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New incar wi-fi setup

Evening / morning all,

3 intrepid Aussie chasers hitting the plains in May this year. Trying to work out what would be the best way of being able to get on the net while mobile from LA to OKC and chasing the plains for a month. All seems incredibly confusing and would love any advice you might have. In Australia we have wireless broadband via USB dongle.......

many thanks,

The AUSSKY Chase Team
 
Evening / morning all,

3 intrepid Aussie chasers hitting the plains in May this year. Trying to work out what would be the best way of being able to get on the net while mobile from LA to OKC and chasing the plains for a month. All seems incredibly confusing and would love any advice you might have. In Australia we have wireless broadband via USB dongle.......

many thanks,

The AUSSKY Chase Team

If you're here less than a month, get Sprint. They have a 30 day return policy. Use it for a month, and return it to the store where you got it from - if they ask you why you don't want it, tell them it didn't work well where you needed it to. Otherwise, just buy an alltel card on ebay, activate it for the month, and deactivate it when your done. After activation, it'll cost about as much as renting a card for the month, but you'll be able to keep the card and use it again next year.
 
I purchased the Cradlepoint CTR350 to go with my Verizon Wireless USB727 and I have to say the results have been incredible. Highly recommended. The cradlepoint router is highly configurable and automatically reconnects upon signal loss.
 
Don't let Ben fool ya, he says he has good connectivity, he really has a 1000 ft spool of Cat5e that he uses to hook up with:) How do you think he keeps the latency so low?


I use the Novatel 727 also with Verizon and it works great. I also combine that with a maximum signal amp and have no worries.
 
I've had some issues with the data coverage on Autonet in North Mississippi lately. I do know that they have now upgraded the hardware for Rev. A compatibility. I'm going to try and do some comparision analysis since Autonet uses Alltel's PRLs to see if I get the same coverage in the same areas with Autonet and a cradlepoint hooked up to Alltel.
 
ok I'm sorry but I'm a bit confused ????

how does it hook into your laptop or does it ????? how did you get ahold of it and can Chasers or Law or Fire get ahold of it now. I don't want to have to wait until May when I need it now ?????? and yes these cell companies with these 2 yr plans is absolutly REDICULUS I talked to AT&T and she absolutly would not let me get anything less then a 2 yr contract and I guess I will use the MobilThreatNet for now until I can lay my hands on something else I would like to use the StormLab 4.0 Supercharged product just to try something new but I will not Absolutly will not get a 2yr plan I really can't afford it and that sucks. But hopefully MobilThreatNet will be enough at least for now. Please some more discussion on this topic please and I will keep reading the Great Posts.

"MyFoxDfw.Com"

"Weather you'll see only on FOX 4" Shawn C.

Fox 4-Warn StormTracker
 
Did you try a corporate ATT store ? Cause both AT&T and Alltel both offer no contract options and I can point you to links that will get you service without a contract. Call them and tell then that all you need is sim card and you will be good to go. Mention sim free and you will be set.
 
Ok please give me the links and I'll check them out and I did not realize that this thread was soooo long hehe dumb on my part or as the Great Gazoo on the flintstones would say Dumb Dumb hehehehehe. and I'm assuming that these devices hook into my laptop right ???? and I can activate them HOW ??????


"MYFOXDFW.COM"

Shawn C.
 
If you have a windows based phone such as a HTC or Palm with wifi you can download a program called wifi router. It will turn your phone into a wireless hotspot for your notebook. I use with with sprint's evdo palm 850 and it works great. best part of all you can find the program for free and you dont have to pay extra for a data card. I would not use it with 2g coverage though.
 
I bought a Cradlepoint CTR350 off 3gstore for $125, a USB727 for Verizon Wireless off eBay for about 85 and activated it month to month and hook it up to my wilson antenna. It's $60 a month, was $35 for activation. No contracts and it's worked well for me so far for the week and a half or so I've had it up and running.

