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Old 02-12-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
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Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

We are at the fringe of the crappy park wi-fi. I keep losing the connection and it has been getting worse. I was using a little USB dongle Antenna which worked just fine in Socorro but kinda sucked here. So I bought another little antenna from off Amazon with a "panel" antenna for under $35 (and it shipped free). It came in today. I hang the antennas in the window of the bus. I do think all the metal messes with the wi-fi signal. And the signal get blocked by other RVs. I also bought a 15 ft USB cable with the antenna. I don't need it right now but I am going to buy a used tablet (cheap cheap cheap... found a website) to use as an e-reader (among other things) and the 15 ft USB cable may come in handy for that. I've had a hard time finding the long USB cables locally. Connected right now using the panel at 54Mbps (dropped to 48 Mbps for a couple seconds). It hasn't dropped down to 11 Mbps yet. I'm happy. This thing is supposed to connect to wifi that is 1 mile away. I'm only concerned that it connects to the crappy Cable One/park wi-fi and to pick up open wifi in parking lots.

Alfa AWUS036H Upgraded to 1000mW 1W 802.11b/g High Gain USB Wireless Long-Rang WiFi network Adapter with 5dBi Rubber Antenna and a 7dBi Panel Antenna - for Wardriving & Range Extension *Strongest on the Market*

Product Description
The Alfa AWUS036H is the latest version of the most powerful card available. This has a stunning 1000mW output power. So if you are looking for a device to connect to an outdoor 2.4 GHz antenna, such as on a boat or an RV, this is a perfect solution. It outperforms wireless cards that are built in to newer laptops. Adding this to your laptop or desktop computer will enhance range and signal quality at longer distances. And works with Win98SE/200/ME/XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux (kernel 2.6.6 and later) and Macintosh (OS version 10.4). And the necessary drivers for ALL of these operating systems are included on CD-ROM

* Connects at a full 54Mbps via USB 2.0, up to 8 times faster than a USB 1.1 adapter
* High gain upgradeable
* Compact size for greater flexibility
* Also compatible with USB 1.1 desktop and notebook computers
* Plug-and-Play Compatible with windows 98SE, 2000, Millennium, XP and Linux
* High security 64/128/256bit WEP Encryption, TKIP, WPA, 802.11

Data Rate 802.11b: UP to 11Mbps, 802.11g: 54Mbps
Antenna Type 1 x 2.4Ghz SMA connector
Chipset Realtek 8187L
Output Power 24dBm (OFDM), 30dBm(CCK)
Frequency Stability within +25 ppm
Data Modulation Type BPSK,QPSK, CCK and OFDM
Security WEP 64/128, 802.1X support, Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), WPA-PSK ,WPA II .
Dimensions 8.5 x 2.2 x 6.3cm
Weight 38.5g
Pages load much faster and it hasn't dropped off... yet. We've had good luck with the Alpha antennas. That's what brand my daughter was using on her laptop and getting onto the free internet off the various business when we were wallydocking.

If anyone else is using a good, consistent internet connection, perhaps you can post what you are using? Park wi-fi is a PITA. Solutions would be helpful to others. Inexpensive would be even better. I don't know about anyone else but satellite based internet is far beyond my budget.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

he mounted one of the ant. ( round stick looking ones on back of wireless card),drilled a hole in a old sat dish, epoxied it in and can point it for best signal,actually "seems" to work,he has a long ext cord for the antenae mount

There are you tube vids of this mod
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Elk Plain, WA.
Posts: 513
Year: 1993
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Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 16
Re: Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

Great find, I think I'm gonna pull the trigger and pick one up... Right now I have one of those usb thumb drive looking adapters on a 10' cord, it works but not great all the time... And if anyone even looks at the microwave it drops...

Btw, I installed the sat interweb (Directway) crap years ago... Stuff sucks...
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:44 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 52
Re: Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

Mcdonalds provides free Wifi as well if you're ever on the road and want to check your e-mail.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:33 PM   #5
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,583
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

#1 I know we are on the fringe edges of the park wi-fi since the back end of the bus (where the computer is located) is within 5 feet of the fence that surrounds the RV park!

#2. What do you think our neighbours would do if I informed them that they needed to refrain from using their cellphones & microwaves while I surf the internet? What would you say/do?

#3 We have Cable One internet. Those morons worked on the wi-fi for a week straight saying it was fixed daily before they finally got the wi-fi fixed. And it takes them a week to get around to fixing the internet. The antenna is a joy as long as the basic wi-fi works. There is a problem when I have strong signal connection but bad link(no wi-fi available)... like today.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:31 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 916
Year: 2000
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Engine: ISC 8.3
Re: Internet/Wi-fi Connectivity

There are many ways to crack that nut. High power on your client side isn't usually going to get the best result, though: if you're attempting to talk to somebody on the far side of a football stadium, your yelling louder or even using a bullhorn isn't going to solve it (the person at the far side may hear you better, but it won't help you hear them).

If any of your wifi cards has an antenna connection you could look for a directional wifi antenna instead of the usual round straight rod "omnidirectional" type. You'd need to determine where the park's wifi base station is located and point the directional antenna toward it. Just FYI the radio signal will drop very quickly over the coax antenna cable so keep that short -- like under 2 feet.

You mention that you're interested in a tablet too. I think tablets in general will run their wifi at lower power and will have lesser antennas (compared to a laptop computer); I wouldn't be surprised if it has even more wifi trouble than your existing computer does. Maybe you should look toward something like the Netgear WN3000RP wifi range extender (I've never used this product, but the description fits the bill). If you were willing to plug your laptop's ethernet into the range extender, instead of using wifi on the laptop, that would reduce the interference for the extender to do its thing. An external antenna could be used with the extender, too..

It might be a helpful experiment to try getting on the bus roof with your laptop -- climb up if you have a ladder, or poke your head out through a roof hatch. If it works better from up there you could bolt down a lawn chair (just kidding) but that also suggests that putting a wifi client, whether the USB type on a long USB cord (see or the range extender, would help. Try packing it in a plastic outdoor electrical junction box for weather resistance.
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