Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss the FAA clearing the 737 Max to fly, germ zapping robots at New Mexico schools, Twitter fleets, Amazon recalling video devices, Garmin’s smartwatch for gamers, PS5s breaking in Rest Mode, and more.
Michael in Tyler, Texas listens on KTBB and asked: “I have an RV motorcoach that is on Lake Fork and it’s covered by a carport. The cell reception is not great. I’m looking for a way that I can wire an antenna on top of the carport, to increase both cellular and Internet signal.”
Michael, if by internet, youre referring to a Wi-Fi signal, youll probably need two antennas.
You can use a WiFi repeater and a cell phone booster, but WiFi and phones run on different frequencies.
For your WiFi you may even be able to use an antenna from inside your motorcoach, there are directional antennas that do not need to be mounted outside and can greatly improve your WiFi reception.
Weve used USB antennas before and noticed an immediate boost in performance.
If you want a fully external antenna, you can find outdoor range extenders ranging from $20 to several hundreds (for example, you can buy a BAS-2307 for $30 or a Moshu sail antenna for $120 online). Youll still need to connect that antenna to an access point or router to distribute the signal to your devices, so make sure you budget for that too.
If the Internet signal youre asking about is from cellular data, then a Cell phone signal booster will take care of that, along with the cell reception.
You may want to look at SureCall and WeBoost, they both offer externally mounted antennas that can be connected to an internal repeater that will act like a WiFi router but for your phone connection.
Your phone will do all the work after you install the device and you wont need to actively manage what it connects to, itll just sense the strongest signal and connect to it, in this case it will be the one coming from your booster.
Eddie in Mississippi listens on SuperTalk Mississippi and asked: “I am looking for a programmable solar panel for my wireless camera. I want it to be able to follow the sun, given my location and time of year. Haven’t been able to find one yet. Hope you guys can give me an answer. If one doesn’t exist, I just gave someone a million dollar idea and they can send me the residuals from it. If it does, would you please let me know what it is and if it’s affordable?”
Eddie, you wont find anything like that for a panel as small as what youd use for a camera.
Dual and single axis automatic tilting systems do exist and they are commonly used, but they use some of the energy produced to power the motors that tilt the cameras and they greatly increase the cost of the panels.
They are mainly used for much larger panels, think more a power plant or the roof of a factory than a small camera.
To give you an idea, a dual axis system can double the cost of a panel installation and even a single axis system can increase the cost by about 50%.
In fact, sun tracking systems can be so expensive and panels these days so inexpensive that people often opt to just buy a couple of extra panels to catch the sun from more angles rather than to install an automatic tilting system.
If you want to buy a basic, small, dual-axis tracking controller and actuator, you can find some online for around $500 or $600 but, unless you have a pretty big panel for your camera, it probably wont be worth your investment.
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