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Old 07-13-2013, 07:19 PM   #1
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Long Range WiFi System

We put together a long-range wifi system for our JayFlight 28BHS in order to hit weak campground access points. We thought others might be interested in our project description including the necessary software configuration steps. These are posted on our projects blog:

http://eplumer.blogspot.com/2013/07/...n-trailer.html

Edward and Danielle
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
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Nice setup!! It is amazing how many camp grounds claim WIFI service and the signal is like -85dB. One CG said don't complain about WIFI reception or lack of... we did not have to supply any connection.. After a speed test the download was a little more than 56K and upload was less than that. So I built my own system. We stay at a lot of state/federal/Cor..of Eng camp grounds so WIFI is not provided. Thanks to Nearby McDdonald's, Starbucks, Homedepot and other businesses that provide free WIFI, we are usually connected. We usually end up buying some thing from them while camping... The longest distance was a Homedepot that was a little more than a mile away. Also use our MagicJack phone with no issues over the camper WIFI, saves on wireless phone minutes. Access to my Slingbox at my home is great... One month left of our 3 month campin trip...
DON
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
Nice setup!! It is amazing how many camp grounds claim WIFI service and the signal is like -85dB. One CG said don't complain about WIFI reception or lack of... we did not have to supply any connection.. After a speed test the download was a little more than 56K and upload was less than that. So I built my own system. We stay at a lot of state/federal/Cor..of Eng camp grounds so WIFI is not provided. Thanks to Nearby McDdonald's, Starbucks, Homedepot and other businesses that provide free WIFI, we are usually connected. We usually end up buying some thing from them while camping... The longest distance was a Homedepot that was a little more than a mile away. Also use our MagicJack phone with no issues over the camper WIFI, saves on wireless phone minutes. Access to my Slingbox at my home is great... One month left of our 3 month campin trip...
DON
Would you mind explaining a little more about how it works. I am intriqued by the use of a magic jack!
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dcplumer View Post
We put together a long-range wifi system for our JayFlight 28BHS in order to hit weak campground access points. We thought others might be interested in our project description including the necessary software configuration steps. These are posted on our projects blog:

http://eplumer.blogspot.com/2013/07/...n-trailer.html

Edward and Danielle
Whats it cost for a setup like this?
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
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No Problem.. The new version of MagicJack allows you to either plug the unit into your USB port on your PC/Laptop or directly into your WIFI router. I have it plugged into my TTs Wireless Router where it picks up the internet. I have a wireless phone plugged into the MagicJack unit (1.5x3) so we can make/take calls anywhere in or outside the TT. So far no complaints and saved us a lot of cell phone minutes. MagicJack allows you to pick a telephone number (in ANY area code you desire) or port you existing land line to MagicJack. Currently I have my land line fwd to the MagicJack number. You also get an email from MagicJack when you have voice mail.

As for my WIFI setup, I use an EnGenius EOC 5611P (500mW - Access Point/Client Bridge) in Client Bridge mode, to communicate with the CG WIFI Access Point. It is plugged into my TTs Cisco WIFI Wireless Router, which I only allow access to the TT toys (PC, Laptop, Notepad, Solar Charge Controller, Sensors, MagicJack..) When buying ANY unit the one thing to remember is that 99.99% of CGs WIFI uses 802.11g, some of the newer WIFI extenders only have 802.11n and are not backward compatible with b or g. The first CG that I have EVER encountered using 802.11n is the one that I am currently staying at. One of the problems with CGs is that they provide WIFI and restrict it to 10mB internet access for ALL the campers combined; Hence a strong signals, but slow access.

Recommendation: (You have many to select from)
EnGenius ENH 202 800mW (2.4GHz) (Amazon $125.00) (The EOC 5611P is no longer produced)
Any WIFI Wireless Router (I used one of my old ones)

My Planned Upgrade:
EnGenius ENH 202 -800mW (2.4GHz) Communicate with CG WIFI Access Point
EnGenius EOC 5611P 500mW (2.4GHz or 5.8GHz mode) will replace the TTs Cisco WIFI Access Point

Enjoy!!!
Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Whats it cost for a setup like this?
For our specific setup:

