Antenna installation is not easy

Oct 28

Antenna installation is not easy

It seems like a simple task. Install a WiFiRanger Sky and an NMO mount antenna so we can get better access to internet both via campground WiFi and our Verizon MiFi receiver in a Wilson Sleek cellular booster. Unfortunately, Airstreams don’t have any default options for running cables into the trailer from the roof so the real trick in this process is drilling holes both inside and outside and running the wires into our wiring cabinet through those holes. The other tricky part is that the roof lockers, where we have our other internet equipment, do not quite go up to the top of the roofline and the area just above the locker is not on the flattest part of the roof which is pretty important for mounting both devices. In preparation for the install, I ordered the devices themselves as well as assorted related tools needed for the installation. A UniBit drill bit for cutting precisely sized holes through aluminum.  Both items needed different sized holes so the UniBit works well for both situations. Metal fish tape to help run the wires between the holes Adhesive caulk to attach the WiFiRanger Sky to the roof and to seal up the holes Yesterday I started the process by looking at a few options.  One suggestion from Rich was to use the speaker as a way to access the ceiling without drilling a hole but after removing the speaker from the roof and poking around with the fish tape, there was no path to the roof locker because there is a rib used to rivet the inner and outer aluminum skin to the frame and it is solid so there’s no easy way to get through there.  So it looked like I would need to drill both an interior and exterior hole but I was hoping that I could have both wires going through the same interior hole. It wasn’t until I was getting ready to drill the first hole that I realized that I had the wrong drill – my bit is a 1/2″ bit and I had the 3/8″ drill. I found my bigger drill but it’s batteries needed charging so that was the end of the first...

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It’s Official

Oct 21

It’s Official

Our Airstream’s name is TAARDIS — or Tardis for short. The extra ‘A’ is for Airstream — or America — or Alcohol.

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Testing the Tardis at Vasa Park Resort

Oct 12

Testing the Tardis at Vasa Park Resort

It’s been a month since we picked up the Tardis (our 2013 Airstream 30′ Flying Cloud Bunkhouse) and we really wanted to get out an go! The problem is that the day after we picked up, on a slow turn heading out after our first night, both of the safety chains broke free from the trailer. Given that the trailer was less than 24 hours old (to us) we were quite surprised  but our ProPride hitch is a pretty robust and we got home to Whidbey Island with no problems. It took a while, but after a bit of welding by Jim at Irish Welding Services in Langley, we are back in business. With an eye towards breaking in our Tin Can Tardis, we spent this week at Vasa Park in Bellevue, Washington. Vasa Park is a private park right on Lake Washington, not far from where we used to live in Sammamish. It also has the advantage of being only a few miles from work so this was a week of much shorter commutes. The park’s hosts are Walt and Susan and they are great hosts.  Walt is also a bit of a trailer-backup-whisperer, he was a big help getting out trailer into a tight spot when other vehicles blocked the obvious way in. The trailer worked like a champ.  We added a pad to the top of the stock mattress and the bed was quite comfortable. The U-shaped dinette is remarkably flexible with a sliding and twisting table top that lets it work in a bunch of different configurations which makes it work well for dining as well as work. The bathroom also works really well, even the shower, and the kitchenette is spacious and very functional.  The stove works even better than the one we have at home. I started the updating our internet infrastructure in the trailer by adding a Wilson Sleek 4G cellular booster and a Pepwave Surf SOHO router that should be able to automatically switch between using the campground’s WiFi (which is awesome, by the way) and our Verizon MiFi. The configuration was pretty simple but something was not working correctly.  When I connected to the SOHO’s WiFi network, the signal was good and strong...

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