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Shan-man
08-18-2008, 12:24 PM
I was hoping some others might be tech-dweebs like me and have some cool tech they have incorporated into their camping lifestyle.

For instance: I recently traded DSL for an aircard and found a cool router that the USB aircard plugs right into and creates a wi-fi access point where ever I need it. I use mine in the camper, but you can actually get a battery-powered one and go anywhere! So DW and I can surf our own laptops via wi-fi wherever we need to, even at home.

Now that we have internet everywhere we go, I'm thinking about the possibility of buying a Slingbox to access my satellite receiver and PVR when on the road. Does anyone else use a Slingbox with an aircard (or Disney wi-fi, for that matter)? I already have a programmable modulator so I could also use certain channels of the Slingbox to view security cameras while we're away. Or how about add a 200 disc DVD changer to the modulator and leave the DVDs at home where they are safe!

I'm also thinking about getting a bluetooth dock for my cell-phone and killing our landline phone service. The dock automatically links to your cellphone(s) when you get home and will ring incoming calls/place outgoing calls over your household phone handsets. In the case of multiple phones it gives a distinctive ring so you know who should answer. I first investigated this technology after seeing it in use in a $2M motorhome (Danika Patrick's, I think). It just seems really convenient to get home (be it mobile or not) and put you cell in the charger right next to the dock and use standard handsets (big, comfortable, loud). When you're ready to go, grab your fully-charged phone and head out, and without pressing a button your calls ring your cellphone! Very cool, I think. :idea:

Got any others?

Us3
08-18-2008, 12:40 PM
Now that we have internet everywhere we go, I'm thinking about the possibility of buying a Slingbox to access my satellite receiver and PVR when on the road. Does anyone else use a Slingbox with an aircard

I've never thought about this....but very interesting. Thanks, you have me researching it now! ;)

2goofycampers
08-18-2008, 01:05 PM
As a non tech dweeb all I have to say is :confused3 .

F4disneyfan
08-18-2008, 01:15 PM
I was hoping some others might be tech-dweebs like me and have some cool tech they have incorporated into their camping lifestyle.

For instance: I recently traded DSL for an aircard and found a cool router that the USB aircard plugs right into and creates a wi-fi access point where ever I need it. I use mine in the camper, but you can actually get a battery-powered one and go anywhere! So DW and I can surf our own laptops via wi-fi wherever we need to, even at home.

Now that we have internet everywhere we go, I'm thinking about the possibility of buying a Slingbox to access my satellite receiver and PVR when on the road. Does anyone else use a Slingbox with an aircard (or Disney wi-fi, for that matter)? I already have a programmable modulator so I could also use certain channels of the Slingbox to view security cameras while we're away. Or how about add a 200 disc DVD changer to the modulator and leave the DVDs at home where they are safe!

I'm also thinking about getting a bluetooth dock for my cell-phone and killing our landline phone service. The dock automatically links to your cellphone(s) when you get home and will ring incoming calls/place outgoing calls over your household phone handsets. In the case of multiple phones it gives a distinctive ring so you know who should answer. I first investigated this technology after seeing it in use in a $2M motorhome (Danika Patrick's, I think). It just seems really convenient to get home (be it mobile or not) and put you cell in the charger right next to the dock and use standard handsets (big, comfortable, loud). When you're ready to go, grab your fully-charged phone and head out, and without pressing a button your calls ring your cellphone! Very cool, I think. :idea:

Got any others?


We will be taking our 27" LCD tv our Bell xpressvue HD sat system and our HD DVD player with our laptop and our wireless router so the inlaws can access our system and we can access theirs not for internet access but for sharing pictures back and forth.

RustManFan
08-18-2008, 01:31 PM
All I need is a tent and a sleeping bag. The technology stays at home. I need a vacation from all that too !!

VACAMPER
08-18-2008, 01:32 PM
As a non tech dweeb all I have to say is :confused3 .

me too.:confused3

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 01:51 PM
As a non tech dweeb all I have to say is :confused3 .

Perhaps I should define some terms for the non-tech-dweebs (i.e. normal people):

Aircard (http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/remoteaccesssolutions/g/aircard.htm) - essentially a cell-phone for your computer that allows you to access the internet in most places with modern digital cell service.

Slingbox (http://askbobrankin.com/what_is_slingbox.html) - a device that connects to your a/v equipment and puts those signals into a private place on the web for you to access remotely. Usually you plug it into a cable or satellite receiver at home, log in to your Slingbox from a remote computer (or even a handheld computer or media-capable cell phone), use an on-screen replica of your remote control to manipulate the device as if you were at home, and enjoy the show! You can control almost any remote-control'able device over the internet via the Slingbox.

Modulator - a device that takes a video signal and puts it onto a specific TV channel. Every VCR made (nearly) had a modulator that lets you put your VCR signal on channel 3 or 4. Mine is a standalone unit that has 4 inputs that it can map onto any free channel up to 130 (I think). So I could use two for security cameras, one for the DVD player, and one for the satellite receiver, for instance.

