Category Archives: Off the Grid

Difference between original WildBlue and Exede [explained]

Recently I had some people ask me what the differences are between the original WildBlue and Exede satellite internet plans. The answer: They utilize different satellites and offer vastly different speeds and usage experiences. Exede utilizes ViaSat-1, the most capable commercial communications satellite in existence Launched October 19, 2011 aboard a Proton rocket, it is the world’s highest capacity communications satellite with a total capacity in excess of 140 Gbit/s, more than all the satellites covering North America combined, at the time

Shipping container modular ceiling installation [video]

[please scroll down for the video] Samantha and I are considering shipping container (ISBU) construction for our garage and possibly our new house. We currently have an 8’x20′ container that we mounted our solar (PV) panels on top of and inside we have our batteries, inverter, etc.  We also use it as a simple storage container. But when taking the container concept beyond storage/utility into a more advanced structure, there are some issues. One problem with building with ISBUs is

Off the grid solar system maintenance

This morning I performed a couple simple maintenance tasks for our off-the-grid solar system: Washing the solar panels This is actually optional maintenance, as you don’t have to wash your panels. However, keeping solar panels clean and free of dust etc. can appreciably boost your power output. After washing the panels (it has been pretty dry and dusty lately) I had about 10% more electricity being generated. Woot! Adding distilled water to the batteries Flooded lead acid* batteries periodically require distilled

Differences between original WildBlue FAP & Broadband (Exede) FAP

The orignal WildBlue services uses a rather unusual ‘rolling FAP’ that is pretty hard to explain. The new WildBlue broadband (Exede) uses a much simpler monthly usage reset date. Here are the policies for both old and new WildBlueas of 2012.06.28 followed by an explanation and example where appropriate. –JD Original or ‘old’ WildBlue Plans WildBlue Original Plans: After exceeding either of the usage thresholds, which vary by service package, the speed of your service will be slowed to 128 kbps download

Exede satellite internet review

Long-Term Exede Internet Review (May 2012-2016) NOTE: There is a a lot of information in the comments at the bottom of this review, feel free to ask your own Exede questions there or share your own satellite internet experiences! Thank you, –JD 2016.06 My Exede modem’s Ethernet ports recently stopped working. Currently waiting to hear back from them on when they will be able to replace it. 2014.Feb Still pleased with Exede, the speeds reach their advertised rates and the usage

Travel router tips: use Android for Internet, Ethernet crossover cable for file transfers

I have a makeshift travel office setup: Lenovo X220, Dell M6500, Dell 27″ LCD, keyboard, mouse and a couple Optimus V Android phones… Wifi Hotspot: useful for more than just internet connection sharing! I’m working for a few weeks away from home with only the equipment above. One of the handiest features has been the Android phones. They have the Wifi hotspot feature enabled. This allows both laptops to connect to the Android phone and share its internet connection. But

HughesNet Download Bank

We have HughesNet satellite internet and the ‘download bank’ has been a feature since we signed up last month. Apparently HughesNet is doing a wider rollout  now, as this is the email I received from them today: Dear HughesNet Member, We’re rolling out a brand-new feature—the Download Bank―enabling you to save any unused portion of your Download Allowance. As part of a system-wide network of upgrades that started last summer, this latest enhancement lets you do more online. What is the