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Archive for July, 2012

Late June Visit

by on Jul.07, 2012, under Seasons

So I came up to the Ranch on late June.  I had three things in mind…

1. Get the satellite internet installed

2. Participate in the Hame Radio Field Day event

3. Go over to Bullhead City to visit my sister, Pam.

I met Ray, from Pegasys Satellite Systems (Chino Valley, AZ) in Chino Valley, and he followed me up to the Ranch.  He was very pleased with my pole installation, and especially with the conduit run with pullstring for the cable to the house.  Installation was simple, and we were up and running in about an hour.  He spent about another hour going over the system, and setting up my WildBlue account.  I ran a speed test and it came in very comparable to my speeds with Cox Cable internet back in Mesa.  That’s pretty impressive.

ViaSat Excede Service WildBlue Dish installed

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Getting ready for Satellite Internet

by on Jul.07, 2012, under Security

We decided that having internet available at the LittleHouse would have several advantages…

1. We could have 24×7 video surveilance of the place

2. Our cellphones (mine for sure, maybe Tara’s) can use the wireless router to connect to the cell phone network, instead of having to remote down from the mountain, as we do now.

3. Several Ham Radio possibilities, including echolink (easy) and remote HF operation (harder and more $$).

4. Remote monitoring of water levels, power generation, power usage, weather conditions.

5. Remote control of site facilities (forgot to turn off water pump? No problem!)

So we ordered Satellite Internet from ViaSat (formerly WildBlue).  They just launched a new satellite, and promised very good service (5 MB/sec download, 1mb/sec upload).

Since we have a metal roof, I did not want any holes in it, so we decided to pole mount the dish.  This requires an 8′ schedule 40 steel pole, set in concrete 3′ deep. and filled with concrete to make it stiff.  The provider said he normally charges $160 to put such a pole in, and that would have been a bargain, but I wanted to do it myself, anyway.

Here is what I ended up doing…

Pole set in concrete, with riser column to protect it some

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