Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Redwood'ng with Alexa

Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 2 days ago #1

I've been doing some researching about the Amazon Alexa features specifically how it maybe useful for my aging parents. As a bonus I've come across some new (to me) features that I will start to take advantage of.

I've been using my Amazon (gen 1) Echo for some time and find it very useful, but as things get added I'm always finding some new skills that enhance the usefulness of the device.

Putting aside for the moment the discussion regarding privacy and bandwidth utilization, I'm curious if anyone has come across Alexa skills that maybe useful for our travels.

What I found new to me and interesting are:

  • Check Traffic
  • Search Nearby Places

  • I'm curious if anyone else uses a Digital PA while traveling in their Redwood, or otherwise for that matter. You don't need to tell me if you think I'm just going off the rails here, that's a given in my world?

    TIA and Safe travels..

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Ken & Gizzi
    Ford 2015 F350 DRW
    --
    "My Redwood; Go anywhere and always be at home."
    "The trouble with trouble is it starts as fun"

    "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" - Wayne Gretzky

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 2 days ago #2

    Hi Ken! We are heavily invested in the Amazon infrastructure both in our home and in the Redwood. We have several Alexa enabled devices in the trailer starting with an Amazon Show in the living room, an Echo in the bedroom, and a Tap that we take on bike rides and use outside. Every TV is also Alexa enabled through either an Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick. I can't imagine not using it daily and it starts early. Here are just a few of the ways I use it.

    Alexa, set an alarm for weekdays at 8:00 am and weekends at 9:00 am
    Alexa remind me to put the Satellite dish down tomorrow morning at 8:00
    Alex how far is it from London Ontario to Corbin KY
    Alexa call Marty McFly (Uses data connection for free LD calling)
    Alexa drop in on Laney at home (video calling from Alexa show or voice from everything else)
    Alexa play Christmas Music everywhere (plays amazon prime christmas music on all Alexa enbaled devices)
    Alexa set timer for 5 minutes ( used for everything from eggs to black water flush)
    Alexa what the phone number for KOA campground in Corbin KY
    Alexa show me the outside cameras at home (shows the house security cameras using Arlo)
    Alexa whats on my Calendar for today (i'm old and I forget a lot)

    Those are just the most common for me. At home its literally used from the time we wake up with gentle lights and music to wake up until we go to bed when it locks the doors and makes sure the garage is down before turning in the alarm. Yes I am a nerd.

    Cheers,
    John

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 2 days ago #3

    boatguy wrote: Hi Ken! We are heavily invested in the Amazon infrastructure both in our home and in the Redwood. We have several Alexa enabled devices in the trailer starting with an Amazon Show in the living room, an Echo in the bedroom, and a Tap that we take on bike rides and use outside. Every TV is also Alexa enabled through either an Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick. I can't imagine not using it daily and it starts early. Here are just a few of the ways I use it.

    Alexa, set an alarm for weekdays at 8:00 am and weekends at 9:00 am
    Alexa remind me to put the Satellite dish down tomorrow morning at 8:00
    Alex how far is it from London Ontario to Corbin KY
    Alexa call Marty McFly (Uses data connection for free LD calling)
    Alexa drop in on Laney at home (video calling from Alexa show or voice from everything else)
    Alexa play Christmas Music everywhere (plays amazon prime christmas music on all Alexa enbaled devices)
    Alexa set timer for 5 minutes ( used for everything from eggs to black water flush)
    Alexa what the phone number for KOA campground in Corbin KY
    Alexa show me the outside cameras at home (shows the house security cameras using Arlo)
    Alexa whats on my Calendar for today (i'm old and I forget a lot)

    Those are just the most common for me. At home its literally used from the time we wake up with gentle lights and music to wake up until we go to bed when it locks the doors and makes sure the garage is down before turning in the alarm. Yes I am a nerd.

    Cheers,
    John


    John ,

    I would do almost ANYTHING to have an alarm wake me up at 8am on weekdays, and 9am on weekends ! ! !B)

    what a life !

    ps, You do understand I am joking, right ! ! ! :)

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 1 day ago #4

    Haha. Your day will come Joe. It’s actually only so I can get up and make coffee for my wife.

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 1 day ago #5

    Hey John,

    Those are some great use cases. I really like the idea of a Dot for the truck when we are pulling.

    Cheers

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Ken & Gizzi
    Ford 2015 F350 DRW
    --
    "My Redwood; Go anywhere and always be at home."
    "The trouble with trouble is it starts as fun"

    "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" - Wayne Gretzky

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 1 day ago #6

    boatguy wrote: Haha. Your day will come Joe. It’s actually only so I can get up and make coffee for my wife.


