Sterling Udell has done a great job on both Satellite Friendly and DSLocator. Indeed it is nice to be the first, but it is also nice to confirm a previous entry. Now that we are well over 4000 campgrounds, the database is becoming quite useful in heavily traveled areas. However, on the fringes (like right now for us in Newfoundland), there are still many chances to be the very first!
Yes it is a great program, I look at it any time I get ready to move. I do summit my location on each move if I can. I do wish there was a way to summit a location that doesn't work for Datastorm. I have been in parks where there was no site you could use a Datastorm or tripod unit or only 1 or 2 sites I would have like to be able to report a unfriendly satellite campground. This may have saved someone from planning on using it. Sterling is there a way I don't know about to report a satellite unfriendly park?
-------------------- Mike & Elaine Fulltiming it & enjoying life F1 Datastorm w/2 Watt BUC| D3 3.9.6T | DW7000 | 91/985 | Secure Wireless See our current location Posts: 144 | From: Any where USA | Registered: Jan 2005
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Sterling... I've been meaning to suggest that the next time you do some work on the SF site how about adding an Electric/Water option to the Site Facilities drop down box. There are lots of locations that only have Electric and Water sites available but no sewer connections, so they don't really qualify as a Full Hookup site.
Thanks everyone for the positive comments! It's been gratifying to watch Satellite-Friendly develop into a real community resource.
It is true that you can't submit a site unless you (1) retrieved the GPS coordinates directly from the DataStorm, and (2) have a modem signal quality above 30. Essentially, this is to "guarantee" that the coordinates are definitely for a site with satellite coverage.
Now, this does mean that non-HughesNet users are locked out of submitting sites, and I'm not very happy about that either. But we have yet to devise a way to get something equivalent to "SQ > 30" from a UnaSat (or other) modem, so I don't have a solution for this that wouldn't compromise the integrity of the data.
I did once consider the possibility of adding "satellite-unfriendly" sites as well. I eventually decided not to, mostly because it seems to be counter to the whole Satellite-Friendly concept. But maybe there is some merit to it... I'll give it some more thought.
Finally, on the subject of water/electric hookups... Some of you have asked me about this privately, and my answer is basically as follows. The original reasoning for the types of hookup was to keep it as simple as possible: only the minimum info needed for directory users to decide whether a campsite was for them or not. "Electric only" because some DataStorm owners can't run their systems without shore power, and "Full" because some folks won't even consider staying anywhere with less than full hookups. And overall, my guiding principle was that the fewer blanks there are to fill in, the more people will contribute, and the fewer chances there will be for errors. My goal in starting this directory wasn't that it be a comprehensive guide to all campground information, but rather that it contain just what's necessary to evaluate sites for satellite-Internet usability.
Having said all that, adding a "Water/Electric" option wouldn't actually change that equation much. It would, however, involve some internal hassles for me to add it on at this point. So it might happen, might not, depending mostly on my free time. In the meanwhile, my advice is to submit water/electric sites as "Electric Only", on the basis that the water hookup is then kind of a bonus, rather than the site being a disappointment because it was advertised as having a sewer hookup that it doesn't.
While we're making suggestions, as a new user of the site, I would find it helpful if there were a way to indicate which sites in a campground are satellite friendly, if there are more than one. For example, where we are now has about 3-4 sites that would work, but not many others. I'd like to be able to specify the sites other than the one we're parked in (and to know which ones to look for when I'm looking up a new campground). We know that most campground owners (certainly the people who make reservations) have no idea which sites work so we'd like to be armed with information when we make our reservations.
If it's too much trouble, it's not that big a deal, but it would be a nice add-on. Even without it, this is a great service -- thanks!
Posts: 74 | From: Phoenix AZ | Registered: May 2006
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FWIW, I almost always get a mini ulcer when I come to the type of site.
I have encountered combinations of water/electric/sewer plus at-site/at-station. And there are many combos out there. Configuring radio buttons for perturbations would result in a long list. Then complicate the issue with the fact that some parks or cg's have both, sites with sewers and sites w/o sewers, 50 amp sites and 30 amp max sites (important in the South in summer).
I usually tag site electric + site water + dump station as full hookups. In practice, I usually use onboard tanks until full or leaving at all stops whether primitive or full featured. If it is available upon leaving, on site or not, I am happy.
And don't forget that some folks consider cable TV as required for full hookup, not to mention phone and wifi. (oops, just did)
I could recommend an alternative, but Sterling and his db would not like it
But the simple change would be three check boxes labled
water available, electric available, sewer/dump station available.
And I forgot the important part! Sometimes the program will retrieve that co-ords, but report that they did not come from the controller when trying to submit, even after the retrieve button has been re-clicked.
And there was a point in time that I could not copy the coordinates to paste elsewhere, as the entry fields acted wiered when selected.
But that issue seems to have gone away, and may have been local to my computer.
I would be interested in cross-polination of data, if possible. Specifically with rvparkreviews.com. I believe the guy running that one is a Datastorm user, and therefore might be amenable to finding ways to link back-and-forth.
I think limiting the report to just the site you are staying in guarantees that at least that site can "see" the satellite. Other sites may look satellite friendly, but if you actually park in them it's possible that a lone tree may block your locking on to the satellite. And yet I understand that there are others that are in the same campground and completely in the sun and open in any direction ... but I have been in some that if you move your rig just a few feet you will not connect, so a report on just "your" particular site # at least gurarantees that site.
I'm with Gritz on the "reporting other sites" issue. I've seen - and parked in - many a site that sure looked like it was clear in the right direction, only to have the dish prove me otherwise. So I'm afraid it's going to stay limited to the site you're actually in; there's no other way to know for sure.
quote:Originally posted by Garry P.: Sometimes the program will retrieve that co-ords, but report that they did not come from the controller when trying to submit, even after the retrieve button has been re-clicked.
Garry, I've never been able to nail down that behavior into a situation I can reproduce. Trust me, I'd love to fix it if I can.
quote:Originally posted by DonB: I would be interested in cross-polination of data, if possible. Specifically with rvparkreviews.com.
Don, I had an inquiry from the guy who runs RVParkReviews.com over a year ago, asking about "incorporating your satellite friendly campground listing into the rvparkreviews.com campground listings". But he never got back to me after I replied, so it never went any further. His site has a quite well-defined structure, however, so I bet I could unilaterally add links from my listings to his.
I love the way my to-do list lengthens after threads like this...
I think the way you have things right now--is great. Adding extra things about what a site has is frivilous and difficult to deal with. There are so many campground directories out there all overlapping one another that it is hard to figure out what an RV Park offers or doesn't offer, that if you start adding EXTRA options, the site will get so messed up that it TOO will become useless.
Now that said, one of the things that really messed me up a few months ago was that I had stayed in a park in Oregon when I was on 127W & decided to go back to the same park (same site was available) but now I'm on 89W. I had to move to a different site cause I didn't remember that big scrubby tree in the way! OOPS
KEEP THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE--LET'S NOT TRY TO RE-INVENT THE WHEEL! Woodalls, Good Sam, Escapees and several others are all trying and not succeeding!
-------------------- John Christman| No longer do I have Satellite Internet Service—just a `po boy who uses 35/35MBBS FIOS for internet. Permanently parked as of 6/1/2012 in stick house. Posts: 407 | From: Marysville, WA | Registered: May 2004
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