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Thread: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

  1. #1

    Default Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    As I was climbing my tower in a brisk wind this morning installing Rev 1 of my internet antenna, I realized that much of what I have been doing over the last five years is simply muddling. Like the internet. In the US I wouldn't have to muck with something like this.

    Still, the infrastructure IS important. I bought a new Claro modem that improved things significantly, plus the firmware is better, more consistent, and easier to understand. Encouraged by that, and in possession of an amplified, powered USB cable extension of 30 meters I cobbled together an "antenna", which is basically the Claro modem protuding from a length of 1.5 inch ABS pipe.

    The results were encouraging (see the first pic). I'm getting better speeds here than from my cable modem in Esteli. Important to me is the upload speed, because with this I can use my phone and talk to clients in the US, and take care of other business.

    Back to the theme of the post: We decided to get serious this year. We'll build a house, either get rid of the Esteli house or rent it short term to arriving newbies. It has a lot going for it. Good internet, high def cable feeding a 42" plasma screen, new led lights everywhere, good security and gated parking.

    So, with this in mind, we have been spending a lot of the time on the farm, returning to Esteli only to do laundry and shop for construction materials and food. There is nothing here but a couple of small pulperias. Next week we are bringing the washer and dryer up, so one less reason to go back. Internet was a biggie too,, but that problem now seems to be solved. I just have to choose a post pago plan that corresponds to my needs. Claro is 100% metered usage, if anyone knows of an unlimited option, please let me know.

    House construction per se advances a bit,, but more we are creating a provisional living structure that has the comforts and amenities we are used to. Flush toilet and wash basin, provisional but functional kitchen with sink and running water, shower with hot water, dining space.

    We quickly realized that we needed more protected space. The temps are mild, but the sun in the afternoon is fierce. We generally start the day socked in, mist on the mountain, then it lifts here, and the Rio Coco valley is covered with dense cloud, and we have either sun,, or light overcast. If it's not going to rain, then it gets sunnier and sunnier, and warm. Finally, the sun sets, and the temp "plunges" to the mid 60's. It can go as high as 78 in the afternoon, although mid 70's is the rule. If you are in the sun, though, it feels much hotter.


    When it rains AND the wind blows, it can be uncomfortable. Tarps and shade cloth is starting to make the place look like Arkansas or, maybe Oklahoma, but it works, and we're the envy of our neighbors.

    At some point it has to be enough, and we need to move on. Start fishing.
    This is supposed to be a self-sustaining coffee farm, not a hobby ranch.
    Still, you have to have some fun too.


    Pics:

    My internet speed with the modem up on the tower; Welding is in the Nicaraguan blood, but most do it very poorly. Jayro using my wire feed welder, which most Nicaraguans refuse to use. Jayro didn't know any better, a blank slate. Fun with the horses, Shelley & Krisnia off on a day ride to Roble Dalito. The Gheester continues to advance, still confused as to who his father and mother are. He doesn't care.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    Here's a pic of Rev 1 of my internet antenna. Looking down. You can see the red power light through the plastic bag, the green link light is harder to see. Plastic bag is there to protect the modem and cable amplifier from rain.

    Interestingly, the signal was stronger about ten feed down from the top of the tower ??? The speed varies through the day, a function of the shared nature of the internet connection, I assume.

    I lost a day playing with it, but so far it's been time well invested. The modem seems to be sensitive to both polarization, and level, with the best result found perfectly flat, level, and pointed to my signal source in Telpaneca, about 17 KM almost directly north. I'm sure that there are other nuances that I am not presently aware of.

    My next trip I'll bring the Verizon hot spot that can be re-chipped here, and couple if with a WiFi amplifier I already have.

    I have a tree that has some lower branches that might be interfering with the signal. I'm going to try trimming them,, I like the tree but the lower branches also block the view of the pond from the house.
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  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    Loving the foto of little Gheester cautiously eyeballing ya while he maintains a mean two-fisted grip on his jug.

    Most of the technical aspect here are over my head (not an antenna joke), but my wife just finished talking with her daughter VoI Philly <=> Leon using Whatsapp on their smartphones and it was clear & without any disconnecting burps, like a regular conversation between two people in the same room. I had run speedtest just beforehand and it was a miserly 1.22 Mbps download & 0.78 up. She marvels (& I'm grateful) that the call's free, beyond paying for the miserable internet service.
    The Great Reset, "You'll have nothing AND you'll be happy." - Klaus Schwab, W.E.F. __"First abolish private property," Marx & Engels

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    looks like a gorgeous part of nica

  5. #5
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    Here's a pic of Rev 1 of my internet antenna. Looking down. You can see the red power light through the plastic bag, the green link light is harder to see. Plastic bag is there to protect the modem and cable amplifier from rain.

    Interestingly, the signal was stronger about ten feed down from the top of the tower ??? The speed varies through the day, a function of the shared nature of the internet connection, I assume.





    I lost a day playing with it, but so far it's been time well invested. The modem seems to be sensitive to both polarization, and level, with the best result found perfectly flat, level, and pointed to my signal source in Telpaneca, about 17 KM almost directly north. I'm sure that there are other nuances that I am not presently aware of.

    My next trip I'll bring the Verizon hot spot that can be re-chipped here, and couple if with a WiFi amplifier I already have.

