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Thread: How do you stay incontact with the outside world?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you stay incontact with the outside world?

    For those living in remote parts of Alaska, and off the grid, how do you stay in contact with the outside world? I wonder if satellite internet is too cost prohibitive. Do you use Spot, or a two way radio? etc....

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    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    Depends on where you live. Up on the Yentna River, a bunch of people have satelite internet and televison and everyone has a cell phone, either ACS or MTA. They apparently turn the cell signals up high enough to fry birds in the air. We've got a pretty high powered radio that we listen to when we are at the cabin. We also carry a sat phone, but we are thinking of getting a cell phone ourselves if we can get the right program/minutes.

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    If you have decent cell coverage you should be able to use a 'my-fi' data link and have great internet connections.

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    Why would you? Thought that was the whole point...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Why would you? Thought that was the whole point...
    Score!

    The people I know who are not-quite-off-grid-but-nearly rely on satellite. If I used much internet at all I would not rely on mi-fi - in remote areas the data rates, when available at all, are extremely slow. Satellite has its own drawbacks (delay makes VoIP [Skype] kind of miserable, it has problems in heavy snow or rain, wind can knock the antenna focus around, etc.), but ultimately it's all about the tradeoffs.
    Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Why would you? Thought that was the whole point...
    BINGO! We go to the cabin to get away....
    BK

  7. #7

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    MTA has what they call a fixed wireless . You will need a Yagi antenna and if you have a good signal from one of their cell sites you will be in business. very simple set up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckhunter01 View Post
    Why would you? Thought that was the whole point...
    Good answer Duckhunter! I try not to get caught up in all the fancy gadgets and all but when you live on the river year round and have to communicate for business then you have no choice. We have MTA but where we are it is not the most reliable so we have internet thru Susitna Energy and are able to conduct most our business this way.

  9. #9

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    OH'My I did NOT Know that there even was an outside World........

    Quote Originally Posted by goldiphlox View Post
    For those living in remote parts of Alaska, and off the grid, how do you stay in contact with the outside world? I wonder if satellite internet is too cost prohibitive. Do you use Spot, or a two way radio? etc....

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    I could not find Lake Wadell to see where you're cabin is located. There are high mountains all around the area and it may not be possible to communicate using any form of communication including satellite. A 406 EPERB should work for emergency only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I could not find Lake Wadell to see where you're cabin is located.
    It is on the west side of Cook Inlet almost inline with the southern tip of Kaligin Is. The southern end of Redoubt Bay just inland of Harriet Point about 4 miles. Fairly low land. Lake probably sits at around 1-200'.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I've never been anywhere my Iridium phone wouldn't work including deep valleys and forests. Iridium offers a couple of options for data exchange including the affordable Axcesspoint, which is a local wifi box that uses your Iridium as an antenna and let's you tether your cell phone. It's slow, you won't want to browse the web with it, but it's better than nothing. At my cabin I set up a 50' Rohn antenna tower with a Wilson yagi and cell booster system. 4G works most days, but not always. The sat phone is a reliable backup.

  13. #13

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    Pid, What is is the model of your cell booster. I know it is at the cabin and you are in town .just in case you remembered what model. Thanks

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    http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/sto...djustable-gain

    It goes with a small shrouded yagi and feeds a ceiling mounted indoor antenna. It works with AT&T and ACS. Most of the time, anyway. Bad weather usually makes for poor reception.

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    Now that I'm near a computer I need to make a correction. My amp is the Wilson DB Pro. I bought mine in a kit direct from Wilson. Frigid North sells them but may not have everything in stock all the time. Here's an Amazon link to the kit. If you buy Wilson equipment you may need their tech support to get it dialed in. I give them two thumbs up for customer tech support. They've been very helpful whenever I've called.

    http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electro...=wilson+841263

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    I have a cabin between Alexander Lake and Skwentna. When I had MTA, my Android which I was paying $115 a month for everything wouldn't work at my town cabin but, worked at my remote cabin perfect. Go Figure. Now I have Straight Talk that I got at Walmart, $45 per month, Unlimited Nationwide talk, Unlimited text and 2 1/2 gigs of Data. Works great at the town cabin but, not sure about my remote cabin. I will try it when I get there.
    JOHN

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    I'm thinking about getting the Delorme SE. Hoping it would work well in the area. Would only cost about $300.00 a year for unlimited two way texting.

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    Your lake is about 50 miles from Homer @ 400 ft elevation. If I'm not mistaken there is a cell site on Diamond ridge. If you had a cell phone and a booster it may be possible to have voice communication. The problem is you will not know if it will work until you are over there and it too late if it does not.

    You could also use a marine radio and a outside antenna to call for help.
    It's also possible to have TV or radio from your location. Where you will get all the power to run all the electronics will be interesting.

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    I have multiple 250 watt solar panels. Thanks for the info about the cell site. We were wondering about that. I also have a marine radio, and a sailboat, although sadly, she won't be able to come....

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    If you interested in knowing what the weather is like try this site.
    Look at the snow pack maps.
    http://www.ambcs.org/

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