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2019 Bourton MiFi

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Post by Lainie Sun Apr 09, 2023 8:25 pm

Please can someone enlighten me? 🙏
I read on a FB post that someone who has a 2019 AS Bouton, the same as we have, has a MiFi internet connection point, apparently a magnetic black box the same size as a pack of playing cards, for the internet connection via a SIM located in a cupboard above the sink. I have since looked inside this cupboard on our vehicle and sadly cannot find any such device. I have checked the manuals and cannot find anything regarding such a device even mentioned as a fitted device.
Please can anyone enlighten me on if this is something that is a standard fitting or an added extra. I think we have a top spec for the year like media pack and tank heaters etc on ours but I am curious to know if there is a MiFi unit somewhere I don’t know about. Thank you
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Post by Kemerton-bath Sun Apr 09, 2023 10:23 pm

It should be easy to spot and will look like the unit shown in the picture below, located in one of the ceiling mounted lockers.

If you haven’t found it then most likely you don’t have one. AS change their van specifications, particularly the fitted habitation equipment, frequently. Even vans of the same age and model won’t necessarily be identical in all aspects.

The unit shown, made by motorhomewifi, can be retrofitted. It’s not a trivial modification as it has a roof mounted WiFi antenna.

Tim

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Post by Lainie Mon Apr 10, 2023 12:03 am

Thank you for your reply. Now I know what to look for I will have a good look around to see if it has been fitted anywhere. If not we will talk to AS when it is there in May to see if it is something that they can install while they have it with them.
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Post by FreelanderUK Mon Apr 10, 2023 6:32 am

This is a company who supply and fit these systems ,they have installers all over the Uk, you are also able to fit your own at a lot cheaper price and sometimes better specifications

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Post by v8oholic Mon Apr 10, 2023 6:42 am

If you can see the top of the van (from an upstairs window, say) the presence of the antenna should be east to spot.
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Post by RML Mon Apr 10, 2023 8:49 am

We changed our van in 2017 for a 'keeper' and had a Motorhome WiFi  3/4g system fitted soon after for use in Europe and the UK using several 3 Internet With Legs data SIM cards and it was brilliant, we got UK TV through an Amazon Firestick and internet everywhere and streamed radio on the move.  The next year we changed our phone contracts with BT for big data packages with Roam Like Home benefits which made the WiFi system virtually redundant.  From then on we 'tethered' everything to the phones and didn't use it again. I still have some 3 data cards somewhere.  Doesn't work for everyone but it works for us. 
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Post by v8oholic Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:05 am

BT are in the process of moving all BT Mobile contracts to EE, and Roam Like Home doesn't exist on EE. There's a pass system you have to pay extra for instead. What you cannot do with a phone is use the router in bridge mode to pull in weak campsite WiFi via the external antenna. Nor will a phone with a small internal aerial inside a Faraday cage be especially good in remote low signal areas. Also, having both MiFi and a phone on different networks gives you a better chance of success where there's only one network's tower anywhere nearby. As you say, it works for some people, depending on how far you travel, but let's not pretend it's exactly the same.
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Post by Lainie Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:23 am

Thank you for your informative replies. 
I will look at the roof for any signs of a roof antenna. The reason I am thinking of installed WiFi is that our phone signal and connectivity appears reduced by the vehicle’s faraday cage effect. We are not skilled enough to attempt drilling through the roof and fitting so will research the best prices around. I think AS use the same equipment as the motorhome WIFi company so it’s probably sourced from them.
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Post by v8oholic Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:46 am

It is definitely sourced from Motorhome WiFi - Autosleepers buy this kit from them:

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The magnetic mounting solution for the router is their own proprietary design, and so you can't buy it anywhere else. I never find the need to remove it, except over the winter, where low temperatures can potentially shorten the life of the internal rechargeable battery. The router is normally black, unlike the white one in the picture.

I don't know if it would be worth considering one of the 5G options. I suspect not, because although 5G is theoretically faster, it's less widespread, and in practical terms 4G is already fast enough for just about anything.

