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About old-p

  • Birthday 03/01/1965

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    old peculier
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    Braunston Marina

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  1. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    yep I agree I was sceptical so I asked and they pointed me at this press release and said to read the notes to editors at the bottom. http://www.virginmedia.com/corporate/media-centre/press-releases/virgin-mobile-launches-the-uks-first-truly-unlimited-mobile-plan.html also Gizmodo seem to think its true http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2018/02/virgin-mobile-is-launching-an-unlimited-data-plan-with-zero-limits-even-for-tethering/ I think the catch is you have to already have virgin broadband connection to qualify for the tariff which is probably to stop people using it as a home broadband replacement.
  2. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    yep here it is, just ordered one for myself , under virgin TV and broadband customer exclusive. http://store.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-mobile/sim-only/pay-monthly-sim.html
  3. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    a great deal is available for existing virgin broadband customers . virgin are offering a 4g virgin media unlimited data tariff , inc teathering with no caps or restrictions for £25 per month. sorry if this is seen as an advert so admin please delete if you feel it violates rules.
  4. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    one thing i forgot to say is when choosing an external aerial and router make sure they support all uk 4g/lte bands i.e 800mhz to 2600mhz as well as the router supporting LTE-A to make sure you have the best chance to get maximum data rate available.
  5. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    Ok let me start by saying that if you dont have a good signal you will never get the service that you are looking for, but most people should be able to get a good solution if it is designed and installed correctly. Start by looking at the coverage maps for mobile networks for their 4G networks, if it says that you should get good indoor 4G coverage then you will be ok, even if it says good outdoors coverage there are things you can do to make sure you get a good connection.. Now to the bit I will guess will cause some comments. If you want a business grade service a consumer MIFI type device will not provide you with the type of service you are looking for, well not one that I would bet my business on anyway. firstly you need a good external aerial, my recommendation is a good quality omni directional aerial, again people will start to say a directional yagi etc etc will be better and there is something in what they say but also with LTE ( 4G) it can also make things much worse so on average a good omini will work better more often. Also you need two of them and its best to place then a few feet apart, again you can buy great aerials which actually have two seperate aerials in one housing and they have two cables coming out of them ( I use one of this type and mine also has 2 wifi and a GPS aerial in it as well so 5 cables coming out and mine works ok). Next you need a good LTE ( 4G) router and here you definitely get what you pay for, go for one that is designed to work in vehicle and run on 12v and it should work well. If you want a belt and braces solution go for a router that supports two sims, then you run on two seperate networks which gives you better odds of having a good signal. my preference based on network coverage and performance is EE and Vodafone. Then you have the choice to connect an internal WIFI device in the boat to extend your data connection or use a wired connection, wired is always better. now there are mobile solutions that are used by coaches to provide WIFI streaming to its passengers, also the police use systems that then use their patrol car to act as a local data point that the on foot offices connect through to provide a performant and secure connection for personal video and data . So what would this cost, well I doubt you could set up a system for much less than £800- £1000. and such a system is not for the average narrow boat user but if you are running a business then its a different matter. As to how good could this be, I have installed similar systems in high street retailers to run all their in store systems on and they are stable and work great, there are however some locations where it wont work and we have to put in a land line but that is less than 5% of locations and getting less every month. As to router manufacturers the main commercial grade ones I have seen that work well are peplink and cradlepoint or Sierra Wireless who between them have most of this market and antennas two makes I have had good results with are Panorama Antennas and Mobile mark. I have no connection to these companies other than as a satisfied customer so I would advise that you speak to on of them or similar specialists in commercial mobile data solutions. Wireless Connectivity, Westbase and Aquamare Marine. Personally I have set up that allows me to work from the boat and I use webex conferences, stream video and transfer files as good as if I was in my home office, I also use Now tv and Netflix for streaming video, occasionally it buffers but not enough to be annoying and my clients are amazed when I say I am working from my narrowboat. you absolutely get what you pay for but make sure you pay for good advice as that is the best money you will spend.
  6. I want to check out that the settings on a Dakar combi are set correctly , I have the manual for the CSCP which shows the setup options but it dosen't say what they are or how to set them, specifically I am after understanding "return amps" and " average time consump." and how to set them. Allso does anyone know if you can use AGM batteries with this charger and if so how do I change the settings? Thanks in advance. Mark.
  7. old-p

    Improving onboard Mobile communications

    after Lurking for a while I thought I would make my first post on a subject close to my heart. I have been reading with interest the threads on mobile internet connection on Narrowboats, I have to declare an interest here as I work in the mobile industry so I probably have some bias here and there regarding networks ;-) . The problem I needed to solve was to be able to set up a reliable system that would allow me to work from “home” from our narrowboat, this means I needed to put a reliable system in place that has the best chance of working and not necessary the cheapest solution. After a lot of research and speaking to some of our technical design engineers who design mobile data solutions for emergency services they came up with a spec that seemed to me to be worth trying. My other requirement was that I would like to connect to static wifi services if available and then if that connection is not present to replace it with a 4g LTE connection and only is that is not available to switch to 3G . I then wanted the WAN connection to be repeated via a separate single wifi access point inside the boat to which our devices could then connect. The solution I settled on was an external mounted antenna on the roof which contains 5 separate internal antenna’s 2 MIMO for 4G/LTE/3G, two MIMO for WIFI and a single GPS aerial. This was then connected to a 12v router in the boat. And the router also had a separate 12v powered access point connected to it ( I needed 2 AP’s so I can separate the WAN connection from the Lan connection and therefore improve performance) The router had the capability for 2 separate SIMS so I went for a three sim as my main sim ( as the data plan is much cheaper) followed by an EE sim which I think gives the best overall coverage on the network ( but I am biased here, see disclaimer above). I then have 2-3 public and marina WIFI services that I subscribe to. For the roof mounted antenna its really important to make sure your aerial supports the frequency bands for the mobile operator you chose, make sure you check as a lot of the antenna don’t support all the UK 4G LTE frequency’s, and will not work so well if its not supported. Also try and find a router that will restart and set up when power is connected and is happy to switch off by having the power removed or switched off, again home 4G routers don’t like this behavior. Now I know that there have been discussions on using directional aerials and not omni directional ones, now whilst this works better for a TV and radio signal it is not necessary better for a wifi or Mobile data solution, trust me on this one but a good omni directional aerial will almost always work better than a directional aerial unless you can see the mobile mast , and if you can see it an omni will be fine J. Now the equipment I installed was as follows:- Antenna was a “MOBILE MARK LTM502 AERIAL WITH 4.5M LEADS” . Router was a “Pepwave max BR1 LTE” Internal access point was a “Pepwave AP One AC mini” My choice was based on the antenna being the best low profile multi antenna I could find in the UK that supports all UK 3G & 4G LTE frequencies, the router I chose because it is used by a lot of police forces to provide exactly this solution, it is also water and vibration resistant and will accept a wide range of supply voltages which removes the need for a separate 12v regulator, the AP choice was simply because the router can configure it so it made the setup and operation easier. You probably haven't heard of Pepwave much in the UK but in the US they are one of the market leaders in mobile Routers. Now I guess the feedback on how it works, well so far I have been running it for 4 months and it is working really well, I have rarely not had a working connection and it happy running all our laptops, tablets and phones etc. an added bonus is that the router also has a built in GPS which it can broadcast on the LAN which means that my laptop running WaterNAV also has a functional GPS inside the boat. So am I happy... yes I’m happy with the solution I have installed, as I said earlier its not the cheapest solution but if you must have a reliable connection then I would recommend you consider this type of setup.