    Man John , , a Happy Wife = A Happy Life ! ! ! Good Job Buddy

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 1 week 1 day ago #7

    Ken, you absolutely right. I can't tell you how many times I have called for Alexa in the car, only to settle for Siri. Infiniti and some other higher end companies are offering Alexa enabled vehicles. In the meantime there is Muse. Its the first automotive specific Alexa enabled tool. Much easier than the dot. Full disclosure this link is a referral link because its the easiest way to post it. I have 2 on order.

    igg.me/at/museauto/x/5764305

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 6 days 18 hours ago #8

    Thanks for the full disclosure. Now if I can only get a tow vehicle with auto-pilot :)!

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Ken & Gizzi
    Ford 2015 F350 DRW
    --
    "My Redwood; Go anywhere and always be at home."
    "The trouble with trouble is it starts as fun"

    "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" - Wayne Gretzky

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 6 days 6 hours ago #9

    • mhs4771
    • mhs4771's Avatar
    • NOW OFFLINE
    • Posts: 236
    • Thank You(s): 33
    • Karma: 0

    • Redwood/2016/39MB
    Ken, that's closer than you might think. They are already testing Driverless Semi's and GM hopes to have a Driverless car on the market in a few years.

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Michelle & Ann
    2011 Chevy 3500HD Ext Cab DRW, D/A, 2016 RW39MB, Dual ACs, Auto Level, Auto Sat Dish, Stack W/D, King Sleep #, 17.5" GY114s w/Disc, 5.5 Onan, Mor/ryde Pin & IS, Comfort Ride Hitch, Res Fridge & Induction Cook Top

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 6 days 4 hours ago #10

    • Paul Bridges
    • Paul Bridges's Avatar
    • NOW OFFLINE
    • Posts: 122
    • Thank You(s): 34
    • Karma: 3

    • “Paul
    • Redwood/2015/38RL
    WOW do I feel behind the times.
    Question for John: Can you explain how your network is set up and what do you use for internet? So far we have not found an inexpensive alternative to Verizon MiFi which limits our speed after 10gb.

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Paul & Tracy Bridges
    2015 Redwood 38RL
    2016 Ford F-350 KR CC LB DRW 6.7L PSD
    1924 Ford Model T
    1958 Rainbow TT by Edwards ( 1958rainbow.blogspot.com )

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 4 days 19 hours ago #11

    I know, I saw the Budweiser Driverless Delivery announcement.

    Exciting Times we live in!

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Ken & Gizzi
    Ford 2015 F350 DRW
    --
    "My Redwood; Go anywhere and always be at home."
    "The trouble with trouble is it starts as fun"

    "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been" - Wayne Gretzky

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 4 days 17 hours ago #12

    Hi Paul. Hope to see you next week! If not the week after at TT Orlando.

    I'm a giant nerd so I have been planning the tech for the trailer before it even arrived. I have been through some really great solutions for networks and internet. I had a Report Halo solution which was good, but I recently switched to the WifiRanger and its a lot simpler and more powerful. The WifiRanger Elite AC comes with to parts, an outdoor range extender (it a lot more than just that) and an indoor router. The outdoor unit is powered by a single cat5 ethernet cable which goes through the roof and connects to the indoor router in the bedroom cabinet. The top shelf of that cabinet is network and entertainment central. It has the router, the mifi, a peplink celluar router, a small 4TB server running from a Nvidia Shield that also serves as the streaming device for the adjacent bedroom tv.

    The indoor WififRanger router is called Redwood and everything in the trailer connects to it by wifi. By everything I mean all the Alexa devices, our cell ohones, the Amazon FireTV, the TV in the living room which is wifi enabled (thanks Redwood) and even the Furbo a device that lets me watch the dog when we are away and shoot treats at her from my cell phone. That tiny server on the Nvidia Shield is connected and has over 3000 movies and 100 complete television series on it that can be played from any of the connected devices regardless of whether we have internet or not. I keep the power output of that indoor unit low so it doesn't collide with other networks after all its only 390sq ft.

    Connecting to the internet is simple because everything inside the trailer is always and automatically connected to the Redwood network supplied by that indoor half of the WifiRanger. So far I could have done this with any of the shelf router for $50. But here is the difference, that router has a second purpose. It connects to the internet a number of different ways and does it automatically and in some cases simultaneously. You set up the pecking order for finding a connection and what methods to prioritize.