Bluetooth (http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/bluetooth.htm) - a wireless connection protocol that allows devices to share some interoperability over relatively short distances (@30'). The most popular Bluetooth devices are those little earpieces that people use to talk on their cellphone. Many other types of device interoperation are possible like wireless printing, file transfers, peripheral connection (I'm using a BT keyboard and mouse right now), even a/v.

PVR/DVR (http://ezinearticles.com/?Digital-Video-Recorder:-What-Is-A-PVR-Or-A-DVR?&id=345553) - these are video recorders that save to hard drive rather than replaceable media. Usually they allow you to pause live tv, do your own instant replays, and store programs for later viewing. They also usually integrate with program guides to allow for simple recording of future shows, recurring shows, even searching for and automatically recording shows with certain key words (Epcot or "disney world", for instance).

That's all the trippers I could find, let me know if there is anything else I can do to draw you into the dark side of dweebism!!!

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 02:04 PM
All I need is a tent and a sleeping bag. The technology stays at home. I need a vacation from all that too !!

I agree, for the most part, I go on vacation to get out of the rut I craft for myself when at home. My DW and I were at the lake last weekend and about sunset she asked if we were going to watch some tv. My response was, why would I want to do that? We had spent the afternoon in alternating periods of talking and silence, and I wasn't ready to give that up. We did watch a little just before going to bed, but I enjoyed the day more with less. The following day was a downpour, and trying to talk over the roar of rain on the roof was frustrating. I was thankful for my internet connection as I spent much of the day planning our next Disney excursion. So, it is nice to have such modern conveniences on such occasions. Apparently I'm not alone in this, given how many satellite domes I see on Motorhome roofs. :happytv: Also, my wife telecommutes for work, and she is able to do most of her job from anywhere now... and she is better able to relax when she is able to check in to see how things are going in her absence rather than wondering and worrying. Besides, what do you expect of a couple who met on AOL! ;)

ntsammy5
08-18-2008, 02:49 PM
For instance: I recently traded DSL for an aircard


I've thought about that, but wouldn't use an aircard often - would I be disappointed going to an aircard from a 7.5mb service?

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 03:00 PM
I've thought about that, but wouldn't use an aircard often - would I be disappointed going to an aircard from a 7.5mb service?

You get 7.5MBpS down? That is a huge connection. We had a 5Meg business DSL connection and generally got around 3MBpS actual throughput according to this speed test (http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/). With the aircard I get between 400-600KBpS, so that is quite a slowdown when it comes to downloads, but for cruising the web, sharing pictures, even watching YouTube it is quite acceptable. For me the portability is worth the trade off.

BRDof3
08-18-2008, 03:01 PM
How does the air card compare to the speed and data transfer (and cost) compared to cable internet? I may be tempted to do that for the home office.

I shouldn't even be asking, then I WOULD be more likely to take the laptop camping. If I take it I'll spend all my time on it, instead of actually camping!

2goofycampers
08-18-2008, 03:08 PM
I got air card Shan-man, the rest is still fuzzy.:rotfl:

We have the Verizon air-card it's definitely not as fast as DS's cable internet but better then dial-up. The only draw back is the limit of 5gb's no youtube or video watching. It's $60.00 a month plus tax and fees.

ntsammy5
08-18-2008, 03:11 PM
7mb down a little under 1 up. It's cable. People around here get up to 15mb down using FIOS. I guess I'll keep what I have.

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 03:15 PM
I got air card Shan-man, the rest is still fuzzy.:rotfl: We have the Verizon air-card it's definitely not as fast as DS's cable internet but better then dial-up. The only draw back is the limit of 5gb's no youtube or video watching. It's $60.00 a month plus tax and fees.

Yeah, that's a problem with a lot of providers, they want to cap your usage. My wife works for a service provider so we get no-limit aircard service from them for less than we could get the cheapest DSL or cable.

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 03:19 PM
BTW, I am NOT trying to sell aircard service! I am just a fan of the flexibility. If we did not get employee pricing and had to pay the full rate, I'd probably want to go with AT&T so I could trade in my PPC for an iPhone. Just didn't want anyone to think I have ulterior motives here. I think ultimately I'd like to have cable at home, to upload Slingbox streams, and an aircard to use on the road.

2goofycampers
08-18-2008, 03:36 PM
We tried the AT&T aircard, was slow on the PC and not compatible with the laptops Vista.

BRDof3
08-18-2008, 04:03 PM
That's what I thought. I guess I'll stay with what I have. If it compared in terms of usage and cost then it would be worth it, to be able to work in offices and areas that don't have wireless access. It doesn't happen often enough to make it worth giving up the flexability when I'm in the office.

Good enough, like I said, if I had it I would never be able to leave it home when we went camping.

PixieDust32
08-18-2008, 05:00 PM
All I need is a tent and a sleeping bag. The technology stays at home. I need a vacation from all that too !!

DITTO!

