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Old 11-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #1
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What kind of WIFI antenna do you use while in campground? What kind of range does it have? Where did you get it?

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Old 11-07-2014, 05:53 PM   #2
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I don't know of any external wifi antenna. Your laptop, tablet or smartphone have wifi antennas built into them. They connect with your wifi system in your house or in places that offer "hot spots" for wifi connections such as Starbucks or lots of bookstores and other public places.

Newer smartphones have "hot spot" capability, but you will be using your phone's data plan for this type of connection.

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Old 11-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #3
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no such thing
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:23 PM   #4
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Here is a plug and play USB one but kind of pricey, there are many other options just do some googling.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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There are a ton of external wifi antennas, both passive and powered. Check out Technomadia dot com for quite a few ideas. I do not use a powered antenna yet, but I have passive external antennas mounted on flagpoles. What we do is set up our own network inside the Camper using a commercial router that has inputs for both a cellular modem and what they call WAN, which is a way to input external signals, without going geeky. Our specific router is a peplink balance 30, but there are certainly other options.

The way ours works is that we have our own network that "talks" to either Verizon or AT&T's network depending upon which cell modem I have plugged in, or it talks to whatever WIFI network I can pick up. As far as range, I don't know specific numbers, but when in a campground I can usually pick up all their hotspots, so its not bad. My next investment will be to move to a powered antenna setup and maybe a router with embedded modems (they are supposed to be faster).

Anyway, that is an extremely brief synopsis of what we have to stay online. Personally, I think Jayco should be running network cable in their RVs, but so far that is just me . I can go into greater detail on our setup if needed or wanted.

I have found that 3gstore dot com is very helpful with things (I do not work for nor am I affiliated with them), and quite a bit of my stuff has come from there.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:47 PM   #6
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You can buy a USB Wi-Fi dongle that has long USB cord, a dongle base and put the actual dongle by the window. May help a little bit, but do not expect to much.

You can buy Wi-Fi signal extenders that can transmit and receive Wi-Fi signals over a mile and up to 2 miles away (line of site). There are a few manufactures out there and some posts on this site. Expect to pay anywhere from $85 to $400. Mine was $85.

If you decide to go with extended Wi-Fi signal extenders, you will need to know or learn how to set them up, as some of the documentation leaves a little to be desired and some company support is not always available. A full pot of coffee or 6 pack of beer may also be required.

There are two types of these external Wi-Fi signal extenders, those that have the antenna included in the Exterior unit or those that require an external antenna and a coax cable from the antenna to the unit (mounted in the rear storage compartment). I chose the external antenna model, as it is omni-directional where as the units that include the antenna as part of the unit have about a 75 degree angle for transmit and receive. Both need to be mounted outside the RV and a cat5 cable runs between the Wi-Fi signal extender and a regular Wi-Fi modem used by all your Wi-Fi devices in or out of the RV.

Is it worth it? In my case it has been well worth it. I tried to use Verizon MyFi, but we use toooooooo much data and it cost us an arm and a leg for one month. No matter where we park in the CG's we ALWAYS have a GREAT signal. But to carry that one more step, if you set the unit up for MAX signal/Distance you can pick up Wi-Fi signals from other public Wi-Fi providers. While in Colorado last summer, we stayed at a state CG with no Wi-Fi.. Looking up on a ridge about 1.5 miles away was a Home Depot that has Public Wi-Fi. I put my antenna up to its max height and was able to connect to their Wi-Fi. As far as signal strength, I was able to stream video from my Slingbox at home here in FL, without any breakup. I had to watch the Ray's ball games and our recorded shows. At another CG without Wi-Fi, we were able to connect to McDonald's Wi-Fi (about 1/2 mile away). I have no problem with using their signals as we donate a large sum of money each year to support their businesses... $140 yesterday to HomeDepot :-(

So, yes they do their job well, but they do take a little time and understanding to get them up and running. It would help if you could enlist the aid of a person that understands the network. I use an EnGenius EOC5611P. I get to the CG and with my tablet I set the unit up to connect to the CG AP, and all our Wi-Fi gizmos link up to the TT's Wi-Fi router and have access to the Internet.

Here is the link to my Wi-Fi album, hope it helps:

Again it is not for everyone!!!! And there is NOT always a PUBLIC Wi-Fi in the transmit/receive area.

Just my thoughts,
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
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C CRANE used to have WIFI antennas. I used to have one that had four suction cups on it and would setup on the window of the house... The antenna plugged into the USB port and had software that made it work... They may have something you can use.


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Old 11-07-2014, 07:10 PM   #8
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We mostly camp at Louisiana State Parks where free WIFI is available. My wife has a Dell laptop which connects with no problems, but I have a "cheap" ASUS laptop that won;t connect but will tell you there is a connect there. The antennas are all though the park. Last week we were 500 ft or so from the antenna.
I am looking at Ideaworks Long Distance WiFi Antenna available at WalMart for $35.77. Would this work?

Item Description
Ensure that your Internet connection reaches you wherever you may be at home or at work when you have the Ideaworks USB Powered Long Distance WiFi Antenna installed. This device offers a strong wireless Internet signal and can even pick up and boost signals from up to a distance of 3,000'. The IdeaWorks long distance WiFi antenna features water-resistant and corrosion-resistant housing so you can mount the antenna indoors or outdoors and not experience interruptions in your connection. It also allows you to access WiFi from public hotspots. This wireless network antenna booster comes with a 25' USB cable and an easy-install CD so you can connect it to any network that utilizes Windows 7, Windows 8, Vista and XP. Even when you are in older homes and thick-walled apartments or rural and mountainous areas, you can be confident that you will still have your signal.

Ideaworks Long Distance WiFi Antenna:
IdeaWorks USB-powered long-distance WiFi antenna features a water-resistant and corrosion-resistant housing for indoor and outdoor mounting
Connects to hot spots up to 0.5 miles away and allows you to link up with nearby coffee shop connections without having to go to the cafe itself
25' USB cable
Comes with an easy install CD
Dimensions: 7" x 7.5" x 10"
PC-compatible only (Windows, Windows 7 and 8, Vista and XP)
Wireless network antenna delivers even in older homes and thick-walled apartments; even in rural and mountainous areas
"Freedom has a taste to those who fought and almost died for it ... that the protected will never know. Anonymous"

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Old 11-07-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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I couldn't have said it better than Mustang65. His antenna is one that I will likely aspire to. The only exception is that in my case it was Mountain Dew, not coffee or beer, that helped get me going
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Old 11-07-2014, 10:38 PM   #10
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C Crane has a wifi antenna that works great. It is $99 but ask for a blemished one for less money.

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