Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

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Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby svizzerams » Fri May 15, 2009 12:59 am

I'm gonna try an experiment working from Yellowstone Nat'l Park part of the summer using a portable Sat system (hughes net) and a VPN. The specs on the plan is 2000 mbps download; 500 upload and 1250MB FAP/day. I'm using a .98 dish. Anyone out there in BFC land use a remote sat system? Any advice??
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby Woodsman » Fri May 15, 2009 2:22 am

Assuming you'll be out of reach of cell phone antennas, is there anyway to tether a sat phone for high speed packet data transfer?

The problem with Hughes net is there stinking little download thresholds.
You download more than they like you to, they'll cut your speed down to dialup. If you want more speed for a longer time, they'll charge you extra.

We don't roll that way here in Woodsman's place, that's why we went with a cellular repeater & cellular card. No download thresholds and half the time it's just as fast anyway.

If you could figure out a way to tether a sat phone, you'd be golden everywhere. I'll bet somebody has it available. Otherwise, use the dish. I'll bet you it's going to be a little tricky to line the dish up. Some built in RVs are automatic GPS controlled devices, but if you're going backcountry, you're going to have to find a site up high with few obstructions and use a compass, figure declination and use a inclinometer to get it focused right. It's a little hassle, but doable.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby svizzerams » Sat May 16, 2009 1:09 am

Woodsman wrote:Assuming you'll be out of reach of cell phone antennas, is there anyway to tether a sat phone for high speed packet data transfer?

The problem with Hughes net is there stinking little download thresholds.
You download more than they like you to, they'll cut your speed down to dialup. If you want more speed for a longer time, they'll charge you extra.

We don't roll that way here in Woodsman's place, that's why we went with a cellular repeater & cellular card. No download thresholds and half the time it's just as fast anyway.

If you could figure out a way to tether a sat phone, you'd be golden everywhere. I'll bet somebody has it available. Otherwise, use the dish. I'll bet you it's going to be a little tricky to line the dish up. Some built in RVs are automatic GPS controlled devices, but if you're going backcountry, you're going to have to find a site up high with few obstructions and use a compass, figure declination and use a inclinometer to get it focused right. It's a little hassle, but doable.


I'd use an air card set up if it would work in the park. I've researched it extensively, even talked with the engineers in Jackson, Cody and West Yellowstone. Verizon provides the service there, but broadband functionaliry has not made it into the park. Hughes net is the strongest choice (even if its not necessarily the ideal choice - its about the only choice that comes close to being cost effective - if it works). I'll be using one of the more robust plans to achieve my work goals. Yeah, their FAP policy sucks. 1250 MB/day though will be more than adequate for my needs. There are very few players in this particular technology it seems - at least at a consumer level. Now if I was the Defense Department..... Once we get the dish aligned it will be stationary for the next several months (at least through Sept/Oct). The location is clear to the southern and eastern skies. It will be set up in Grant Village on Yellowstone Lake. If Verizon ever expands 3G/4G services into the park location I'll be golden - but in the meantime this seems to be our most likely option. I'll check the sat phone option, but that might be prohibitively expensive to use 8 hours a day.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby svizzerams » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:20 am

...the satellite system is deployed, aligned with a bird in the sky and seems to be working reasonably well from Grant Village. I will be testing it capabilities for my work needs starting a week from Wednesday when I actually arrive in Yellowstone. If this works, as I believe it should, it will give new meaning to being the Rx Rangerette. Basically I can work from anywhere I choose. I so love the internets!!! Before this particularly scenario presented itself I'd envisioned doing my work from some small (but broadband capable) location in say, the Lakes District or Cotswold or somewhere in Italy and rent a motorbike to tour on my time off. I like the idea of being financially viable but "traveling" at the same time. I might try using this system somewhere on a beach in Baja this November.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby Woodsman » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:15 pm

svizzerams wrote:...the satellite system is deployed, aligned with a bird in the sky and seems to be working reasonably well from Grant Village. I will be testing it capabilities for my work needs starting a week from Wednesday when I actually arrive in Yellowstone. If this works, as I believe it should, it will give new meaning to being the Rx Rangerette. Basically I can work from anywhere I choose. I so love the internets!!! Before this particularly scenario presented itself I'd envisioned doing my work from some small (but broadband capable) location in say, the Lakes District or Cotswold or somewhere in Italy and rent a motorbike to tour on my time off. I like the idea of being financially viable but "traveling" at the same time. I might try using this system somewhere on a beach in Baja this November.


As you probably can imagine, I love this concept!
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby thewalrus » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:32 am

svizzerams wrote:...the satellite system is deployed, aligned with a bird in the sky and seems to be working reasonably well from Grant Village. I will be testing it capabilities for my work needs starting a week from Wednesday when I actually arrive in Yellowstone. If this works, as I believe it should, it will give new meaning to being the Rx Rangerette. Basically I can work from anywhere I choose. I so love the internets!!! Before this particularly scenario presented itself I'd envisioned doing my work from some small (but broadband capable) location in say, the Lakes District or Cotswold or somewhere in Italy and rent a motorbike to tour on my time off. I like the idea of being financially viable but "traveling" at the same time. I might try using this system somewhere on a beach in Baja this November.


