Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-23-2013, 07:52 AM   #1
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Building a server for the "B"?

I'm wondering if anyone has done this. One of my many oddball ideas (such as the solar trailer for my boondocking runs), is building a server that would be a part of the "B" (as in installed in an out of the way place and a panel put around it so it is out of sight). It would run off the 12 volt system, perhaps either directly via a power supply or indirectly via a low wattage inverter. To keep energy use down, all the hard disks would be SSD, the CPU would be a fanless one like the Via Eden x2, and if possible, it might be underclocked. For Internet access anywhere, I am looking at a Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC card (mini PCIe) card that works with LTE, which will give me wireless access anywhere T-Mobile has coverage. (I'm going with T-Mobile because if I run out of capacity, my connection gets throttled, as opposed to having a huge bill the next month.)

This server would handle a few things that would make Web browsing nice when at a CG. Here is a list of things it would do:

1: DNS cache. This way, traffic to find hostnames and IPs is all local, reducing traffic on the Internet connection.
2: squid cache. Static images and text get cached, so only things that change on a website are sent over the connection.
3: A router between four segments, the Wi-Fi connection to a CG, the LTE card, an Ethernet cable, and the internal Wi-Fi network.
4: A bad IP blocker. That way, malware sites are blocked at the router, and the list gets updated at least daily.
5: A PXE boot server, just in case my laptop gets a virus, I can boot it from the network, load a recovery OS, and go from there... or just boot it and restore from a backup.
6: A repeater for Wi-Fi, on a different channel.
7: A file server, sort of in similar in functionality to a Time Capsule, but using Linux. That way, I can keep constant backups even when on the road. (I'm an old IT guy... backups are something that are a must for me wherever I go.)
8: If there is no Wi-Fi available, it can use the LTE card as an Internet connection, and I can either have it use a Wi-Fi channel, or directly plug in a computer via Ethernet (which would mean more bandwidth at a crowded CG where people are using every single space on the Wi-Fi frequency spectrum.)

Has anyone done this in their "B"? It sounds like a lot of stuff, but in reality, the hard part is configuring the machine the first time, then it should do everything you want in the background.
__________________

mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

I am having difficulty visualizing what you describe. I currently use a Cradle Point CTR-500 (currently model is CBR-400 http://www.cradlepoint.com/products/...oadband-router) with a Verizon Aircard (UM150VW). From that I can connect any number of laptops via Wi-Fi. I have several portable USB Hard Drives that I use for back-ups (Plus a second internal 1TB drive in the laptop.) I use the Laptop's built-in Wi-Fi to access any outside system such as a campground's Internet Service.

To get a better idea of what you are asking, how does what I have differ from what you want?
__________________

RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,517
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

You lost me when you used "boondocking" and "T-mobile" in the same paragraph.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

Essentially, I'm combining the functionality of an Apple Time Capsule, plus some network services into a small Linux PC. The PC would have a wireless card that can use LTE or HSPA+, so if there is coverage, it can get on the Internet. I was using T-Mobile as an example, but Sprint (or perhaps a MVNO) might be usable as well. Mainly a network that won't hand me a huge bill should I run over the amount of bandwidth with a data plan.

A router is one important function. I'm adding to that by offering some transport services so that as much Web browsing stuff is cached locally as possible, as well as disk space for backups.
mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,517
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

Sprint too is an oxymoron with boondocking. Look at the coverage maps. Sprint and T-Mobile are primarily at this time only good for heavily populated areas. I've used Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile was a non-starter for RVing.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2013, 01:50 AM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

That is good info. I might see about a MVNO that uses one of their networks, just so I have a predictable bill each month. Right now, I use AT&T, and have been pretty happy with their service and coverage. Nothing is perfect, and for heavy Youtube watching, I go through 4-5 gigs like it is nothing.
mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,517
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

Coverage maps are difficult to use from each individual company and they tend to be optimistic. I had a Virgin Mifi card two years ago that used the Sprint network. That year I traveled extensive across the Southwest from as far west as Joshua Tree NP in California to Key West, Florida in two trips. The whole time I was able to get the Mifi card to work one time in a campground. I gave up on it. Then I got new iPhones and cellular enable iPads with both AT&T and Verizon options. Coverage was pretty good for both. You run into pockets and areas where one is better than the other. I think AT&T has made the greater strides in coverage the last two years.

LTE is primarily an urban feature at this time. AT&T's 4G reaches farther into the boonies than even Verizon's 3G and is much faster. It can almost compete with LTE and is about three times faster than the DSL I once had in my house. The last place I frequent with any regularity that didn't have AT&T coverage was my son's house in La Crosse, WI. Surprisingly just this past month they put in 4G there making me a happy camper. I'm grandfathered in on the unlimited AT&T cellular coverage on my iPhone but not on my Verizon iPad or my wife's AT&T iPhone.

When we travel we don't stream video much. We don't use the Internet nearly as much as we do at home and it is more of a utility finding things and keeping up on email. My forum participation drops dramatically. Twitter and Facebook go up.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,517
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

For advanced planning ahead I use an iPad app called Coverage? that compiles AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile coverages that can be looked at individually or overlapped, and you can look at the different levels of coverage (2G, 3G, 4G and LTE) of each company. It is a very useful quick compilation and the map is much easier to zoom in and navigate on than any of the companies individual maps. It is not 100% accurate because the developer's resources are the companies. They do updates fairly frequently but hadn't caught up to the La Crosse, WI example I mentioned.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 973
Default Re: Building a server for the "B"?

Thanks for the tip. The main reason for this server is extreme caching with a Squid proxy. That way, whatever pipe it is using, be it Wi-fi, 3G, 4G, LTE, or whatnot gets as little data going through as possible. It also would work as a landing zone for backups, where I copy data to a drive, then depending on Internet connection, said data gets mirrored to my server at home via rsync or Unison. That way, no matter what stuff I do while with the "B", either writing a chapter or two, or taking photos, the items are safely stored offsite.
__________________

mlts22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×