Lcom with PoE box $69
Trendnet router $30
Ethernet cable $15
Buddipole $55 - (painter's pole good option if you don't already have something)
Clamps and plumbing bits $10
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dcplumer View Post
We put together a long-range wifi system for our JayFlight 28BHS in order to hit weak campground access points. We thought others might be interested in our project description including the necessary software configuration steps. These are posted on our projects blog:

http://eplumer.blogspot.com/2013/07/...n-trailer.html

Edward and Danielle
Great Idea! After reading this post last week and thinking about it for a while, I've decided to implement my own "on the cheap" version of this mod using some networking equipment I already own:

1. TL-WA5110G 400mW Access Point. I had this sitting in storage. It supports PoE so I'll only need to run the 1 ethernet cable. I believe I spent around $45 for this a few years ago. I've mounted this inside of a waterproof plastic container, drilled a hole for the antenna, and sealed it up with silicone.

2. Linksys WRT54G Router. I also had this lying around. I'm sure any router will do but the Linksys routers allow for custom firmware to be installed (e.g. dd-wrt). This allows for more options.

3. I bought a 9 ft. Painter's Pole from Wal-Mart for $12 which I've mounted to the side of the roof access ladder (that gave me more altitude than mounting to the spare tire support as the OP suggested). I should have a good 5-6 feet of roof clearance when fully extended. I also picked up a couple of pipe fasteners in the plumbing section for a couple bucks. I still need to figure out how to mount the plastic container to the top of the painter's pole. I'd like to be able to detach it when not in use. I was thinking of fastening the container to a paint pad/edger so it can be screwed onto the threads and taken off when not in use.

For wire routing, I'm not too keen on drilling holes though my TT floor, so I'll probably just end up routing the Ethernet cable through the outdoor storage access when in use and mount the router and PoE module somewhere inside that storage area.

Tonight I'll play around with the software to see if I can get it to work. Shouldn't be a problem since I've set up a remote WiFi access point in my house before. If it works I'll have a solution that only cost me $18 out of pocket.. Not bad!

Dan
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dcplumer View Post
We put together a long-range wifi system for our JayFlight 28BHS in order to hit weak campground access points. We thought others might be interested in our project description including the necessary software configuration steps. These are posted on our projects blog:

http://eplumer.blogspot.com/2013/07/...n-trailer.html

Edward and Danielle
Edward,

I read your blog posting with great interest. We're going to be spending a month in Florida in a park without park wide wifi. I have been searching for an internet solution such as having the cable turned on or mobile hot spots. Your post provided an alternative idea. The park does have wifi available at a clubhouse which is probably less than 600 yards away. A high powered receiver like you described would likely pull the signal in. My question is how do you deal with login ids and passwords for the parks system? I didn't see it in your phohts, but I am assuming there is a web interface to your L-com unit where you would enter that information. Is that correct? At some parks the login times out each day. Do you have to re-login each day?

Thanks,
Dennis
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:53 AM   #9
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We too gave up on being successful at the camp grounds WIFI usage. I was always leery of just connecting up to the various WIFI hot spots around the country.

We went ahead and got the VERIZON MIFI unit a few years back. Is a contract thing but cheaper back then. This is a stand alone device that creates a legal local hotspot and will support five devices at the same time... This is a small pocket size unit that has internal four hour batteries and can plug into 120VAC... Works anywhere you get Verizon cellphone service.

We use our MIFI unit normally sitting in one of the WILSON SLEEK Cradle mobile cellphone holders which has an outside antenna capability. This increases our local WIFI hotspot range around the trailer alot. This is a great docking station for our MIFI unit as well.

Don't worry about the weak WIFI usage at the camp grounds anymore. Being a stand alone unit this does not have anything to do with my Verizon cellphone usage.. When sitting on the beach I slip it into my shirt pocket and we can sit on the beach with me using my big M90 Dell laptop - momabear on her HP portable - and both of us with our tablets etc... Haven't run into a place yet where it didn't work here on the east side of the USA.

Back in the older days I used a Verizon Air Card plugged into a Cradlepoint router which created a wireless WIFI network for camping.. That worked great as well...

I was just never much a fan of just logging into all of the WIFI hot spots scattered all over the country... Too risky for this ole man... Have done it alot at hotels alot but they are mostly password protected type things. Members only type of thing

This is just me - people do this all the time and survive I guess
Roy Ken
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #10
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Depends if it is a login to the wifi AP itself or one of those policy-acceptance pages like you get in hotels. The former would be entered on the wifi ap-client pages as a "profile". The later would pop up on the client computer when you first attempt to navigate to some website.
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