RV Satellite Internet

When I described that the software displayed a certain message and just sat there doing nothing, tech support suggested turning everything off, letting it be for five minutes, and then reconnecting with the satellite.

Last winter, we stayed at an RV resort for five months (except for weekend excursions). During that time we had a land line and dial-up Internet access.

my work. And thats a very wonderful thing — that is if

Cell phone modem limits the geographical areas where we can take our business. Unless we stay within the providers service area, roaming charges accumulate. Also, our cell phone modem is slow,14 k baudmaximum. Ones mental balance could slip a tiny bit waiting for pages to load!

– Final aiming of the dish requires phone access to an on line spectrum analyzer that tells the person aiming the dish, how your transmit signal looks from the satellite.Essential,to be certain that youre not causing interference to other satellites, other transponders, and to other users. And among the reasons why the manufacturers require that installation be done by certified installers.

Based around a lightweightsatelliteIP modem the size of a PC notebook, the service is fully portable and easy to use. The modem can be used with a PC or connected to a local area network (LAN) through which it can be accessed by multiple devices. Whats more, connections can be made using USB, Ethernet or Bluetooth technology.

As you may have gathered by now, I love theRVlife. And in

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in a pop up trailer. To others it means full time or

As we were less than two hours away, we decided to drive to his office so he could see for himself what was going on and, hopefully, show us how to fix it if it should happen again in the future.

One of the absolutely priceless perks of having this satellite dish is the ability to wander in the back country.

experiment to see if I could make it as a freelance writer.

When I called his office, he was out on a service call.

my expenses with income from my writing. Back in those

In the future, we may switch to wireless — after Ive had time to study up on firewalls and other methods to protect customer data.

writing and publishing, and myRVhas served as a rolling

Our writers who are on the road have to be able to access the internet to send stories back to the office. Some go into the nearest library and book time on the internet, often for the next day. So it is necessary for them to stay in an area for more than one day to be able to send out their stories. Sometimes it is even necessary for them to send their stories and photos back to the office by overnight courier.

days it helped to furnish photos with your stories and so

in mycasebusiness trips where myRVserves as both my

It worked like a pleasant dream. We found a camping spot, started the laptop containing the satellite system software, clicked a button, and some minutes later we were surfing.

conclude that a portable life was possible. The Internet has

Some of our readers stay in e-mail contact with family and friends when on the road using a toll-free number (1- in USA or Canada) from any telephone with a system called PocketMail. The service is available for $14.95 per month or $149 per year in US dollars. You can send faxes to destinations in USA or Canada for 25 cents per fax. The system allows you to store the equivalent of 20,000 – 500 character messages on the PocketMail Network. (Top)

Theres another lake near here, Lake Heron. Maybe well go there next week.

Only one installer answered our query adequately. This was Arlyn Dale from Combined Resource Group, LLC, of Albuquerque,New Mexico (USA).

white photos. What fun it was to set it up in a dark campground.

Many of us are addicted to our E-mail when we are at home or at the office. But when we go on the road in our Rvs, we lose contact with business associates, grandchildren, and friends. Many Rvers want to be able to check their stock quotes, bank balances, or shop online. Having an internet connection from the RV in the campground is not always easy. Some campgrounds have telephone connections at a few sites, for an extra cost, or a place in the office where you can plug in your laptop computer to collect your messages with an 800-number.

Mari and I soon realized we simply could not put off getting the satellite dish any longer. With the technology available to do otherwise, why restrict our geographical area and put up with crawlingly slow Internet connections?

Once we decided not to delay getting the system, we surfed the net and emailed queries with the primary purpose of finding out as much as we could as fast as we could. We wanted to know what our equipment options were and which installers were competent. We were ready to buy.

my family. But I also love to use myRVfor extended trips,

cameras. I havent bought a roll of film in five years. What an

not postal mail, and include color photos taken with digital

There are manypeople wanting an on the roadinternet access product… Were getting closer, but the current generation bi-directional products are not intended for mobile use. Neither we, nor the manufacturers support such a use. The systems are designed and intended for fixed location use….

You compose your message using the integrated keyboard on the Composer, which is a full-featured 512Kb organizer with personal digital assistant features; such as, scheduler and alarm, to-do list, calculator, address book, and Memo pad. You dial into the PocketMail service with the 800-number, when it answers Welcome to PocketMail, hold your Composer to the telephone receiver and press the PocketMail button. In moments you will have sent and received your e-mail. After activation, your PocketMail composer will include one e-mail account, and you can also store alternative Reply-To addresses to help you access mail from your other AOL, POP3, or IMAP4 e-mail accounts, receive forwarded mail and reply as if from those accounts.

