Internet and phone

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LionsNzebras
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Internet and phone

Post by LionsNzebras » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:39 am

Good morning burners!

In preparation for 2015 we have asked around for some people to go with us, we have had 3 "hey is there phone and internet there" because they dont want to unplug.
I am more than happy to unplug. however.....

What are there for options out there on the playa?

Rocket stick?
3g/4g phone\data roaming\ internet something?
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VultureChow
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by VultureChow » Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:04 am

1) Assume there is absolutely no service whatsoever. No phone, data or wi-fi. If they can't live without it, if their business, health, family is at risk without it, you need to bring your own sat phone or something.
2)Cell service has gotten better, but it's still hit and miss. Some people in camp had service. Some didn't. I did not. But I could ride a block or two over and get a signal.
3)Some camps provide free wifi.

4)Most people find themselves enjoying an unplugged week. Sure there's a period of withdrawal, but forgetting about work for a period is what vacation used to be.
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Elderberry
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Elderberry » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:37 am

Yep, what VC said.

I'll just emphasize the if it is Criticle enough to 'need' phone/Internet connectivity, a Satelite Phone is a must, especially during the busy hours of the day.

You can usually get a cell signal late at night or early in the morning when everybody isn't trying to access the cell tower. This past year, service was great during the days before the event opened. As the city started to fill connectivity became more spotty, until almost impossible. But interestingly enough, if I kept my phone on overnight while charging, I'd always find my emails in the inbox every morning.

YMMV
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Sham
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Sham » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:44 am

I was only able to text a bit. As the city filled up, I was not really able to even get text messages. It was very liberating!

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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

Last year I created a stable, and fast, solar powered wifi hotspot for our camp. It worked great!

Doing so requires pre-registration and the purchase of Ubiquiti hardware (~$150 total for the setup). Go to the following link and get on the mailing list. BRC now has a fantastic Internet connection with excellent reliability. Thanks Cat!

http://www.blackrockwifi.net/how/uplink

PS - Don't plan to rely on cellular or cellular data out there. It might work pre-event but once the crowds come the tower is overwhelmed.

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shroom
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by shroom » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:27 am

putting the phone away is nice.
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Elderberry
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Elderberry » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:34 am

Thanks for this. Looks like The Mudskippers will have WIFI this year!
digital wrote:Last year I created a stable, and fast, solar powered wifi hotspot for our camp. It worked great!

Doing so requires pre-registration and the purchase of Ubiquiti hardware (~$150 total for the setup). Go to the following link and get on the mailing list. BRC now has a fantastic Internet connection with excellent reliability. Thanks Cat!

http://www.blackrockwifi.net/how/uplink

PS - Don't plan to rely on cellular or cellular data out there. It might work pre-event but once the crowds come the tower is overwhelmed.
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by unjonharley » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:45 am

Hand held gadgets seemed to be be the most lost items this past year..

I for one can not afford to loss a $400 notebook..

Wallyworld sells a water proof case for around $15.. It has a lanyard for your neck and the case will keep the playa dust out.. It is possible to snap photos without removing the gadget from the water proof case...

If you can not afford to loss it.. Do ]not take it to Burning Man[/size]
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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:56 am

Elderberry wrote:Thanks for this. Looks like The Mudskippers will have WIFI this year!
digital wrote:Last year I created a stable, and fast, solar powered wifi hotspot for our camp. It worked great!

Doing so requires pre-registration and the purchase of Ubiquiti hardware (~$150 total for the setup). Go to the following link and get on the mailing list. BRC now has a fantastic Internet connection with excellent reliability. Thanks Cat!

http://www.blackrockwifi.net/how/uplink

PS - Don't plan to rely on cellular or cellular data out there. It might work pre-event but once the crowds come the tower is overwhelmed.
I will post a HowTo later today if anyone is interested.

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GreyCoyote
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by GreyCoyote » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:05 am

FWIW, I was able to get texts and very limited email out between 2 am and 6 am nearly every day. But voice service was nearly impossible for me. I had a bunch of irons in the fire in Defaultia and couldnt really afford to be offline.

There are some who say "just pull the plug", but just because their lives work that way doesnt mean yours will. This is what sat phones are for. Expensive, but worth it if you must be available! Satellite coverage in BRC is excellent btw. There is also a ham repeater with Echolink capability if you have an amateur license and dont need it for business purposes.
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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:24 pm

^ Agreed, the BRC HAM repeater is fantastic. Not for business and personal calls are listened to by many. Some great folks as well.