That's the point of camping. :love:

F4disneyfan
08-18-2008, 06:39 PM
You get 7.5MBpS down? That is a huge connection. We had a 5Meg business DSL connection and generally got around 3MBpS actual throughput according to this speed test (http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/). With the aircard I get between 400-600KBpS, so that is quite a slowdown when it comes to downloads, but for cruising the web, sharing pictures, even watching YouTube it is quite acceptable. For me the portability is worth the trade off.

Holy cow our home connection is 3meg up and 10meg down.

ntsammy5
08-18-2008, 07:11 PM
Yeah I use Speakeasy to check sometime - just tested 9424 down and 974 up

LONE-STAR
08-18-2008, 08:17 PM
My Tech is truck, trailer, cart, and beer. For camping thats all I need.

Shan-man
08-18-2008, 08:47 PM
Okay, I see that I made two mistakes here... first, I should have called the thread "High-tech Motorhoming" or something since some people are offended by the idea of watching tv or using ac while camping. But I have seen pictures of tents (even tee-pee's) with laptops in them and I didn't want anyone to feel excluded from the thread. :hippie: Second, I shouldn't have suggested that an aircard is a suitable replacement for wired-broadband options. It's only just passable, though it works for me... I guess I'm just patient :surfweb:

That said, anybody got some innovative tech they are using in a camping situation. Personally, I never travel without my laptop. I run Microsoft Streets & Trips and use a GPS receiver to provide navigation guidance. I put my MacBook right on the doghouse of the motorhome and have a huge map compared to the little on-dash GPS-jobbers (old eyes).

My motorhome came without a backup camera, so when I saw a $99 wireless unit at Target I jumped. It's a little, dash mounted color screen (about the size of a dash-GPS) that plugs into the cig lighter. And the camera is designed to mount on the license plate and tap power from your back-up lights (so it activates only when backing). I mounted mine high center and angled it down and tapped a constant 12v line so it is always on since I cannot see out the back of my motorhome. It's a great little unit, with a clear picture and plenty of adjustability for various lighting conditions. And it allows me to back into narrow sites without assistance and put my bumper RIGHT where I want it. Pretty cool for $99.

ntsammy5
08-18-2008, 08:50 PM
No offense taken,I rarely camp where there is electric - and occasionally camp where the only thing I take with me is on my back, hence wine sometimes, not beer! And no laptop.

Shan-man
08-19-2008, 09:50 AM
No offense taken,I rarely camp where there is electric - and occasionally camp where the only thing I take with me is on my back, hence wine sometimes, not beer! And no laptop.

Oh, I agree, there is a world of difference between roughing it and motorhoming, and it is a mistake to lump them both into the term "camping". I agree with the purist who looks at a 45' triple slide with a sneer and says, "that's not camping". It's not, it's vacationing in an RV. I used to tent camp on Yonah Mt in N GA and spend the day rock climbing and rappelling and that was great fun... for a few days at a shot. I imagine tent camping at FW, in the right weather, is a blast too. But I have yet to see anyone setting up a tent camp there for 3,4, even 6 months like I do the motorhoming crowd. And that's what I was hoping to address, mostly, by starting this thread... what tech can you use when RV vacationing that makes it more enjoyable, easier, cheaper, et al. But, again, tech is not just for the RV crowd... I have seen someone in a state park at a hike in site, no electric, who had a car battery, power inverter, and laptop! :goodvibes

stky6
08-19-2008, 10:56 AM
All I need is a tent and a sleeping bag. The technology stays at home. I need a vacation from all that too !!

I'm a systems administrator...I whole heartedly agree :)

F4disneyfan
08-19-2008, 04:33 PM
I'm a systems administrator...I whole heartedly agree :)

A little OT but what kind of fish do you keep? We have a small 75 gal saltwater tank with Dory and Nemo and Jaque and a few others from the tank gang.

Shan-man
08-21-2008, 09:53 AM
One of the things that got me looking into the Slingbox in the first place is the fact that I am addicted to using a PVR. Before I got mine I knew it would be cool, but I never would have thought I would abandon watching live tv altogether. If something is on now that I want to watch, I am more likely to record it and watch something else already recorded for 20 minutes than I am to watch it live. In 20 minutes I can get through a 30 minute show and have built up enough spool that I can watch an hour long show commercial free.

All that to say, PVRs are not good traveling companions. The hard drive spins whenever there is power to the unit and is susceptible to damage from just going down the road. So in-motion satellite with PVR is a very dicey proposition. You can unplug the receiver and just get a standard satellite dome, but then you miss recording any shows that are on while you are not setup at camp.

A Slingbox (working as advertised, again, I don't have one yet) solves both problems. Your PVR remains safely at home away from shocks and can record whether you are at camp or not. Add the fact that a $200 box replaces a $2000+ satellite dome and a second receiver subscription and the idea becomes pretty compelling. One other thing it affords is a way to manage your PVR while away. If you are not watching and deleting shows a PVR fills up pretty quick (or at least mine does). With the Slingbox you can monitor your recorded shows and delete the ones you don't need so new shows don't overwrite things you'd like to keep.

