Watch this website as I develop my RV Satellite Internet system and post the progress here.
I am writing and posting this article from my RV, with a high speed broadband satellite internet connection. No
external power source, other than the sun, is being used. This is truly "go anywhere Internet"!
How is my RV Satellite Internet System powered?
A 110 watt solar panel is used to charge my battery bank of two 6 volt deep cycle RV batteries. An inverter is
being used to draw power from my battery bank and to convert it to 120 VAC household power. This is used to supply
120 VAC power to run my satellite dish and high speed modem.
This power source can also be used to power up my desktop, printer, scanner or any other device. It makes my
coffee in the morning on a timer ... coffee is ready when I get up.
Why do all this?
Since the sun is supplying the energy and charging my batteries during daylight hours, I can be at any remote
location and still run my web sites, post and recieve e-mail, and communicate with the world. Miles away from any
power line or phone line. If you run an on-line business, need to review your stock portfolio, or simply need to
connect to the internet where ever you may be, then this system is for you.
What are the other benefits?
This same dish will receive satellite TV at the same time as high speed internet. (A satellite TV subscription
Where can you get this equipment?
Buy Used at The Satellite Store
Is it hard to get set-up?
Well, it does take some persistance and a certain learning curve. With practice you could be online in roughly
15 minutes or so. My first set-up took several hours but my home is located in a heavily treed area. It took some
time to find a sutable open spot to locate the tripod and dish for a clear view. There are devices available that
simplify the process and one is included in the tripod package.
Subsequent set-ups improved with experience. My last set-up at my home base took about 10 minutes and has
remained stable for over 3 months..
Is an automatic dish system available?
Yes, but it is pricey at about $5,000 to $6,000 installed. Since the dish is two way, the automatic dish must
find the satellite and then fine tune itself to transmit a signal back up to the satellite. If cost is not a
concern (lucky you!), then a press of a button gets the dish aligning itself and within a few minutes you are
connected. Of course you must have a clear view of the southern sky for a liine of sight. With the tripod system
you can camp in the shade and locate the tripod up to 40 or more feet away, if needed.
Note to my readers: Hughsnet
(and all other satellite internet providers) has a FAP (fair access policy) that comes into play if you exceed
the download threashold of your service plan ... do not expect to be able to play on-line games or download large
files or watch streaming video with Hughsnet.
They advertise "always on" and "high speed internet", but the two terms do not mean that you get "always
on high speed internet". Hughes gaurantees unlimited Internet access ... but not unlimited high speed
This means that, yes, you can get your email ... and yes, you can brouse the internet ... and yes, you can do
this from a remote location ... BUT ...
Just be aware of the limitations. I have been using my Hughnet satellite system for 8 years at my home (no
other broadband system available) and at other locations far from any phone line, electrical outlet or cell
Although there are problems, there is no other way for me to connect to the internet, at this time ,
considering these conditions. As a result, I can still get on-line anywhere in the US and most of Canada.