SAT coverage is good; however, expensive. Using the free wifi allowed our camp to make video Skype/Google Hangout calls just fine in real time. They sometimes like to block Skype midweek but a good VPN connection fixes this minor hiccup.

maladroit
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by maladroit » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:29 pm

Just tell them there is some wifi and phone coverage out there, but it can get really congested at times. Human reaction is to believe "well, when *I* try it then it'll work!" and a couple days of the forced unplug will wean them away from their phones.

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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:36 pm

maladroit wrote:Just tell them there is some wifi and phone coverage out there, but it can get really congested at times. Human reaction is to believe "well, when *I* try it then it'll work!" and a couple days of the forced unplug will wean them away from their phones.
Why?

I'm kind of sick of this moral superiority complex telling everyone to unplug because *they* feel that is the correct way to burn. Some people don't want or need to unplug (like me who is a sysadmin and could not burn without an Internet connection - At least without creating major anxiety during those two weeks).

Burning Man is a job for me. Not some hippy must-be-off-the-grid BS.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Elderberry » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:28 pm

digital wrote: I will post a HowTo later today if anyone is interested.
YES! Please
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by maladroit » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:09 pm

digital wrote:
maladroit wrote:Just tell them there is some wifi and phone coverage out there, but it can get really congested at times. Human reaction is to believe "well, when *I* try it then it'll work!" and a couple days of the forced unplug will wean them away from their phones.
Why?

I'm kind of sick of this moral superiority complex telling everyone to unplug because *they* feel that is the correct way to burn. Some people don't want or need to unplug (like me who is a sysadmin and could not burn without an Internet connection - At least without creating major anxiety during those two weeks).

Burning Man is a job for me. Not some hippy must-be-off-the-grid BS.
I'm not really describing what should happen, but what will happen. It's the normal progression of events. I don't really care what other people do, I'm just saying that no matter what happens (and the likely outcome is no Internet or phone), they'll be OK. They'll figure out how to cope. And if you work hard and ask around, you can find access if you really need it.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by unjonharley » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:12 pm

wounder if the P&P had some wifi a person could tag into?
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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:20 pm

maladroit wrote:I'm not really describing what should happen, but what will happen. It's the normal progression of events.
This is not accurate -- with the Wifi at least. The BRC Tech Team setup a kick-ass network and direct link into Gerlach. If you setup the camp link correctly then you should not have any issues. In 2014 I had the camp network up 24/7 for two weeks. We had ONE outage that lasted about an hour (because some numbnut decided to torrent). If there is an outage it is affecting more than just the camp - it is affecting the whole city. That means ticketing and other core infrastructure is down.

It should be noted that not anyone can access this network. Only registered theme camps will be authorized on the net. So, Elderberry with Mudskipper Cafe should be OK. The connection last year was only (only, lol) a 50mbps pipe with, iirc, 25 for core infrastructure/5 for Gate/20 for camps. Rumor is it should be doubled in 2015.

Of course you are correct with cellular. No one should rely on cellular in BRC. HAM is much better.

unjonharley wrote:wounder if the P&P had some wifi a person could tag into?
Even if you could, it would be pretty unethical. Most sat plans charge around $1 per mb. You could screw some rich guy but then you are an asshole, too.

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digital
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by digital » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:30 pm

unjonharley wrote:wounder if the P&P had some wifi a person could tag into?
digital wrote:Even if you could, it would be pretty unethical. Most sat plans charge around $1 per mb. You could screw some rich guy but then you are an asshole, too.
*However* -- It would be pretty easy to crack the wifi network of some PnP camp and run up their bill. If I see problems next year I might consider this and torrent away!

JK, MODS, JK.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by mooserider » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:07 pm

digital wrote:This is not accurate -- with the Wifi at least. The BRC Tech Team setup a kick-ass network and direct link into Gerlach. If you setup the camp link correctly then you should not have any issues. In 2014 I had the camp network up 24/7 for two weeks. We had ONE outage that lasted about an hour (because some numbnut decided to torrent). If there is an outage it is affecting more than just the camp - it is affecting the whole city. That means ticketing and other core infrastructure is down.