I was thinking too, that if you were to use security cameras around the house, it would be cool to hook a cheap radio into the audio side of camera signals you don't need sound for (i.e. anything other than door or baby monitors) and then when you need background music you could just tune to that channel and get the music and monitor your property. And, when on vacation you'd have access (via Slingbox) to your favorite radio station at home.

2goofycampers
08-21-2008, 09:59 AM
Again Shan-man :confused:

Shan-man
08-21-2008, 10:02 AM
Ok, one more tech thing I'd like to find a way to employ. I'd like to design a system to use my laptop and aircard (or wi-fi) to monitor the situation in the motorhome while we are away. We leave our dogs often as we are touring, and there is alway the nagging fear that the generator/camp power might fail, or the AC might ice over/break down and the dogs would be left in sweltering heat. Or even just a way to know if they are being loud the whole time, bothering neighbors who are to kind to complain. It would be great to devise a system that could post criteria like voltage and temperature to a website, which I can monitor via my PPC. Or, for those without an internet-enabled PDA, just send a text message every so often... or even just when certain thresholds are met. How about tying in the fire alarm, or door alarms (break-ins). How about a pressure sensitive mat at your door that activates a web cam so you can see who left that nasty note on your door about the blasted dogs!!! Ok, I'm getting punchy.

VACAMPER
08-21-2008, 10:03 AM
I know Denise, it all confuses me to. Maybe he can draw us a picture.:rotfl:

Shan-man
08-21-2008, 10:08 AM
I know Denise, it all confuses me to. Maybe he can draw us a picture.:rotfl:

I guess I better stick to graphic design and give up ideas of becoming a technology columnist!

Born 2 Fish
08-21-2008, 10:25 AM
Ok, one more tech thing I'd like to find a way to employ. I'd like to design a system to use my laptop and aircard (or wi-fi) to monitor the situation in the motorhome while we are away. We leave our dogs often as we are touring, and there is alway the nagging fear that the generator/camp power might fail, or the AC might ice over/break down and the dogs would be left in sweltering heat. Or even just a way to know if they are being loud the whole time, bothering neighbors who are to kind to complain. It would be great to devise a system that could post criteria like voltage and temperature to a website, which I can monitor via my PPC. Or, for those without an internet-enabled PDA, just send a text message every so often... or even just when certain thresholds are met. How about tying in the fire alarm, or door alarms (break-ins). How about a pressure sensitive mat at your door that activates a web cam so you can see who left that nasty note on your door about the blasted dogs!!! Ok, I'm getting punchy.

Some one once told me there was something manufactured where you could set it and if your RV hit a certain temperature it would call your cell phone. It was called something like pet monitor, IIRC.

2goofycampers
08-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Some one once told me there was something manufactured where you could set it and if your RV hit a certain temperature it would call your cell phone. It was called something like pet monitor, IIRC.

OOPS. that was me, forgot Frank logged in.

chilipyro
08-21-2008, 11:22 AM
Well, I share your enthusiasm for similar technologies, though I think you won't have nearly the bandwidth to do most of what you are saying you want to do.

I've tried to think of ways to place-shift my Tivo, and have access to it while camping. One way, if you have satellite and a portable service, is to bring your PVR with you. As you point out, it would not be a good solution while driving, but it should work OK while parked. Even without a portable satellite service, you could bring your PVR with you and just configure the program guide for the cable service you get at the campground. Finally, if you have a bunch of stuff stored on your PVR, you can always bring it along and watch what you have recorded.

In order to place-shift the entertainment on your PVR from home (e.g., with a sling box), you will need to have a high bandwidth connection both at home and at camp. An AirCard isn't going to cut it - nor would the best WiFi signal you can get. You need cable or DSL on both ends (ideally cable). I understand that you can get cable internet access at FW, so there are possibilities with that.

Since most campgrounds seem to provide only WiFi (and with limited signal strength), I've pretty much given up on the idea of place shifting my digital entertainment at home. I bring a laptop, and use the web. Music comes with us on an Archos media player and movies come with us on disk. About the only internet solution for movie playing that I have considered for camping is Roku's Netflix Player. I'm thinking of getting one for home, and am curious how it would perform with a WiFi connection - probably not well, but worth a try.

As for the RV monitoring - you should take a look at SmartHome.com. They have a lot of gadgets that might work for you along those lines.

jrandtysmom
08-21-2008, 11:46 AM
Ok, one more tech thing I'd like to find a way to employ. I'd like to design a system to use my laptop and aircard (or wi-fi) to monitor the situation in the motorhome while we are away. We leave our dogs often as we are touring, and there is alway the nagging fear that the generator/camp power might fail, or the AC might ice over/break down and the dogs would be left in sweltering heat. Or even just a way to know if they are being loud the whole time, bothering neighbors who are to kind to complain. It would be great to devise a system that could post criteria like voltage and temperature to a website, which I can monitor via my PPC. Or, for those without an internet-enabled PDA, just send a text message every so often... or even just when certain thresholds are met. How about tying in the fire alarm, or door alarms (break-ins). How about a pressure sensitive mat at your door that activates a web cam so you can see who left that nasty note on your door about the blasted dogs!!! Ok, I'm getting punchy.

