Computer on the road - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-18-2003, 12:05 AM   #1
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Computer on the road

Gang: I have started running my laptop thru my cell phone from out on the road (so far no more than 100 miles from Austin) and it works great. I signed up for the Sprint plan and bought the software and cables a couple of weeks ago. Waited to test it before reporting. It is actually faster than my dial up but of course Road Runner is a lot faster still if I am home. I am connecting thru Sprint's internet setup. I tried a dial to my local isp, slow as molasses in winter. but using the sprint system, it is faster, and so far works almost everywhere I have been. Only totally dead spot so far was down between two bluffs in a creekbed, but if I'm down there I should be fishing not working.:wave
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Old 07-18-2003, 02:03 AM   #2
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Hi Charlie
Keep us posted as I know there are more folks interested.:wave
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:05 AM   #3
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I know there are systems out there for this and most of them cost almost the price on one of the little eggs, new. I am hoping this will be an acceptable way to do internet work , without the investment. At this point my little laptop is capable of connecting thru:1 my cell phone,2. an ethernet card(ie:Starbuks type places)3.plain old dial up,4.Direct cable modem. I don't expect this to be top of the line future speed stuff, just enough to do a little surfing, turn in reports, and read the mail. So far most of my cell phone testing has been at night or on weekends for the unlimited minutes . I am headed for Wimberley today then Marble Falls again, I plan to test both places.
I picked Sprint over ATT and Verizon after testing all three systems from various locations with my phones. I had both ATT and Sprint myself at the same time and my brother had Verizon. ATT had the worst coverage, and Sprint the best. One of my tests was to drive to Lampassas (75-90 miles) with Att in one earphone and Sprint in the other talking to my son on one and my daughter on the other.Sprint dropped once & ATT repeatedly and finally it just quit entirely.
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Old 07-18-2003, 02:32 PM   #4
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Depends on where you will be traveling. I had a Sprint phone several years ago in the Tampa area and was very disappointed in their coverage of that area at that time. However, things change.

Pete in the RatHaus
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:36 PM   #5
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Sprint phone as modem for PDA

I have used my phone as a modem for my Audiovox PDA for some time now and have been very happy with it where there is service. I find Sprint covers the Interstate highways and cities pretty well, but once I get off the beaten path I loose my signal.

My Audiovox PDA came with the cable, and I bought the necessary Audiovox phone from Sprint, so only have web and email access on the little computer and usually only use it on the road for business email.

Charlie, your post makes me think that I should spring for the PC cable surfing the web on a PDA is a painful experience.

Keep us posted.
Mark
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:08 PM   #6
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Mark:
I am in my trailer right now on the web. I am 5 miles out of Marble Falls and 3 miles off any public roads. Decent speeds on the cell connection.I did spend a lot of time qand money picking the best company for use in this exact area of Texas, others may be better in other places,
Make double Da%$ sure your phone is the right o ne to do this with before you pay $39 for the cable and $29 for the software,My first phone was incompatable but the sales person did not know that, By the time I figgured it out in my spare time my 14 day return time was long over.POOF new phone ,second set of cables and software.Once I got the right stuff I was on the airwaves in 30 minutes flat. If you go with Sprint you must order cables and software from Futuredial.com, about 3 day delivery .I got the USB cable because my printer neesd the other port.One other hickey , if I put the phone in one place dropped call, other places great speed,10 inches difference, go figure.Being an old Ham operator I love playing with this stuff and will put a small antenna on the roof of my trailer this summer for more reliable coverage in other places.
Good Luck Guys
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:12 AM   #7
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Online in the woods

I have used my Sprint phone/laptop combo several times now. It works and it is great to have internet from the road (even worked in Cedars of Lebanon park in TN!). However, mine drops calls a lot and for soem unknown reason I have to reconnect every 7-8 pages because the phone stops sending data. Not sure if the problem is the phone or the laptop.

