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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Working on a Satellite Connection

High-speed Internet is a necessary tool for most transcriptionists. (As a side note, if you are currently working from home using dial-up Internet, we’d love to hear from you and how you make it work.) When my husband and I moved from the city to our current home in the “boonies,” we were forced to get satellite Internet because there are no other high-speed options available at our new home. Working on satellite as opposed to cable or DSL has been quite the adjustment and one that I whine about frequently because of the additional challenges associated with it.

Here’s a short list of things to be aware of if you’re currently on satellite and just getting started as a transcriptionist or if you’ll be switching to satellite at some point in the near future:

□ Because the reliability of satellite often depends on the weather, I’ve found that it’s important to download all files as soon as a I receive them rather than waiting until a more convenient time. This prevents me from having a panic attack when I need to get started and can’t access my file due to a storm rolling in!

□ The download speed of my connection varies widely from morning to night, and they often take much longer in the evening. I’m assuming this is because of the additional satellite traffic in the evenings.

□ Internet research takes longer than it used to, and I have to allow more time as I’m scheduling my day, especially for files which require a lot of research.

□ I mostly only lose Internet when my satellite dish accumulates standing water on the LMB receiver. We’ve found that we can wipe it with a dry cloth and usually get a connection for long enough to send and receive e-mails, even in the midst of a rain- or snowstorm. I’m sure you can imagine how much my husband enjoys taking care of this for me!

□ Additionally, (and I offer this tip with the caveat that if you try this, it is at your own risk, and neither I nor TranscriptionTalk.com can accept any responsibility for any problems it causes) we’ve found that putting a small amount of baby oil on a dry cloth and wiping the receiver with it makes the water bead and run off, making us less likely to lose our connection.
While it would never be my first choice, working on satellite Internet is definitely possible as long as you plan accordingly.


3 Comments:

margi said...

I have a very similar situation in that we moved away from The Big City to a much smaller town and although I still have DSL available to me I thought I'd pass along that a technician told me once that spraying "Pam" on the dish will help keep snow and rain from interfering with your signal.

We never had the guts to try it, but I'm wondering if it really works.

I'm so happy to find your site. Rock on Transcription Talk.

Transcription Talk said...

Ooh, that's a good idea! Tara had also mentioned trying RainX.

jefferykittenb said...

I too live in the "boonies" and am 'stuck' with satellite service. I use "Pam" all winter long to keep the snow from sticking to our dish. My hubby just LOVES his new winter time chore.... lol....... To let everyone know just how much snow we get, we live in Western NY, in the southern-tier, snow belt country. It snows A LOT! Thank you so much for this site! You guys ROCK!!!