Wow. I thought camping was supposed to be relaxing. :confused3 You have me stressed out and I'm not even camping with you.

Shan-man
08-21-2008, 12:11 PM
Well, I share your enthusiasm for similar technologies...

Oh, thank goodness! I was beginning to think I was the only geek around :goodvibes

I've tried to think of ways to place-shift my Tivo, and have access to it while camping. One way, if you have satellite and a portable service, is to bring your PVR with you.

Yeah, that'd be tough. I have Dish with HD, so it is a 4 LNB (huge) with a large multiplexer/amp that's mounted to the wall... it's just too much to handle. I used to do this 10 years ago with an old Sony (single LNB) that actually had an LED on the LNB arm that blinked to show signal strength when the receiver was in setup mode. It was a cinch to setup temporarily.

you could bring your PVR with you and just configure the program guide for the cable service you get at the campground.

That is a GREAT IDEA :idea: I never thought of using the antenna input for cable and prgramming the PVR for those stations! You're a genius and have just redeemed my time spent making this thread!!!!!

In order to place-shift the entertainment on your PVR from home (e.g., with a sling box), you will need to have a high bandwidth connection both at home and at camp. An AirCard isn't going to cut it - nor would the best WiFi signal you can get. You need cable or DSL on both ends (ideally cable).

That's my concern as well, but I have talked to the folks at Slingbox and they assure me that an acceptable picture is possible with as little as 256K down. And I have read from other boards that people are watching on commuter trains via aircard (Verizon 6-800K) and loving it. I'm still unsure, and couldn't do it until adding cable at home anyhow... so for now I'm just dreaming up possibilities. Heck, even if it is untenable today, it will be possible soon so why not think about what if's!

As for the RV monitoring - you should take a look at SmartHome.com.

Yeah, I've gotten their catalog for years and they provide a lot of inspiration for thinking outside the box. Thanks for the suggestions!

Shan-man
08-21-2008, 12:12 PM
Some one once told me there was something manufactured where you could set it and if your RV hit a certain temperature it would call your cell phone. It was called something like pet monitor, IIRC.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to look for that.

chilipyro
08-21-2008, 12:44 PM
Yeah, that'd be tough. I have Dish with HD, so it is a 4 LNB (huge) with a large multiplexer/amp that's mounted to the wall... it's just too much to handle. I used to do this 10 years ago with an old Sony (single LNB) that actually had an LED on the LNB arm that blinked to show signal strength when the receiver was in setup mode. It was a cinch to setup temporarily.

You may just need an updated dish, or you might tell Dish that you want a portable setup, and ask what it takes. I see RVs with satellite dishes on tripods at nearly every campground that has RVs. I have definitely seen dishes with the 'DISH' logo, so it seems like you should be able to do it with that service. You might have less of a service while camping, than at home, but still...


That's my concern as well, but I have talked to the folks at Slingbox and they assure me that an acceptable picture is possible with as little as 256K down. And I have read from other boards that people are watching on commuter trains via aircard (Verizon 6-800K) and loving it.

Bandwidth will limit the quality of a picture for a given picture size. If you are watching on a cell phone size screen, you will not be as limited as, for example, watching on a 15" (or larger) laptop or TV. I'd have to believe that your target display would have to be in the 5" range (max) to get a reasonable picture from the bandwidth you would have on AirCard.


Heck, even if it is untenable today, it will be possible soon so why not think about what if's!

I think the 'possible soon' technology is likely to be WiMAX. Keep your eye on that.


Yeah, I've gotten their catalog for years and they provide a lot of inspiration for thinking outside the box.


The device I was thinking of is a Sensaphone (search on SmartHome's web site). Unfortunately, it expects a land line to make calls to alert you to problems. You could get an interface to a cell phone (e.g., Doc-N-Talk), but that would require that you have two cell phones with different numbers - the one you left in your camper to make the calls, and the one you have with you to receive the calls. That seems like a lot of work for a fancy alarm system. I think you would be better off just connecting something loud and obnoxious to the sensors, so that anyone nearby will alert the authorities if something goes wrong (and later on, clobber you for imposing your obnoxious alarm on their peaceful campsite :laughing: ).


Thanks for the suggestions!

You are welcome :)

Us3
08-21-2008, 01:33 PM
That's my concern as well, but I have talked to the folks at Slingbox and they assure me that an acceptable picture is possible with as little as 256K down. And I have read from other boards that people are watching on commuter trains via aircard (Verizon 6-800K) and loving it. I'm still unsure, and couldn't do it until adding cable at home anyhow... so for now I'm just dreaming up possibilities. Heck, even if it is untenable today, it will be possible soon so why not think about what if's!


