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Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the countdown to Christmas is underway

We are officially decorated for Christmas! Well, not completely.  As usual, my memory of where I put stuff last year was a bit fuzzy and I forgot that there were several strands of lights that I drool around the cabinet tops and all that were decommissioned due to a failure to illuminate.

So, I am now mostly decorated and a WalMart trip is in order to round out the decorations.  That is ok. I need to pick up a few other things, too, and I really don’t like to drive 7 miles to get just 1 thing.  The problem is that I am still in the habit of “making a mental note” of what I need. Of course, that scratchpad is almost used up and I keep forgetting to check it, anyway. Hmmm, maybe I should write THAT down so I don’t forget to check it….. Obvious flaw in that, somewhere.

On to better things.  I have really been unhappy with my internet connectivity “out here” in RVing land. So far, the campground supplied Wifi, whether paid or free, has been outright frustrating.  Likewise, my Sprint 3g/4g service, even when using the HOTSPOT feature on my phone, has been unruly and I am tired of having to work out some Rube Goldberg workaround to get everything connected consistently every time we move or I take my phone out of the process to use it.

Yesterday, after a lengthy amount of research, I ordered a Verizon 4g LTE USB Modem.  It’s a Pantech UML290 which should just plug right into my Cradlepoint MBR1000 router and provide the best of the best in a connectivity hotspot.  That is what my Verizon based Kids keep telling me, but that’s another topic.   I chose the UML290 because it has held the Editors Choice awards for a long time and is still up there. A really big reason, though, is because it has external antenna connections for 3g and separately for 4g external antennas.  This is a biggie!

I thought for a long time that Campground Wifi problems were surely in the CG system but I now have it clear that very often if not most of the time, the problems are in the backhaul side provided by the ISP that delivers the broadband connection to the campground.  Nothing I can do in my RV will make up for that other than to have other connectivity options, like Verizon.

The BestBuy store in south Jacksonville is holding my USB modem for me and from the data rates I have seen from others around here, it will be an awesome solution.   I just have to go pick it up sometime today.

I have been a loyal Sprint customer for many years and money wise, their unlimited everything plans are big $$$$ savers over everyone else’s plans. But I depend on good Internet connectivity to keep me sane and it is very unlikely that I will ever be in a campground that is close enough to a major city to get their 4G Wimaxx service solidly. I know they are putting in an Advanced LTE 4g service over the next 18 months but I need it now!

I will still keep my phones on Sprint but the only likely alternative to Verizon might be Millenicom but they only offer 4g on their hotspot device and not on a UML290 USB Modem. Living in an aluminum cage in the walls of the RV makes it mandatory to have a way to put up an external antenna for the best wireless connectivity.

So, now it’s time to go pick up “my Precious!”

ttfn

Budd

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