There is no perfect solution in the world of mobile telecoms as there are too many variables.
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Post by RML Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:57 am

v8oholic wrote:BT are in the process of moving all BT Mobile contracts to EE, and Roam Like Home doesn't exist on EE. There's a pass system you have to pay extra for instead. What you cannot do with a phone is use the router in bridge mode to pull in weak campsite WiFi via the external antenna. Nor will a phone with a small internal aerial inside a Faraday cage be especially good in remote low signal areas. Also, having both MiFi and a phone on different networks gives you a better chance of success where there's only one network's tower anywhere nearby. As you say, it works for some people, depending on how far you travel, but let's not pretend it's exactly the same.
I take your point thanks. However, by placing the phone on a high shelf and the fact that we didn't use the WiFi after proves that it works better - especially now 5g is becoming more readily available, we won't be going back to it but each to their own.
Last July in the Alps for the Tour we stood at the roadside watching the TV coverage on ITV4 on my phone then later in the van I tethered the Firestick through the TV to watch the highlights. 
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Post by Kemerton-bath Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:57 am

AS continually change what they fit in their vans and are currently using Avtex WiFi hubs and antennae, as shown in the link below.

Tim

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Post by FreelanderUK Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:00 am

I fitted a external antenna on the roof but have the cable come in under the the skylight and a small mifi stuck with Velcro to the sky light surround ,( now use a nighthawk m2 router )

Will be listing an external antenna in classifieds later this morning and a mifi

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Post by Kemerton-bath Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:08 am

The Faraday Cage effect will be less in a coach-built or monocoque van. In a PVC it is very significant, especially once the foil-backed blinds are drawn, and in locations where the signal is weak. We’ve often been in a situation where neither of our phones (different networks) can deliver data but the rooftop antenna is able to pull in enough 3G or 4G to do something with.

I don’t understand the need for 5G capability in a van. 5G is designed for dense urban environments, the exact opposite of where many of us choose to go.

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Post by Suppersready Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:11 am

RML wrote:
I take your point thanks. However, by placing the phone on a high shelf and the fact that we didn't use the WiFi after proves that it works better - especially now 5g is becoming more readily available, we won't be going back to it but each to their own.
Last July in the Alps for the Tour we stood at the roadside watching the TV coverage on ITV4 on my phone then later in the van I tethered the Firestick through the TV to watch the highlights. 
Rich..

For best reception my phone goes in a small sandwich box on the roof via a sky light … just need to remember before driving off !

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Post by v8oholic Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:15 am

Kemerton-bath wrote:AS continually change what they fit in their vans and are currently using Avtex WiFi hubs and antennae, as shown in the link below.

Tim

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That's interesting. Only the antenna supports 5G, the router doesn't. And since you can get up to 150 mbps through 4G (dependent on local towers) it's hard to see any benefit whatsoever from 5G except as a marketing exercise to sell new phones. The WiFi side of the router is limited to 150 mbps anyway. The best I've seen so far is 115 mbps on 4G. Typically it's more like 10-20 mbps of course. On my driveway, it's only 3 mbps unfortunately. If I could get close to maximum 4G speeds at home, I'd cancel my home broadband and just use the van's WiFi in the house!
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Post by FreelanderUK Mon Apr 10, 2023 10:52 am

Speed is also dependent on what mifi / router your using, when I was using the Huawei Mifi with out external antenna speeds where in the 10/ 15 mbps range, when I added an antenna it increased to an average of 20ish mbps, With the new Nighthawk m2 router fitted to the same external antenna I am seeing in excess of 35mbps speeds at the same locations as the lower speeds

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Post by Peter Brown Mon Apr 10, 2023 11:40 am

v8oholic wrote:
it's hard to see any benefit whatsoever from 5G except as a marketing exercise to sell new phones. !

Anyone who is interested in the purpose of 5G should read the article linked below:

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Post by inspiredron Mon Apr 10, 2023 2:08 pm

Suppersready wrote:

For best reception my phone goes in a small sandwich box on the roof via a sky light … just need to remember before driving off !
Can I suggest a length of bright red ribbon trapped in the sandwich box which dangles down through the rooflight ASA reminder up!

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Post by v8oholic Mon Apr 10, 2023 5:57 pm

Peter Brown wrote:

Anyone who is interested in the purpose of 5G should read the article linked below:

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Yes there are advantages, but they are predominantly about new uses, and don’t make a difference to the average consumer with a phone or mobile broadband router. Lower latency is of little consequence unless you are a heavy gamer, and the greatly increased speed is academic if what we already have is fast enough. Once you reach 20 Mbps you already have enough throughput to stream 4K video. There are some questionable numbers in the article too. For example, the theoretical maximum speed of 4G LTE Advanced is 300 Mbps, not the 100 Mbps they quote.
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Post by Peter Brown Tue Apr 11, 2023 1:36 pm

v8oholic wrote:but they are predominantly about new uses, and don’t make a difference to the average consumer with a phone or mobile broadband router.  

I totally agree and that is why I posted the link rather than try and explain it myself.
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