Goodies for the YarrVee!

Some goodies for the coach just arrived. They’re still cold to the touch from being in the unheated UPS truck.

Two GoPro Hero 4 batteries and a USB dual charger.
An extendable GoPro monopod.

And the cool piece

a Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 high-gain 11db WiFi…I’m not really sure what to call it!
It’s not an “antenna”, “booster”, or “range extender”, since I’m not connecting it to an existing piece of WiFi gear to improve reception…but it does act like a very powerful directional antenna.
It’s also not a router like the one your Internet Service Provider sent you, since I’m not plugging it into a fixed connection someplace…

It’s really a professional/commercial grade piece of gear (without a professional/commercial grade price!) that doesn’t have anything similar in the residential market that I’m aware of. The case is made of UV resistant weatherproof plastic, and comes with mounts and heavy duty zipties suitable for attaching it to a pole about 1.5″ in diameter.

I will tell you that I followed the instructional video that David Bott from Outside Our Bubble posted a month or so ago, and I was up and running in about 15 minutes.

Cellphone Results…

My Galaxy S5 phone could identify 18 Access Points nearby. Only a couple of them were open (Thanks, xfinitywifi provided by Comcast!), and the phone wouldn’t stay connected to any of them (Thanks, xfinitywifi provided by Comcast!).

Laptop Results…

My ASUS Laptop could identify 19 Access Points. The same two were open, and the laptop wouldn’t stay connected to any of them.

The Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 Results?

54 Access Points found, 35 of them with visible SSIDs (required to connect), and *9* xfinitywifi hotspots. I’m currently connected at the fastest rate and it’s clear to me that Comcast is capping my speed at about 2-2.5 Mbps, so as to not impact the experience their long-term customer has.

Looking at Ubiquiti’s PDF on what to expect for distance, the M2 (when, say, talking to another M2 for simplicity’s sake) could reasonably expect to connect across about 2.5 km (1.55 miles) where there is good, unobstructed line of sight and low electronic interference. I’m pretty sure that “across the parking lot to that “Googled” Starbucks over there” isn’t going to be a huge connectivity issue for me on the road.

Anyone who routinely connects to public or campground WiFi spots from their RV, trailer, or van needs one of these. I cannot recommend the NanoStation M2 highly enough. It is a stellar piece of equipment.

Since you can connect other devices to it. I think the best use of the NanoStation is as a gateway for creating your own personal network inside and around your RV. I’ve currently got my laptop connected to it with a network cable right now, but I could just as easily move that connection from the laptop to a standalone wireless router which would create a wired connection between the router and the NanoStation.

I could then configure the standalone Netgear/Cisco/whatever router to create a local private in-coach WiFi network that my laptop, game console, tablet, and phone would connect to…just like everyone who has Comcast or CenturyLink or Charter or whatever in their home. The big difference would be that the connection to the internet wouldn’t be a high-speed internet connection at the wall, it would be the connection to the public/campground WiFi, which is in turn connected to the internet.

Considering the price point is $80, and the easy availability of David’s video on YouTube (and OutsideOurBubble.com) to walk you smoothly through setting up this piece of commercial network hardware, you just can’t go wrong!

I’m also already dreaming about mounting this alongside the YarrVee banner at the top of a 12 foot, 16 foot, or 22 foot Flagpole Buddy pole

-Jon