Cell towers. Anybody heard....

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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby trilobyte » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:41 am

Merging these two threads, asking the same question from the same OP *facepalm*
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:52 am

TAZ = Temporary Autonomous Zone.

So ironic.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Rice » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:10 pm

If you really need phone service, get a SAT Phone. They can be rented by the week.

Otherwise, you may or may not have coverage. Existing cellular system seems to get overrun by opening night...
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Sail Man » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:14 pm

If you can't afford or stand to go off the grid for a while, then you can't afford to go to TTITD.

That's why they have Disney World.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Rice » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:37 pm

Sail Man wrote:If you can't afford or stand to go off the grid for a while, then you can't afford to go to TTITD.

That's why they have Disney World.

Some people have legitimate reasons for needing cellular coverage. (sick relative, etc).

Who is to say "Your doing it wrong"... ??
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby portaplaya » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:44 pm

Sail Man wrote: ...then you can't afford to go to TTITD...


Poor choice of words, perhaps. Clearly there are people that can "afford" quite a bit. Endless money is certainly a solution to many of the problems with going to Burning Man.

But I'm with Stretch. This comment seems like a fail in Radical Inclusion.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby shroom » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:24 pm

Seriously a week without my cell phone was the best gift from the burn!
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; Isaiah 43:2
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby CaffeineGirl » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:49 pm

Three of us camped on the playa one night last week, and judging by how empty it was pretty safe to say I had the only smartphone on the Black Rock Desert. With AT&T, I got occasional bars, could sometimes send and receive texts and emails, and could not send photo attachments. Last year, my phone worked intermitently during pre-opening weekend, and sometimes right around dawn during the week. It did save out camps bacon by letting us communicate between some campmates who had a broken down vehicle, and another who had room to spare in a rental truck.

If anyone really needs a phone, as noted elsewhere, get a SAT phone.

Now where is the grave for that poor horsey?
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby laffingblonde » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:59 pm

leave your technology at home. you'll thank me later
believe it or not every burner from new york doesn't reside in the chity. there's all this green space up north you may've heard about

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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby lemur » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:47 pm

yeah.. stop enjoying the elaborate work done with complex microcomputer driven light displays and amazingly awesome modern electronics in the high tech art, in the mutant vehicles and in tons of camps and infrastructure.. technology sucks!!! LEAVE IT AT HOME.

pfft.




burning man would be totally shit.. and probably wouldnt happen, if we went luddite.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby portaplaya » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:25 pm

laffingblonde wrote:leave your technology at home. you'll thank me later


I applaud this advice for being at the event. I condemn this advice for people that are driving overloaded, overtaxed vehicles to and from the playa. And really any vehicles.


How about "leave your technology in your car"?
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby pink » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:15 am

Last year, after I had left for the burn, my dog got an infection and I found out the Sunday night before opening that she had to be taken to the vet the next day (I was able to pick up texts & email before the gates opened). My roommate had no money or credit card. Needless to say Monday morning I couldn't even pick up wifi in the cafe while trying to email my cc info to the vet. I even went up Mal-Mart's tower trying to pick up a signal. Luckily my roomie found a friend willing to front the vet bill. and for the prior two years I was able to pick up wifi in the cafe.

Moral of the story: don't count on cell, or wifi.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:36 am

And arrange with the vet before hand to have your creditcard info in case of emergencies.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Lonesomebri » Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:48 am

After the shrooms kick in you will realize, as you look around at others, that we are all just cell towers.


.....stardust atoms trying to make that important call.....
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Nipple » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:00 am

pink wrote:I even went up Mal-Mart's tower trying to pick up a signal.


I think they were the other tower coordinated with Papa Legba/OpenBTS. Those guys were operating their own contained system on GSM in the 1800Mhz band. Your phones are likely not even looking in that frequency range since we don't use that for PCS in the states. Papa Legba received a temp license from the FCC for their test bed activities last year.

They had a bunch of China Mobile sims and phones that they were giving out last year for use on their contained system.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby laffingblonde » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:36 pm

stretch80 wrote:Some people have legitimate reasons for needing cellular coverage. (sick relative, etc).

Who is to say "Your doing it wrong"... ??


http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... ntact.html

Leave this with a loved one with your address at the event even if bringing your phone to the playa. Service is no guarantee. A back up plan involving humans has as good a chance as technology out there.

But seriously, leave your phone off. Texting is a plague upon social society.
believe it or not every burner from new york doesn't reside in the chity. there's all this green space up north you may've heard about

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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:55 pm

will my Neural Implant work on the Playa?


it's ATT...
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby pink » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:43 am

This year I have a roomie with cell, car, and other things necessary if one of my 'kids' needs emergency medical. Last year was the first time anything like this came up.

Having a signal on Saturday pre-opening was nice since we were able to text to the Monday arrivals a few things we forgot or needed more of (like coffee-somehow we went through half our rations during set up!). But was nothing we couldn't do without if we didn't have that opportunity!
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Nipple » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:43 pm

We all have things that bug us.

I hate when people chew with their mouths open. If you could all stop that, that would be rad.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Rice » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:52 pm

Nipple wrote:We all have things that bug us.

I hate when people chew with their mouths open. If you could all stop that, that would be rad.