    I have a tree that has some lower branches that might be interfering with the signal. I'm going to try trimming them,, I like the tree but the lower branches also block the view of the pond from the house.
    Now here is an interesting idea for you. Use an old satellite antenna. Mount your USB powered antenna where the old detector use to be. An extra 6 db or so would really help.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Cell...oster-Antenna/
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Loving the foto of little Gheester cautiously eyeballing ya while he maintains a mean two-fisted grip on his jug.

    Most of the technical aspect here are over my head (not an antenna joke), but my wife just finished talking with her daughter VoI Philly <=> Leon using Whatsapp on their smartphones and it was clear & without any disconnecting burps, like a regular conversation between two people in the same room. I had run speedtest just beforehand and it was a miserly 1.22 Mbps download & 0.78 up. She marvels (& I'm grateful) that the call's free, beyond paying for the miserable internet service.


    Yeah, we all use WhatsApp too, and with enough bandwidth you can video conference too. Perfect for talking to family.
    There always seems to be enough "down width", it's the uplink speed that is often missing.
    Anything above .50 Mbps up seems to mean a consistently clear MagicJack call for me.
    I can always hear them clearly, my side will break up if there isn't enough up speed.

    Hard to call Chase on WhatsApp, or the storage lady (we prepaid three months, but with the lost month coming down, and all the fun we are having, we don't want to go back). A fast call and we can pay by CC over the phone, so they don't sell my truck, and my goods that I have in storage. Same-O with the mail box service we use, for sure I have a package or two, and maybe even a check waiting, and I don't want it all sent back. We are minimizing US entanglements, but there are a few.
    I currently have long list of "stuff" I need to get when I go back.

    MagicJack has been the perfect phone solution for me,,, it's so transparent, no one knows that I'm in Nicaragua. In Estelí, it's plugged directly into the router, computer doesn't have to be on, phone rings just like it does in the US. Krisnia and Ariana used to use WhatsApp to talk, and still do, when they text, or send photos, or if they want video, but it's simpler to just pick up the phone and dial, on either end. Phone rings here, phone rings there.

    We're socked in again this morning, rained briefly,, and I thought weather would affect speed, but we have an astounding 6.35 down and .92 up. Sunday morning, no one on the net.

    It's 72F with a humidity of 84%. I have a jacket on . . . .Nicas are freezing, huddled in front of their wood stoves.
    Beautiful, now if there were only a restaurant where we could get Sunday brunch . . . . I think it's going to be Malt-O-Meal for breakfast again.

    And, that's the problem with the campo in a nutshell. It can be boring. We have a hotel in Venecia, but they open it as necessary. Rosa will cook for the guests, but she needs a day's notice so she can buy the food she needs. We don't have anything in the way of a comedor . . .

    Krisnia likes it here, cooks if she's here, and Shelley is slowly bringing her on-board. There is no Nica Cuisine, as there is Mexican or French, campo cuisine is almost 100% a caldo of squash, rice, onion, and a tough piece of chicken. Beans on the side. A tortilla. Washed down by the ever-present 3 liter bottle of gaseosa, often Rojita.

    I've been buying milk from a local guy who maintains some milk cows, sells his milk in Condega. 10 cords (37 cents) a liter.
    We drink it, John Sebastian drinks it (we mix it 50% with his formula), but the 18 month old toddler he lives with here, Milena's son Elias, has already lost the taste for milk, prefers gaseosa.

    It's good milk, tasty and rich,, we really like it, drink a lot of it.
    Without the filter, campo milk always has a little dirt, grass, and cowshit in it

    I bought down a filter funnel that is goat sized, and 300 disposable paper filters. It's been perfect.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cutting Bait, and Fishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Corn Tom View Post
    Now here is an interesting idea for you. Use an old satellite antenna. Mount your USB powered antenna where the old detector use to be. An extra 6 db or so would really help.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Cell...oster-Antenna/



    Great info, thank you.
    Those dishes are everywhere in the US, cheap on EBAY.
    That could be the key to boosting the uplink speed.

    Part of it probably is, you have a big antenna transmitting with a lot of power down, and going back up, just your little modem antenna, powered by a 5V USB port.
    I know the signal is always asymmetrical, but every little bit of up helps.

    The next problem I'm going to have is paying Claro for the usage
    The cable modem in Estelí is unlimited usage.


    Pic attached is screen shot of internet speed in Estelí at 11:30 on a Monday morning.
    This is a Claro post pago, unlimited cable modem bundled with hi def TV. I'm paying about $30 /month for the package.
    I'm very pleased with both.
    Claro sent out a crew of four guys to do the installation
    Showed up as promised, AND seemed to know what they were doing.

    Cable installation is weird, from a pole about 100 meters away,, over another piece of that one inch thick "feed" cable running along the street next to my house, supported by the corner of my neighbor's roof, and finally to a high point on my roof, and into the house.

    Ugly, or feo as they say for everything that is not rico, but beggars are not choosers.
    It works so much better than the old IBW.

    There is no TV cable box, the older Claro TV service had one which simplified feeding the audio to my amplifier.
    Cable goes into a splitter, and from there directly to the TV, and to a WiFi router.

    Router only has one RJ45 socket, so I use that to feed an old Netgear 8 port switch.
    The MagicJack is plugged into one of the ports on the switch.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 06-20-2016 at 01:12 PM.

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