Monday, November 17, 2008

Mobile Internet Revisited

From time to time I get questions, from rvers about reliable internet on the road. I have some posts on this but am not going to look for them. I will just give a simple run down here this morning.
I could be known as "No Details Dan". I hate details. Get me from point A to B or wherever we are going. When I was a kid, I got the first of what my dad said then I got the "consequences" part of what he said. Those were the two important parts. I did more book reports than any of the other kids in my grade school classes. I read the first, middle, and last chapter of the book and wrote my reports. Always worked. Back in the mid 70's I failed my General class Ham Radio test twice before finally realizing that the gov't wanted detail work. You guessed it, failed algebra in high school and in college. My chosen profession was a good one for me. I operated on Glasser's Reality Therapy. You do what I want you to do and this is your reward. You don't do what I want and this is your consequence. Hey, my dad could have written a book on Reality Therapy, ha. When Teri starts a "story" I try to pull her along to the end. She likes details. I don't. Get me to the end result. Working on my vehicles, show me a picture. I am not going to read a book to learn how to change a flat tire.

So where am I going? Well, simple internet for on the road. Look at the first picture. See the little box that says Alfa? If you want wifi, buy this box. Best money spent. There are lots of gadjets out there that work, I know, I got'em, but this is "the one for your money". A 500 mw unit with a hot receiver. An external antenna can be screwed on in place of the little black stick if you think that you need more gain. Your laptop has a built in Wifi unit but it ain't much compared to this. Built in cards are good for 100 feet, on a good day. Wifi is normally free.

Wireless internet, with a fee., 60 dollars a month. Here is our Verizon air card setup. It normally rides in the GMC, tucked in out of sight. I leave it in the motorhome and can use it from the house, easy. Nothing hooks to the laptop. I use the little built in wifi unit, in laptop, to hit the receiver in the motohome router. Anyway, on the left is a 3 watt amplifier for the signal to and from the cell tower. in the back is a little mag mount cell antenna that plugs into the amplifier. On the right is the air card, sitting on and plugged into the mobile Cradlepoint router. The router keeps us from having anything plugged into the laptop. The router is the key to the whole setup as far as I am concerned. This keeps my laptop "clean". I hate having anything hanging out of the usb ports. We also throw the router and card in the car, on the dash, when traveling via the Vibe.
So, you can pay a cell company 60 dollars a month, Verizon or ATT. I don't know the others but they have it too. Verizon has best coverage where we travel. You can get a card free with a 2 year contract but the best way to go is this: look up the 3gstore online. Get their aircard, maybe free, sign a 2 year contract, and get the router for a discounted price. Right now they have the little Cradlepoint 350 on sale for 100 bux. If you sign the two year contract and get the air card from them they will give you another 20 dollars off the router price. I have nothing to do with the 3gstore, just passing this along.
Don't buy the external antenna or amplifier yet. You may not need them. The card has a built in antenna that really works good.
There you have it, simple, no details, just the facts. See, you do not need to know algebra to understand how electronics work. Just pay attention to simple guys like me, ha.
Yall have a great day and as always, thanks for stopping by.
If you have further questions, send me an email.



At December 7, 2008 at 7:08 PM , Blogger MoreMobile said...

Yea Dan, way to keep it simple! Gotta love the Cradlepoint routers!

At January 22, 2009 at 9:59 AM , Blogger The Flemings said...

Dan, love it.

Can you give a little more detail about the ALFA.



At January 22, 2009 at 12:17 PM , Blogger Dan & Teri Gregg said...

The Alfa can be bought on the internet or ebay for 50-60 bux. It is a usb device. The best for your money. Like I have said, I have everything there is for wifi and spent way too much money. When I bought this I stopped looking around for stuff.
Don't use wifi now except from the laptop to my wireless router. The internal wifi card works for that.


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