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About docj

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    Anywhere we park for the night

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  1. Casting, such as Chrome-casting, or using a Roku or Firestick all result in using "hotspot" data. Miracasting, which is supported by Samsung phones (and some others) creates a direct wifi connection between the phone and aTV doesn't count as using hotspot data, but Miracasting is a tempermental technology and the results are often not totally satisfactory. I do believe that Apple TV can also implement "true casting" but I don't have any personal experience with doing that.
  2. People who complain about cell phone pricing and data limits often fail to take advantage of the bargains that come and go. I happened to miss the AT&T Mobley plan, but I do have an unlimited prepaid Verizon hotspot plan and an unlimited AT&T hotspot provided by OTR Mobile. My Verizon hotspot is no longer offered, but the new "Visible by Verizon" has many of the same features and is also unlimited. All the plans I've noted are priced at <$60/mo. Sure, competition from LEO satellite service will force prices down but so will the ever-expanding terrestrial network. Next month T-Mobile will begin broadcasting on the 600MHz band and is offering a form of "low frequency 5G". It appears that one of the new markets they are targeting is fixed location rural service which will put it in direct competition with the many WISPs who operate in those areas. They are bandying around a price of ~$50/mo for residential service, and I, for one, am eager to see when they will provide it where our winter site it located. I recall that in 1993 when we lived in ABQ and one of my sons had to drive to NMSU in Las Cruces, I got him a "bag phone" and a $20/mo plan that, as I recall, had something like 10-15 minutes of analog service per month included in the price. Enough to provide him an emergency contact capability and not much more. As they say..."we've come a long way, baby!"
  3. With all due respect, you don't need to be working from your RV to want and need a lot more data than the 2-3GB that comes with Tracfone plans. From what I can see on the Tracfone website it appears to primarily be focused on people who use their phones for voice conversation, rather than data. Many of us rarely use the phone to talk, but use extensive amounts of data for streaming video and other purposes. We've recently discontinued our DirecTV service and are now steaming all our video. I'm sure we're currently using 200-400GB/mo spread across a couple of unlimited hotspots. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with using Tracfone (or similar service providers) if that meets your needs. I'm simply pointing out that such service can't be equated to that which is provided by most of the plans offered by the major cellular providers.
  4. As has been said previously, if the wifi you are connecting to is overloaded and undersized, no booster of any kind is going to help.
  5. Our situation is pretty much the same. Our MH has brass latches that I keep adjusted so its highly unlikely that doors will fly open. We use porcelain china dinnerware because high-fired chins is just like glass. It is very resistant to chipping and breakage. In 9 years of full-timing the only pieces that have broken were those that fell out when we had a door latch failure.
  6. One thing you need to understand about park WiFi is that quite often the issue is not with the signal strength but, rather, it is is with the lack of bandwidth. An amplifier, such as the King, can amplify a weak signal but NO device can turn an overloaded WiFi system that lacks adequate bandwidth into a well-functioning one. One thing you might want to try is to try the WiFi in the middle of the night when the load on the system is less. If you find that the download speed is significantly better at night then the problem is most likely bandwidth, not signal strength. You can also take your laptop over to a location, such as a rec hall, where the signal probably is stronger. See if the download speed is better there. If that's the case then you problem may truly be a weak signal. Joel (AKA docj)
  7. With all due respect, I think we were paying something on the order of ~$50/mo for a wireline phone in our last s&b ~10 years ago. That was only a voice phone and was capable of <29kbps. If all I wanted was an equivalent voice phone, I could, in fact, get a cell phone for roughly the same price (in today's dollars which are worth ~85% of their value 10 years ago). I know this to be true because that's the sort of the Verizon account I set up last year for my wife's sister. IMO it's a bit unfair to compare the cost of today's smartphones to the phones of that era. I agree that I would like to see cell phone prices go down, but let's compare apples to apples and not oranges.
  8. After years of using Outlook and Thunderbird, a couple of years ago I "went to the dark side" and started using Gmail. I retained the same email address--it is simply shared with Gmail. In addition the Gmail display also integrates emails sent to my alternate email account which is at Gmail.com. Having made that switch I would never go back. The interface is easy to use and can be accessed from any device anywhere in the world.
  9. A day's drive east of Dallas is RV Fog Doctor in Searcy AR. We had four dual pane windows repaired by them a couple of months ago. They have 5 full-hookup sites where you can spend the night before or after. Work on our windows started at 8:30am and we were on the road by 1:30pm. Standard price is $200/window to fix both panes of glass in a typical 2-part sliding window. Very professional service and I would highly recommend.
  10. You can't count on any one cellular connection to be reliable all the time. Yesterday in coastal TX we were experiencing slowdowns and brief outages on AT&T and Verizon even on my postpaid phone which has higher network priority than my prepaid AT&T and Verizon hotspots. When that sort of thing happens you shouldn't blame the hardware, rather, it's a network issue. That's why having an alternate connection is important if you need full-time internet access.
  11. You don't need to have a broker and, if you use one, it doesn't matter what State they are in.
  12. Although I doubt this is going to change your opinion, but, as jcussen already noted, LEDs use roughly 1/8 the energy of incandescent bulbs so it's not just "a little less juice." Furthermore the "color temperature" of the light produced by LEDs is quite controllable. There are plenty of "warm white" bulbs available these days that you are hard-pressed to tell aren't incandescents with respect to the light spectrum they provide. As for the LEDs used for car headlights, yes, automakers do use LEDs that produce blue-white light because those are the most energy efficient and least expensive to produce. Yes, you do see traffic lights with unlit LEDs, but that could be caused by manufacturing failures as well as burnout. The attached article from the Department of Energy estimates that high power white LEDs will last 30,000-50,000 hours which is far longer than the lifetime of any alternative light source.. However, it should be noted that 50,000 hours represents "only" 5.7 years of continuous use so you could, in fact, be seeing traffic lights experiencing LED failure because they have reach their design lifetimes. If you'd like to read the article you can find it here: Lifetime of white LEDs
  13. With all due respect, we've replaced every single light in our MH with LEDs and I've yet to pay more than a couple of dollars each, at most. I recently replaced the halogen in our over-the-range GE microwave/convection oven. A year or so GE advised me that no suitable LED substitute existed--not so this year. The bulb I bought cost $3 and provides nearly as much light as the hot, 50W halogen it replaced and works without flicker even on the "low intensity" setting.
  14. That's a common misconception. The typical Class C, often built on the Ford E450 chassis and powered by the Ford V10 usually gets 8-9 mpg. Our 34,000 lb Class A powered by a Cat C12 gets a very legitimate 8 mpg on the average. Yes, Class A's, in general are more expensive to operate, but fuel isn't a major driver in that calculation.
  15. This is considered the "bible" of sous vide cooking: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
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