A Fruitful Experiment

This afternoon, I need a quick clarification on a job I’m doing. I knew that if I headed out to the field where I get reception, I’d get sidetracked. I decided to see if I could get a signal with my Mifi up in the air.

I actually got it to lock onto the network a couple of times at ground level, but not long enough to do anything productive. I used packing tape to attach my awning pole to my broom, then put the Mifi into a baggie and taped that to the awning pole. Finally, I climbed up the ladder and one-handedly taped the broom to the ladder (quite a feat I tell you).

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It actually worked! I got one bar (I can check the connection through my computer) just long enough to get the answer I needed and send a couple of emails! I brought the Mifi down and it was very hot, so even if I had had a decent connection, this was NOT a good temporary solution until I get the booster.

But what this tells me is that the booster is going to work for me and that I didn’t just throw money out the door.

Now, here’s hoping that the 10 to 25 day shipping estimate is overly conservative… It really hit me today that getting online a couple of hours a day really does make me more productive, but also impedes that productivity.

The best solution for me is the one I’m going to get, internet at home, but with limited bandwidth. That said, I can do a hell of a lot more for 15GB than I could with 5GB! I have no idea how I managed that long with so little connectivity, although after years of relying on public wifi, that much better than nothing. 12GB this winter was really good, but not always quite enough. 15GB should serve me well, and at just $10 for each additional GB, I’ll have some breathing room.

In other news, I think we skipped spring and went straight to summer. My first night here, I FROZE. I had lots of blankets on the bed, but didn’t left the furnace on too low and didn’t wear warm enough jammies. My second night, I was comfortable, but the rig was icy in the morning. My third night (last night) I finally had the smarts to put on the flannel jammies again… and was way too hot. I woke up covered in just a sheet and the furnace hadn’t even cycled on all night.

The days here have all been HOT, at least 20C by noontime. It’s only going to get worse. I may find myself dreaming of AC at some point. But the wind definitely helps, and is not too violent down in the valley.

Finally, I forgot to mention something in my last post. Avocados here are 99 cents, almost double what I paid in Texas. If they are as tasty, that will be a bargain.

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9 Comments

  • Oh, Rae! I laughed and laughed. Your way of getting the antenna up would be the exact same thing I would try to do it. We are outside the box people that just hope the neighbors aren’t watching to often. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Great! It worked!

    Even when you get your booster it might require some altitude, or is part of the booster something you can put up in the air?

  • I was going to suggest trying to get to the roof and see if that bit of altitude helped reception. Glad you thought of it. Try putting it in a sock or something that will breathe and maybe it won’t get so hot.

  • The higher the frequency of a radio signal, the more “line of sight” it becomes. Cellular uses Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and is affected very much by this line of sight principle. A little movement to the left, right, up and sometimes even down can mean moving out from behind the shadow of an obstruction and getting a much stronger signal. If you are any distance from the transmitting antenna then the curvature of the earth becomes a factor meaning adding even a few feet will help immensely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line-of-sight_propagation

  • Croft, my problem is definitely one of line of sight; I’m too low. That said, I’m also right in an X from four tower signals intersecting just above me.

    I got both a booster and an amplifying antenna. The antenna will be a few feet tall and should have no trouble getting a lock on one of the tower signals.

  • Caroline, the heating problem was from the sun beating down on it.

  • P.J. I did wait till all the neighbours were at work, LOL!

  • “the heating problem was from the sun beating down on it”

    Go out and buy a fancy rum drink and bring the tiny umbrella home. 😉

  • LOL!!!!!

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