Cell Phone and I-net while on the road - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
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I need opinions - so PLEASE feel free to weigh in...

OK - we are retiring in December, and will be **on the road** much more next year. Neither of us spend time chatting, so our present "cheapie" cell plan would be fine, BUT - I want to know about integrating cell and wireless I-net. Any experiences, good or bad, and suggestions are appreciated. I am approaching it with a "blank slate" frame of mind...

We use AT&T at HOME for DSL, and regular phone (local and LD), Verizon for cell and DirecTV for, well, TV. Any thoughts about consolidating?

I am leaning towards "unified" approach to our entire *technology* needs, rather than the current structure.

Thanks... Alan



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Old 07-22-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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We have cell service through Verizon and pay a monthly tethering charge. We are able to use our Centro to hook up to our Mac laptops to receive internet through our monthly data plan with Verizon. It is slower than broadband, but it works to keep up in touch with the world while camping. Of course, big downloads are not quick.

Quote:
I need opinions - so PLEASE feel free to weigh in...

OK - we are retiring in December, and will be **on the road** much more next year. Neither of us spend time chatting, so our present "cheapie" cell plan would be fine, BUT - I want to know about integrating cell and wireless I-net. Any experiences, good or bad, and suggestions are appreciated. I am approaching it with a "blank slate" frame of mind...

We use AT&T at HOME for DSL, and regular phone (local and LD), Verizon for cell and DirecTV for, well, TV. Any thoughts about consolidating?

I am leaning towards "unified" approach to our entire *technology* needs, rather than the current structure.

Thanks... Alan
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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I have T mobile pay as you go plan
1000 minutes for a year
I pay $92.00
I never use up all the minutes. (they will roll over to the nest year when you buy another 1000 minutes )
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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We have Verizon and the only problem with their prepaid plan after checking with them today is that it's a minimum of $.99/day if the phone is used. The $100/year sounded good until hearing that news.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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I have AT&T for cell. Go to a flea market and purchase a sat. dish then just take one of your DirecTV boxes, cord and remote with you.

Just find a WiFi Hot Spot to connect with, their are lots around. By the by some of our Rest Areas have WiFi.

If I were full timing I'd get an AT&T air card.
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:43 PM   #6
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I use the Treo smart phone with Sprint service. Sprint quietly integrated the same internet service that they sold with the laptop cards into the smart phones and it is very good when you get on the full EV network which is most of the time. In the remote areas this summer I usually at a minimum still had Internet service even when on Digital Roaming.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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I'm interested in cell phone extenders. I spend time in an office building that used to have terrible voice and 3G cell connectivity. Recently, a series of cell phone extenders were deployed in the building. Each extender has an antenna on the roof, some sort of magic box inside the building and an inside antenna. On my iPhone, it moved the connection from marginal to full bars.

I need to be connected in order to to my work. If I can be connected while I'm camping, that's a good thing and means that I'll be spending more time living out of the LiteHouse.

Has anyone here ever installed such a device on a fiberglass camper? Any thoughts?
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:13 AM   #8
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I'm interested in cell phone extenders. I spend time in an office building that used to have terrible voice and 3G cell connectivity. Recently, a series of cell phone extenders were deployed in the building. Each extender has an antenna on the roof, some sort of magic box inside the building and an inside antenna. On my iPhone, it moved the connection from marginal to full bars.

I need to be connected in order to to my work. If I can be connected while I'm camping, that's a good thing and means that I'll be spending more time living out of the LiteHouse.

Has anyone here ever installed such a device on a fiberglass camper? Any thoughts?
I need to be able to work when we're on our trips and have the following set-up:

Wilson Truck Antenna
Wilson Signal Booster (811210)
Cradlepoint MBR1000 Router
Sierra Wireless 598U with Sprint service.

Phone cell service is with Verizon

Over Memorial Day Weekend we stayed at Howard Prairie Lake in OR. When we stayed at the Lake last year I was not able to connect to the Internet or make cell calls. This year ........ I had a workable connection. Was able to surf and upload/download files. Even made a connection with GoToMyPC and did a little work on a Clients computer. For the phone ....... had one 'bar' with Verizon but when using the Signal Booster on the phone, I got three bars.

I'm very happy with my set-up.



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Old 06-07-2010, 05:22 AM   #9
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Anne3358,
You compared last year to this year. Was that the same effect as before and after using the signal booster this year?
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Anne3358,
You compared last year to this year. Was that the same effect as before and after using the signal booster this year?
Good question but I do know from direct observation that the day they turned on the inside cell booster here, the signal went way up. I don't care about signal coverage when I'm driving because I don't like to talk and drive. I have a 13dB yagi directional cell antenna that I used to use at a house on a barrier island. I'm thinking of attaching it to piece of pvc pipe and hooking it to the LiteHouse with bungee cords, and using it to drive the Wilson booster.

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Old 06-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #11
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I put in a Wilson 801212 this spring and I get five bars on my Sprint Treo now at rural locations where I never got any signal before. Also, have gotten Internet now at one of our regular campgrounds where we haven't been able to hook up in the past. It is definitely going to help this summer when we go for our month excursion and I need to work on the road.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:59 PM   #12
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We use an Alltel (now Verizon) aircard on the road, and usually get very good reception, even without the antenna extension.

We carry two cellphones with different providers: T-mobile, and Verizon. Verizon is good in most places, but in others T-mobile gets more bars. In the mountains of western NC, for example, I get zero coverage on the T-mobile, but three to four bars on the unamplified Verizon. I've thought about changing my T-mobile phone to a tetherable data phone, but haven't seen the need yet, and my old, reliable NOKIA works so well, I hate to give it up.

We subscribed to DirecTV for the minimum contract, but cancelled it since we rarely used it. We have a small antenna which gives us some local channels (one or two to twelve, depending on where we're camped), and that's more than enough for us, as we rarely turn the TV on. I think we'd probably invest in satellite radio before satellite TV. Sat radio came free with our truck for a year, and we enjoyed that a lot more than TV.
Sherry
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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Anne3358,
You compared last year to this year. Was that the same effect as before and after using the signal booster this year?
Sorry I didn't make myself clear:
  • Last year I had a two year old Nokia phone, using the sprint network, and I had no cell service.

[b]This Year:
New phone, new air card, antenna and amplifier. Different network for phone ..... same network for air card.

Tried using the Sierra without the antenna & amplifier and (after a while) was able to load Google but that was all.

[b]Here is a question I have:
When it comes to the antenna: Is it more important to attach the antenna to a pole to get more height ...... or to move it away from the trees and stake it a clearing?


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Old 06-09-2010, 05:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Sorry I didn't make myself clear:
  • Last year I had a two year old Nokia phone, using the sprint network, and I had no cell service.

[b]This Year:
New phone, new air card, antenna and amplifier. Different network for phone ..... same network for air card.

Tried using the Sierra without the antenna & amplifier and (after a while) was able to load Google but that was all.

[b]Here is a question I have:
When it comes to the antenna: Is it more important to attach the antenna to a pole to get more height ...... or to move it away from the trees and stake it a clearing?

Getting the Antenna in the air is always the most important consideration.
Height makes Right!
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