Internet connection in Tornado Alley...

Hi guys
Last may I came and chase in tornado alley and I took with myself a laptop. I made an internet connection with Veryzon...But the area in wich internet connection could work was very limited (the orange area) and at the end in the major part of my chases I couldn't use internet connection to see radar images. This was not helpfull in chasing supercell and tornadoes, you know. I don't know if you have the same problem.
I wanna ask you if someone uses another method to have an internet connection that always works, in the whole Mid west and not only in a very little part.
Thanks to all

Andrea
 
Originally posted by Aaron Kennedy
I use wifi quite often, however, it defintely isn't an option that you have 24/7. When you do, the speed is typically great and loading long animations of satellite is never a problem.

http://www.convectionconnection.com/wifi/

About time to update the list again with any new sites I can dig up.

Aaron

Aaron I don't undertsand how does WIFI connection work....It's a mobile connection or I must stop in someone of the hotspots you told me before?
It could be more interesting and usefull if connection is mobile 'cause you have not to loose your time stopping in a site.
 
Originally posted by Andrea Griffa+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Andrea Griffa)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Aaron Kennedy
I use wifi quite often, however, it defintely isn't an option that you have 24/7. When you do, the speed is typically great and loading long animations of satellite is never a problem.

http://www.convectionconnection.com/wifi/

About time to update the list again with any new sites I can dig up.

Aaron

Aaron I don't undertsand how does WIFI connection work....It's a mobile connection or I must stop in someone of the hotspots you told me before?
It could be more interesting and usefull if connection is mobile 'cause you have not to loose your time stopping in a site.[/b]

You need to be in the area of a hotspot for it to work.
 
About the only really good internet option for mobile use that would be a "good" connection and available all the time, would be satellite.

Unfortunately, the "mobile" systems are very expensive (I looked at a couple that were in the $4000 to $7000 range) and probably not an option for the casual Chaser.

However, they did say the units were capable of two way satellite internet while on the move. I believe you would still be open for issues like rain fade, and physical blockage of the signal. You wouldn't be able to sit in the trees and get good internet reception. I believe it would also be a bit much to drag out a $5000 system and get it beat to death by large hail.

Those issues and the fact that they have a large footprint. The one's I saw were about 40 inches by 60 inches folded down. Up and running the footprint would be larger as the antenna is going to swing to keep track on the satellite. Imagine going under a low tree and taking out your dish.

Just not a chasing option for most except the guys that get paid. I don't get paid enough, so it's not an option.

John
 
Originally posted by Dan Cook+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Dan Cook)</div>
Originally posted by Andrea Griffa@
<!--QuoteBegin-Aaron Kennedy

I use wifi quite often, however, it defintely isn't an option that you have 24/7. When you do, the speed is typically great and loading long animations of satellite is never a problem.

http://www.convectionconnection.com/wifi/

About time to update the list again with any new sites I can dig up.

Aaron


Aaron I don't undertsand how does WIFI connection work....It's a mobile connection or I must stop in someone of the hotspots you told me before?
It could be more interesting and usefull if connection is mobile 'cause you have not to loose your time stopping in a site.

You need to be in the area of a hotspot for it to work.[/b]

Yes but I have to stop my car and go in one of those hotspots or I can have the connection also in my car, while I'm chasing?This is my doubt.
I hope that this kind of connection is mobile, in the manner of wich I don't loose time for chasing.
 
Depends on how the spot's setup. Most of them are in businesses, so you'd have to be inside for them to work decently.
 
Andrea,

To use a Wi-Fi 'Hotspot' you would have to stop in the location of the 'Hotspot' It is not a mobile solution. Just a faster solution than going into a Library and checking the internet there.

I don't know much about the cellular connections except that they are very slow or non-existant in most locations. This is due to the placement of the Cell towers and they way the phones work. They are not designed to handle data, but voice. I've heard some reasonable reports for Cingular service in western Oklahoma (from a TV station chaser who uses it), but it's certainly not lightning fast and will drop the connection from tower to tower.

I plan on trying it a couple of times next spring.

There is the WxWorx system. Again, it's expensive, but a cheaper solution than satellite Internet. It's weather specific and has various packages. It works via the Satellite radio systems. Joey Ketchum just sold his and can tell you more about how it works. Last I heard, the pricing was around $1000 to $1200 for the package. Add to this, the price for a satellite radio and subscription service.

There really is no "good" option available at this time though. The best option is to use a "Nowcaster" and a GPS system so the Nowcaster can guide you into the best locations. Once your on a storm, your eyes will tell you much more than any internet connection will.

