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DAC (Data Activation Center) cellular SIM Cards

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(@shawn-billings)
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I've been using a cellular connection between my base and rover for several years now. In most of my work areas, cellular service is good enough for corrections to be sent between base and rover. In the rare instances when I'm working an area with poor cellular coverage, I use my UHF radio.

Recently I needed to make a change to my cellular provider and went with DAC. I can say that I've had an excellent experience with them and would highly recommend them for SIM cards for this purpose. They can provide static IP service (which is required at the base, unless you are using an intermediate service such as Carlson's Listen Listen), as well as dynamic IP service. The cost is extremely reasonable ($450 for both cards per year). This means that for both cards, I'm paying less than I paid for my static IP card or my dynamic IP card before. 

I don't work for them or have any financial incentive with them, just a pleased customer. For those of you working with base rover and working primarily in areas with good cellular service, I would recommend considering a move from UHF and FHSS to cellular. 

 
Posted : January 24, 2023 1:22 pm
Chris R. Noah
(@chris-r-noah)
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I’ll second that.  They are good folks.  Good customer service when I’ve had to switch hardware, or manage to misplace a SIM card.  Trying to explain what a data collector was to ATT was always a challenge.  DAC understands what we are doing.

 
Posted : January 25, 2023 6:29 pm
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Adam
 Adam
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The NSPS Podcast recently did a podcast with DAC.

 

https://www.podbean.com/ep/pb-u7w4g-137157e

 
Posted : January 26, 2023 8:45 am

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John Putnam
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I'm intrigued.  I sounds like DAC uses various carriers.  Is it able to switch between them on the fly based on signal strength.  I work up and down the west coast and have sims for both AT&T and Verizon that I switch based on coverage quality.  I'm currently working on project where both say they have coverage but AT&T barely has signal but Verizon is 4 bars so I use the Verizon hotspot.  I just had to upgrade my Verizon plan & all I could get wa unlimited data for $90 a month (plus feet).

 
Posted : January 28, 2023 6:54 am
John Hamilton
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@john-putnam No, they give you a sim card specific to a carrier. Verizon is available both static and dynamic IP. AT&T is only available as dynamic. At least last time I checked, they said they were trying to get AT&T to give them static IP's but were not yet able to. 

 

So I have a verizon static IP from them, $20/month. And a couple of AT&T dynamic IP, same price I think. I pay by the year. 

To get an AT&T static IP I had to go with AT&T directly, $50/month. It did work just fine in Guyana (for $10/day) with the static IP, although I think the local carrier throttled me when local demand was high in the late afternoon. I was running RTK over cell there, and it worked well. I did not have to deal with the local carrier at all. 

 
Posted : January 28, 2023 7:33 am
John Putnam
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@john-hamilton 

I was hoping it hoped carriers.

I have a couple of AT&T itgold static lines.  Once I paid for the switch it costs $3 or $5 a month on top of the data plan which is a gig for $25.  The fact that my extra Verizon went from $40 to $90 is why the DAC looks good.  $20 sounds great for a backup though.

 
Posted : January 28, 2023 1:44 pm

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Nate The Surveyor
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Ok, can anyone point me to what data plan I need, and how much data, and etc.

I've never done this before. 

I've only used UHF.

I've got: Javad LS plus..

And Javad T3 on base. I bought it with something inside, so I could put a SIM card inside both the base and rover. I think.

Nate

 
Posted : January 28, 2023 7:40 pm
(@duane-frymire)
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@nate-the-surveyor Most are starting off with 1 GB.  Try for a few months and get a report of your usage, then you can adjust and go yearly for a bit of a discount.  Static for the base and add a line for the rover. I think they are able to do ATT static now as well.

Even if you don't use cell corrections much you should get a plan.  Every time I talk with them it just sort of makes my day.  Not often you run across a group so pleasing and competent to work with; have made my life so much easier. It's worth the fee just to say hello once in awhile:)

 
Posted : January 29, 2023 7:19 am
Shawn Billings, Adam, Nate The Surveyor and 1 people reacted
(@shawn-billings)
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@nate-the-surveyor I'm using the shared 1 gigabyte plan. For the annual rate, I paid $280 for the static card + $170 for the dynamic card, and a one time $20 activation set up, for a one time total of $470, but from there on it'll be $450 for both cards. The static card goes in the base and the dynamic card goes in the rover. They know the Javad receivers so they can walk you through it pretty well. Like Duane said, they're very pleasant to talk to. Just a note, I had to reinstall the cellular firmware in the base for it to work with the new card. Otherwise it's been entirely trouble free and cellular base rover communications (when the service is available) is far superior to UHF.

 
Posted : January 30, 2023 7:17 am

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(@shawn-billings)
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@nate-the-surveyor I just looked at my usage for January. It looks like I'm using less than 15 MB per day, usually about 6 MB per day for the type of work and length of work day that I've been having. Even at the highest 15MB per day, that would be about 300MB per month. That was only doing corrections, not using it for DPOS. Having seen my usage, I think I've got plenty of room for DPOS over cellular when necessary (which isn't often for me). I probably wouldn't use it for software updates unless they were small or I was in a real bind.

 
Posted : February 2, 2023 6:45 am
(@shawn-billings)
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I should note, that I'm using a 2 second broadcast rate. I haven't seen any apparent loss of performance and it cuts my data usage in half.

 
Posted : February 2, 2023 6:47 am
Adam
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Posted by: @shawn-billings

@nate-the-surveyor I just looked at my usage for January. It looks like I'm using less than 15 MB per day, usually about 6 MB per day for the type of work and length of work day that I've been having. Even at the highest 15MB per day, that would be about 300MB per month. That was only doing corrections, not using it for DPOS. Having seen my usage, I think I've got plenty of room for DPOS over cellular when necessary (which isn't often for me). I probably wouldn't use it for software updates unless they were small or I was in a real bind.

Remote Assistance will burn through the data very quickly. Be sure to turn it off when not in use. 

 

 
Posted : February 2, 2023 7:06 am

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(@shawn-billings)
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@adam I've seen a few occasions when RAMS would turn on automatically too, so not a bad idea to check it. I think it only actually pulls data when someone is connected to it though, so it might not be a big deal for data use.

 
Posted : February 2, 2023 8:29 am