haven't heard a lot of good comments from customers.  I don't have direct experience with T-Mobile - FWIW.

Another service I have not used, but only heard about is the moto-sat. Anyone have experience with that?

http://www.motosat.com/internet_service/

Hope this helps, Phil

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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2006, 11:20:28 AM »

Regarding work camping:

www.workamping.com

and others. -

Nation wide and many hundreds of 'full timers' are supplementing their pensions with work camping jobs.  Pumpkin and Christmas tree lots, NASCAR, National Parks, private RV parks, City parks, amusement parks (Disney), etc. 

Yes, we can survive out there!
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ceieio
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2006, 01:53:49 PM »

Ross - you can learn a little more about the satellite options at this Yahoo group started by a fellow busnut:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RVInternetBySatellite/

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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Craig MC7 - Oregon USA
dug
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2006, 06:35:01 PM »

So to go WIFI, I would just need a run of the mill WIFI card in the computer which would talk to the WIFI router at the truck stop, campground, Starbucks, etc. ....Right?  That sounds like the way to go.  I'll be boondocking sometimes, but not so far away from civilization that I can't find a WIFI access point.  I'll also probably have to do the workamping thing, as I can't afforrd to live this life of leasure out of my pocket. Smiley   If I got free accomodations plus the money I make from the website, which mostly goes through PayPal, I could get by and have some fun traveling around a bit.

Do you guys use external antennas for your WIFI?  Would that increase the range meaning you wouldn't have to be so close to the source?  Does anyone make a gadget that you could install in the dash so when you were driving around you could see WIFI signal strengths.  IE:  You're driving along, you see a good signal, stop, take a break, check email and move on.

Wireless signals are "Absorbed' by structure.  So, your mileage is going to vary at each spot.  The best bet is to use a notebook, then you can move it around, or hop in the car and cruise around.  I'm typing this on a WIFI connection sitting in the front of my bus.  Your wireless experience will depend on where your PC sits in your bus. 

If you are going to mount an antenna on the bus, use an omni-directional.  These are similar in shape to a CB antenna.  Several places on the internet will sell you the antenna, and the wire to hook up the antenna to the Wireless access point or card.  Wire size counts, as smaller wire has greater signal loss.  This would give you a great signal, but be somewhat more complex to setup for each access point.

Another option is to use a directional antenna.  You can buy something that looks like a pringle can that connects to your pc.  You can just point it in the direction of the access point.  More than likely you would use this with a notebook.

Yet another option is to buy a PCMCIA wireless card that has an external antenna.  The external antennas are normally magnetic mounts.  This would give you a pretty good signal, and pretty good flexibility.

By no means is this inclusive, just trying to round most of the bases.  If you want to send me a private message, we can talk more about specifics for your bus.

HTH,

Dug
75 MC8
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Ross
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2006, 07:08:10 PM »

I found this kit.  Looks like it would do the job....

http://www.radiolabs.com/products/antennas/2.4gig/trucker-wifi-antenna.php
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Rob
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2006, 05:47:58 AM »

I own a company that installs SATCOM systems in aircraft, the system can provide up link to the internet from most places on the face of the planet. The data exchange rate is faster than most cable or Ethernet connections. This SATCOM system can allow up to 6 laptops or mainframe systems to connect with no signal loss the down side is cost of the unit. We hope one day the system will be affordable for the average guy.
                                                                                          Rob
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prevost82
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 10:15:21 AM »

Ross...If you buy a tripod Sat system they are very well priced.

I just bought a brand new one for under 500. I bought a Survey Tripod off ebay for 60 and the monthly fees have come down to 69.00 a month for unlimited access.

If you go with the auto system it's around 4500 installed...monthly fees are the same.

I tried the WiFi thing and maybe it's great out east but it's very spottly out west. With the Sat Sys you can get online anywhere you may be, why limit yourself to camp where there's WiFi... . besides its a business expence

Datastorm users forum /tripods & auto systems

http://www.datastormusers.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/index.html

Ron

PS way cooooool toys on your site
« Last Edit: May 06, 2006, 10:17:30 AM by prevost82 » Logged
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