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Frequently asked Datastorm questions

The Dish

Question: How can I purchase Datastorm?

Answer: Easy, call Motosat at (800) 247-7486 today to find your nearest dealer, or check the dealer listings on this website.

Question: How fast is it?

Answer: Datastorm users typically see speeds between 700kbps and 1000kbps downstream, with slowest speeds during prime time. Upstream speeds are slower, ranging from 50-200kbps.

Question: Can anyone install the system?

Answer: No. A Hughes and Motosat-certified installer must install it.

Question: How does the dish find the satellite?

Answer: The dish sits on a motorized mount and is computer controlled. One mouse click starts Datastorm in action; it finds and locks to the satellite automatically using a built-in GPS (global positioning system) and satellite receiver.

Question: How does weather affect the dish?

Answer: Extreme rain or snow can knock the signal offline, usually for short periods of time. Moderate rain will usually not reduce signal quality enough to affect service. It is not recommended for the dish to be deployed in winds of over 40 mph. The dish is safe in any weather in the stowed position.

Question: Can Datastorm be used in a mobile environment like an RV, Bus, or boat?

Answer: It was designed specifically for mobile application on RV's and other land vehicles, but not for boats.

Question: How big is the dish?

Answer: The dish is an oval that is 39.5 inches wide. When deployed, it is about three feet high. When stowed, it is 56 inches long and 10 inches high. The mounting plate is 48x22 inches, and requires 57"x40" of open roof space. The complete assembly weighs 105 lbs. Larger dishes (1 meter and 1.2 meter diameter round) are also available.

Question: How easy is it to get on-line?

Answer: Connecting to the Internet requires just a click of the mouse and the dish finds the satellite automatically. It then “peaks” on the satellite and goes through a process known as ACP (auto cross-pol). At that point you are on-line with a stable, high speed connection. The time it takes will partly depend on how far the dish must turn to see the satellite, and partly on how quickly the Hughes ACP servers respond; typical deployment time is 5-7 minuts.

Question: What is involved in moving from one site to another?

Answer: There is no physical labor involved in setting up or stowing the dish. It is fully motorized and automatic. Stowing the dish is a one-click process, and takes 2-3 minutes. Redeploying is again one-click as noted above.

Question: What kind of visibility is required to connect to the satellite?

Answer: The satellites are roughly South. The Datastorm requires a direct line of sight towards the satellites in the southern sky.

Question: Do I have a choice of satellites?

Answer: That can vary based on HughesNet's current availability. There are a total of 9 HughesNet satellites.

Question: Why would I choose 1 or the other?

Answer: Satellites each have a "footprint" that is different from others. Some are better in Canada, some are better in Mexico. Most have good 48-state coverage.

Question: Can the dish be used as a telephone?

Answer: It is possible to use existing voice-over-IP technology for this function. There is significant built-in delay in any satellite system, and the slow upstream speeds can mean that the other party will have more difficulty understanding you than you will them.

Question: What else comes with the system?

Answer: In addition to the dish there is a control unit and a HughesNet modem. The control unit is smaller than a notebook computer, runs on 12 volt DC and drives the dish motors. The modem is the same Hughes unit used with fixed location satellite internet. The modem requires 120 volt AC power; it can get quite warm so it should be installed in an area with adequate ventilation.

Other Details

Question: Who is the ISP?

Answer: Satellite ISPs are called Value-Added-Resellers or VAR’s because they are providing connectivity through Hughes. Use the ISP tab above to find VAR websites.

Question: I heard the FCC forbids mobile two-way satellite usage. Is the dish approved?

Answer: Yes both Hughes and the FCC have approved the Datastorm under a category of service called TFES (temporary fixed earth station). It is called that because it is not used in-motion.

Question: What are the TFES rules?

Answer: Your installer will give you a copy. (They are on the software cd)

Question: Do you have to dial up by phone to get on-line?

Answer: No phones are needed.

Question: Can the dish be used for TV as well as Internet simultaneously?

Answer: Yes, a Dish Network or DirecTV receiver and service plan are required to receive TV service, and you will also need an offset bracket appropriate for the angular difference between the satellite you are on for internet service and the one used by your TV provider. Your installer will be able to supply the bracket. You can watch TV and be on the internet at the same time, neither interferes with the other. You will not need to do any extra dish pointing to watch TV, but you will need line-of-site to each satellite.

Question: Can a local area network be used to share Internet access?

Answer: Yes. Multiple pc’s can be networked to use the connection either via a wired LAN or a wireless LAN.

Question: Can I use my laptop outside the motorhome?

Answer: Yes, with a wireless LAN you can be sitting outside your coach and be connected to the internet.

Question: Does it work on Macintosh or Linux computers?

Answer: Yes, any networkable computer can be used.


Question: How much does it all cost?

Answer: The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the dish is $4495. Installation costs vary, but typically are in the $1000 range. There is a monthly charge of $79.99 for the most common service plan.

Question: What is the quality of the dish and mounts?

Answer: All major components are custom machined out of aluminum and powder coated. All stainless steel hardware is used. It uses DC motors to raise the dish, adjust elevation, azimuth and skew. Plastic covers are custom molded. Every part is made in the USA. Each dish is hand assembled by skilled technicians.

Question: Who uses this product?

Answer: The Datastorm is useful for many applications such as, mobile offices, bookmobiles, law enforcement, disaster relief, emergency management, trucking fleets, service trucks and, of course RV’ers

Question: What other choices are out there?

Answer: There are three that we know of. INetVu, Ground Control MSS, and DirecStar.

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