Sony-erickson gc-82 pc card/wifi???

Hello all,
I have the Sony-Erickson gc-82 pc card and I'm trying to find out if I can use this card with netstumbler. I know it works on cellular frequencies, but it also has a wifi button on the software. Is this button only good for Cingular hot spots or any wifi access point?


I don't know too much about wifi, but I am planning on having a nice setup ASAP. If this will not work with netstumbler would someone be so kind as to suggest a good network card to use???? Also can someone recommend a good amp and non-directional antenna for wifi use. Thanks so much in advance, you all have been a great help.
 
I work for Cingular and have recently purchased the card my self. I will see if I can find something out and get back to you as well. I have already started gathering info from some coworkers on it.
 
Can you use Cingular to dial up to the internet from a laptop?
 
Using Cingular's data plan and their wireless card you can dial up almost anywhere you get a cell phone signal. The Sony-Erickson pc card is much faster than any of the older pc cards such as the Merlin. When I'm in major metro's it is almost as fast as DSL!! The only problem with it is some towers do not support data and it will not work in some area's, and of course when there is no service you are out of luck. I have mine hooked up to a 3 watt booster and wilson mag antenna and it maintains five bars anywhere my phone gets service and it will maintain a signal for about 15 miles farther than my cell phone. Another great plus about the card is you can get a brand new card in a protective case for about $50 bucks on ebay or for free if you sign a contract with Cingular. Data plans run from $20 for minimal use to $80 for unlimited and include wifi hotspots. I have the unlimited plan and will cut it to the minimum once the season is over. I have had the card for about five months and I'm very happy with it. Last year I used the Merlin pc card and it broke from wear and tear because it had about an inch of card that stuck out the side of the laptop, this won't happen with the Sony-Erickson because it slides all the way in. This card is a vast improvement over earlier mobile internet cards.

Hey James,
If you happen to know of any maps cingular offers that show just their data coverage please let me know. The only maps I can find are the same as cellular coverage which gives you a good idea of the coverage but is not really accurate. I really appreciate you checking all this out for me. I'm trying to purchase everything I need before this weekend and it has been so hard to get an answer about the Sony-Erickson's wifi capabilities and compatability. I hope it its compatible with netstumbler and works as a wifi card that would be GREAT!!!
 
It depends on the towers in your area and the service. The card works with many different cellular service providers. If you have cingular the best way that I know of to find out on how it will do in your area is to check the signal level on your cell phone and if you have more than a couple bars then you will have a signal and it should work fine. If you want to be sure try sending a multi-media message via your cell phone. If it sends out then the tower does have data capabilities.

If you are asking me how it does in rural areas in general, I would have to say fair. Here in Ms it works almost everywhere with the external antenna and booster. When I was in Ks and the panhandles it worked great in spots and none in others just depends on coverage of the area. It works just like a cell phone.
 
Brandon, I got our coverage map for data, over all it is roughly the same as the cellular map. Since I don't know how to post images here is the link for the most current map we have on hand.

http://onlinestoreg.cingular.com/html/Maps...connect_map.htm

As for the netstumbler part, still working on it. We are thinking that using what we would call a "3rd party vendor" may or may not work. Also it could affect your billing. Right now the only thing I could recomend is to try it for a few minutes right at the end of your billing cycle, then when you get your bill look for anything being billed different in the data area.

As for my card in rural areas, I have been all over the northwest side of Oklahoma the past week (bust chases and family reunion) I have faired pretty well. There are som low areas, but my reunion was in Ingersol, 2 miles west of Cherokee, and I had full signal there but on highway 182 to Manchester going into Kansas the signal eventually fell off. And I can tell you from personall experince that from I-35 west in Kansas, there is NO coverage. Just GPRS coverage along the main highways out there. If anyone owns some land out in that area I can get you some info on putting towers on your property! The pay you to lease the land!
 
The coverge sucks on that... I am just gonna have to eventually just go back to having WX Works next year.
 
James,
Thanks a ton for the help. I really appreciate the research you have done on this. I think my best bet is to go ahead and just buy a wifi card since the gc-82 is working so well I don't want to screw it up. I was affraid that it would recognize netstumbler as a third party since it had about twenty five warning pages about third party software when I was installing the Cingular program.

The card is no comparison to wxworks for chasing a tornado!!!! Then again wxworks is not worth a crap to try and check your emails and surf the net. Kind of like comparing apples and oranges.


Does anyone have a suggestion on a good wifi card and non directional antenna that will connect to any open network?
 
Brandon,
No problem. I do know that we are realesing a PC card with WIFI buit into it. Not the program of Cingular but actually on the card and still gives edge access. That is my understanding. It is a new product so kind of in some gray areas on it. It is recommened that if your Laptop already has WIFI built in to NOT get this card. Conflict in equipment. I know one of our stores here in OKC is already carrying them and I can get 30% off the actual retail price! That is no contract price. I do have a question, what is this wxworks that you and Jketcham mentioned? I just downloaded GR3 last night. I tried Swift for 14 days and it wouldn't load half the time. This is my first year back in chasing and doing with some things I haven't used before like a laptop on the road. Anyway if you or Jketcham can give me some info on wxworks I would appreciate it. Also let me know about the Edge/WIFI card. Wouldnt be the first time I bought things for other people.
 
James,
Wxworks or mobile threat net is a product by Baron Weather Solutions. They are the same company that sells the "vipir" radar and similar products to television stations. The Wxworks program uses XM signals to broadcast current high resolution radar images directly to your laptop. The software integrates the radar with a gps receiver that shows your position on the same screen as the radar. The system is leagues beyond anything else and it makes chasing a lot easier and safer. It auto refreshes every five minutes and provides scores of data. The only problem is the price!! The Wxworks system cost $1000-$1400 plus a $100 activation fee from XM and $100 a month. There is no contract and you can cancel anytime but you would have to pay the extra $100 activation fee the next time you want to use it. Here is a link for more info because I could go on for days.

http://www.baronservices.com/broadcast/dis...threat_net.html
 
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