I've also used WMWifiRouter on my HTC Apache (Verizon WIreless XV6700) but haven't put it on my HTC Touch Pro (Verizon Wireless XV6850) yet. I prefer to just use Internet Connection Sharing and a USB cable if I'm going to tether my phone.

I'm looking to get a wireless amp here in the future. Waiting on tax refund time.
 
Just ask the RSC to select the 0-month contract in the OPUS flow (it is a very simple step). If they tell you that they have to add the two year service commitment and then remove it, they don't know how to use the system, just ask for another RSC or move to the next AT&T location
 
Ok all I'll make this as simple as possible because I'm getting tired and my eyes are closing. ????

First - Is the Autonet thing out ???????? 2nd- does it work especially in the plains Tx,OK,KS those 3 areas does it have dead spots in those states ??? if so where ???? 3. is the Autonet available to Chasers/Spotters/ Law/Firefighters ????? 4. How much is the autonet thing ??? does it connect to your laptop or how does it connect and what all do you have to have to make it work ?????? and finally HOW much is it ??????? and does it come month to month or is there a Stupid contract ???? it's already March Chasers and I need Internet NOW and I am sure that some other chasers would agree with me on that and I want to try the StormLab 4.0 SuperCharged Program and Spotter Network and I need to get internet NOW to do this as well as other stuff. Some info on this please and I'm sorry if I sound irritated but I'm tired and I don't have time to read a very very very very long thread one page at a time.


"MyFOXDFW.COM"

"Weather you'll see only on Fox 4"

Shawn C.
 
Dear all

after doing some other things and calming down just a bit I am now Seriously considering getting the autonet mobil thing. I have seen alot of great posts on this and I am very very impressed by this remarkable achievment in Internet access. They have several local dealers in the DFW area. I am going to check it out this week and hopefully get one maybe soon and of course if I could get more info as you all give it that would be appreciated also.


"MYFOXDFW.COM"

"Weather you'll see only on Fox 4"

Shawn C.
 
Why waste money on autonet ? You can setup a better system for less money. Auto net is $400 for the equipment and $60 a month + for service and it has a 5 gig cap. Your best bet would be to pickup a datacard from ATT or Alltel and slide it into a crandlepoint router and you would have a better setup for 50% less $ and no data cap .
 
Verizon have quoted a 1Gig per week limit, Sprint on the other hand are unlimited...have no idea how much we would use running live Doppler etc etc in the car? any clues as to how much we might go through? also are there any coverage differences between Sprint & Verizon on the plains?

Your thoughts are very much appreciated ..in anticipation!!
 
There are several ongoing threads on which plan has the best coverage and how much data you use, etc. You'll find ten different answers every year as plans, companies, and coverages change; and all depend on the perspectives of the users. I'm jealously holding onto a Verizon legacy plan with unlimited data, so that's my perspective.

Here are some more general observations based on last year's experience and reading others' experience that are as unbiased as possible....

It's quite possible to exceed 5Gb but harder to exceed 10Gb in a month of active chasing, with 300-500Mb on a heavy day just letting apps run. It's also possible to get what you need with a lot less.

Ironically, what helps keeps the data use in bounds is high speed EVDO coverage -- or rather the lack thereof. Once you leave the large metropolitan areas and major interstate corridors the coverage is 1X, which is fast enough to get data updates, but not so fast you're tempted to watch streaming video, etc.

On the subject of coverage, IMO you want to identify the "no coverage/roaming" areas with each plan from the carriers' own sites and select based on that rather than their high-speed coverage. For example, Verizon has a shrinking-but-still-frustrating no-coverage hole in northwest OK; coverage in some west Texas areas such as northwest of San Angelo is non-existent with any of the major plans.

Live radar isn't really that big an issue since the images aren't huge and only update ten times or so an hour. High-res satellite can bust the bandwidth, however. The images are large and one is tempted to click frequently for an update, which most often results in a refresh of the same loop.

