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WiFi Camp Pro 2 review


sushidog
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I just purchased and installed a Camp Pro 2. I was having problems receiving a decent, reliable wifi signal at a couple CGs I frequent on my bedroom PC at the rear of my motorhome. This device has a 9b gain omnidirectional antenna that I mounted on the ladder at the rear of my RV. It connects to a small router which rebroadcasts the signal inside the rv so my DW can also access the internet via her tablet - something she could not do at all before. The provided USB cable was just long enough to reach. After installation you must go online and set up your password and what hot-spot CG signal you would like to receive and boost. You will obviously have to do this whenever you move, selecting the signal you want to use. I just installed it yesterday and it all went smoothly. The signal is much stronger than before and the throughput appears to be twice improved from before. I like the online software that gives you the signal strength from all available sources, as some campgrounds (like the one I'm currently at) have multiple wifi signals you can access depending on your location in the park. 

Bottom line, if you are having problems accessing campground wifi, or the speed is super slow, this will fix it on the cheap, compared to other solutions out there. I have no financial or other interests in the company that makes it other than as a new customer. For me, it was $135 well spent (they are available from multiple vendors on the internet). Your mileage may vary.

BTW, you can also get it with a directional antenna with a little more gain, but I like not having to worry about finding the tower, climbing the ladder, locating the CG router antenna and pointing my antenna every time I stop.

Chip   

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Chip, Sounds like a good set up and the price is reasonable provided it does the job once you have field tested it at different locations. We have a very similar set up that I built and installed myself. We have received wifi signal from as far as 2 miles away that we have been able to verify and others from some distances that we could not verify but could confirm that they were not nearby. BTW, you are not "going on line" to connect to the antenna to find the wifi source or set up for the system. You are simply connecting to the CampPro's built in software wirelessly. You will be able to make this connection any time you are connected directly to the CampPro but not having internet connection. Good luck. Chuck

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Thanks for the info, Chuck.

I thought that I was online because they had me open my web browser and either type wificamppro2.myalfasetup.com or 192.168.36.1 into the address bar. They also had me connect a short Ethernet RJ-45 cable from my PC to the router, so I guess I'm communicating to the router via a LAN cable. Good deal, it explains why the Ethernet cable is need.

Do you use a directional antenna, Chuck, to pick up that 2 mile signal, or will an omni get you that kind of range? Also do you mount your antenna just above your RV like I do (attaching it to my ladder) or do you run a pole up for your antenna after you stop? I'm trying to keep my set-up as simple and easy to use as possible and still be able to pick up a sufficiently strong wifi signal at a typical campground. I hope those two parameters aren't mutually exclusive.

Chip

 

 

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Chip, I use a Bullett 9db omnidirectional. Many prebuilt units use the Bullett or other antennas from Ubiquiti. They seem to be the best out there. I originally built the unit to use on our boat and later moved it to the RV. Like yours, it is mounted on the top of the ladder and protrudes above the roof. Yes, the ethernet cables are what allows you to connect to the software initially for set up. After you have it set up, you can make the connections wirelessly via the router. The quality of the antenna will have a lot to do with how well it performs. Our Bullett has been out in the weather for about 10 years and still works great. The cat 5 cables is covered to protect it from UV and weather damage. Chuck

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A far as mounting, here is what I did.  It's a marine mount ($8) and a piece from a dead VHF antenna (free).  You can use a marine antenna extender ($30), I just happened to have a dead antenna to cut up.  The holder is a piece of HDPE (Starboard) that was laying around, and a QuickFist clamp ($4).

 

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Edited by Carlos
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Wow, that's sweet. I would have never thought of a fold-up antenna. I like the way you secured it when down. Very professional looking installation. Do you have to get up on a ladder to release the clamp when you put her up?

I wonder if there is a company that makes a power antenna like the one I had on a 1980's model car I used to have. You turned the radio on and the antenna went up on its own. Turn it off and it went down. Of course it would have to be a little larger diameter than a car radio antenna for the WiFi antenna to piggy back on as it went up and down.

So far mine is giving me excellent reception compared to the little linksys computer antenna I was using, enabling me to quickly and easily type and post this reply. 

Chip

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Thanks.  I've owned and worked on a lot of boats.  They all have those folding mounts for the VHF radio, so it's something I was used to using.  The clamp idea just sort of came together as I looked at some things on Amazon.  I keep a small two-step folding ladder/stool in the basement, and use that to release the clamp and put it up/fold it down.  The roof height on my trailer is 9'.

