Saturday, June 2, 2012

Naomi’s Birthday, Blackhawk Campground & Super USB Wi-Fi Antenna 3

Whew, with a title like that maybe I should have written separate posts? Nah. Smile with tongue out

Happy 7th birthday Naomi!! She is such a cutie.  Princess


Lars you can’t get a normal picture of, so you take what you can get. Nyah-Nyah


This is a picture of the campground office from last year because I forgot to take one when we arrived. They got our costs confused so we have to go through the receipts today, we rented our site plus a tent site, my sister cancelled because it would be too cold but did so yesterday so we still paid for the tent site for the night. It was worth it seeing the kids though. Thumbs up



We are in site # 83, it’s a nice and shady site, good sized and the hookups are very well placed.


The only complaint is the dirt next to the gravel and wood patio that is rotting, you have to be careful where you walk.  For Ronda and me this isn’t a problem, the dog and kids however.. Disappointed smile


Ronda bought a “bucket” of wood (translate to tractor bucket!), I should have taken a picture of the tractor that showed up and dumped off what looked like a half face cord of wood. We burned a lot last night the the pile is smaller now. Needless to say with us leaving in the morning tomorrow we are going to have a heck of a fire going tonight!


This is the view to the left of our site.


I saw this site last night but didn’t have my cell phone with me. They are going to turn everything on tonight so I’ll take a video of it. This couple really enjoy doing this every year!



Blackhawk campground has wireless however my MacBook Pro can’t get onto them because of a poorly designed antenna system and distance. In our house and office my Mac does fine, but put a little distance to it and it is lousy at connecting to access points. My wife's Alienware laptop has no such issue so I bought the external C.Crane Super USB WiFi Antenna 3 specifically for places like this. I initially set it up at home so I could download the latest drivers and test it out.

Windows 7 found the device and automatically downloaded the drivers but the utility that came with it didn’t detect the device even though Windows 7 did and was using it. I went to the C.Crane website and downloaded their latest with the same result. I figured ok, no utility but Windows was showing me 30 wireless networks so I knew it would suffice.

We got to Blackhawk and of course my wife's laptop, connects to their wireless no problem, my Mac as usual showed too weak a signal to connect or it would connect but not get to the web. I plugged the new antenna in and it instantly found several access points. I connected and did some browsing and some work and because it was so late left the machine running over night.


This morning when I got up there was a “Please reboot for the changes to take effect”. Changes?? What changes?? Confused smile It turns out Windows update had updated the antenna drivers with even newer software than was posted on the C.Crane website, unusual considering it was Windows Update that installed the initial drivers but I’m glad it did. When I rebooted this is what I was greeted with, the Ralink utility was showing the wireless networks, woohoo!


Now, before people reading this who think Apple makes the holy grail of computers keep in mind when you surround an antenna with solid aluminum it may look pretty but it will affect antenna performance. Around the house, in Starbucks or at the office it will work fine but in campgrounds with access points farther away my MacBook Pro 17 doesn’t do so hot. This new antenna is awesome and really helps.

One thing I have noticed with RV parks however is, consistent wireless quality is an issue, the ones we have been to will drop and you’ll be waiting for it to come back. This campground is no different, they have several access points and you can see somebody did a lot of work to get all of this working however the wireless network will drop consistently, they have to reboot it at times as well.

My Verizon cell phone and MiFi have zero signal here because the campground is in a valley but we do get 9 TV channels. Last year we got 1 or 2 if I remember correctly. Overall we like this park, it’s great for kids with its huge playground, the people are friendly and the sites are larger than you typically get. I’ll post more after we have taken more pictures, hopefully the train is on tonight so I can get some video too!

Have a great Saturday everybody!


Phyllis said...

Those trains in gardens must be the "in" thing right now. We see them all over the place and our good friend back in NJ is busy setting up one.

Big Matt said...

Ah, gotta love Apple, only company who thinks a Wifi card works well when wrapped inside of a faraday cage :p.

Big Matt said...

Forgot to add, I like that campground, especially with the delivered firewood :)

Where is blackhawk exactly?

Sue and Doug said...

how much was that load of firewood?..up here in BC we have paid $7 for six pieces of wood!

Erik's RV Blog * said...

Phyllis - It really is a cool site, can't wait to take pictures tonight.

Bigg Matt - Yep, plus you pay extra for it. ;)

The only way they deliver it is if you order the "bucket" :)

Sue and Doug - It was $45.00 for a tractor load which is the cheapest I have ever paid for wood. I should have taken a picture before we burned a bunch of it. I have had a fire going all afternoon and will be lucky if I get through it all by midnight!

JOJO said...

I want to go there and play with the trains, Can I huh please.
Looks like a really nice place.

Erik's RV Blog * said...

JoJo - I'm going to post some pictures I took of the train tonight and also more pictures of the campground. This really is a fantastic place, plus I think they would let you play! :)