Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Orange France and SFR Top Up Online

November 20, 2016

Try for online top up. Orange France and SFR.

Orange France Holiday – European Roaming Sim Card

March 20, 2015

Orange France Mobicarte Holiday Sim Card

Make and receive calls in many European Countries –  full list below. The Sim comes with 120 minutes of worldwide calls, 2 Gig of mobile internet in mainland France and access to Orange France Wifi. Top up is with standard Mobicarte vouchers including Mobicarte classic, internet  and holiday. Top up online or by phone with a credit card issued in France or with vouchers from the local Tabac. When the credit is used the Orange France Holiday top up offers 1 hour of calls, 500 texts, 500mb internet in mainland France and access to Orange France Wifi.

  • 120 minutes of worldwide calls
  • 1 Gig mobile internet in mainland France
  • 1000 worldwide texts from Europe – list of countries below
  • Access to Orange France Wifi
  • Outside France incoming calls charged to included minutes
  • Top up with Mobicarte Vouchers

The Holiday Sim is triple cut – use as nano, micro or mini.

Orange France Hoiday Sim can be  used in these countries – Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Germany, Austria, Balearic islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary islands, Cyprus, Corfu (island), Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Isle of Man, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Rhodes (Island), Romania, United Kingdom, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Vatican

Orange France Holiday Top Ups are on sale in most Tabacs in France.

Need help? Ask

Scrumping Apples in Spain – December 2014

December 5, 2014

Found some interesting apples near Puigcerda in Spain at about 1200 metres altitude.




Stopped off next to a field with a couple of apples trees. Close to the road and easily accessible. Apples on the trees and on the ground. Picked a few to try. Distinctly pear shaped, mostly yellow with some blushing. Good to eat. Strongly scented, a little tart and tough skins. Great cooked.

Any clues to the name for this variety would be appreciated.

Long Range Wifi – A Surprise!

November 11, 2014

A couple of weeks ago in France I was looking for free wifi and needed to get more range. I had no high gain wifi aerials with me but did have one 2100mHz 3G Omni  and decided to give it a go. To my surprise it worked well at long range and achieved a good connection at about 4 miles. Subsequent testing has produced some interesting results including good connections at about 10 miles range and a network intermittently visible at over 22 miles. This was from an elevated position overlooking Collioure in the South of France using an Alfa AWUS036H usb wifi adaptor.

I have been using the FON network in France to get free wifi and these are the results for FON hotspots on Channel 11 and Channel 6  I do not have a location/distance for these hotspots but guess that it will not be more than a couple of miles.  With the 9dBi 3G aerial a known hotspot at 4 miles range gave a figure of -60

Aerial                                    FON Ch 6                 FON Ch 11        APs

9dBi  2100 mHz 3G Omni       -58                           -62                 58

9dBi 2400 mHz Wifi Omni       -70                          -66                 45

8dBi  2400 mHz   Omni      not present                   -67                 34

Among the APs detected with the 9dBi 3G aerial were Port St Cyprien at 6.6 miles as the crow flies, Canet Port  at 15 miles and Port Leucate at 22.8 miles. Port Leucate signal was intermittent. St Cyprien and Canet were usable.

I have used this aerial several times since this test with an Alfa Networks AWUS036H and also Alfa Tube U(N) and found similar good long range results. The 036H is better for very long range. The site at Collioure in France was ideal for long range because it was elevated and gave good clear line of sight to the detected networks. In an urban area with obstructions range will be less but one thing for sure is that it will not be the aerial that is the limiting factor.

More details for this 3G/Wifi aerial here

15 March 2015

Free fast wifi in France! This aerial is getting free wifi in locations in France where there were no usable hotspots before. Makes a big difference when you are travelling. With back up from a simple 3G set up mobile communication is available pretty much all the time. Free wifi and limited use of paid 3G keeps the bills low.

Macbook Pro Airport Card Not Installed – Simple solution that works!

November 7, 2014

Airport card not installed – is a common error message on the Apple Macbook range. Many possible solutions are offered by Apple and in Google searches. I have tried several and none have worked   for me.

Not wanting to dismantle the Mac and change the airport card I have found a simple solution to this problem. This is for a 2009 Macbook Pro A1286 but should work with later models too. Tested and definitely good with OS X 10.5.8, 10.6  and 10.10 More details to follow.