There are some crank-up antenna mast options, but they tend to be expensive.  Look at things meant for ham radios or professional radios.  The FM antennas on cars were extremely light-duty and wouldn't be able to hold up a radio like this.

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

It works great and then "they" changed the WIFI to some different "wave" (not sure what they are using) and now I do not get any signal.  The kid changing the system said that using the CampPro system I was taking more signal and then other people could not.  Can anyone know what they changed to?  How do I tell him that I wasn't taking signals away from others?

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On 12/5/2019 at 4:26 PM, Colette said:

It works great and then "they" changed the WIFI to some different "wave" (not sure what they are using) and now I do not get any signal.  The kid changing the system said that using the CampPro system I was taking more signal and then other people could not.  Can anyone know what they changed to?  How do I tell him that I wasn't taking signals away from others?

The chances are that they switched to a 5 GHz wifi and your CampPro doesn't receive 5 GHz.  If that's the case you can't do much more than replace your router.

As for the claims that you were taking something away from other people, that comment reveals such an ignorant lack of understanding that you're never going to convince the guy otherwise.  The real answer is that you aren't taking anything from anyone; all you've done is to increase your ability to connect to their wifi.  There's no way that you having a better connection disadvantages anyone else. But you'll never convince this type of person of that.

Edited by docj
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On 12/6/2019 at 10:24 PM, docj said:

As for the claims that you were taking something away from other people, that comment reveals such an ignorant lack of understanding that you're never going to convince the guy otherwise.  The real answer is that you aren't taking anything from anyone; all you've done is to increase your ability to connect to their wifi.  There's no way that you having a better connection disadvantages anyone else.

So you are saying that other traffic on the frequency or in some cases nearby frequencies does not result in interference that can result in poor connectivity or reduced data transmission speed? It seems to me that the stronger the signal, the greater the potential for interference with other nearby devices on the same frequency.

I have read many discussions about radio frequency interference and believe I have experienced it myself on occasion. I have seen it stated many times that Wifi is susceptible to inference even from appliances like microwave ovens. I seem to also recall that only 3 (1,6,11) of the 2.5ghz Wifi channels had significant enough frequency separation to prevent interference. I seem to remember WifiRanger cautioning about setting the power output on their early products higher than necessary and recommending setting the hotspot rebroadcast channel to one other than the source AP to avoid/reduce potential interference with other nearby Wifi devices. I have read other recommendations to, if possible, set your hotspot to a channel not in use in the local area. RVs in RV parks are often in close proximity which I would think increases the potential for interference by higher powered devices. I have also read recommendations to transmit your local hotspot on 5ghz to reduce traffic on the 2.5ghz frequencies commonly used by RV Park systems.

It is my understanding that cellphone boosters were regulated to avoid supposed interference with transmissions. I just recently encountered interference from the Bluetooth connection of my phone to the truck that was preventing my TST tire monitoring system from working properly. The OEM tire monitor in my previous truck was susceptible to interference from CB radios and the transmissions from some general aviation airports and had to be shutoff and restarted in order to function properly after encountering such interference.

 

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Tire monitors are on 315 or 433MHz, CB is on 27Mhz, and aviation is 118-137Mhz.  The chances of those interfering with each other is ridiculously low, and likely there were other issues involved.

The question of high-power radios "taking" bandwidth or spectrum from lower-power radios is complex, but not entirely wrong.  Yet certainly not as simple as saying that people using them were making it worse for others.  I have experimented with high power radios a lot, and they can certainly make things worse for other radios in some cases.

 

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34 minutes ago, Carlos said:

Tire monitors are on 315 or 433MHz, CB is on 27Mhz, and aviation is 118-137Mhz.  The chances of those interfering with each other is ridiculously low, and likely there were other issues involved.

I actually observed truckers keying up their mic when my TPS system went bonkers on numerous occasions. Other Chevy owners and a local dealer mechanic experienced the same problem with the OEM tire monitors that I did every time they drove past the local general aviation airport. Coincidence, maybe? I would go for months without issue and then when near a truck using a CB or most often this one particular airport, a problem.

The TST tire monitor works perfectly when the phone is not connected to the truck by Bluetooth. Not at all when the phone is connected. TST acknowledged that Bluetooth was known to interfere with their systems in some installations. They recommended using their repeater/booster to resolve the problem.

