11 replaced http://travel.stackexchange.com/ with https://travel.stackexchange.com/
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Sometimes I am able to save on international roaming costs by getting a SIM Cardsave on international roaming costs by getting a SIM Card from a mobile network operator at my destination. In this case, I travel with a second handset and keep my home network's SIM Card in it. Its sole purpose is for me to see who is calling and SMSing my home mobile number. Without a second handset, I have no record of missed calls, and I would need to swap my home network's SIM Card back into my handset in order to get SMS messages for that number.

Sometimes I am able to save on international roaming costs by getting a SIM Card from a mobile network operator at my destination. In this case, I travel with a second handset and keep my home network's SIM Card in it. Its sole purpose is for me to see who is calling and SMSing my home mobile number. Without a second handset, I have no record of missed calls, and I would need to swap my home network's SIM Card back into my handset in order to get SMS messages for that number.

Sometimes I am able to save on international roaming costs by getting a SIM Card from a mobile network operator at my destination. In this case, I travel with a second handset and keep my home network's SIM Card in it. Its sole purpose is for me to see who is calling and SMSing my home mobile number. Without a second handset, I have no record of missed calls, and I would need to swap my home network's SIM Card back into my handset in order to get SMS messages for that number.

10 added notes about antenna ground plane
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Despite that these boosters are designed to be used in a car, they can be used in buildings as well. The antennas are designed with magnetic bases to mount to the exterior of a car. This arrangement provides both a physical mount and a ground-plane for the antenna. Sitting at a desk with marginal cellular coverage, I often power the booster over USB from my laptop and use it to boost my phone for voice calls and internet. In that case, I have found that I can usually find a metal baking sheet or roasting pan to use as a ground-plane and mounting surface.

Despite that these boosters are designed to be used in a car, they can be used in buildings as well. Sitting at a desk with marginal cellular coverage, I often power the booster over USB from my laptop and use it to boost my phone for voice calls and internet.

Despite that these boosters are designed to be used in a car, they can be used in buildings as well. The antennas are designed with magnetic bases to mount to the exterior of a car. This arrangement provides both a physical mount and a ground-plane for the antenna. Sitting at a desk with marginal cellular coverage, I often power the booster over USB from my laptop and use it to boost my phone for voice calls and internet. In that case, I have found that I can usually find a metal baking sheet or roasting pan to use as a ground-plane and mounting surface.

9 Updated with USB Battery Pack addition
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  • laptop
  • smartphone
  • feature phone
  • tablet
  • cellular-based personal hotspot
  • cellular signal booster
  • USB Battery Pack
  • short USB patch cable to match devices
  • wireless access point
  • SIM card adapters
  • SIM card trimming template
  • kitchen shears
  • ultra-fine point sharpie
  • nail file
  • 2 phone cables and a splitter
  • 2 ethernet cables

USB Battery Pack

I recently added a USB battery pack to my kit. This allowed me to reduce the number of USB power adapters I carry to two: One AC, and one car adapter.

There are two main reasons why a battery pack works better than straight adapters.

  1. Longer periods between shorepower - My battery pack affords me about four full charges of an iPhone on a single charge. For my kit, this means I only need "shorepower" once every 72 hours. With adapters-only, I need shorepower as soon as my first device dies (which is generally less than 10 hours, less than 4 under heavy use).

  2. More work area mobility at your accomodations - A typical cycle involves arriving at accommodations and simultaneously using and charging devices. If you are strictly using adapters to charge, you are tethered to an AC outlet that is invariably in an awkward location where you don't really want to work. You can overcome this somewhat with long cables, however, I have found that long cables become tripping hazards (think yanking all of your charging devices off of a table and onto the floor). Long cables are also either bulky or limit charging rates, or both. With a USB battery pack, I find that I can almost always charge and use devices simultaneously from a comfortable location like a coffee table. Eventually, of course, the battery pack has to make its way close to an AC outlet to recharge, but that's a lot easier to manage than being for to work with all of my devices near the AC outlet.

I have standardized on dual 2.1 Amp (10 Watt) output chargers and battery pack. It takes about 6 hours to charge the battery pack using these adapters. Since switching to a USB battery pack I have neither had a dead device battery, nor have I had an awkward cabling situation.

Another nice side-effect of the battery pack is that I only need to carry short cables to charge my devices.

  • laptop
  • smartphone
  • feature phone
  • tablet
  • cellular-based personal hotspot
  • cellular signal booster
  • wireless access point
  • SIM card adapters
  • SIM card trimming template
  • kitchen shears
  • ultra-fine point sharpie
  • nail file
  • 2 phone cables and a splitter
  • 2 ethernet cables
  • laptop
  • smartphone
  • feature phone
  • tablet
  • cellular-based personal hotspot
  • cellular signal booster
  • USB Battery Pack
  • short USB patch cable to match devices
  • wireless access point
  • SIM card adapters
  • SIM card trimming template
  • kitchen shears
  • ultra-fine point sharpie
  • nail file
  • 2 phone cables and a splitter
  • 2 ethernet cables

USB Battery Pack

I recently added a USB battery pack to my kit. This allowed me to reduce the number of USB power adapters I carry to two: One AC, and one car adapter.

There are two main reasons why a battery pack works better than straight adapters.

  1. Longer periods between shorepower - My battery pack affords me about four full charges of an iPhone on a single charge. For my kit, this means I only need "shorepower" once every 72 hours. With adapters-only, I need shorepower as soon as my first device dies (which is generally less than 10 hours, less than 4 under heavy use).

  2. More work area mobility at your accomodations - A typical cycle involves arriving at accommodations and simultaneously using and charging devices. If you are strictly using adapters to charge, you are tethered to an AC outlet that is invariably in an awkward location where you don't really want to work. You can overcome this somewhat with long cables, however, I have found that long cables become tripping hazards (think yanking all of your charging devices off of a table and onto the floor). Long cables are also either bulky or limit charging rates, or both. With a USB battery pack, I find that I can almost always charge and use devices simultaneously from a comfortable location like a coffee table. Eventually, of course, the battery pack has to make its way close to an AC outlet to recharge, but that's a lot easier to manage than being for to work with all of my devices near the AC outlet.

I have standardized on dual 2.1 Amp (10 Watt) output chargers and battery pack. It takes about 6 hours to charge the battery pack using these adapters. Since switching to a USB battery pack I have neither had a dead device battery, nor have I had an awkward cabling situation.

Another nice side-effect of the battery pack is that I only need to carry short cables to charge my devices.

8 fixed link to sim card trimming video
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7 added items for SIM card trimming
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6 Added bullet on depleted battery life when tethering
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5 added link to other, relevant, question
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4 added foreword explaining that this list is not exhaustive
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3 added foreword explaining that this list is not exhaustive
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2 various edits, hyperlinking
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1
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