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Old 10-25-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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Internet!?

My wife and I are trying to figure out our options for internet. As mentioned elsewhere we plan on dry camping, or living, full time not plugged in, re-energizing once a month or so with water and propane. We want Lady Franklin to be able to receive internet in remote locations. My wife is a writer and internet is her life blood, and a source of income. But are the $5000.00 setups really the only option available? These services then demand a monthly fee on top! If I could afford $5000.00 I might as well launch my own satellite into space! Any one have alternatives, please help!?
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Internet!?

Are you still going to be within cell phone range? A skycard of some type for a laptop with service provided through your cell provider may well be the cheapest option.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: Internet!?

I use the internet for my work. I use a tripod-mounted, satellite-based system purchased from Maxwell Satellite, but do not recommend them. Have heard good things about Dusty Foot.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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Re: Internet!?

Do you guys know if these service providers are available in Canada. I could check but just thought I would ask?
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: Internet!?

Not sure about resellers in Canada, but there are a few satellites that cover Canada.
http://www.montanasatellite.com/satelli ... prints.htm
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: Internet!?

don't know how "remote" you plan to be, but my sprint card works anywhere i have a sprint cell phone signal. as a matter of fact, i'm driving across I-80 near toledo oh right now. this is my only internet, costs $60/month no roaming no long distance in the US. I would immagine they also have Canadian plans. You can get the USB gizmo for your computer for free or nearly free. I've had mine over a year now and love it!
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
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Re: Internet!?

That sprint card doesn't sound so bad. I also found Virgin has some dishes and has pretty decent northern coverage for us Canadians up here. Even has coverage in Nunavut! If Lady Franklin ever makes it to the high arctic then maybe Internet won't be my biggest concern! Thanks for the help, will do a little more research before buying. Three more weeks of work then full time bus converting woooo huuuuu!!!
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:20 AM   #8
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Re: Internet!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clementw
you might try MaxWell Sat or DustyFoot for portable tripod systems $1000 > $1800.

Mine was $1500 and costs about $55 a month.
For those living off-grid, does anyone know what the power consumption is for these systems?
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: Internet!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John

For those living off-grid, does anyone know what the power consumption is for these systems?
my sprint card is usb and runs off of my laptop. I use a cheap 100 watt inverter plugged into the cigarette lighter in the car when driving to run my laptop (and sprint card)
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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Re: Internet!?

I don't even use the air card, my Verizon cell phone with USB cable, plug the phone right into the laptop and connect on their EVDO (wireless broadband)... works very well and cost $60 per month, no roam, no LDX, 24/7 access but has a 5 gig per month limit,...have never exceeded the limit. I also have a hi-gain WiFi set-up too so I can tap into any open portals...
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:57 PM   #11
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Re: Internet!?

I have Hughes.net and it is around $60/mo but you will need to buy yourself a signal meter because tuning the dish needs to be very precise and needs to be mounted very securely or you will lose data packets.

The meters will run you $500: http://www.prosatellitesupply.com/meter_BirDOG.htm
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:47 PM   #12
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Re: Internet!?

I too have been using a sprint aircard only after seeing lapeer20m has been using one. I have been happy with it. I have noticed though when you are on the road between major cities the service does drop to speeds below what a dial up connection would give you. I believe they revamped their service plans now to a 5 gig cap per month. When I got it it was unlimited and I'm sure lapeer20m's was too since he got his before me.

I tend to use it during the day and when I'm on trips work and play. Mine goes in to the old style slot on a laptop. I was at a hotel that had wireless only in their office area costumer lounge area. I was in the laundry surfing and some people came in their and were surprised cause they thought I was picking up the wireless signal until I told them what I had. I do every once in a while share the connection through the laptops internal wireless card as a ad hoc. (computer to computer network) I also did pipe it into my home network to wired computers during my few month switch from cable to dsl.
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:28 PM   #13
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Re: Internet!?

what about blue sky internet?
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:51 PM   #14
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Re: Internet!?

I am a recovering Satellite Internet user. I do not recommend them for anyone who wants a serious internet connection. There are a lot of reasons why so forgive me if I miss twenty or thirty of them.

First off, in a mobile situation, you'll have to set up your dish at each and every stop. This means no internet while you're driving. I doubt you'll want to set up and tear down your dish every time you stop so there is no internet on the road at pit stops, etc.
Second, the dish needs to be aligned precisely. The movement of your bus as you walk through it or as the wind pushes on it will cause it to go out of alignment enough to lose connection. That is why you see the dishes mounted on tripods set on the ground outside the RV, with cables to trip on running inside. That is just hokey if you ask me.

Then we move on to the connection itself. Your signal gets bounced 22,000 miles up into space to the satellite, then down to your dish and to your computer. The return packet goes up the same 22,000 miles and then back down to earth again. An internet connection consists of many many small packets all going back and forth, only on satellite it's about a 100,000 mile round trip for each packet!! This causes a latency problem that would wreak total havoc on your connection. The satellite provider attempts to deal with the latency problem by manipulating your packets in some complex ways that quite often just don't work very well.

A casual user may never notice any problems with satellite internet. But a serious internet user will find themselves pulling at their hair over it's many issues.

In my opinion the best solution in todays world is wireless internet through a cell provider. If you're lucky you'll find a provider with coverage everywhere you're going to be. I know one person who has wireless internet coverage through two cell phone providers to cover his needs. While pricey, this would be a better solution than satellite in my opinion.

The benefits are many, but mostly you'll never have to lug around and aim a stupid dish. You'll be able to use the internet while you're driving. I don't recommend typing and driving at the same time but you know what I mean.

If you'd like to give satellite a try I have a hughsnet dish and a dw6000 satellite modem. It all worked just fine when I turned it off 2 years ago. I'd package it up and send it to a new owner if they paid shipping. For a mobile setup you'd need to add a tripod and some way to aim it.

-Ray
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