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kato56
Be careful with Tengo and Vipernet Wi-Fi internet systems being offered at some RV Parks. I've paid for both at different times, and had nothing but problems and will never pay for it again. Also, they will not refund or credit you any funds, so a word to the wise.
On the other hand, I've had very good luck with HOTSPOTZZ Wi-Fi service......
I decided to get Verizon internet broadband service for my new Dell notebook and it has been working flawlessly ever since.
Beastdriver
Kato:

I have a Directway dish atop the motorhome for satellite internet but, whenever I can't use it (high winds, etc.), I use wi-fi. I, too, have had nothing but problems with Tengo and refuse to us it at all anymore. I have found CoachNet to be about the most reliable.
engrpat
I agree about Tengo Internet and their less than qualified "techs". We have found that the free internet offered at many campgrounds is by far the best. Seems you can't buy good internet. We had so many problems with Tengo Internet during our January trip to San Francisco they gave us a week free usage. Haven't used it yet and hope not to be in a position to use it in the future.
PappaDee
unsure.gif Kato, can you please explain Verizon internet broadband? Is that when you plug into a Verizon cell phone for access?
We found information from Verizon showed limited national coverage for their "expanded area" which we were told was broadband coverage
J59T
I have a Kyocera KP650 air card that has Verizon Broadband Access and I pay $59.99 a month. It works great and I've been in the bayous of Louisiana to the plains of Oklahoma and it has worked great for me.

My hubby went and purchased a Kyocera Wireless Router (KR-1) to put the air card in and hes able to run his desktop and I'm able to run my laptop (via creating a wi-fi connection) from just this one aircard.

And yes, if anyone parked next to us, they could "use" our wireless connection, but hubby secured the web encryption.

This is working great for us.
Beastdriver
I want to revise my earlier comments about how good CoachConnect was in terms of providing wi-fi services. In the past week, I have stayed at two parks--Terrible's in Pahrump, Nevada, and Boomtown in Verdi, Nevada, and both offer CoachConnect wi-fi. It is absolutely terrible and undependable at both parks! I suspect there are more,and my earlier recommendation of this firm was wrong!
Browzin
Beastdriver
We have found that wi-fi service is like cell phone service. You get great service in one area and lousy service in another area. Just about the time you think you have found "reliability" you get to the next location and its a joke at best.
Beastdriver
Browzin:

You are so right. There is no such thing as reliability in wi-fi at most parks. My DataStorm satellite dish atop the motorhome is usually very reliable but, unfortunately, when winds get up around 35-40 miles per hour, or when you are parked with a tree blocking your southern exposure, you can't use it and, then and only then, wi-fi becomes an option. Unfortunately, it is a very unreliable option. I read where Google is trying to build a nationwide network of wi-fi towers and I hope this proves successful.
Lyman
Why use your dish to pick up a wifi signal? Use a wireless access card (pcmcia) or a USB unit, that's what they are made for. Besides, using a laptop I wouldn't want to be hooked to a tether (basically) to my satellite dish.

Wireless signal is typically food for 1500 feet from the Access Point (where the signal comes from) direct line of sight. Anything in the way will lessen the signal. A good park will have repeaters set up if needed.

There should be very little that you have to change to hookup to any wireless company. Recognize and connect to the signal. Start Internet Explorer (or other) browser, and it should redirect you to that company's sign up page.

Once you pay, you should be able to go on your way until that paid period is over.

As they track connections based on the unique ID of your equipment, they can tell how much you use the service. Hence, if you've used most of it, they aren't going to refund much, no. I'd expect some credit perhaps, but it all depends on whether I was intending to use them again for a particular park or not.
Beastdriver
Lyman:

I believe you misunderstood. I only use park wi-fi when, for some reason, I can't use my MotoSat dish, i. e., high winds, blockage by trees, etc. When I am using the MotoSat dish, however, the signal is broadcast over a wi-fi inside the motorhome.
dpillers028
we have a Direcway dish on a tripod and we furnish wifi where ever we are. we are currently at benbrook, lake in the dfw area and headed west. if you camp near us look for our TexasRvVision signal.
we are richard n shirley on the other forums.

R
Stitchintime
Just to bring the topic up to date - Tengo is still completely unreliable and ineffective. They claim they know there's a "problem" in Florida, and are "working on it", but the service and connectivity are sporadic, slow and sometimes non-existant. I hope to pick parks in the future so I NEVER have to use them again. They should be looked into by the FCC and sanctioned or charged with fraud. Only problem is, some places they're the only game in town! Because they had it, and we had no way of knowing it was bad, we're staying at Ramblers Rest Resort in Venice FL, and I can't get an answer out of them either, as to why they continue to promote and support TengoInternet?!?!?
Dave The Computer Fuy
As a Wi-Fi installer, you can blame the park owners. They want the best equipment, but do not want to pay for it. Being in Florida, it is best to expect blown out equipment because of lightning. Throwing money at it will not make it go away. There are many ways for the owners to recoup the cost of the internet connection (usually $100 or more per month) and the constant maintenance of the equipment.
1) Provide free wi-fi that is either time limited or bandwidth limited. This allows guests to check their emails and simple things. But if there is to be a lot of usage, the user should pay a dollar or two per day.
2) Raise the rent? No one wants to hear that, including me. Adding a dollar per day will help.
3) Let an outside company handle it. I offer a service where I come in, set up my own gear, provide tech support, maintain the system, and handle all the billing. I offer tiered services. $2/day, $10/week, $25/month. I also offer special USB antennas for RVers who are a bit too far from an access point.
I even offer money to the RV park owner in the form of a percentage of profits.
It amazes me how often I get shot down because they want all the money for themselves. Then they get REALLY mad when I tell them that a system can easily run over $5000/year in operating costs.

