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Rural living, cell phones, and the law of uncertainty as it relates to service.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 153
Location: 54 North BC Canada
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Apologies for my mix-up with your name, Creighton....

Creighton Samuiels wrote:

Bryant RedHawk wrote:I'm with you Mike, on our land a pair of walkie- talkies work far better than cellphone.


What kind of real use range do you get out of your walkie-talkies, and what band are they using?



When i saw your entry on this thread, I thought a comment about short-range communication on this thread
was appropriate.

Rural living, cell phones, and the law of uncertainty as it relates to service.

Communication in a rural environment has always been a problem.  I remember the old crank-operated phone
with "your" number of rings.  There were some "ham" operators, but the CB became the radio of choice.
There were "radio-telephones" where each party had to say "Over" so that the other person knew when to talk. 
If you wanted some "news" you waited for the "newspaper boy"to deliver a paper that was printed the day before. 
If your antenna was oriented the right way,mounted high enough and you were within range, you could watch news
on b+w TV, complete with "ghost" images.

Now there are cell phones and sat phones.  Internet access....almost instant communication.

For a price.

Not just the dollar amount, either. Anonymous trolls and bullies, the limits of the printed word to adequately
communicate, even to getting somebody's name right   :>)

My choice is short-range radio for around the old "stump ranch" and going to town to use the free wifi
at "Timmies" with a Linux laptop {to lock out the amateur cyber-snoop}.  Anything long-distance can be handled by
the land-line phone/answering machine, or by firing up the old Halicrafters AM/shortwave radio.



 
 
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R Jay wrote:Apologies for my mix-up with your name, Creighton....



No problem.  It's quite a common error, actually.




My choice is short-range radio for around the old "stump ranch" and going to town to use the free wifi
at "Timmies" with a Linux laptop {to lock out the amateur cyber-snoop}.  Anything long-distance can be handled by
the land-line phone/answering machine, or by firing up the old Halicrafters AM/shortwave radio.

 



Fair enough, I just wanted to be clear what kind of use cases we were talking about, so that those readers considering buying such a radio knew what they were best for, and that no one bought the wrong radio for their purposes and had a poor experience as a result.

While I'm here, I might as well mention a modern option that has come to maturity recently.  The GoTenna mesh bridge transceiver...

https://gotenna.com/pages/mesh

Disclaimer...  I want one, but I don't have one, so I can't speak to how well they perform in practice.

 
Creighton Samuiels
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
My attitude towards text, is that it is an unreliable form of communication. If it's important that I know that someone has received the communication, then I give them a call.



I have some first hand experience to show that this isn't really the case.  Normal (non-multimedia) texting doesn't require the internet to function, and uses a control channel to communicate between the cell phone and the tower.  In practice, this means that the connection that texting uses to communicate is the most reliable and most persistent that is possible with a cell phone; because if the control channel can't connect, the tower won't even attempt a phone call or Internet connection.  In addition, text messages are "store and forward", so the receiving cell phone doesn't actually have to maintain a continuous connection for messages to get through; instead an occasional connection with a tower, perhaps too weak to even support a phone call, would work acceptably.  I know that this is true, because I've been testing this theory with my oldest daughter, who is presently at "Old School Wilderness Semester" https://www.swoutfitters.com/wilderness-semester/ ; More than half of her stay is camping on the top of the mountain, well out of range of any cell tower.  Yet, her regular trips back down to 'base camp'; despite being just on the edge of reception, requiring her to stand in particular places in the open for a phone call, will reliably permit texts sent while she was out of range to arrive within minutes of her return to base camp, even inside the buildings.

In short, if the message is both short and important, but not time critical; standard text messaging is the way to go.  This would not apply to texting apps or multimedia texting that requires access to the Internet.
 
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Ours is spotty here in Wyoming. We certainly have cell phone deserts. We also have internet deserts and hell, water and electrical. Why do we all live here? We're nuts!

I'm not anti cell phone though. Sure, when I was a kid and broke down on the interstate I was fine. I walked to a phone and called my parents to come get me. It was fine. But breaking down now means I don't have to walk. I can just call someone and like magic they appear. I'll keep my cell phone!
 
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elle sagenev wrote:Ours is spotty here in Wyoming. We certainly have cell phone deserts. We also have internet deserts and hell, water and electrical. Why do we all live here? We're nuts!

I'm not anti cell phone though. Sure, when I was a kid and broke down on the interstate I was fine. I walked to a phone and called my parents to come get me. It was fine. But breaking down now means I don't have to walk. I can just call someone and like magic they appear. I'll keep my cell phone!



I do not look at cell phone use at all this way.

I get asked this all the time when I tell people I do not have a cell phone, something I not so affectionately call an "electronic leash." My answer is always the same, "If I have an emergency, I'll just wait until the next person that comes by, because there is a 93% chance they will have one...with unlimited text and minutes." Honestly, why should I spend good money on a cell phone when 93% of the population has one?

I have broken down before and in 5 minutes I was helped out by the police, so many people had called them!

Cell phones have a very high cost, but people seldom realize what they are. I have watched stable people absolutely loose it because their partner did not answer a text in 2 minutes after they sent one to them. I have seen kids playing at a playground yelling, "mommy, mommy, mommy" for 5 minutes to their oblivious parent who was lost in Facebook instead of watching their child grow up. I have seen married couples out on a nice date alone at a fancy restaurant with both of them with their heads down more concerned about their Facebook Pages then their deteriating marriage. Then there was the trajedy my family has faced when at age 19, my sister was killed in a car accident while texting.

There are times when a cell phone would be convient, but there has never been a time when I needed a phone and could not make a call.

Of course I always say one more thing about cell phones. "Well they say only 7% of the population does not have a cell phone, so I guess that just makes me be only 6% away from being a 1 percenter!"
 
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