I've done some research on Slingbox...but I'm not convinced about using it with my aircard... :confused:

If you try this out, please let us know your findings! :thumbsup2

HappyCamper87
08-23-2008, 07:19 AM
We are one of those terrible families that have a nice TV and DVD in the TT. And, we bring one out on the patio during the day when we are camping at the store and stay. I enjoy sitting outside enjoying the sites and sounds and glancing at the TV once in a while.

But, we are not even close to tech people. In fact, I just got a router so I could go wireless with my laptop that I've owned for a year and a half. So, as you can see I will be no help to you on setting up your camera.

However, you could help me to know what I need to have an internet connection while away from home. I have an N-card and I assume I would have to have a air card away from home - Is this right?

How much do Air Cards cost? I hope I'm not too Annoying. I just wish I understood all this tech stuff....

Shan-man
08-23-2008, 08:10 AM
However, you could help me to know what I need to have an internet connection while away from home. I have an N-card and I assume I would have to have a air card away from home - Is this right?

How much do Air Cards cost? I hope I'm not too Annoying. I just wish I understood all this tech stuff....

Oh, not annoying at all... that's the kinds of conversations I started this thread to have. For internet in more and more campgrounds these days you already have all that you need, as many are providing wi-fi, and often for free. Your wi-fi "n" card can take advantage of all the popular flavors of wi-fi: "b" the first broadly adopted standard, "g" a superset of "b" with more throughput, and the new "n" which is a superset of "g" with more range and throughput. So you are set, so long as you are sure your destination has wi-fi and that you will be camping in an area of the campground with good reception. Some truck stops and even some state rest areas are adding wi-fi. So it could be that you'll be able to connect every time you stop, especially with a little planning.

The catch? All too often I find that these access spots charge for the service, and while it is usually pretty reasonable, each requires some amount or registration and a credit card number. I just don't like plugging my information and credit card number into "Joe's Travel Stop WiFi" registration page for a 15 minute web session. And then having to do it again at Barnes and Noble that afternoon, and again at the campground. If there were a single clearinghouse, like Paypal for wifi, where I'd only have to register once and thereafter just authorize payments, it might be different.

So the inconvenience, and uncertainty of coverage, are two factors that lead me to get and aircard. That, and the fact that my wife is a telecommuter and needs to be assured of an internet connection when we travel. The aircard uses cellular phone systems and can connect to the internet pretty much anywhere a cell phone will work. In modern cell coverage areas it works quite fast, 6-15x as fast as dialup. In older cell coverage areas it will still connect, but it insufferably slow (maybe comparable to an old 14.4k modem); but is still useful to check e-mail. I have only once or twice run into a pocket of this old service, and have had the high speed service even in areas where there was not enough signal for me to make a cell call (like along the Blueridge Pkwy, which is pretty remote).

As for costs, I am probably not the best one to ask. My wife gets our equipment and service from her employer (one of the providers for aircard service) at a considerable discount. Normally I believe the cards run about $100 (I recommend a USB-connecting card) and service can be about $60 per month, I think. So, it isn't cheap. For us, it was cheaper than cable or DSL so we dropped the wired internet service altogether and now use aircard exclusively (at home and in traveling). If you use it for work, see if your employer will pay for it, or at least take an unreimbursed work expense write-off on your taxes.

2goofycampers
08-23-2008, 09:10 AM
We already had Verizon cell service so our air card was $50.00 but after rebate it was FREE. Now it's $60.00 plus taxes and fees per month.

musicmama
08-23-2008, 06:33 PM
We went from Verizon to Sprint aircard as the Sprint service was more reliable, especially in the areas where we camp. (Or should I say "modestly RV" ;) )

Really wanna know how you set up the network, Shan-man, as we tend to travel with 3 laptops (me, DH, and DD-15). And, as DD says, what's the point of a laptop without internet? We only have 1 aircard, for DH's teaching, and it's not easy to check e-mail on his computer. Let alone Facebook. Yes - we're geeks, and we're sorta proud. :thumbsup2

Do you have a special router, or just a standard wireless one?

------ And yes, we do spend most of our time away from our computers - that's usually saved for the wee hours (gotta Dis, you know!). I'm still considering a slingbox for the Tivo, since we don't have satellite for the camper. But haven't gotten that far yet - just the old 13" tv and a VHS/DVD player. No HDTV for the camper for at least another year.

Shan-man
08-23-2008, 07:43 PM
Really wanna know how you set up the network, Shan-man, as we tend to travel with 3 laptops ...

Do you have a special router, or just a standard wireless one?