My point was that one radio can affect others in the area.

 

Edited by trailertraveler
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2 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

So you are saying that other traffic on the frequency or in some cases nearby frequencies does not result in interference that can result in poor connectivity or reduced data transmission speed? It seems to me that the stronger the signal, the greater the potential for interference with other nearby devices on the same frequency.

Sure, increasing the number of devices trying to access the wifi will increase the potential for interference, but don't single out people who have amplifiers. Simply having more users will increase the incidence of interference.  And anyone using a "quality" wifi amplifier/booster will have a system that automatically adjusts its transmission power to adapt to any particular situation so that it reduces the chances that it will cause interference.

Furthemore, higher quality amplifier boosters these days usually use the 5 GHz band in addition to the 2.4 GHz band because that band offers a larger number of channels which reduces the chances for interference.

The bottom line is that park owners often like to blame others for why their wifi systems don't yield satisfactory performance  rather than admitting that their wifi systems are undersized for the load.

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I can absolutely cause inferior service for low-power devices like laptops using a high-power wifi repeater or AP, both on purpose and just through casual usage.  I've tested it many times.  It's also true that this is mostly in places with poor coverage to start with.  When a device is getting marginal service, having a high-powered neighbor will definitely impact it.

 

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49 minutes ago, docj said:

And anyone using a "quality" wifi amplifier/booster will have a system that automatically adjusts its transmission power to adapt to any particular situation so that it reduces the chances that it will cause interference.

I have had the original Wifi Ranger, a Go and a Go2. Since they all had power settings, that did not include automatic, I don't think any of them automatically adjusted the transmission power. I have also used ubiquity products for years and none of them had/have an automatic power setting. I recently purchased a Wifi Ranger Spruce which since it does not have a power setting option, may automatically set the transmission power, but I don't recall reading anything about that in the information I have seen on it. Not everyone buys the latest and greatest every time a manufacturer upgrades their product line. So there is a lot of older equipment out there in use.

Furthemore, higher quality amplifier boosters these days usually use the 5 GHz band in addition to the 2.4 GHz band because that band offers a larger number of channels which reduces the chances for interference.

That only helps if you have devices that will receive 5 GHZ. Only our phones have that capability and since we have unlimited on device data there is rarely a need to connect to Wifi. I do tether the Mifi/cellphone and connect the computers and even the smart TV and Roku by ethernet to reduce the speed loss associated with Wifi hops. How much of that speed loss is a result of interference and packet loss  or just the result of loss by repeating the signal , I have no idea. I do know that it can be 50% or greater.

 

 

Edited by trailertraveler
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5 minutes ago, Carlos said:

I can absolutely cause inferior service for low-power devices like laptops using a high-power wifi repeater or AP, both on purpose and just through casual usage.  I've tested it many times.  It's also true that this is mostly in places with poor coverage to start with.

Quite often, the connection problem in parks and other similar locations is not having enough signal strength to "talk" to the Access Point (AP).  You may be able to see the AP's signal but you may not have enough power to "talk back to it."  Having a higher power device in your vicinity could possibly make it more difficult for you to connect, but, as you note, it's more likely to occur when the wifi system isn't very good in the first place.

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13 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

I have had the original Wifi Ranger, a Go and a Go2. Since they all had power settings, that did not include automatic, I don't think any of them automatically adjusted the transmission power.

I misspoke.  Rangers will automatically select their channel but transmit power still has to be set by the user.  since Spruce uses the same software as other Rangers, I would be surprised if you didn't find power settings on the WiFi tab of the Ranger's control panel.  We encourage users to employ the lowest power that works in a particular situation.  Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by docj
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13 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

That only helps if you have devices that will receive 5 GHZ.

Much of the hardware sold in the past few years conforms to IEEE standard 802.11ac which provides for transmission at 5GHz.  The standard was approved in 2013.  The previous standard 802.11n, which is ~17 years old, allowed for 5GHz operation, but didn't require it.

FWIW using 5GHz can be beneficial even if not all your devices support it.  For example, I connect my Jetpack to my WiFiRanger using the Jetpack's 5GHz transmission primarily because that frequency band is less crowded.  I let the Ranger transmit at both 5GHz and 2.4GHz so that all my devices can connect.  At the speeds I'm currently seeing on my cellular connections I see little reason to use an Ethernet connection.

 

Edited by docj
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