Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cell Phones

Today's Photo - Ice on the Shores of Lake Ontario

Well, the Verizon iPhone has been announced, and I have made my decision.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have an 8GB iPhone 3G that is well out of contract, so changing wouldn't cost me anything more than upgrading to the latest AT&T iPhone.  But, I have the unlimited data plan, and switching to Verizon would kill that.  I have been using a Sleek antenna with my iPhone & it has extended the range quite a bit.  I also have a Sony RDP-XF100iP dock that has a built in FM radio & can run for a number of hours on its rechargeable battery.  It works well with the 3G phone, but not so well with newer versions. And, I really like using Pandora on the iPhone through the dock, so the unlimited data is a real selling point. And, if I'm out of AT&T cell range, the iPhone can connect to my local WiFi network. So, I've to stick with the 3G phone until version 5 arrives, then consider updating.

As to data, I have a WiFi Ranger router on order.  The advantage of this over many standard routers is it is designed for RVers.  It can connect to a campground WiFi network, a cell USB card, or even a hard wired ethernet and provide any of these inputs as a local WiFi network.  It is fairly new, so I'm sure there will be some birthing pains, but it offers a useful solution. I will be using Millenicom's Advanced Plan (20GB per month on Verizon's network - although they don't admit that is the network they use) for $59.99 per month  for my data services.  Since I'm now averaging over 10 GB per month, they seem to be the best deal.  If it turns out that I use less once I'm off the faster RoadRunner I have at home, I can drop them & switch to a less expensive plan.  Still, their stopping & starting capabilities fit RVing well.

I also plan to add an external antenna, combined with an amplifier & an internal repeating antenna to the trailer.  The brand is still in question.  I like the specifications of the Maximum Signal In Vehicle system, however it isn't available yet & I have to send the antenna to the Escape company fairly soon to have it installed. If it isn't available soon, I'll probably go with a solution by Wilson.

So, that is the communications plan.  Time to throw another log on the fire - it is 4°F outside! More next time...

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