Saturday, October 06, 2007


Let me begin by saying that we are happily enthusiastic but challenged internet people. We use it everyday & think it's gotta be the greatest invention since sliced cheese so it was a top priority for us when planning our future RV adventures. The last couple of trips into the American southwest showed us we needed to make improvements in some areas including television reception & internet communications. We do carry a cell phone but it's only used in case of emergencies. We just aren't yakky phone people. Last winter we had to look for computer savvy libraries or hit & miss wifi hot spots here & there. Our internet use was spotty at best. Not what we're used to.
Kelly spent a lot of time these past 6 months researching & reading forum discussions on what people on the move are using for television & internet services & what kind of cost is involved. It's a real mine field of ideas, theories, personal preferences, practical applications & solutions. Star Choice or Bell Express-Vu, Direct, Dish, etc. etc. Internet via telephone, WiFi, or satellite, etc. etc. Seems everyone you talk to has a different way of doing things or ideas as to what's best & what isn't. Every system has it's own unique pros & cons. Also depends on how much money a person wants to spend. Cost is directly related to priority. Tech support is a big consideration. Did we want help from someone in North America or somebody on the other side of the globe somewhere. A big megalith of a company or a firm that's smaller & more personable, maybe even close to home. Decisions, decisions.
To make a long 7 month story short we finally decided on a company that was first recommended to us by another RVing couple, Peggy & John McDonald.
Over the summer months Kelly had been on the phone talking to
this company in Lindsay called, Tech Mobile Communications
The two fellows on the phone, Todd & Armand were always patient with our questions & took time to explain things for us. They weren't our only iron in the fire but in September after going around in circles & suffering from severe information overload we decided wireless satellite was the way for us to go so we firmed up a deal with Mobile Tech. We knew we couldn't afford the automatic roof mounted DataStorm set-up so we opted for the more manually operated & affordable tri-pod system.
Arrangements were made for us to travel to Lindsay & take part in the installation & computer set up of the program. A perfectly clear, concise, & practical manual comes with the package but both Kelly & I felt it would be better for us to be there in person for a hands on lesson. I'm not real mechanically inclined & my short term memory repeatedly lets me down trying to follow written instructions. It's sometimes difficult for me to get a concept in my mind of how all this is supposed to fit to-gether. Being there in real time helps bring all the pieces of the puzzle to-gether in a much more practical way.

We spent four & half hours at Tech Mobile on Wednesday October 3rd/07 as both Todd & Armand alternately walked us through everything out in the parking lot from physically assembling & setting up the tripod & dish to installing the modem, router, running wires, etc. Todd programmed our laptop with all the necessary software while Armand made a few technical adjustments to the tri-pod & dish. We were shown step by step how to find the satellite & make the necessary adjustments using the laptop right outside at the dish. Longitude & Latitude were explained, Another fellow helped set up our Star Choice feed & before long we had a crystal clear picture on the television set. Huge improvement from last year when all we could get was a couple snowy channels here & there in the southwest. Outside, despite a bit of rain, Armand continued his adjustment work on the dish under an umbrella. They encouraged us to stay, take the system down & then set it up by ourselves again but by that time we were just too beat. We had come to Lindsay the night before, dropped a rear wheel in a ditch & then didn't sleep most of the night. We just wanted to head for home & get a good night's sleep. I think we were also suffering a wee bit from information overload. Actually, in the picture where Todd is programming the computer you can see Kelly standing there with her eyes closed. I think she was sound alseep:))

All & all though despite our tiredness it was a good day & we learned a lot. Todd & Armand, despite being in the midst of re-locating their offices to a larger facility, & being overwhelmly
busy, were very gracious with us & at no time showed any frustration at our ineptness or slower learning curve. Not the norm when younger folks are teaching older folks as a rule.

We are home now & plan to work at setting up the system sometime on the week-end. Unfortunately we live in a pine forest & the Star Choice satellite is totally blocked from us by a band of dense pine trees but I'm sure we'll figure something out. I'll update the blog with our progress as we get things up & running..............................................

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