I have a potential client in Lake City who wants me to cut every corner possible. And then he wants me to provide 1 year of warranty service. We live in a state where you have a better chance of getting hit my lightning than being bitten by an alligator. I told the owner that the lightning is not covered, and he is upset. He is going to use a guy who will charge him $1500 to cover ten acres (treed). Fine with me.
I would rather do things right the first time. That way, when it fails, I do not get mad at myself for cutting corners.

Owners, get the good stuff for outdoors use. Dont skimp.
Users, consider that the Marriott charges $13.95/day, no discounts. Indoor wi-fi units last MUCH longer than the outdoor systems because they are not subjected to all the conditions out there. That is why Best Western can install a system, and it will last for years. Outdoor units fail all the time, regardless of cost.
pianotuna
Hi Dave,

What usb antenna do you recommend?

>I also offer special USB antennas for RVers who are a bit too far from an access point.
jobob
I bought a Toshiba with Vista OS last year and I couldn't get on some secured networks. I went back to my old HP with Windows XP and never have any problems. I also noticed the internal wireless card was not as strong as the HP. And no...I do not work for HP. Simply pointing out some internal wireless antennas are stronger than others. My friends husbands laptop worked fine, but her laptop wouldn't work unless she went closer to the access point. It may sometimes be a computer rather than the parks wireless system.
Lindsay Richards
Purchasing a good WiFi antenna will drastically increase your options when selecting a WiFi source. There are many, many unsecured WiFi sources and they seem to be growing exponentially. Depending on the location of the campground, you can frequently get other free sources in the area. If you get a weather proof antenna and put it on a pole (see photo link below), your free source possibilities expand a lot. You will also be able to get free sources in most urban areas with a little searching. A handheld WiFi detector capable of determining secure and open sites is a real time saver also. There has been much discussion about the legalities and morality of using these unsecured sites, but I have come down on the side of using them.

http://www.linandnancy.com/cedkeyswan1.html

jobob
Lindsay...love your photos. I hadn't thought of an external (outside) antenna. Great idea.
Lindsay Richards
Thank you on the pictures. Be sure to get a water proof antenna. I also got a 10 foot USB extension cord for it so I can move around in the RV. I have been waiting for the next new technology on the delivery of the internet for years and it doesn’t seem to be happening yet.
gsbogart
Has anyone tried one of these?

SuperPass Long Range 38.5dBm USB Adapter for 802.11b/g

Patented Antenna! Highest gain Vs size in the world. High gain antenna means you get longest range.

Connect to your neighbor, even your office blocks away!

Trucker or RV Traveller's dream machine! High speed internet ANYTIME ANYWHERE!

This is NOT just an antenna, it's a wireless card and the antenna.

Function just like any other conventional wifi adapter, but have much longer range.

Vista driver ready, compatible with MAC OS10.3x/10.4x or Linux. We will supply the CD for the driver of Windows 98SE, Windows2000 & Windows XP. Please click the above link to download other drivers.

This adapter has more than 8 times transmission range of regular USB adapter at Line of Sight . Inside is a very powerful embeded 20.5dBi 15° H-Beam 16° V-Beam Antenna, plus the USB card TX power 18dBm, total TX power is 38.5dBm, that's more than 7 Watts.

Plug and play, no hassle setup.

Antenna gain is the key for the transmission range. Theoretically every 6dBi gain increase will double the transmission range. Compared to other products in the market, this unit has the highest gain and more than 8 times longer range.

This unit is fully weather-proof, ideal for indoor and outdoor using. Outdoor use is very important to long range transmission of 2.4Ghz signal, we recommend you mount it outside to get clear line of sight(If use an active USB extension cord, be sure to seal the USB cable connector when you use it outdoor).

Ideal for the low cost CPE solution to wireless ISP.
Lindsay Richards
I could not find the info this, but with the photo, it doesn't look like it is unidirectional and it would have to be pointed directly at the source which could be a pain. Look at the makers site to get additional information. We use the Radio Wave which will pick up a signal from 360 degrees and when setting up, we generally don't have a clue which direction the signal we are stealing (I mean borrowing.) is coming from.
Bud in Florida
What campground were you at?
Lindsay Richards
Susset Isles in Ceder Jey. As I remember, it is a half price club member, but my "rememberer" isn't as good as it used to be. Very nice on the water. People either love Cedar Key or hate it. You go to the middle of nowhere and then it is another 26 miles. It is a wonderful place to relax. Several good eating spots there also. Will need a WiFi antenna to get reception in your coach.
gsbogart
Lindsay
I had not seen a antennae setup like the one I posted. I saw it on E-bay and the range is what took my eye.
As to focusing it, I should think after setup, a 360 degree sweep would be an easy maneuver to find the highest signal much like using a Manuel satellite dish to locate the satellite.
schla
we had pretty good success with tengo, and little success with nomad. our last two resorts has nomad, one worked when we paid for it and the other did not work when it was free. complained to the resort management and they said it must be our computer. when i walked thru the resort with my laptop i was stopped by several others who said they could not connect either, so I went back to the office and they spend an hour trying to get a live person on the phone at nomad. felt the isp took the easy way out blaming the computer user or the park, so not sure I believe "dave the computer fuy" I am computer literate and have no problems connecting on my own in places where it is truly free or well established. my 2 cents.
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