Welcome to the conversation musicmama! I use a Cradlepoint router, the CTR350 (http://www.cradlepoint.com/ctr350/ctr350.php) which I find to work remarkably well. Once it is setup, it is effortless to use. I can simply unplug the router and transfer the aircard to use away from home. Get back and just plug the aircard back in and plug the router power back in and in 30 seconds wi-fi is back up. Super simple. Another thing I like about this router is that it has a LAN port to which I have connected an Apple Airport Extreme to extend my wi-fi range (it is "n") and to provide file & print services: the Airport Extreme has a USB port (that can be hubbed) and will publish all drives and printers on that port over the network. On the road we just take the Cradlepoint and aircard, of course. I have a large inverter that powers them and the laptop while en route (my wife was on her laptop for hours on our last trip home from Disney!). I usually take my external drive along also, but just plug it in directly to my laptop (no need to fileshare here).

Cradlepoint makes other aircard routers: ones that take express-card or pcmcia cards, and ones that run on batteries for better portability. I love mine!

musicmama
08-24-2008, 02:52 PM
Wow - just checked out the router! Looks like DH's Christmas present might be taken care of.

We are considering a return to the Fort, or possibly our Thousand Trails campground, in the next couple years - depending on how Christmas week falls. This would be great for that, let alone our other "regular" camping trips.

CANEDOGS06
08-24-2008, 07:40 PM
Hi. I use a usb aircard from sprint with my laptop. I looked into the cradle point router but realised I could just create a wireless AD HOC network and my bride to be can use the connection on her laptop within 30 ft of mine. setting up an adhoc is quite simple. and i only pay 50 a month through sprint for unlimited usage.

Shan-man
08-24-2008, 08:32 PM
That is a good point canedogs06. I had looked into doing an ad hoc but had some problems doing so. We are a mixed marriage (Macs and PC) so I suspect that had something to do with it, and I just couldn't ever get it to work right. I also was not crazy about the need to leave the host machine powered up all the time. And, I assume there is a performance hit on the host, too. But I'm glad it's working well for you.

I got my aircard router for a song on eBay and am very happy with it.

Sounds like a good rate you get through Sprint. How do you like the coverage and speed?

CANEDOGS06
08-24-2008, 08:45 PM
i think the pc to mac is the problem. The coverage is great in here in Fl driving through the Ocala National Forest I never lose reception and my speed is 882 - 1297 down and usually 400-557 up. Im not sure if sprint is still offering the unlimted plan. looked at the rates when I changed my cell plan and didnt see unlimited anymore. Guess im grandfatherd in. I run another laptop and my xbox360 off of my adhoc and can still download songs and watch streams at a decent rate

Us3
08-25-2008, 10:47 AM
Ok, I'd really like to do the Live Feed at FW for all of the Fort Fiends! :thumbsup2 I'm going to talk with dh about it and see if we'll be able to do it using the sprint aircard. Not sure what the quality would be like though?? Any thoughts?

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=25053369

http://www.tivogirl.com/dislive/

Shan-man
08-25-2008, 11:00 AM
OOOhhhhh! Yeah! Put the cam on the porch at Trail's End! ;-) That'd be cool.

BigDaddyRog
08-25-2008, 11:14 AM
I think this is an awesome idea!! Id love to be able to watch you guys at the party!!!!

Us3
08-25-2008, 11:14 AM
We have 100 loop requested next month. If we got a good spot, how cool would it be for all of the Fort Fiends to a have a live feed of the path to the marina?? And if I get sound working, you could hear the boats, wishes and the water parade! :thumbsup2

This is a bunch of *ifs* huh? I'll see if I can make it happen though! :thumbsup2

Us3
08-25-2008, 11:20 AM
I think this is an awesome idea!! Id love to be able to watch you guys at the party!!!!

Oh no no no! You might get a rock'nRoll face when we zip by on the cart...but I'm not putting my mug on live feed after drinking at the GG on Halloween! :rotfl: But that would be cool if we had it set up so those who wish to make a fool of themselves on camera could huh? :cool1:

bradisgoofy
08-26-2008, 04:52 AM
Shan-man you are not alone...I too am a Geek to the max. I have the CradlePoint for my Sprint usb card, too, and don't leave home without it. All of us have our own laptops that we take everywhere. Heck, I've got it made, BOTH my sons work at Best Buy ! I've thought about the Slingbox but after the comment about bandwidth I'm not sure that is the way to go. I have the Panasonic Internet cameras (http://www2.panasonic.com/consumer-electronics/shop/Computers-Networking/Network-Cameras/PetCams/model.BL-C30A?loomia_si=t0:a3:g2:r2:c0.0108193) in my house so I can keep an eye on our cats while we are out RVing. And my 19 year old son when we are not there. :lmao:

Anytime RVing, is always more relaxing then being at home or at work. Even with technology gadgets. :surfweb:

PolynesianPixie
08-26-2008, 07:01 AM
what is this Tek-no-ledgey that you speak of?

ntsammy5
08-26-2008, 07:09 AM
Thanks Ami.