    First it connects to that outdoor extender I mentioned earlier. That unit uses a full 1000mw or 1 watt of power to connect to local wifi hotspots. It will auto connect to open public hotspots or you can choose to connect to private networks if you have the key. It seems reliable to connect to access points within 1/2 mile line of site. I have gone much further but generally I choose the closest. Next it will connect to the network through the MiFi which is tethered to router by a usb cable. Lastly in my case it connects to Peplink Cellular router which houses my Canadian Rogers data sim that get 30GB a month high speed.

    If I haven't lost you from boredom yet, here is the really neat part. In may case it connects to all of these options at once and load balances automatically. So what that means is if I am in a campground and the wifi is not great, my MifI will help and share the load. Add to that my Rogers cellular connection and I have 3 combined channels to the internet giving me great bandwidth and explosive speed but preserving my limits.

    Let's talk about the Mifi alone for a minute. I am Canadian so we don't have such a things a unlimited data and using your Canadian cell and data will cost 5$ a day surcharge in US. so I found a great and so far very viable solution. I purchased an unlocked AT&T MiFi Liberate on eBay for about $50. I then picked up an AT&T sim card from Walmart for 5$. Then I went to buyasession.att.com/sbd/Common/ShopRatePlans from my LG tablet with the new AT&T sim card in it. For a tablet plan it was 35$ a month Pay as You Go. No credit check, no need to be a US citizen and all that stuff. It give you Unlimited data for 30 days 22GB and then ***may be** prioritized. So far we have never seen a slow down. Prioritization seems to happen in congested areas and during morning and evening drive times. One month we used 140 GB and our speeds were 12mb/sec average. Once activated, I removed the sim and put it in the MiFi. Still no throttling or limits. Its been awesome.

    When we are travelling, we pop that same time into the tablet and my wife watches Netflix while I drive. keep in mind its a tablet account so that means you can't put it in a phone an make calls or text.

    If your interested sometime I will tell you what I did with Sat, cable and how I broadcast hi def tv through the entire rig on existing cable with only one receiver.

    Being Canadian in a US world make one rather inventive.

    Cheers
    The following user(s) said Thank You: Iceman1777

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 4 days 16 hours ago #13

    • Paul Bridges
    • Paul Bridges's Avatar
    • NOW OFFLINE
    • Posts: 122
    • Thank You(s): 34
    • Karma: 3

    • “Paul
    • Redwood/2015/38RL
    John, I am super impressed with your set up. I look forward to visiting with you first hand. It looks like you could probably teach us all some things about having a relatively seamless internet operation. That's probably been our biggest frustration (and it's not a BIG frustration) being full-time. Sometimes it becomes a challenge to enjoy some conveniences because of limited internet capability.
    The following user(s) said Thank You: Kalispellcary

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    Paul & Tracy Bridges
    2015 Redwood 38RL
    2016 Ford F-350 KR CC LB DRW 6.7L PSD
    1924 Ford Model T
    1958 Rainbow TT by Edwards ( 1958rainbow.blogspot.com )

    Redwood'ng with Alexa 4 days 4 hours ago #14

    • almcc
    • almcc's Avatar
    • NOW OFFLINE
    • Posts: 475
    • Thank You(s): 114
    • Karma: 5
    As a fellow Canuk, I second John's positive experience with AT&T. We have a portable AT&T hotspot and I put an AT&T SIM card in our smart phone, it has a bit more data and phone service for less monthly cost, the phone works well as a hotspot to connect the rest of my stuff to the internet. I will probably stop using the portable hotspot over time.

    One thing that I found is that you lose your phone number if you are inactive for 60 days, but putting in $2 will keep it active for another 60 days.

    John, the other thing that I'm going to try is apparently you can use the service back in Canada (with some time restrictions), I'll see how that works when I get back. Take that, Canadian provider bandits!

    Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

    • Page:
    • 1
    Time to create page: 0.521 seconds

     


    Redwood Owners Group, Inc. * 5753 Hwy 85 North #3057 * Crestview, FL 32536 

    Working together to

    share knowledge and fellowship!

    ROGLogoClean

     

     

    Terms of service

    Redwood Owners Group, Inc. is the quintessential Redwood Owners Group providing a website and events for the discussion of technical, practical, and entertaining issues relating to all Redwood Residential Vehicles. These include the Redwood, Sequoia, Cypress and Blackwood lines of residential vehicles.  The Redwood Owners Group provides through rallies, meetups and social networking many ways to meet and connect with other Redwood RV owners.

    Redwood Owners Group, Inc. is not affiliated with Redwood or CrossRoads Recreational Vehicles, its subsidiaries, or affiliates. 

    Join the ROG!

    Basic membership is Free!