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Mobile 2-Way Satellite Internet

New! If you are a Datastorm User or are interested in learning more, visit DatastormUsers.com
As someone who spends part of every day communicating via the internet, and needing regular connections to the Arcata Pet servers to deal with administration issues, the availability of mobile satellite 2-way internet dishes was a big consideration in deciding to purchase a motor home.

The Motosat Datastorm uses a DirecWay (DirecPC) 39-inch dish and modems. The dish is attached to a custom mount which has motorized adjustments for elevation, azimuth, and skew. GPS sensors in the base, along with tilt sensors and GPS-calibrated compasses, tell the controller what angles are necessary to acquire the satellite.
Datastorm Control PanelYou click on the "Find Satellite" button in the Datastorm software, and it does the rest. Uplink speeds are dialup-like, around 30-40k, occasionally lower, and occasionally up to 80k. Downlink speeds are advertised as "up to" 400k, and usually will at least double that, 1200k is not uncommon. Despite that, it does not feel quite like true broadband, because of the latency issues with signals being bounced off a satellite orbiting at 22,500 miles. There is about 500 ms latency in a request/response just due to the speed of light! It is still fast enough to run remote-control software, and the primary issue of reliable, always available, communication is achieved.

DishOur dish was installed on Memorial Day, 2002, by Satellite Advantage, in Scottsdale AZ.Dish installation

Here is a series of pictures of the dish as it raises and then points:
Dish pointing Dish pointing Dish pointing Dish pointing Dish pointing Dish pointing

There are 3 blue LEDs that light the dish at night, a good promotion for the product, and a conversation starter.Dish pointing

Finally, we have a second LNB installed that allows us to use the dish for DirecTV. It is simultaneous with the internet connection, and neither interferes with the other.

Anyone contemplating a DataStorm should be forewarned that it is a high-price internet option. You can get details at motosat.com.
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