Monthly Archives: February 2017

MiFi personal WiFi

So – we went the Caravan Camping & Motorhome show on Saturday. We had a couple of purchases in mind but the main one was to be a 3G/4G internet connection pack from motorhomewifi.com. I had e-mailed Adam a couple of weeks ago and said we were going to the show and could we have a chat with him about our requirements at the show. Well it didn’t take long (we were the first on the stand!) and we quickly established we needed the 4G Roof Antenna & E5577 MiFi package.
MiFi pack
Having gone through the pro’s and con’s with Adam this certainly certainly looks like it will do the job for us. Adam kindly threw in a 12v cigar connector at the same time (used to power the HUAWEI Mobile WiFi unit).
Basically, what the kit does is allow you to use a 3G or 4G mobile network signal and translate that into a personal WiFi network in the motorhome. We need it for business reasons but also we will be using it for searching t’internet for sites and place to stay.
All I needed to do now was fit it! For someone who was told he had hands like pig’s trotters (thanks Dad :-)) these kind of DIY jobs are always a bit of a challenge for me – something usually goes wrong, knowing this I had to read everything twice to make sure I did it right. For that I also have to thank Jason of ourtour.co.uk (a fantastic site I can’t recommend enough) as he and Julie had already fitted on to their B544 – Zagan. So off to the garage I trot, ladders, cleaning equipment, drill and bit (25mm hole saw) and all the kit bits. I took my time and surprisingly for me the kit was fitted in 90 mins with no errors (apart from not taping the wood when I drilled so the rear of it split a little (sorry Dad).
I determined the best way to tackle this was to put the aerial on the roof first. Drilling my first hole in the roof of Hilma felt very daunting. Making a hole in an object that is meant to keep you warm and dry does not come naturally, but once done, no going back. Fitted like a glove, the sticky panel did it’s job.

4G antenna

The MiFi antenna safely installed on the roof

The next job was to drill the holes between the clothes cupboard and the old TV locker. This is where I made my first error – I remember as a kid helping my father with DIY (and that’s probably what put me off doing it in adulthood) – he always put some tape where he was drilling thin wood to stop it splitting. Anyway, measuring where the cables should enter, I duly drilled (10mm) and split the wood. Still, I suppose not many people other than ourselves look in the cupboard.

MiFi antenna fitting

Cable from the roof antenna into the wardrobe and then into the TV cupboard

Once the cables were put through it was then a simple job to attach the magnetic MiFi unit holder to the side of the locker, hook up the 12v feed from the cigar lighter.

Cables into the TV cupboard and magnetic holder in place

From then on in it was simply connecting the aerial cables and the 12v power supply to the unit, placing the unit in place and switching on. Eh voila! Job done. All that remains now is to actually try it out. As Hilma was going back into storage that will have to wait for another post to see how my ‘aged’ brain can cope with the technology side!

The MiFi unit all hooked up with cables and 12v supply (no SiM card inserted yet).

Add-on’s

Add-on’s for a motorhome – there is actually no end to what you can buy for a motorhome. One starts with a small list of necessaries when you first own one. Then you go away for the first time in it. Hmmm – why didn’t I think of that. So you buy it. Then you go away again – ah, I see THEY have one of those, that’s a good idea. Next you go to a Motorhome and Caravan show, the wallet takes another┬áhit (thank goodness we took our own sandwiches). List, upon list, upon list – it’s never ending – but it’s great fun ­čÖé

So what’s next on our list? Well we are currently looking at a solar panel. Ha, dead simple, and then one starts reading about all the ins and outs about what can and can’t be done. I could go on forever about MPPT v PWM solar charge contollers, readout panels, Schaudt elektroblok’s, battery temperature sensors, flexible solar panels v solid and many, many, many more little things that could trip anyone up at any time. I’ve probably spent more time researching this than it warrants – and then I’ll probably have to get someone else to fit it!

So will it be worth it? I’ll tell you when we are in darkest Scotland in May!

solar-panels

Still going strong

Have not updated this site in ages!! We are still going strong getting out in Hilma as often as we can. I hope (if I can find more time) to post our first years travels in the near future. We have kept an old fashioned blog (book) with all our visits in so I’ll just transfer our thoughts from there.
One thing is for sure these blogs do take an awful lot of time – which if your practically living in a motorhome is fine. Janette and I…. wel we are still working, but I’ll say it again… we are hoping to slow down soon!! Honest!