There are people on this board that when they aren't out chasing, will provide Nowcast services and there are a couple of the really good folks that charge for such service.

Hope that helps.

John
 
Originally posted by John Diel
Andrea,

To use a Wi-Fi 'Hotspot' you would have to stop in the location of the 'Hotspot' It is not a mobile solution. Just a faster solution than going into a Library and checking the internet there.

I don't know much about the cellular connections except that they are very slow or non-existant in most locations. This is due to the placement of the Cell towers and they way the phones work. They are not designed to handle data, but voice. I've heard some reasonable reports for Cingular service in western Oklahoma (from a TV station chaser who uses it), but it's certainly not lightning fast and will drop the connection from tower to tower.

I plan on trying it a couple of times next spring.

There is the WxWorx system. Again, it's expensive, but a cheaper solution than satellite Internet. It's weather specific and has various packages. It works via the Satellite radio systems. Joey Ketchum just sold his and can tell you more about how it works. Last I heard, the pricing was around $1000 to $1200 for the package. Add to this, the price for a satellite radio and subscription service.

There really is no \"good\" option available at this time though. The best option is to use a \"Nowcaster\" and a GPS system so the Nowcaster can guide you into the best locations. Once your on a storm, your eyes will tell you much more than any internet connection will.

There are people on this board that when they aren't out chasing, will provide Nowcast services and there are a couple of the really good folks that charge for such service.

Hope that helps.

John

Thanks Jhon
I'm sorry about this because I hoped that I will have found a method for having a good mobile connection.

About cellular connection Veryzon plan is the best as coverage and now is a bit better than At&T wireless. Anyway the area is very small: I remember a good part of South dakota and North Dakota is quite well covered but for Kansas,OK ,TX, Nebraska,Missouri is nasty.

I talked with a Veryzon man who told me that within the next year they have to amply the coverage. Howewer before we will have a complete coverage we will spend a lot of time.
 
Wifi is good in that most truckstops have some sort of connection you can use whether its Truckstop.net or Flying J's service. Its rather cheap regardless of how you use it and if you have an account you can use it right in your car.

Also worth noting is that alot of states are putting wifi hotspots in all of their rest stops along the highways. I believe Texas has started doing this in the panhandle and Iowa has started this in SW/SC IA along I-80.. its hit and miss now which ones have it but soon they will have them in all of them.

I've heard rumors that McDonalds will be putting Wifi in all its major cities and eventually all its chains.. can't remember where I heard that but thought that would be great while out chasing. If you get an external antenna for your wifi card alot of times you will be able to connect to the internet out in the car, although the connection might be better and faster inside. It just depends.

A good Wifi Card to use is the Proxim Orinco Gold 8.11b and the external antenna but I've only found those on ebay. You can use a network sniffer like netstumber (http://www.netstumbler.com) to find and connect to open networks.
 
Stupid question probably - Wi -Fi ?
Would it use the same wireless card that I use on my home network. Have Netgear 11Mbps 802.11b system.
 
Also worth noting is that alot of states are putting wifi hotspots in all of their rest stops along the highways. I believe Texas has started doing this in the panhandle and Iowa has started this in SW/SC IA along I-80.. its hit and miss now which ones have it but soon they will have them in all of them.

I got quite excited a couple weeks ago when I drove past a "Rest Stop Ahead" sign in Iowa on I35 that said it had WiFi... This was the first rest-stop in IA I've seen that has had WiFi, but I read somewhere that all IA stops should have them soon. TX and IA are all I've seen as far as Wifi rest-stops on the plains... Hopefully other states can join along. Interestingly, there are some cities which have Wifi nearly city-wide (Seattle, I believe, has city-wide Wifi, and there are plans for it in Philadelphia, though city-wide WiFi doesn't have much to do w/ chasers).
 
Mike asked:
Stupid question probably - Wi -Fi ?
Would it use the same wireless card that I use on my home network. Have Netgear 11Mbps 802.11b system.
_________________

Mike,
Your card will work. To a degree. Think of it this way. You're surrounded by metal in your vehicle. Most of this metal will stop or severely downgrade radio frequency communication. That's why a ham radio (or any radio for that matter) gets better reception with an external antenna.

I've been within 25 yards of a hotspot. I was getting about 25% signal strength and a poor reading. I stepped out of the truck and it immediately pegged out at 100% Excellent signal. This was with a Linksys 802.11b card.

