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Old 02-20-2015, 01:15 PM   #1
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Communications specific questions for Build Sheet

We have until September but I'm starting to think about our build sheet. I see options on the build sheet related to TV, stereo, and not on the build sheet options for internet.

I'm thinking why do we need stereo when we can bring along a quality bluetooth ipod dock to stream pandora music?

And why do we need a TV antennae when these days you can get most TV shows and movies on your laptop over the internet?

So I'm thinking if we invest in a good cell phone booster/antennae and bring our ipod dock we may not need the TV antennae or stereo prewire/speakers?

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:27 PM   #2
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I'm thinking why do we need stereo when we can bring along a quality bluetooth ipod dock to stream pandora music?
Yes, many forum members do so. Of course, you'll need network access, either 3G/4G or wifi.

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And why do we need a TV antennae when these days you can get most TV shows and movies on your laptop over the internet?
Again, not a bad plan, as long as you camp where they offer adequate internet access, or you have a data plan that isn't cost prohibitive. Streaming audio - and especially video, uses alot of data.

Internet access is not always possible considering where we camp. We had ETI install a Wilson Sleek cradle in one of the overhead cabinets, and a Wilson Trucker 3G/4G antenna on the roof. I plan to use my Verizon MiFi in the cradle, so we should be able to have internet access in alot of places - but definitely not all.

As for the TV antenna, I like free. The Jack Antenna does a good job of receiving OTA HD signals, and I suspect we will use that far more than trying to stream a movie or show over the PC. Of course, some campgrounds offer free cable or satellite, so all you'd need is a coax cable.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Rbryan. Does the Jack antenna get reception where the 3G/4G antenna might not, and vice versa? We use Verizon as well.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jill View Post
We have until September but I'm starting to think about our build sheet. I see options on the build sheet related to TV, stereo, and not on the build sheet options for internet.

I'm thinking why do we need stereo when we can bring along a quality bluetooth ipod dock to stream pandora music?

And why do we need a TV antennae when these days you can get most TV shows and movies on your laptop over the internet?

So I'm thinking if we invest in a good cell phone booster/antennae and bring our ipod dock we may not need the TV antennae or stereo prewire/speakers?

Any thoughts on this?
You or the next owner might not have cell coverage at a remote location or during an emergency.


Also, since its a pain to run wire after the build, better to pay the factory to do it "now", if you think there may be a need later on. I have no idea how the Jack antenna works, but I imagine its a lot simpler retro fitting it with an existing coax through the shell.

Some have also mentioned liking the speakers to be "out of the way" in the cabinetry.

ymmv
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
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Thanks Rbryan. Does the Jack antenna get reception where the 3G/4G antenna might not, and vice versa? We use Verizon as well.
TV broadcast areas and Cellular reception areas are definitely not the same thing. I've camped where I had a huge number of TV channels to choose from, but no cellular signal - and also camped where the reverse was true. The Jack is just for TV. The Wilson is just for Cellular.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:49 PM   #6
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Sounds like for our needs we should invest in the cell signal support and also get the TV ready feature so we can add it later if we want to. If there's no cell service we'll have to find some old fashioned things to do like read a book!

Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:54 PM   #7
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Technology changes so fast. Since my phone and little shortwave radio can hold a thousand or so of my very favorite songs and the phone can send them to whatever speakers etc. I'm using I'd be reluctant to build in something. But to each their own.

I used Verizon Mifi last year. It worked well East of Texas but I was a bit disappointed with it in the Western states, I did expect a little better performance. Certainly an external antenna would probably make a different.

I use a portable over the air TV antenna and I have a small antenna that came with my TV stick that plugs into the USB port of my laptop. Lots of times, relatively near cities it's all I need.

To bring in cable for my external portable antenna I drilled a hole in the floor of a dinette locker. Quick and simple. Cable is pulled into the locker when not in use. The hole is large enough that I've used it for several things; larger battery cables, solar cell wiring, remote switch to turn on external running lights as well as the TV cable. Handy to have.

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Old 02-20-2015, 01:56 PM   #8
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Sounds like for our needs we should invest in the cell signal support and also get the TV ready feature so we can add it later if we want to. If there's no cell service we'll have to find some old fashioned things to do like read a book!

Thanks for the help!
Sounds good. The TV ready option is handy also when you camp at locations with cable or satellite - just hook up the coax and it's prewired to the inside.

I also agree with Bruce - having the ability to receive a cell signal in an emergency is a very good thing.

We didn't add these options because we plan to spend alot of time inside watching TV or surfing the web. For us, that defeats the purpose of camping. We did it so we would have the capability. Also, I plan to mix business with pleasure as much as I can. As an IT engineer and consultant, I often have online meetings with clients, and the boosted cellular signal may make it possible for me to "work" from the trailer on occasion.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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I don't watch TV, so I replaced the TV antenna with a XM radio antenna. As to a built in stereo/radio, I started off with a Sony iPod deck - the RDP XF100iP. While it was very flexible in that I could plug my iPhone or iPad for Pandora & my collection of music into it as well as my XM radio receiver & it had a built in FM radio, a couple of problems led me to replace it with an underhung cabinet enclosing a JVC automotive type receiver & a couple of Radio Shack Minimus 7 speakers.

The problems - First, it took up valuable counter space in my 17B. Second, the FM radio was so poor that it often didn't pick up the local NPR stations which I prefer to listened to. I got tired of only being able to receive country music & religious stations. While part of this was because the aluminum foil on the extra insulation cut down reception, even outside the radio performed poorly. The last was specific to the combination of my MacBookPro laptop & the Sony; the laptop would randomly send an IR flash that would cause the Sony to switch modes. Obviously, if you don't need the radio (I like to listen to what is going on in the area I'm visiting), have the additional counter space of the 21', and don't have the IR problem, a portable would be a viable option.

As to a cell based hotspot, I use an external antenna combined with a Verizon based Jetpack in a Sleek amplifier, and found that I have a usable signal just about anywhere. On a 304 day trip around the country I only had 12 - 14 days without an internet connection. With Pandora, listening to my home based NPR station over the internet, reading many web pages, keeping up my blog & journal with many photographs, I averaged around 15GB per month while traveling. If I was going to add TV & movies, I suspect I'd go well over that. Since the last time I traveled I was using Millenicom (Verizon kinda put them out of business) It only cost me $90.00 per month for 20GB; Verizon provided a switch for Milenicom users for $100.00 + fees. If you are going to use a Jetpack for TV, it is easy to end up using enough data that it gets expensive.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:58 PM   #10
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Good point about the data plan. I'm looking forward to the day when my kids have jobs of their own and pay for their own cell phone plans so my husband and I can actually use the data we're paying for. I think our kids use 90% of our data plan!
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