RVing has always been both of these to me. I love to

A week later, we decided to move to a park northwest of our current location. We got there and clicked the button. And the software was unable to establish a connection with the satellite.

We did that. It didnt work. Tech support said the software message should clear within a minute, two at the most, and connection established.

Until digital cellular coverage is available in all parts of the country, the only way to communicate while travelling between cities and in rural areas is with analog mode. This fall I have been experimenting with the Ositech system of connecting to the internet while on the road. The King of Clubs CellFlex card allows you to connect to the Internet whether you are in a digital or an analogue cellular area. This card is inserted into a PCMCIA slot in the side of the laptop computer and connected to your cellular telephone with a short cord. To make a cellular data connection, the King of Clubs PC Card uses your cell phones internal modem and your computers power supply. Our ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides us with a list of local phone numbers to use in each area so that we dont have to use long distance each time we want to call in. This list of phone numbers is available over the internet, but I keep our list of contact numbers for the ISP on a word processing file so that I dont have to be connected to the Internet to locate the local number when I am away from home. With Ositech, it has been simple to make the e-mail connection- as the screen comes up to signify that I am calling our Internet Provider, I click on the modem that I want to use for the call, either the standard modem that came with the computer for land-line calls, or the Ositech King of Clubs card for cellular calls. Then I key in the local number for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and hit Connect. In a few seconds I am into the service providers network and can collect my e-mail messages and send off any replies or messages to readers, the office, or the grandchildren. So far the speed has been very good (14,400 kBps) when receiving and sending e-mails across the country, from either Canada or the USA. CellFlex products are also compatible with the popular Personal Digital Assistants (PDA), like iPAQ, Jornada, and Cassiopiea, as well as others with PCMCIA Card slots. If you are calling from the USA, you have to remember that local cellular areas will charge a roaming fee plus any long distance charges, unless you have subscribed to the North America One Rate Plan. For those of you who are travelling in the South for one to three months or more, you can subscribe for only those months ($69/mth). If you are only travelling in Canada, the Real Time Canada Plan is for you. For $39/mth, you have 200 minutes of connect time with no long distance or roaming charges.

Other major benefits for thebusinesstraveller are speed and cost. Regional BGAN offers connectivity at more than twice the speed of current terrestrial GPRS networks. Also connection to the Internet or a private network can be kept always on, yet you only pay for the amount of data you send or receive, rather than the time connected – making it an extremely effective corporate tool.

it means an occasional weekend camping trip with the family

After several hours of telephone work with the support center, with the ISP (Direcway), and with Hughes, Arlyn found out that Hughes had uploaded new software to the satellite and they were unaware a few mobile systems could not connect. It took Arlyn and tech support the rest of the day and part of the next to coax Hughes programmers to fix their problem.

Our current GPS latitude is 36.6119N, longitude 106.741W, and altitude 6804.41 feet. Were way beyond the range of cell phone towers. Even AM and FM radio signals are too weak for good listening. But Internet radio works real good. And were running a successful Internet business from an RV.

In the past, we have used Bells Data-To-Go program if we were in a digital cellular area. But this doesnt work at all in an analogue transmission area. And to make matters more confusing, some areas do not use the same system for digital transmission. Ontario uses one system, while Vancouver uses a much higher frequency to transmit digital information. Data-To-Go connects your computer through your digital cell phone to a modem in the telephone companies offices to allow you to send and receive e-mail.

It could certainly be done successfully as none of these items are terribly complex or difficult, but we believe that they add up to be more than the averageperson would want to deal with….

modestly successful as a freelance writer, I did well enough to

motorhome with my mini darkroom and a manual typewriter.

After the two-day installation process, we went to a State Park an hour or so west of Albuquerque to give the new system a try.

However, we all know how electronics items evolve fairly rapidly. And we believe that there are folks working on auto-antenna aiming systems for these data systems.

– Some software adjustments would need to be made to compensate for the change in location. The delay time from location to the satellite, again depending upon how far youre moving from location to location.

We frequently access customers servers to debug or install software. Which means we have access to server passwords. With wireless there is a slight chance transmission might be intercepted by someone using a wireless-ready computer nearby. So we chose Ethernet.

