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Niel

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#19745 28-Feb-2008 20:02
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My wife travels often and usually has WiFi access but not phone access.  Now I know it should be technically possible (and not too hard) to plug a PAP2T into a laptop Ethernet port and then use the laptop as a bridge to a WiFi access point.  My question is, is there anyone who has experience with this that can comment on things like how well QoS is handled and if they have any problems with doing it under Windows XP?  Thanks.




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grant_k
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  #113634 28-Feb-2008 20:56
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In order to do this, you would need 2 things Niel:

1)  Enable Internet Connection Sharing on your wife's laptop
2)  A Cross-Over network cable

Then if you hook up the PAP2T to the Ethernet port, it should be able to get assigned an IP address via the DHCP server provided by ICS, and Bob's your uncle, it should register with WxC's VFX server.

I have had this setup working OK with a Telecom Mobile Broadband card plugged into my laptop, and the PAP2T plugged in via Ethernet as described above.

However, this is messy for your wife to manage while on the road, because the PAP2T will need a power source, and there's the network cable to plug in, then a phone to be plugged in to the PAP2T etc, etc.

Too much fiddling about IMO and I know that my wife would not be impressed by such an idea Embarassed

Maybe your wife is more technically minded than mine (wouldn't be hard Tongue out ) and thus would cope with the idea, but I still think it's not really a terribly practical idea.  I find that Skype works just fine and with the cost at around 3c to call any landline in the country, why would you bother using anything else?  Sure, incoming calls are a bit of a pain with Skype unless you use forwarding to a mobile, which gets expensive, but no doubt your wife carries a mobile, and people can always call her on that, in which case they pay for the call, or if it's going to be a lengthy discussion, she can fire up her laptop and call them back using Skype.

That's my suggestion for you anyway; I don't know whether you will like it or not Undecided

P.S.  You asked about QoS with this type of setup.  Whether you use a PAP2T or Skype, there isn't any QoS.  So you have to pause all downloads/uploads while talking on the phone.  Refreshing the odd web page is OK -- you will just get a momentary disruption to the audio -- but make sure no e-mail attachments are being sent or received while using the phone.

Niel

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  #113651 28-Feb-2008 21:52
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Thanks Grant, my wife is a mechanical engineer and a sci-fi fanatic.  She provides technical support and training for SolidWorks customers, and in South Africa she taught herself ProEngineer and became one of the top support staff there without any training in ProE.  So I think she should be able to cope.  With me being an electronic engineer, hooking it up in a tidy fashion would also go smooth.

It is more for phoning from a motel room rather than when mobile, so power is not a problem.  If we go down that path, then I could sort something out to use the PC as a phone via the modem port.  Imagine that, connecting the laptop modem port to the PAP2T phone port, then the PAP2T to the laptop Ethernet port, then the laptop to WiFi.  I can take it one step further and let her use a Bluetooth headset to connect to the laptop!

In XP under network properties there is something about QoS.  I have never looked into it, but hoped someone had and could confirm it can (or can not) be used to ensure a good quality call.  Hardware and embedded software is my thing, but I was never interested in PC software and protocols and stuff.

Skype is simpler, but they used to use it for work and now use Skype only for messaging due to quality issues.  Perhaps I should go with Skype, as my brother in South Africa is also pestering me to phone him on Skype.  I will have to get a microphone first...

Anyway, thanks for the feedback.  My brain always spins with ideas and looking at possibilities.  Today the PAP2T might be bulky, but tomorrow there might be a smaller version.  Or the insides of the PAP2T might actually be small and just packaged in a large box which I can repackage.

Another 8 days to go before she is back from AU, another 8 days to come up with crazy ideas.




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phil109
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  #113655 28-Feb-2008 22:09
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Try gizmocall. It uses a plugin for your web browser. No need for an ata and if the laptop has a mic and sound you are good. Or get a USB headset.

I used it while moving countries and staying in serviced apartments where only wifi was available. I was surprised at how easy it was. I signed up with $10 and still have $7 left after calling both NZ and AU landlines for two weeks.

Only problem is it seems to not handle some 0800 / 131 numbers, but you can usually find the international landline equivalent from the company's website.



grant_k
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  #113660 28-Feb-2008 22:24
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Niel: In XP under network properties there is something about QoS.  I have never looked into it, but hoped someone had and could confirm it can (or can not) be used to ensure a good quality call.

Yes, it is present on both my XP computers as well, but has no properties, only the option to Install/Uninstall.  I can tell you for sure that it doesn't ensure any kind of QoS for Skype at all.  And if you plug in a PAP2T via Ethernet, XP's QoS won't help you there either, because the packets are coming from an external device and don't seem to be tagged in any way for the QoS to do its work.

Niel: Skype is simpler, but they used to use it for work and now use Skype only for messaging due to quality issues.  Perhaps I should go with Skype, as my brother in South Africa is also pestering me to phone him on Skype.  I will have to get a microphone first...

I have experimented with various audio devices for Skype.  With my desktop PC I use cordless headphones which have a mic. built-in.  It is very convenient and I can talk anywhere within about 50 metres from my PC.

With my laptop, first I tried the built-in speakers and mic. but the person at the other end gets pieces of their own voice coming back more than half a second later, and it is very distracting.  Then I tried a USB handset, and that wasn't too bad.  But it if isn't plugged in when Skype starts, it doesn't remember the setting to use the USB handset instead of the built-in speakers and mic. so every time you plug in the handset, you have to change the settings in Skype... Yell Aaarrrgghh, too much hassle really.

So, what I use now is just a simple headset with those very small "bud" type earpieces (like an iPod).  And I use the mic. built in to my laptop.  I works perfectly, and if someone calls, I say "Please wait a minute while I plug in my headset", then reach for my laptop bag, pull it out and away we go.  It only takes 5 to 10 seconds, and I'm ready to talk.  No settings in Skype need to be changed, and the audio quality is good at both ends.

Niel: ...Today the PAP2T might be bulky, but tomorrow there might be a smaller version.  Or the insides of the PAP2T might actually be small and just packaged in a large box which I can repackage.

Actually, it's pretty small.  Around the size of a pack of playing cards, but square rather than rectangular.  So no complaints on that score.  It's just another box that you need to plug 3 things into, but as you say, in a motel room it would be OK, so long as they have WiFi rather than a wired Ethernet socket in the room.  Otherwise your wife would need to carry a network switch with its own power adaptor... and so it goes on.

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