I hate it when people complain about how I eat... ;)
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Nipple » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:57 pm

stretch80 wrote:
Nipple wrote:We all have things that bug us.

I hate when people chew with their mouths open. If you could all stop that, that would be rad.

I hate it when people complain about how I eat... ;)


Look, I eat with people all year long. When I get to the playa, everyone should eat exactly as I pictured in my head.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Rice » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:03 pm

Nipple wrote:
stretch80 wrote:
Nipple wrote:We all have things that bug us.

I hate when people chew with their mouths open. If you could all stop that, that would be rad.

I hate it when people complain about how I eat... ;)


Look, I eat with people all year long. When I get to the playa, everyone should eat exactly as I pictured in my head.

I respect that! When it comes down to it, I really don't want to see what is in anyone's mouth while they are eating either. (bleh, gag)

Sure would be nice if the universe conformed to my twisted desires...
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Lowz » Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:10 am

We need a facebook and tweeter camp to fund a network .. i'm gonna ask my contact at Krug Champagne if he knows someone.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby CdC » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:09 am

I'd like to get some *information* on the cell and cell-based email/web connectivity on the playa, the topic of this thread, from anyone who actually knows or has experience using it this year/last year.
If there is an expert out there, it'd be great if you'd contact me.
I realize that the connectivity isn't great, and I'm trying to get a sense of what it *can* do -- can you sometimes get an email out or click a weblink during the burn if you make a few tries, especially from the area around the gate?
I actually need this information for a project that I'm prototyping for the community for this year.
Thanks very much for the post from the person who was just there and reported back what there experience was -- very helpful.
Thanks to others who would like to share their knowledge.
I find the spirit of much of this thread so far pretty, well, sad. Given the spirit of Burning Man, radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, is it really so important to send flaming or sarcastic emails telling other people how smart/superiorly burner you are and what you think that they should be doing, or not doing, on the playa? Do you want somebody telling you what to do on the playa, and what you can't do? Is the point of Burning Man to get away from cell phones, which you can simply turn off, or to get away from that kind of thinking?
If you're about to reply to this message in the spirit of many of the earlier messages in this thread, perhaps ask yourself what energy you want to put out, and I want to receive, going into the burn...

Thanks very much for your help
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby BBadger » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:14 am

Just wait until the OTHER thread a few threads below this one also gets merged into this thread for your answers.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Just_Joe » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:32 am

CdC wrote:If you're about to reply to this message in the spirit of many of the earlier messages in this thread, perhaps ask yourself what energy you want to put out, and I want to receive, going into the burn...

Thanks very much for your help

August 9-12.
~3 miles due north of BRC we were able to place a call and access the interwebs *very* slowly.
A fellow camper who needed to be in contact with work pretty regularly, found a sweet spot next to his trailer and was able to make and receive calls at will.

In past years, getting calls out from BRC was spotty pre-open and impossible during the event.
If we left our phone on, texts would come through in bursts three or four times during the event.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:52 am

Welcome to eplaya cdc. Do you understand radio or network technology? Probability?

Public wireless service is based on a base station sector model. Usual design is 120 degrees horizontal from the base station mast. That 120 degree swath which would cover the BM footprint is usually designed for under 300 users per sector, much much less for data. Then all the traffic from a temporary generator-powered base station has to be back hauled by microwave shot that could go off target in high winds. There are different bands for voice and data and different phones just pick up some. I would not count on wireless data at all.

Same but different problem for WiFi. WiFi operates in 2 busy bands. Access points with roughly a 75 foot radius can interfere with one another and are designed for well under 50 users per point. I'm not aware of a public access point at the gate. Most of the WiFi access points at BM are backhauled by wireless shots within BRC subject to interference. Then they are prioritized against voice and data communications by medical and infrastructure needs of ticketing and stuff that makes Burning Man run. After they are shot by microwave, subject to degradation by weather, to a nearby town to pick up some fiber.

There is zero probability of reliable cell or WiFi Internet for participants at BM. If you get it here and there, time to time, consider it a gift.

Many very experienced burners here are trying to say the same thing. Believe! (or bring your own satellite system) Same problem for handheld FRS radios.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby Nipple » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:35 am

CdC wrote:I realize that the connectivity isn't great, and I'm trying to get a sense of what it *can* do -- can you sometimes get an email out or click a weblink during the burn if you make a few tries, especially from the area around the gate?
I actually need this information for a project that I'm prototyping for the community for this year.


If your project relies on internet access/voice network, I would suggest you bring your own with you.

Sat internet is available. I haven't tinkered with it for a while, but it is expensive, slow (in comparison) and laggy. If there is existing internet services out there, they are either in use by people who are trying to accomplish something, or a gift.

Worst case, you're interfering with someone's work, best case you're misappropriating someone's gift for your project.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby dragonpilot » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:58 pm

I forgot to leave instructions for feeding my gerbil. I rode my bike over to the LEO enclave and asked to use their cell phone/commo set up to call my neighbor. They were more than happy to help me.
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Re: Cell towers. Anybody heard....

Postby chica63 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:50 am

oscillator wrote:Hang up and Burn!


This needs to be a bumper sticker.
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