Depends where you are in Baja. Some of the Ku and Ka-band spot beams used by Wildblue and Hughes for residential VSAT customers in the USA only properly cover the lower 48 states. North part of Baja should be OK but if you go further south, problematic. This is relatively easy to check... The major players in cheap TDMA residential two way satellite for US customers don't own their own satellites, they lease transponder capacity on the same commercial satellites that do direct to home TV. Example, Wildblue uses capacity on Anik F2:

http://www.google.com/search?q=anik+F2

http://www.telesat.ca/en/Anik_Fleet

Wildblue is Ka band so you can ignore the Ku spot beam coverage. I'm not sure which satellites HughesNet uses over the US.

With a bit of googling and looking around on the satellites owners' websites you can figure out if you will still be in the coverage area. Being in the coverage area does not necessarily mean you will be able to establish a two way link, since the typical hughesnet terminal is a 1.0 meter or smaller composite molded reflector with a 2W BUC (your transmitter). You might be in the spot beam but out at an edge of the beam in Mexico the dbW signal strength will be insufficient for your Tx to rise above the noise floor, and be seen clearly by the teleport modem at the other end of your link.

Re: comment above about satellite phone access, it'll be prohibitively expensive and slow. You can get decent speeds from an Inmarsat BGAN terminal but the hardware cost will be $2000+ to buy and it's priced per megabyte. You can use Iridium for real time two way data but the speeds are about equivalent to a 9600 baud modem, or 1 kilobyte per second. Of course that is also charged at minimum rates of about 85 to 95 cents a minute if you buy minutes in bulk, or $1.59+ per minute if you do not.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby thewalrus » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:37 am

Oh yeah.

Assuming you have one of the elliptical 0.74 meter hughesnet dishes:

Image

You can achieve better signal strength by using a larger dish which is somewhat more bulky and time consuming to set up and take down, but quite possible to pack up on the roofrack of an RV.

Here's a typical cheap 1.2 meter manually aimed composite reflector with Ku-band feed, LNB and BUC. Appears to have a 3W or 4W Ku-band BUC mounted on it. You could use a more powerful BUC (baseband up converter, your transmitter. This converts the 950MHz-1450MHz Tx signal sent by your modem to the Ku-band frequencies used to talk to the satellite). Check the specs for your modem first to see if it provides the correct voltage and amperage on the Tx line to power the BUC, or you will need separate 110V-240V AC power to the BUC. Depends what you have now, some hughesnes packages already come with a 4W BUC instead of the 2W.

Image
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby RYP » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:26 pm

BGANS are the normal choice of pros who need uplink. Is expensive.


http://www.bgan.us/
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby thewalrus » Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:14 am

BGAN bill for less than 1024MB (1GB) of data transfer in a month is $2000+ US dollars. That's for the contended TDMA access for web browsing/email access where the data rate is highly asymmetric, not dedicated streaming upstream

So unless you're the sort of wealthy individual that owns a 150' yacht, BGAN is for pros as RYP said... News gathering organizations where the boss pays the bill.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby svizzerams » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:49 pm

Well I am here in beautiful downtown Grant Village, Yellowstone National Park.

The system we are using has a .98 dish. And although it works well enough for almost everything I need to do work wise it was way to "laggy" uploading the scanned image files I use for my work. I've now switched to a Verizon aircard. A 3-G broadband tower was put up this winter apparently, in Grant (although the Verizon engineers, tech support etc in Cody, WY and Jackson, WY and folks in West Yellowstone didn't seem to be able to provide that information after numerous inquires in Feb, Mar, and April) :-( . One of the other residents of the employee complex here told us about the tower, so I borrowed a card to test it. The gallant ranger was sent on a mission to West Yellowstone to acquire my own. The aircard is working well for my purposes, and although it is still a little slow uploading the image files it is functional enough to get the job done. So I am working in my little "office" overlooking a ravine in which I see and hear elk bugling. Pretty darn cool to be here.

Walrus, I appreciate all the info you posted. Interesting stuff and it will take me a bit to digest it all. I'm on the steep learning curve on this type of technology.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby rynmackz » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:16 pm

There are so many Portable satellite internet, I could recommend to you, and it depends to what kind of espec you are looking for. Now I'm using my Harris RF 7800B DU024 Ruggedized Terminal for my daily travel. It's perfect in kind place you want to place it.
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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby Caliban » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:36 pm

svizzerams wrote:I'm gonna try an experiment working from Yellowstone Nat'l Park part of the summer using a portable Sat system (hughes net) and a VPN. The specs on the plan is 2000 mbps download; 500 upload and 1250MB FAP/day. I'm using a .98 dish. Anyone out there in BFC land use a remote sat system? Any advice??



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Re: Portable satellite internet? Anyone?

Postby JamesInTheWorld » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:28 am

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