You see, a friend of ours owns this park and asked for David’s help in expanding his WiFi system. Well, that simple expansion has turned into a complete rip out and re-build of a new and improved WiFi system. The old system was just that….old. So in order to support all the traffic and a new fiber line coming into the park, a whole new system had to be built in its place.
David explains that whenever you put in a WiFi system in an rv park it’s always a “Best Effort” install. You see, it can never be 100% for everyone all the time. You have to remember that rv parks are always in flux. There are rv’s coming and going all the time.
So you may be just fine connecting to the local campground’s WiFi system one day but then you may get a new neighbor and all of a sudden you have half the signal or none at all. It could be how they are parked and the signal could be bouncing off their coach now. It could be where you physically are inside your particular rv, by a window vs behind a wall. It could be that their camper is made of aluminum and therefore blocking anything coming to you. WiFi signals do not pass through aluminum.
Keep in mind also that your signal, strength or speed is also dependent on what the rv park has coming into their park. Some may not have enough speed to adequately support all the users that are connected. We’ve been in some parks where just their location is a hindrance on how much speed they can get, such as this North Texas Jellystone. They are located just 15 minutes south of Fort Worth, TX and you would expect them to have every resource available but this was just not the case. They fell just outside the install zone for the AT&T fiber until now. They could not even get cable tv here, therefore no cable modems. Their only option up until now has been AT&T U-verse. Unfortunately bad WiFi is the norm throughout the entire US. If the park that you are at has decent WiFi, count yourself lucky.
If they have limited WiFi in certain areas of the park, well, David came up with a solution for that too. You can build yourself an antenna to help bring in the signal to your rv and create your own private WiFi within your rv, for under $100. Here’s the post that David did on that and a step-by-step tutorial on setting it all up yourself. I was able to follow David’s instructions on the video and set one up myself. So I know if I can do it, anyone else should be able to. This will not increase your speed, just help bring the signal inside your rv so that you can connect easier.
So with over 70 access points and bridges from Ubiquiti, fiber coming into the park, a heavy duty Cisco Systems Router and a dedicated server, this system should be great by the time David’s done with it.
David Working On The Server
Sorry to say, I can be of no help what so ever. David was able to bring in a friend that is a programmer and he has helped a lot. We really appreciate Michael and his wife for coming into the park for a couple weeks to help out on this install.
Whisper of course is no help. He falls asleep all the time on the antennas that David is trying to program. He and BK have been enjoying the Texas sun though. Come on….you knew I had to get a kitty picture in here somewhere :)
After long days of programming this does help.
David’s put in some very long hours. Typically starting at 8 in the morning or so and working until well past 9 at night. I’ve learned to plan out meals so they can be eaten without much effort. There has been a few times we’ve been able to go out and enjoy a restaurant, but then it’s right back to work. I feel bad that I cannot help in any way. I guess just making sure he’s eating and drinking something will have to do.
So, we are still here in Texas. We were planning on only being here for a couple weeks as this was just going to be adding a couple more antennas for an expansion. We do have to be at another rv park in Panama City Beach, FL for another expansion of their WiFi that David worked on last year. We’ve delayed them a little bit so hopefully we will be back on the road soon and headed to Florida.
This has really turned into quite some projects across the country. I think I need to start telling David that maybe he should start charging for this. Yes, he does this for free, just to help out the mom and pop parks and friends.
So sorry it’s been so long for another blog posting. Not much in the way of action has been going on here. Programming, programming and more programming. Oh what fun!