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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2019
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JustLoafin JustLoafin is offline
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Default High Speed Internet on the bus



Hey all, I recently completed the install of my system, thought I would share



I work part time, from home, and a stable internet connection is required for my work. And my 16 y/o loves youtube.



For the last couple of years, we have relied on my cell phone as a "hot spot" with limited success. So I decided to "go big" and see if perhaps I could build a solution for the bus



There are 4 components to the system:



1. 4G modem/router. I chose the CradlePoint IBR600 M2M Integrated Broadband Router (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

This was not the budget solution. But it has great reviews and I am happy with it. 



2. Amplifier: I think that Wilson is the only game in town here. They sell several products that will amplify 3G/4G signals...I went with WilsonPro Signal 4G Direct Connect In-Line Booster (amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )



The amplifier helps a good bit in areas with low signal strength. 




3. Antenna: I chose 2 of em. One directional and one omi directional. The CradlePoint has 2 antenna inputs.

The Wison comes with a small black antenna (you can see it in the pic here-bottom center https://imgur.com/a/yfsFjYx ), I stuck it to the top of the bus and then picked up a Proxicast High Gain 10 dBi Universal Wide-Band 3G/4G/LTE Omni-Directional Outdoor Pole/Wall Mount Antenna (amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ).

When we are rolling down the highway or in an area with good cell coverage, these antennas work great. 

For weak signals? I use a Proxicast 4G / LTE Cross-Polarized (MIMO) 7-10 dBi High-Gain Fixed-Mount Panel Antenna. Note this antenna has two inputs (vertical and horizontal). IF needed I crawl up on the roof, unplug the omni antennas and aim the panel antenna toward the cell tower and, voila! Good (or at least useable) internet even with one bar or less.




4. The final piece is the cabling. I recommend low loss cable with 50 ohm connections (since many antennas are 50 ohm). Proxicast makes a Coax Extension Cable (50 Ohm) - SMA Male to N Male - for 3G/4G/LTE. Plug and play.



I pulled off my overhead AC and ran the cable through a hole I punched in the roof. Then I mounted the router and amp in the cabinet in front of the passenger seat. 



Here is a pic:

https://imgur.com/a/aLTthx6





I was lucky enough that the PO, or perhaps this was stock, put in a mast for a TV antenna that can be raised up when parked. That made a perfect base for the antenna. I used PVC for a mounting pole. It's holding up well so far. The PVC pole holds the omni directional (you can see it pictured) when rolling down the road. When we park, IF I need to swap for the directional, its not difficult, wing nuts will allow me to swap em out right quick



Here is a pic:

https://imgur.com/a/CKBeQXV





Observations: 
Wish i had done this earlier...and am planning to install similar system (with just the wilson antenna) in the subaru so I can work while the spouse drives. 



Today I was pulling download speed of approx 2 mbps (megabits per second) with ping of over 50 on my phone. But then I connected the phone to my wifi and was able to pull 30mbps with ping of 28. 

My son can stream his youtube the wife can watch netflix and I can work on a stable connection all at the same time.

The only downside is I have to keep an eye on data use...Verizon throttles me at 15GB/mo...it drops down to 2mbps (so similar to cell phone with average coverage) but I still get really low ping.
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Old 07-02-2019
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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Great info! I need to do something so I can work from the bus too. This looks like a possible solution.


TOM
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Old 07-02-2019
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A directional antenna! If it improves transmissions you could adapt a directional TV antenna rotator The original flying saucer tv antenna na had rotator controls inside.

Is that the installed omni antenna on top of a short PVC post on the mast?

The two links below didn't work, looks like Imgur is having a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustLoafin View Post



...


I pulled off my overhead AC and ran the cable through a hole I punched in the roof. Then I mounted the router and amp in the cabinet in front of the passenger seat. 



Here is a pic:

https://imgur.com/a/aLTthx6





I was lucky enough that the PO, or perhaps this was stock, put in a mast for a TV antenna that can be raised up when parked. That made a perfect base for the antenna. I used PVC for a mounting pole. It's holding up well so far. The PVC pole holds the omni directional (you can see it pictured) when rolling down the road. When we park, IF I need to swap for the directional, its not difficult, wing nuts will allow me to swap em out right quick



Here is a pic:

https://imgur.com/a/CKBeQXV



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Old 07-02-2019
LeRoy LeRoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustLoafin View Post



The only downside is I have to keep an eye on data use...Verizon throttles me at 15GB/mo...it drops down to 2mbps (so similar to cell phone with average coverage) but I still get really low ping.

Phil, I’ll tell you a secret. If you google Verizon prepaid data plans you will find on for 70 dollars/month. If you sign up for auto pay it will cost 65. This one is truly unlimited. You can get throttled if you are on a congested sector carrier, but there is no data cap. I don’t know that they would let you activate a cradle point on the plan, but just find a hotspot that uses the same sim to use and swap cards. This is the only vzw plan that does not have a data cap and it is not advertised, many sales people aren’t aware of it. We use ours for all our internet connections at home, streaming tv, and take it in the bus when we leave.
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Old 07-03-2019
LeRoy LeRoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeRoy View Post
Phil, I’ll tell you a secret. If you google Verizon prepaid data plans you will find on for 70 dollars/month. If you sign up for auto pay it will cost 65. This one is truly unlimited. You can get throttled if you are on a congested sector carrier, but there is no data cap. I don’t know that they would let you activate a cradle point on the plan, but just find a hotspot that uses the same sim to use and swap cards. This is the only vzw plan that does not have a data cap and it is not advertised, many sales people aren’t aware of it. We use ours for all our internet connections at home, streaming tv, and take it in the bus when we leave.
I went to show a guy where to find this today and the plan has been changed to 30 gig per month instead of unlimited. I checked out ours and it still reads unlimited, sorry everyone I guess it was a limited time deal.
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Old 07-03-2019
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have an unlimited plan from T-Mobile, and another one from AT%T, and they both try to make the unlimited promise, but they both have small print that reserves the right, after XX GB, to reduce data bandwidth on busy ("congested") towers . They're all the same really, where the rubber meets the road. Tho coverage still differs a little in some areas.

T-Mobile lets me buy an add-on to unlimited that promises an extra 15GB of 4G speed for $15. You don't get to use it just when the tower is busy; think of it as movie night insurance.
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