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Wi-fi at campgrounds

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I know this topic has probably been beat to death, but I'm getting real tired of having to tote my laptop to the office just to be able to get on the Internet. (Ok, I'm lazy.)

All to often we end up at a spot too far away to get a strong enough signal. It seems to me that some company out there makes a booster to increase the signal a little, at least be able to receive a good enough one for the laptop to work. I don't know a lot about computers. I just know when I turn it on it should work (probably in a dream world). Any suggestions on how to accomplish this would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,

Gary

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Guest BillAdams

Remember that a booster must have something to boost. If you have no signal at your coach you are still going to have no signal with a booster.

If you can, get a directional antenna like a Yagi that you can mount on a pole on your ladder, as height is might. You can then point the antenna to the source of the signal and be above all the objects that will normally block a line of sight, signal such as that used by Wi-fi routers.

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Strictly speaking, if you have no signal at your coach, a Yagi won't help either! A built-in antenna in a laptop may not show any signal when there is a weak signal available. A better antenna can raise that signal to a level that can be usable. A Yagi would be better than what I have suggested, but the antenna and modem that I suggested work well without having to do any special set-up or aiming of the antenna. I have found that using the setup I suggested will bring up many more sources of signal than show up on my computer when using its built-in antenna. All those extra sources would be in the category of no signal when using the built in antenna as far as anyone would know until they use a better antenna and modem. What is more, weak signals that occasionally drop out and are basically unusable will become usable with a better antenna.

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Guest BillAdams
Strictly speaking, if you have no signal at your coach, a Yagi won't help either!

I believe that is what I said:

"Remember that a booster must have something to boost. If you have no signal at your coach you are still going to have no signal with a booster."

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Guest BillAdams
I guess I misunderstood your previous post. Sorry.

No worries. We are all here just trying to help.

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I sometimes find that even when I have what appears to be a good signal, my laptop does not have the power to transmit back. An external antenna on your laptop will help by allowing you to position your antenna to a better position that will allow for a better line of site to the WiFi antenna.

It is a line of site transmission so even if you do not buy the type that is like a mini-dish (directional), mounting as hi as you can on the outside of the coach will help give you better range. Mirror mounted, or mounted like the FM antenna would work well. These type of antenna are $50 - $130.

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First let me say that I too am a fan of Startrek, and I want my computer to boot up instantly at the sound of my voice. A command of "computer find the route" should be sufficient.

Now back to reality. Cyberguys.com has a few WiFi booster that might help.

When we make our reservations, If I will need the WiFi, I usually ask for a spot with known access.

Usually we use our Verison air car.

But I totally agree, I can't imagine that creating adequate WiFi coverage would be a major capital expense, and it is becoming as important or even more important than a clean pool and spa or exercise room to many guests.

Hope some park owners are reading this.

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Ok guys. Its been a while since I posted but I feel it is critical that I comment on this Wi Fi thing......

One.... When Willa and I leave home on a trip we haul two lap tops and a little thingie called a ROUTER.... Its a little white thingie with 4 antenni on it and we stick a ''card'' in the side of it and about anywhere we go we can get on the net. It is tied in with our cell phone and there is no charge for using the net. Anywhere you can get the ''signal'' you can get on the net and it costs nothing to use and it does not count as phone time.......

Two. When we pull into a campsite one of the first things we do is see if we can ''GET ON THE NET''........ If we do get a signal I will go to the surrounding campers and tell then that I have a ''router'' hooked up and they are free to use it to get on the net if they like.

Three. This makes you an ''INSTANT HERO'' with your fellow campers. You can provide the ''NET'' for free and they dont have to pay the campground that extra dollar to three dollars per day for WIFI SERVICE they provide.

Four. This also gives you the opportunity to meet your fellow campers and you will always make several friends like this because you are providing a service that they will use.

Five. I always tell them that this is an ''UN-SECURED'' service so if they type in their swiss bank account number I will probably get it and steal all their money. (no luck on this yet)

Six..... Simply stated, when you travle, TAKE YOUR ROUTER WITH YOU... You can get on the net and provide a service for other campers to get on the net also. The only draw back is that it is usually kinda slow. Kinda like a 56 K modem but it is FREE....

Remember this....... If you use this idea you must pay me ten cents the next time you see me. To offset this cost to you, you can simply charge the people a one time ''five cent'' fee for the service and you will make money on the deal...........

God bless our troops and bring them home soon and safe........

God bless our vets

Seajay the sailor man...

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Before I retired I owned a ISP business in a rural area. I started my ISP business in 1995 and the fastest speed back then was 33,600 modems. Over the years my customers had the need for faster speed. I am also a ham radio operator and had a tower on top of a large hill so I put that to use providing WiFi service up to 10 miles away. The latest in outside WiFi equipment is very suitable for a MH. I have a unit that I mount on my ladder with a CAT-5 cable running inside to plug into my laptop. The power (12v) to the outside equipment is feed via the Cat-5 cable so only one cable is necessary. When I get to an RV park I fire up the laptop, connect to the external equipment and see what signals are available. If I need to get a better signal I climb the ladder and loosen the antenna enough to reaim it for a better signal. I have used this setup to even get WiFi from a hotel a mile or so away. The radio has 400mw of power and a 10dbi antenna. The MSRP for this device is $79.00 and can be purchased online from several suppliers and I have seen it available on EBay.

Check it out at http://www.ubnt.com/products/nano.php

You could also hookup a external omni antenna and would not have to turn the antenna for best signal but it works much better with the built in directional antenna. It takes a few minutes to setup but the connection is worth the extra time. We stayed at a park in Vancover this past September in the spot that was the fatherest away from the parks WiFi which was a router setting on a desk in the office. I pointed the antenna at the office and had Internet the several days we were there while others had to go sit at the outside table at the office :-)

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Guest BillAdams
One.... When Willa and I leave home on a trip we haul two lap tops and a little thingie called a ROUTER.... Its a little white thingie with 4 antenni on it and we stick a ''card'' in the side of it and about anywhere we go we can get on the net. It is tied in with our cell phone and there is no charge for using the net. Anywhere you can get the ''signal'' you can get on the net and it costs nothing to use and it does not count as phone time.......

Could you tell us more about the magic "card"? I have never heard of a card that allow free cellular data. What kind of router are you using with it?

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Guest Wayne77590

I use an ATT USB-551 data modem. When I'm ready to get on the web I plug it into the USB port. (Yes it does cost money.) In two years of operation, only one time in Millersburg, Ohio, was there not a signal. (But the park had WiFi, so I was still connected.)

Wilson Electronics http://wilsonelectronics.com can provide several different style, including yagi and log periodic, antennae. You just have to find one that suits your needs and pocketbook. Since I don't make a living off the Internet, my USB Modem has been sufficient.

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Guest BillAdams

Sure, there are "cards" for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and others that will allow a paid connection to the Internet. Service is good where service exists and a router can be used in conjunction with these cards so that more than one user can share the same connection.

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