Few bars.. :(
This is a discussion on Few bars.. :( within the iPad General Discussions forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Gentle: The signal has to originate from AT&T .. it has to get to me, one of the Other 3% before I can use it ...
Gentle: The signal has to originate from AT&T .. it has to get to me, one of the Other 3% before I can use it in any way. The only AT&T WiFi in my area is a single Barnes & Noble bookstore about 14miles away. Oddly, the two AT&T stores are not hotspots?
Verizon does not provide DSL, Comcast - no cable, so the only alternative to dialup is Hughes Satellite. I had hoped that the Pad would not only allow us access to the outside, but compared to Satellite internet, be portable at a dramatically lesser cost. Every few months you hear WideFi is just on the horizon, but I am afraid there are simply too few of us to support the infrastructure.
05-17-2010 07:08 AM
MOMENT of TRUTH...
Using a marine compass headed off NE with 500' of RG6. I have the tools from a marine project to apply the compression fittings.. Found a perfect tree that points directly to the opening at front pasture about 300' ahead. And, confirmed, I was getting 5-bars of 3G on the iPad.
I figured if I got a good signal at waist level, I would get a perfect signal about 15' up - which is about as high as I wanted to work on a ladder.
To eliminate any junction problems, I first tried connecting the repeater to the end of the single 500' coax .. fired it up ... and got AT&T E. Which is about 70% slower than dialup. Useless...
Thinking, it had to me me, I replace the fitting at the antenna in case I did not leave a long enough male end. Same result.
Just in case the optional directional antenna was faulty, I rigged up the stick antenna that comes with the repeater. (It's the white 'stick' at the upper LH of the ladder.) Same results.
.... I was so deflated. I thought I had a slight grasp of the subject; I was able to rig an FM antenna that gets decent signals from Wash DC .. 100+ miles away..
It's a pisser. I can get 2-3 bars of 3G standing in my driveway, but am seemingly unable to bring 3G service in the house...
Few bars.. :(
Were you using an antenna of the right wavelength? You know, an easy multiple of the 3g frequency?
Not to poo poo your project, but by this point would it not have been cheaper and easier to get a Verizon MiFi and service with a wifi-only iPad? Or do other providers not offer any better coverage in your area?
All this reminds me of the days living and growing up in a small southern calif desert town. I remember all the neighbors and friends doing every little trick they could to get a TV signal into the house.. Now,, it's the same darn thing but it's WIFI signal. Kind of funny to think back and then relate this to it....
Have you looked into seeing if other cellular providers offer a better signal in your house? For example, the Sprint Overdrive or the Verizon MiFi might get a better signal and it would allow connectivity to other devices as well. There has to be a better 3G option for you than running tons of coax all over your property.
Numb: A call to Wilson finds out the repeater base and the panel antenna are in fact - not compatible. Wilson and Wi-Ex are not friends and do not play well with one/another. The reseller, Solid Signal, does not make mention of this in their ordering system but they are good about returns. I will order the Wi-Ex antenna that should at least match the repeater.
.... length of RG6 has come back to bite me. Both Wilson and SS say don't expect much at that long length. Limit it to about 100'. At least RG6 is dead cheap - about $50 for 500'.
DW & BG: That's the essence of the problem; almost nothing reaches us. Comcast comes nowhere near me and Verizon has our land lines on a very old substation so we cannot even get DSL.
I have Verizon, Net10 .. and had Tracfone cellular (all prepaid because didn't want one of those 24mo contracts for something that did not work) The Verizon tower is closer by 2mi than the AT&T, but their signal is still too weak to get in the house. ..and having dealt with Verizon for a lot of years; I cannot wait for an option.
I had hopes to simply cut the Verizon land line from both my home and business and replace them with iPhones. The iPad would have given me that bonus of internet service at home and where-ever.
My next best hope is AT&T has a new tower nearly ready to light up. It is about equidistant from their other tower but there is hope that the signal overlap will perhaps provide some signal boost.
I have finally accepted the fact that my AT&T tower is not very near and just installed my Wi-Ex base station very near my desk and the primary place where I use my iPad. I get a consistent 4-5 bars and at least as good as dial-up speed using just cellular. It is good enough to allow me constant use of Pandora via AT&T and I can surf the web, although slowly. When I need faster speed I just crank up the wi-fi and can use the iPad anywhere in the house. I used just the cable included and put the outdoor unit on the roof.
One thing I have learned is that Wi-Ex does not play well with anything metallic nearby, even metal blinds.
Good luck Wetstuff.
I think you must be doing this because you also don't have good Internet speeds, just given how rural your picture appears. But if your Internet speeds are decent, and you're on AT&T, then the AT&T 3G MicroCell seems like a good solution for $150, no additional charges.
Also, you should get the Mark the Spot app to let AT&T know about your spotty coverage. The link is an optimistic note that your feedback doesn't go into some black hole.
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