If possible start your plan two weeks before your chasing. That effectively doubles the data limit for the first month of chasing. Get your hi-res satellite loops and planning data from hotspots or wired locations and avoid streaming a/v stuff if data use is a problem.

From my experience the SPC mesoscale analysis pages provide a full menu of readable data and images updated to current with a click that are easy on bandwidth. Only fire up the big guns on the road after chaseable storms initiate
 
If you run multiple laptops in the car and all need data, there is also another solution -- get a smartphone that can run WMWifiRouter. WMWifiRouter is an inexpensive program that will turn smartphones running Windows Mobile into WiFi hotspots. You'll need a data plan on the phone, of course, and you want to make sure you have a plan that allows tethering your phone to your laptop.

I have a a HTC PPC6800 (basically the Spring Mogul) running on Alltel this way. I would probably recommend a different phone than I have if you want to go this route; WMWifiRouter tends to overheat my phone. I've gotten around this by putting a phone cradle on the dash and installing a USB-powered ThermalTake fan directly behind the phone, but it's a pain in the butt compared to just getting a phone that won't overheat. Once I have this set up, the phone broadcasts a Wifi network (you can set WEP encryption if you like) that extends throughout the whole care, and far enough outside the car that you could probably share it with other people if they parked near enough to you. The upside to this is that you can unplug your laptop from everything and still use data, so long as you stay within a reasonable distance of your car.
 
Sorry but Sprint now has a 5 gig a month cap , Only unlimited at this point is Alltel , That will change as well when they officially become Verizon . If you get it now you will be grandfathered in and limits will not effect you.

Verizon have quoted a 1Gig per week limit, Sprint on the other hand are unlimited...have no idea how much we would use running live Doppler etc etc in the car? any clues as to how much we might go through? also are there any coverage differences between Sprint & Verizon on the plains?

Your thoughts are very much appreciated ..in anticipation!!
 
Sorry but Sprint now has a 5 gig a month cap , Only unlimited at this point is Alltel , That will change as well when they officially become Verizon . If you get it now you will be grandfathered in and limits will not effect you.

Are you sure you'll be grandfathered? When Sprint switched to 5GB, no one was grandfathered.
 
I've yet to see Alltel say anything either way. My hunch is that they'll honor existing contracts (since a change during contract would allow the customer to leave the contract and dump the service without penalty), but once your contract is up, hey presto, you've got a cap. I just can't see Verizon giving Alltel users something that their own users aren't allowed to have.
 
The question I have is, why would I get the Verizon (or Sprint or etc.) service for more money with a contract when I could get the Autonet Mobile gizmo for less money and never have to worry about the usage or coverage limitations of my specific carrier?

I'd think there almost has to be a way to plug in an external dual-band cell antenna somewhere. Has anyone seen a spec sheet?

David, it does have limitations in usage. 1 Gig or 5 Gigs per month depending on plan.

It it just a broadband card with roaming agreements with all carriers, is what it sounds like. The built in wifi router is nothing wild. Many Sprint customers already use routers that except our Sprint aircards. There is also something by Novatel called MiFi that is basically the same device. Small package with aircard and wifi router in one. Not sure who all will offer it. http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/12/09/novatel-intros-mifi-mobile-broadband-router/

I think the 5 Gig limit that almost all carriers are enforcing now will be the big catch for most chasers, esp if they want to stream their video out.
 
I work for Sprint in ATS and there is no grandfathering to keep the unlimited data. The only thing that is still unlimited data is using just the phone's browser. Even when you tether your device and use it as a modem the 5 Gig cap applies. Sprint lists the overage charge as $0.05 per megabyte after you exceed 5 Gigs. It is easier to look at it as $50 per Gig once you are over the 5 Gig cap. I have had a few calls where customer got bill with $500 data usage charges and I was not allowed to remove the charge. The first month we were removing the charges and educating customer on issue but they stopped us from doing that. With Sprint you can keep track of your both your minutes used, and in this case, your data used by going into your acct page as sprint.com and viewing "usage details."
 
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