My new laptop for camping

http://www.captionaddict.com/image.php?id=149

PolynesianPixie
08-26-2008, 07:15 AM
:lmao:

VACAMPER
08-26-2008, 07:19 AM
hope you have a strong back

Shan-man
08-30-2008, 03:22 PM
I just thought of another idea that involves tech and camping. We have had our rig broken into in the past and realize just how vulnerable all these pricey goodies are when away from home. I was just thinking that, since my new computer uses bluetooth to connect the mouse and keyboard I could stow the computer itself in a strong box under the dinette, bolted to the floor. All I'd need wires for is to drive an lcd tv with VGA inputs. The keyboard and mouse will work 30' away, so I could even send that signal to an outside monitor and use the computer while still being sociable on the patio. We need a new tv to use in the RV when traveling and in the kitchen when at home... and I think now I will add VGA input to the list of features I'd like in this new set.

ntsammy5
08-30-2008, 05:59 PM
I'd just use a claymore ****y trap - that'll take care of the problem- just be very,very careful when you go into the TT - send the otters in first! just make sure they're not totally ripped......

sorry that shoyld be bubie trap


:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

musicmama
08-31-2008, 07:43 AM
I just thought of another idea that involves tech and camping. We have had our rig broken into in the past and realize just how vulnerable all these pricey goodies are when away from home.

That's a good point. We tend to stay at the same places (outdoor world campgrounds except for the fort) and usually with 1 or 2 family/friend groups for holidays. So we don't really worry about this because there's always "somebody" around. Ours isn't the fanciest rig by any stretch but we have the most technology - 2 or 3 laptops plus DH's aircard plus frequently my Viking embroidery sewing machine (worth a few grand on its own) plus the XM radio. Most of us don't even lock the doors at night when we're together.

Hmmmm.... now you've got me thinking about where to "hide" the stuff when we go out AND locking the door! We don't really have the room to create a lockbox. :sad2:

Shan-man
07-10-2009, 07:10 AM
Thought I might 'tickle' this thread and see if we might revive it.

Some time ago I mentioned the concern we have about leaving the pups during hot weather and worrying about either the AC failing or the CG power going out (not much of a concern at the Fort)... or even those occasions when we have to leave them in a parking lot with the genset running. Lots of things to cause concern.

I was looking on eBay for USB thermometers last night and found many listings for a cheap one caller TEMPer that is typically under $10. I checked out the software it comes with and it can be set to send an e-mail if an over-limit temperature is reached. So if you have internet access at your campground and can receive e-mail on your phone you can relax when leaving the pups on hot days. In my case, we use an aircard for internet so this could work for us pretty much anywhere. I haven't ordered yet, since all listings are sellers in China :scared: but I probably will, it's only a $10 risk. I'll report back.

:santa:

ftwildernessguy
07-10-2009, 07:26 AM
Just wait a couple days and a spammer will probably post an ad for one on the Camping thread.

2goofycampers
07-11-2009, 05:02 PM
Thought I might 'tickle' this thread and see if we might revive it.

Some time ago I mentioned the concern we have about leaving the pups during hot weather and worrying about either the AC failing or the CG power going out (not much of a concern at the Fort)... or even those occasions when we have to leave them in a parking lot with the genset running. Lots of things to cause concern.

I was looking on eBay for USB thermometers last night and found many listings for a cheap one caller TEMPer that is typically under $10. I checked out the software it comes with and it can be set to send an e-mail if an over-limit temperature is reached. So if you have internet access at your campground and can receive e-mail on your phone you can relax when leaving the pups on hot days. In my case, we use an aircard for internet so this could work for us pretty much anywhere. I haven't ordered yet, since all listings are sellers in China :scared: but I probably will, it's only a $10 risk. I'll report back.

:santa:

I'd certainly be interested in your findings. popcorn::

musicmama
07-20-2009, 08:03 PM
Thought I might 'tickle' this thread and see if we might revive it. :santa:

I'd be interested in how this works for you. I've never been brave enough to leave the RV just on generator anywhere, so we don't take it out other than to a campground. Dsis has taken hers to Six Flags, but doesn't take her dogs for the same reason.

Shan-man
07-20-2009, 09:50 PM
We have, on several occasions, left the pups in the moho with the generator and A/C in a parking lot and have never had a problem. The longest was probably while visiting Williamsburg, where we probably left them for two, four hour stretches. But, we are never comfortable doing this, and the fear hangs over our touring like a dark cloud. That said, I am still extremely reticent to send $10 to China in hopes that they reciprocate with an actual, working USB therm. I'll let y'all know if I overcome that fear! LOL

:santa:

LadyBeBop
07-25-2009, 07:01 PM
I am still extremely reticent to send $10 to China in hopes that they reciprocate with an actual, working USB therm. I'll let y'all know if I overcome that fear! LOL


DH has ordered from Hong Kong on eBay. It took about 2-3 weeks, but he did receive his order (a GPS system). When he had a problem with it, he was able to get it resolved (they sent him another SD card for the system.

I wouldn't worry about ordering from China.

ob1quixote
07-25-2009, 08:26 PM
I just rewired all the light fixtures. Now each has one 12VDC bulb and one 120VAC bulb!