High-Tech Camping

Discussion in 'Camping Community Board' started by Shan-man, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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    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?
     
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  3. Us3

    Us3 <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/smilies/tin

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    I've never thought about this....but very interesting. Thanks, you have me researching it now! ;)
     
  4. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

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    As a non tech dweeb all I have to say is :confused3 .
     
  5. F4disneyfan

    F4disneyfan <font color=deeppink>It all depended on my mood in

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    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.
     
  6. RustManFan

    RustManFan devoted to all things Disney!! Moderator

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    All I need is a tent and a sleeping bag. The technology stays at home. I need a vacation from all that too !!
     
  7. VACAMPER

    VACAMPER <font color=blue>We make the kids walk and strap b

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    me too.:confused3
     
  8. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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

    Aircard - essentially a cell-phone for your computer that allows you to access the internet in most places with modern digital cell service.

    Slingbox - 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 - 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 - 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!!!
     
  9. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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    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! ;)
     
  10. ntsammy5

    ntsammy5 DIS Veteran

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    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?
     
  11. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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    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. 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.
     
  12. BRDof3

    BRDof3 Humpty Dumpty had a lousy PPO

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    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!
     
  13. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

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    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.
     
  14. ntsammy5

    ntsammy5 DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  15. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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    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.
     
  16. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

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    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.
     
  17. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure!

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    We tried the AT&T aircard, was slow on the PC and not compatible with the laptops Vista.
     
  18. BRDof3

    BRDof3 Humpty Dumpty had a lousy PPO

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    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.
     
  19. PixieDust32

    PixieDust32 ♥ Live ♥ Love♥ Disney ♥

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    DITTO!

    That's the point of camping. :love:
     
  20. F4disneyfan

    F4disneyfan <font color=deeppink>It all depended on my mood in

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    Holy cow our home connection is 3meg up and 10meg down.
     
  21. ntsammy5

    ntsammy5 DIS Veteran

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    Yeah I use Speakeasy to check sometime - just tested 9424 down and 974 up
     

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