Oh, Sprint also told me that internet minutes don't count against my total minutes. Still not sure if that is accurate since the techs were not really, um, up on things.
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Old 07-19-2003, 01:13 AM   #8
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Cables and software

I was able to get the cables and software from Radio Shack. They do keep them in stock. Why Sprint doesn't, I don't know....
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Old 07-25-2003, 08:58 PM   #9
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minutes? cost?

Jr., or anybody else:
What was your total cost. The initial set up, the telephone itself, minutes per month and cost per month. Is the cell phone number the same as your house phone. I know nothing about any of this.
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Old 07-26-2003, 11:02 AM   #10
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My total cost (ignoring the first incorrect set of cables ) was
1.Phone...$49 (signed up for a year of service)
2.Service for the phone $100 per month (I signed for 2000 any time and unlimited nights and weekends Sprint Vision plan with access)
3.Cables $39 (Futuredial.com has them)
4. Software $29 (again Futuredial.com)
5.If you want an outside ISP insterad of handling all your mail thru Sprintpcs.com you will need to set that up. I have one with a domain I own so I never need to change e-mail addresses if I change providers,
For those who don't use the phone a lot for a phone and are willing to connect at night there are plans as cheap as $39 per month(instead of my $100 monthly) with unlimited time at night and on weekends.Just do all your surfing after 9pm or on the weekend save some cash.

The phone is the same cell phone I carry all day with the same phone number.
When I want to connect I plug my laptop into it and connect.
I played with it last week again from Burnet Texas was on line over 2 hours, no dropped calls. I did pick a phone with the 12 volt plug on the side and the computer connection on the bottom so I can charge as I am using it on line, other wise it will eat the battery fairly quickly.
Sprint will sell you a whole system in a card to plug into the laptop but it is expensive and requires another $100 per month fee.
When you go in to the cell phone place remember if you are not familiar with the service and the technology , the sales people are all SALES PEOPLE, not tech people and may not know what they are talking about in the technical end of things, But they sound good.
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Old 07-26-2003, 01:16 PM   #11
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I have a CDPD card, a GPRS card, and a 1xRTT card for my laptop. I used to get the service for each for free while I was doing some contract work for the manufacturer... These are basically PCMCIA/PC-Card cards that plug into a slot on your laptop and you establish a PPP connection to the card. In general, my experience was that you could get CDPD coverage just about anywhere, GPRS was basically spotty (GSM), and 1xRTT was practically non-existant unless you were in a major city. CDPD was the slowest throughput, GPRS was best, and 1xRTT was about middle of the road.

Given my experience using all three of these cards at the same time, I concluded that I wouldn't pay real money for any of these services. The unreliability of connections, spotty availability, and poor throughput (30+% of packet loss in general) made it a useless toy.

Caveat: it's been over a year since I've used any of these services so things may have improved.
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Old 07-26-2003, 10:41 PM   #12
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I don't know, Canada may be different than here. I am doing good with my cell phone connection. I have set it up next to my home computer and run both at the same time. The Cell connection was about twice as fast as my dialup , but way slower than Road Runner. The speed I get from the cell is close to the same out in the boonies as home , but there someplaces I need to go on top of a hill for a connection. So far still good enough for me to do business and play internet surfer.
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Old 07-27-2003, 12:59 AM   #13
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Cost

My costs were similar to Charlie's. I got 2 lines and 2 phones for $120 a month. I gave the second phone to my mom and now we can call each other any time for free. We have different area codes. It is nice to know she has a phone in case she has car trouble!

As a cell phone, I think Sprint drops calls and is just as staticy as any other provider. Their commercials are bunk. But it does provide what I need.
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Emmit D. Acklin
Is the cell phone number the same as your house phone. I know nothing about any of this.
they are not the same phone number. it's like two different phone :conf it is two different phones. this way you can call yourself. :lol

and the man on the Ritcy RV campgrounds TV special last night thought he was doing something unique by putting in computer lines in his Silver Streak. :lol
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