Regional BGAN offers userssatellitecoverage in up to 99 countries, making it suitable for those who are working in areas where GPRS cellular roaming is patchy or unreliable.

home and office. My work for the past 20 years has been

We had previously done much research and had a good idea of the cost and equipment requirements.

most-time living — staying in one place for awhile and

– Physical aiming of the dish parameters change based upon location (Elevation, Azimuth, and Skew angle). So depending upon how far youre moving from location to location, you would have to re-determine those angles, and adjust accordingly.

incredible change from when I set off in my first little

The system is easy to use. Everything is software driven. Just click on a button and the software unfolds the dish, then points and peaks it. It uses very little power. When ready to move to different location, a click on another button stows the dish. Stowed, its somewhat streamlined to reduce drag and its only 12 inches high — lower than our roof air conditioner, in fact.

Theoretically, you could carry a bi-directional system on the road, and set it up after each move. However, we would consider it to be impractical for the average user.

get away to a Washington State Park for a weekend with

the mail. It was way too much fun. And even though I was only

We found Arlyn and his staff to be friendly, competent and professional. They know what theyre doing and theyre willing to answer questions. And theyre busy, which is almost always an indication that the company is respected.

I loved being able to find a story, snap a few photos, write the

The message had been displayed for several hours, not a minute or two. I felt that tech support wasnt going to provide a solution very soon, so decided to call Arlyn. Although not really his problem (tech support for the system is centralized and not the responsibility of the installation company), I knew he could help.

Its a bit of a gamble, selecting an installer. With a stationary home or business, the installation company might be just across town. If they dont provide the service you expect, you go knock on their door. With us, well be hundreds or even thousands of miles away, essentially all of the time. We need to feel confident service will not degrade once we leave the neighborhood.

Our system needed to service both a Windows and a Macintosh computer. One of the choices we had to make was whether to network wireless or Ethernet.

For about a tenth of the price, we could have purchased an Internet satellite system available for non-mobile homes and businesses, and received training to manually point the dish to the correct satellite and do signal peaking adjustments. It would not meet FCC approval, however, to use the dish at new locations as we traveled about.

mycaseits because I can combine my love of travel with

Regional BGAN is the ideal solution forbusinesstravellers who need to keep in touch with their clients or colleagues.

I spent several months on the road and managed to pay

Come Spring, however, our wanderlust dictated we see towns and landscapes we havent seen before.

Today, a writers work is digital. We send our stories by email,

With a satellite connection, an Internet business can be mobile. Within 10 minutes of stopping somewhere for the night, the week, or just to download email, broadband Internet connection can be established.

newsroom. My first trip in my first motorhome was an

I carried along a bare bones darkroom for printing black and

Turns out the persistence of the software message was something Arlyn never encountered before. It really should have disappeared within a minute or two; actually, it usually requires only several seconds. (The software message was The system is waiting for a ranging request to be processed by the Network Operations Center.)

We answered email, surfed, updated some web pages, helped customers — activities required when running a successful Internet business.

Digital cellphones with e-mail capabilities allow users to send short text only messages (up to 160 characters) from one phone to another. Later this year some cellphone companies will be upgrading their networks in certain metropolitan areas of the country to accept the newer GPRS 2.5G phones. This could speed up the transfer of data, but any new development comes with a high cost for early adopters. This service will mostly be used by companies until the price comes down, and service areas become more universal.

As far as we know, iNetVu system is the only two-way, mobile Internet satellite system approved by the FCC. We found several one-way systems by other companies, where a cell phone or other method must be used to upload data packets to an ISP in conjunction with satellite downloads.

We had a business to run. We needed the Internet. So we drove to where we had cell phone reception and called the tech support line.

This is two-way, mobile Internet satellite hookup. No cell phone, land line, or other transmission assistance is required. RV batteries can provide all the electrical power thats needed.

It put a smile on my face. It was broadband in the back country.

story that night, print the photos and then drop the package in

Whether travelling outside the developed world or simply outside an urban area, Regional BGAN does not rely on traditional telephone or communications, but allows you to connect independently and securely to both the Internet and corporate computer networks.

RVing means different things to different people. To some,

We had been told there may be infrequent and short outages due to the leading edge of thunder storms at our or the ISPs location, or due to software upgrades at the ISP or Hughes Satellite System (Hughes owns the satellite). It was evening, so we decided to let it lay until morning when things should be cleared up.

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