John
 
:wink: Thank John,
I thought it was the same system but just needed confimation.
NO problems regarding in vehicle use look at my UK ham call .
I have 1.3Ghz ham gear so know all the problems , would build a mini 2.4 gig 4 ele beam just for that sort of use. or just do the other cheat- get a scrap PC card and make an extension lead to the WI-Fi Card. :idea:
 
Also worth noting is that alot of states are putting wifi hotspots in all of their rest stops along the highways. I believe Texas has started doing this in the panhandle and Iowa has started this in SW/SC IA along I-80.. its hit and miss now which ones have it but soon they will have them in all of them.

I got quite excited a couple weeks ago when I drove past a "Rest Stop Ahead" sign in Iowa on I35 that said it had WiFi... This was the first rest-stop in IA I've seen that has had WiFi, but I read somewhere that all IA stops should have them soon. TX and IA are all I've seen as far as Wifi rest-stops on the plains... Hopefully other states can join along. Interestingly, there are some cities which have Wifi nearly city-wide (Seattle, I believe, has city-wide Wifi, and there are plans for it in Philadelphia, though city-wide WiFi doesn't have much to do w/ chasers).
I've heard recently that this is being considered in Nebraska. I know that Cisco has Wifi towers all over this area and out in the boonies too although its currently locked.. I heard somewhere they were in negotiation with the state to use their existing towers for rest stops... fingers crossed.

I think that within the next 3-5 years most states will have wifi in the rest stops.. at least the big travel plaza ones.
 
Best idea Ive found is to use your cell phone to call your wife / friend whoever has a laptop - when WIFI or Cingular isnt working well - weather channel till 11:00 am, lunch and then visual observations

Ive got the Buffalo WIFI that robs signals for free when its working - I use it with a Cantenna at truck stops and KOA's with some success - the signal needs to be 70% or more - but once you are on a storm say by 3:00 or 4:00 none of this technology matters - lick your index finger and place it in the air
good luck
 
McDonald's and Wayport Are Offering WIFI At Many Locations

I have learned that McDonald's and Wayport are offering WIFI connections at many of their establishments in Kansas and Oklahoma. I used it for the first time, here in Pittsburg, Kansas, a couple of days ago. The basic price includes two hours of connect time for $2.95. The speeds were just as fast as my home broadband connection. If you need more information about pricing or hotspot locations, you can visit these websites.

General Information: www.wayport.net/wifiworld

Wayport Hotspot Locations: www.wayport.net/locations
 
I tried truckstop.net last May. Signed up for the monthly option, I recall, & paid with a credit card. Couldn’t get my laptop to connect with the net, but that is almost certainly my fault. It was a new laptop and I probably didn’t set up the wireless card properly. The thing with truckstop.net, though, is that I thought I was getting a month’s linkup, but they continued billing me after I got home. Told me that I had signed up in perpetuity. We soon got that straightened out, but anybody using truckstop better read the fine print. I will looking for wifi again this spring and am encouraged by the info that many fast-food joints, etc., will have hotspots. Now all I have to do is get the card to work.
The other reason I got a laptop was to plug into my aol account from a hotel’s dataport when I’m travelling. That worked great. I also noticed that many truck stop cafes and other places have dataports where you can plug in your laptop’s phone jack. That worked great, too. I was able to check out Tim V’s updates while on the road, as well as the internet weather sites.
William Rayner
 
Well watch out for a browser invasion when you plug in anywhere - I was in Lawrence Kansas in May and stayed in a very expensive hotel where I plugged into their outlet and got the worst browser invasion, dont remember the name but it really sucked big time
 
your computer defaults to this unchosen browser setting no matter what you do in "internet settings - browser" - I ended up having to do a system recovery because the experts said it was imbedded on my hard drive - so from now on no hotel plug ins for me I had to reinstall everything!!!
Oh yea the browser was called "FAST SEARCH" anyone heard of it? or this problem?
bill
 
Originally posted by bill mudd
your computer defaults to this unchosen browser setting no matter what you do in \"internet settings - browser\" - I ended up having to do a system recovery because the experts said it was imbedded on my hard drive - so from now on no hotel plug ins for me I had to reinstall everything!!!
Oh yea the browser was called \"FAST SEARCH\" anyone heard of it? or this problem?
bill
Sounds like somehow, somewhere on the internet you got spyware installed. I've never had any problem like that hooking up in a hotel/motel.
 
Yeah, this sounds more like spyware of some sort. I could be wrong, but I don't think the connection source would have anything to do with it. This could happen with any connection provided you surfed onto the wrong site. I wonder if that hotels network had some sort of infection? <sigh> I hate spyware/viri
 
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