It should be noted that not anyone can access this network. Only registered theme camps will be authorized on the net. So, Elderberry with Mudskipper Cafe should be OK. The connection last year was only (only, lol) a 50mbps pipe with, iirc, 25 for core infrastructure/5 for Gate/20 for camps. Rumor is it should be doubled in 2015.
Hmmm... do "art support" camps qualify? My regional is looking to apply for that status so they can be closer to their Midway exhibit. I'd like to know if their type of application would qualify before I spring for the special WiFi hardware (it's not completely compatible with the HamNet system my local ARES group uses).
digital wrote:Of course you are correct with cellular. No one should rely on cellular in BRC. HAM is much better.
And I'll have my ham gear, too. But I don't know many people who have a phone patch anymore.

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theCryptofishist
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by theCryptofishist » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Maybe Sham will distribute Phone Car patches this year.
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Sham
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Sham » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:31 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Maybe Sham will distribute Phone Car patches this year.
A few years back, I had a working red desk phone in the art car. It was funny to see people making calls on it while on the playa.
On the connection front, I had WiFi out there from someone in our camp. I really hated knowing that I could check often to see if someone was looking for me. I would check the news and all my regular sites.
I REALLY like the idea of not being connected to the world. I tell everyone at work and at home that I will be inaccessible for 10 days. I did a lot of contingency planning and then headed out to the dusty desert.
I will say, that I am usually on the phone with family as I'm driving into BRC and watch my signal fade. Pure ecstasy.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by trilobyte » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:36 pm

You should invite your friends who have an interest to start doing some reading and research. A good way to gage whether your friends would be the kind of radically self reliant people you want to camp with (and not people who wind up fully depending on you to be cruise director) is whether or not they can be bothered to look into it for themselves. Let them find an answer, let them work out a solution, and let them hook that up if they are so interested in both participating and in having connectivity.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Bless » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:39 pm

LionsNzebras wrote:"hey is there phone and internet there" because they dont want to unplug.
Why don't they want to unplug?
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.

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Sham
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Sham » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:48 pm

Here is another thought for calling home.
There is a bus that takes you out to Gerlach and Empire should you need some supplies or just need to leave BRC for some reason. The bus is nominal. Not sure now, but it was $5 or so several years back. A $20 re-enter bracelet and your ripped ticket will get you out to Gerlach to make a call on the payphone. (the payphone is what our ancestors used before cell phones) The buses runs at regular intervals, so you can go out to Empire and buy beer, cigarettes and some Snickers bars, then return on the next bus.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Bless » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:50 pm

Sham wrote:Here is another thought for calling home.
There is a bus that takes you out to Gerlach and Empire should you need some supplies or just need to leave BRC for some reason. The bus is nominal. Not sure now, but it was $5 or so several years back. A $20 re-enter bracelet and your ripped ticket will get you out to Gerlach to make a call on the payphone. (the payphone is what our ancestors used before cell phones) The buses runs at regular intervals, so you can go out to Empire and buy beer, cigarettes and some Snickers bars, then return on the next bus.
Yeah, but do those payphones have Facebook apps?
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by maladroit » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:28 pm

If a robin has built a nest on it, you can still play Angry Birds.

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Sham
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Sham » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:33 pm

Bless wrote:Yeah, but do those payphones have Facebook apps?
No, but they do have chewed gum on the handset and touch pad, and the booths smell a little bit like pee.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Ratty » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:08 pm

What Sham said....
I REALLY like the idea of not being connected to the world. I tell everyone at work and at home that I will be inaccessible for 10 days. I did a lot of contingency planning and then headed out to the dusty desert.
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Re: Internet and phone

Post by Molotov » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:55 pm

I keep a satellite text messenger in my truck in case my house in the default world burns down or if there is an emergency involving my elderly father. Since I was a birgin last year, I sent out daily "Hey, I'm still alive" texts to family which were time stamped with GPS coordinates. Don't know that I will be quite that diligent this year, but it will be there for me to check at least once a day for received messages. I noticed many BLM cops carrying the same model satellite messenger-probably for the same reasons. There is a bit of dwell time waiting for the satellite to pick up my message or send a reply, but I didn't use it enough to be frustrated.

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Re: Internet and phone

Post by jeanerz66 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:49 pm

This will be the first time in a LONG while that I've been able to truly just unplug, and the thought of it makes me VERY happy. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is a bit nervous about it as he runs the IT department of a big company, so this will be an interesting experience for him.

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