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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No More Fighting Over the Air Card

We love Al Gore's Internet.  At home or on the road we like to keep connected to the latest news, weather, RV blogs and Facebook (Marti).  Email has become a necessity, too.  In the stix-n-brix, we have our own WiFi set up so we can both be on line at the same time enjoying Cyberspace.  On the road in the Journey, it's another story.  We purchased an air card with Sprint service, but it can only be used one at a time. 

So we investigated the options out there and we purchased this.

It enables us to plug in our air card and create our own  portable WiFi hot spot.  The unit requires a 110V electrical outlet for power.  It is small and has a mirror finish.  It reflected some lights in my dining room chandelier in case you were wondering what the ball looking thingy is in the right top corner.  On the bottom right corner is a light indicator that shows how many bars of signal strength you have in the area you're in. 

Size wise, this gives you perspective.  It cost 50 of these guys.

On the side is an On/Off switch, a phone line plug port if you're using a dial up connection, a USB port where you can plug in an air card and the port for the power plug.

With our air card in we're surfin' in no time.  (Now you can see the rest of our chandelier).

We have three laptops, one with Windows XP, one with Windows Vista and one with Windows 7 and the Cradlepoint connects to all three with ease.  It can be hooked up to a Wilson Trucker's Cellphone Range Extender antenna if we find ourselves in an area with weak cell service.  Of course, that will require drilling a hole in the roof and you know how I hate the thought of drilling holes in the Journey.  We're going to try it out for a while before I get out the drill.  :cO

  We're quite pleased with this new addition to our traveling home.

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Does using the Cradlepoint slow down your service when you are both on it? I have a Verizon Mifi that up to 5 can use, but it definitely goes slower with more than one at a time.

  2. I do notice it takes a little longer to load pictures on a website, but the funny thing is it is different with certain websites. Might be the picture size. For example, the "Dale's Tales" takes forever to load the pictures, but I find that their site is slow no matter what computer system I use, home, work or aircard. Maybe someone more tech savy can 'splain it to me.

    What I do know is your pictures from your blog loaded quickly and they looked great.

  3. We have the Cradlepoint CTR350 we picked up at Best Buy for $99. If you apply on line, they sent us a FREE 12 volt cord that goes along with it too! That is good for us when boondocking, so we don't have to run the whole inverter just to have the router going.

    Our laptops also have 12 volt adapters so we don't have to have the 120vAC plugged in at all when camping.

    When at home, we use the router too, as the aircard is our only source of internet there too.

    The Wilson antenna was a challenge for us having a fiberglass and aluminum motorhome exterior. We had to buy an antenna with a built in ground plane. But it still needs a metal surface to magnetically stick to. So we read a good hint: We stuck it to a metal bread pan - a pizza pan would work too - and set it in the windshield area of the motorhome where it picks up a great signal. We tried setting the bread pan up on the roof when camping, but the signal is just as good keeping it inside at the window. Easier too.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard