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Old 04-05-2015, 07:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies. I hope there are others. I am definitely learning a great deal by reading some of your references. You all seem more knowledgeable about this subject than I.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, and then please answer the question at the end of this paragraph. I stated in the original post that it appeared to me that the limitation of most campground WiFi systems was not their signal strength, but their capacity to handle multiple connections at once. I have been in one campground in particular, where the owner went to considerable lengths to improve his WiFi by placing multiple repeaters around the campground. My hotspot-enabled Verizon phone (or my MiFi)always showed "5 bars", but the connection was miserably slow...except at 3AM, at which time it was quite fast and very usable. It was my assumption that his "pipe" (bandwidth) to the ISP was simply not sufficient to support large volumes of traffic at once. QUESTION: In cases such as this, NO WiFi-enhancing device would be of any value, correct?

Similarly, correct me if I'm wrong about this aspect of cellular Internet access. When at Quartzsite this year, there was NO WiFi available that I was aware of. Using my hotspot-enabled Verizon phone for Internet access--at 3AM, access was blazingly fast, but at peak usage times, it slowed considerably. It never became totally unusable (as has been my experience with campground WiFi), but it slowed considerably. QUESTION: My ASSUMPTION was that the tower was overloaded. In that case, no cellular-enhancing device would be of benefit, correct?

To answer one person's comment about data usage, I have found that even at times when I have had very good cellular Internet access (10 meg) and used it daily, in a months' time, I would never use 20 gig.

One more question, please. Does data transmission via MiFi or Jetpack connect to different towers than voice usage? Alan, a very knowledgeable fellow at Quartzsite, had a very sophisticated cellular data enhancing setup in his coach, based on a Jetpack, external antenna and amplifier. He said it appeared to him that his Jetpack was not connecting to the same tower as his cell phone might. He thought that might be an explanation for why his setup performed so well.


I do not mean to infer that I am not going to pursue one or both of these alternatives (WiFi or cellular). I don’t have any choice—I MUST improve my Internet access if I wish to continue taking anything other than very short trips. Thank you for all your responses. I have a lot of reading and studying to do.

My apologies for the long post. I am researching all the suggestions you have all made.
Correct, correct, and no. A Jetpack or MiFi is a cell phone, (they actually have a phone number), for data and uses the same towers and system as voice.

I'm in the same boat as far as work, travel, and an internet connection. We use Verizon due to superior coverage where we usually are and have a 20 gig plan for two phones. We don't use a Jetpack anymore as the cellphone hotspot does the same thing. We'll probably be installing a Wilson booster and external antenna this summer as we venture farther out into the back country. We'll probably use a system meant for a building so the phones don't have to be in a cradle.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:33 PM   #16
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Van,

It is ALL about Bandwidth. If you have a BIG enough pipe the data will flow faster than if the pipe is smaller or more congested.

I use the Rogue Wave which allows me to reach out further to access free open networks. Again, it depends on how good a signal I have and how much bandwidth is available on whatever network I can connect to.

I will be using our Sprint Samsung S5 phones as Hot Spots to access either a 3G or 4G LTE data connection for data usage. That connection depends on how close you are to the towers and how much data is being used.

The sole purpose of the Wilson Signal Booster which consists of an outside antenna, inside wireless booster and inside antenna is to take a weak mobile cellular signals and increase the strength which will give you a better phone call when using voice or increase the speed when using data.

We have been very spoiled for the last 2 years while connected to Charter Cable for our Internet, phone and HD TV while at our volunteer job. In two weeks all of that goes away and it's back to reality when we leave here and head for Alaska.

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Old 06-13-2015, 08:35 AM   #17
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This forum is fantastic . So many like minded people bursting with experience , is helping me fix weak wifi.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:45 AM   #18
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One option that MIGHT work and cost little (and has the advantage of being an old saying) is

Let's run it up the flag pole and see how it flys.

Now to get serious.. Running the Jet Pack up a flag pole means it is HIGHER and at UHF and Microwave frequencies (heck even VHF) HEIGHT IS MIGHT.

What is a 1 or 2 bar signal feet on the ground device in hand can go full scale 20 or 30 feet up.

Insert photo of man on roof of motor home making cell phone call
(NOTE: Last time I did that the call was in regards to something roof mounted (The A/C) but well.. Signal is a reason too)

Internet here in the CG went out.. I had to climb in order to get enough signal to TEXT the landlord who then called his park host who then re-set it ...

That is what I'd do first.. Get the jet pack as high as you can.. This is a very low cost solution if you do it properly.
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:54 AM   #19
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One option that MIGHT work and cost little (and has the advantage of being an old saying) is

Let's run it up the flag pole and see how it flys.

Now to get serious.. Running the Jet Pack up a flag pole means it is HIGHER and at UHF and Microwave frequencies (heck even VHF) HEIGHT IS MIGHT.

What is a 1 or 2 bar signal feet on the ground device in hand can go full scale 20 or 30 feet up.

Insert photo of man on roof of motor home making cell phone call
(NOTE: Last time I did that the call was in regards to something roof mounted (The A/C) but well.. Signal is a reason too)

Internet here in the CG went out.. I had to climb in order to get enough signal to TEXT the landlord who then called his park host who then re-set it ...

That is what I'd do first.. Get the jet pack as high as you can.. This is a very low cost solution if you do it properly.
Yeah but.. It isn't water proof or even water resistant.. Zap and no internet at all..
Ron
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:26 AM   #20
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Yeah but.. It isn't water proof or even water resistant.. Zap and no internet at all..
That's why a lot of them have external antenna connections. Put the antenna on the flag pole, and keep the device inside.

When looking for a new Internet device, the first criteria I have is an external antenna connection: if there's no antenna port, the device is immediately crossed off the list.

I use the same MiFi at home and on the road, it's my only Internet access method. (I'm so far out in the boonies that the phone lines stop on my telephone pole, the power lines stop two more houses down, and the rest of the road has nothing.) At home, I have a yagi antenna in the attic pointed right at the cell tower, in the motorhome I have a Wilson roof mount antenna. I get a much stronger signal using the external antennas than I ever get with the built in antenna.
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Old 06-13-2015, 10:52 AM   #21
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I have been traveling and working for 3+years now. I have both verizon and AT&T wifi units. They seem to work better than my iPhone's for signal strength. Verizon's coverage is better but there are areas where AT&T works much better. I use the wifi mostly for emails and attachments.
As we travel the country, we check Verizon's and AT&T web sites to see how the coverage is where we are going. If it's low or no signal we find a different campground. We have been to all 48 states with no issues.
I hope that helps.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:10 PM   #22
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As you are finding there are many solutions. Check out the Jefatech repeater setup. I used one for years and their tech support is excellent. They sell a package with an outside antenna. Their setup is easy to use and you don't have to be a geek. It is not quite as strong as my setup but I used one for several years and was very happy with it.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:24 PM   #23
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Van...If you are still seeking info on RV Internet you might go over to technomadia.com, they are RVers and KNOW what they are talking about in this area. You can read a lot for free but they also produce "The Mobile Internet Handbook" which is very through. I think you will find a lot if not all you are looking for there.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:44 AM   #24
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Van...If you are still seeking info on RV Internet you might go over to technomadia.com, they are RVers and KNOW what they are talking about in this area. You can read a lot for free but they also produce "The Mobile Internet Handbook" which is very through. I think you will find a lot if not all you are looking for there.
Chuck, thanks! You are right--I found out about these guys from another RV'er, and now I'm on a waiting list for one of the new 4G amp/antenna combinations. I joined that group to get access to the "handbook", and it is a gem. I would highly recommend it to anyone, but especially novices like myself. It has concise explanations of the pros and cons of all possibilities, and although the authors are real techies, they have done a good job of presenting novice-oriented info along with the tech info that more experienced users might want.

I was absolutely certain I wanted a directional antenna, after my ham radio experience from 50 years ago. They made the case that nowadays omni antennas have progressed to the point that the performance difference is much less. These guys live and breathe this stuff and publish a monthly newsletter that keeps their info accurate up-to-the-minute. They also have no connections with any provider or manufacturer and seem totally unbiased. They have been a great help to me.
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