French PAYG 3G/ 4G Data Sim for Mobile Broadband Internet France SFR Orange Bouygues

September 20, 2014
PAYG French 3G/4G data sims come activated and ready for immediate use in France. No contract and no additional fees or charges – just buy data as required. Top up with a bank card issued in France or with vouchers from the local Tabac. Can be used in 3G and 4G data devices. Standard mini, micro and nano sizes available.
For Orange France the Sims come with 500mb data included. Top up is online or by phone with a bank card issued in France or with vouchers from the local Tabac.
SFR Data Sims come with 200mb valid for 15 days. SFR top up is with bank card issued in France or with Tabac vouchers
Bouygues Telecom Sims come with 2 days internet and top up is online only with a bank card issued in France.  SFR and Orange France Sims are activated and ready for immediate use in France. For Bouygues registration is required. This is done online and is very easy.
Rates for data vary.  Bouygues Telecom 6 gig for one month for 30 euros is best value but top up is online with a bank card issued in France only.  Choice of network in France is mainly availability of good signal at your location. Use these links to check for network coverage in France –

Orange France here

SFR here

Bouygues Telecom  here

Ready for immediate use in France usually with Instructions in French and English these data sims  are good in USB dongles, Mifi and 3G/4G Routers, iPads and Tablets but will not work in a mobile phone.
If you need more information ask

Best PAYG / Prepaid 3G/4G Mobile Internet in France with Bouygues Telecom

June 5, 2014

There is a good offer from Bouygues Telecom on a PAYG Data Sim –  6 Gigabytes valid for 31 days price 30 euros. The other rates are 5 euros for one day limit 500mb and 15 euros for 7days limit 2 Gig.  Top up is online only and will require a bank card issued in France to be successful. When the data limit is reached download speed is reduced for the remainder of the period of validity. Useful feature to keep up with emails after the main data allowance has been used.

The Bouygues Nomad Sims come with 2 days internet connection and must be registered with Bouygues. Sims can  be purchased online with a bank card issued in France and a postal address in France. More information here –



This is a 4G Sim. Good with 3G/4G enabled tablets, Mifi and 3G Routers and USB Modems.

Useful alternative to Orange France and SFR if you can meet the conditions. Check coverage at your location in France using this link –

 Update 16 June 2014

I have tried 2 of Nomad Sims and found out a little more about how they work. The Sim is valid for 8 months from first use and for 12 months after the top up. After the first two days use a top up/registration  screen comes up and the  registration is easy to do.  Top up with a bank card issued in France is also very straightforward.

I have  a solution to the French bank card and address issues  which will help International travellers or others who can not meet the Sim conditions.   More information  here   6 gig for a month for 30 euros is the best PAYG rate I have found on the French 3G/4G networks. The bank card solution is easy but costs a little to set up and use. If you are in France for a while or make regular visits this is definitely worthwhile.

Update 7 March 2015

Nomad sims are no longer available for purchase from the Bouygues Telecom website. As an alternative you can make a purchase here  or go to a Bouygues Boutique. If you can meet the conditions – top up online with bank card issued in France only and address in France for registration – these Sims still offer very good value PAYG mobile data.

Update 28 July 2015

Limited availability in Bouygues Telecom boutiques.  Possibly being replaced by a contract sim with lower rates. Orange France charges for data have been reduced and now offers a good alternative to Bouygues for prepay/pay as you data go on usb modems and 3G/4G routers.

Need help? Just ask

Late Autumn Sunsets in South East France

November 26, 2013

Over two or three days in early November I took some photographs of sunsets. Skies in this area are interesting all the year round but these are exceptional I think. Taken with a mobile phone and exactly as they came off the phone.

You can get the full screen version with a click on the photo.

Approaching Perpigan from the North




Two days later in Port Vendres.


Next day in Banyuls Sur Mer


How to Find Good Wifi Hotspots in France – Free French Broadband Internet 24/7

November 17, 2013

Free Wifi Internet in France for your Campervan, Caravan, House or Boat

There are lots of options for wifi in France now. Free wifi hotspots are not limited to McDonalds and Autoroute Service Stations. With a decent wifi set up to  give  long range  reception it is possible to find good free wifi internet almost anywhere in France.

This is my set up  –  Alfa Networks AWUS 036H usb wifi adaptor, 8 dBi omnidirectional aerial mounted on a magnetic base with 1.5 metre cable. The aerial is mounted on my van roof. This gives the possibility of connection up to a range of about 6km – almost 4 miles – with good clear line of sight. I am doing this in a van but this set up could equally well be used in a campervan, caravan, house or boat.

Here is an example of a free hotspot connection at a full 3 miles giving a slow but usable link – fast enough for emails and listening to Radio 4.


Free Wifi Using the FON Network.

There are FON hotspots all over France. All you need is  to set up a FON router in your home country and share part of the bandwidth. Easy to do, not too expensive and the FON router does not have to be turned on while you are travelling.  SFR FON hotspots are quite common in France and offer a free connection if you have a FON account and log in. Here is an example of a FON hotspot connection-


Information about FON here –

FON is not just for France. Take a look at the FON map here –

I use Inssider to look for possible hotspots. This works well and shows the signal level and type of encryption for the detected wireless networks.  This is what it looks like on the screen –


Here is a link to the Inssider website –

The most important factor for getting free wifi in France is a good long range wireless set up. If you need help with this – Just ask or take a look at

My Dongle Is Up The Pole!

September 10, 2013


Its not really a dongle its a Huawei Mifi Router and it is not really a pole its a 5 metre length of tiling batten but…. it has solved a major internet problem for me  in the UK and might have wider applications.

Travelling in France using the Orange France network it is a given that internet will be available on tap. Not so in the UK. In this location in  Suffolk there is signal available from TMobile, Vodafone and O2 but data is intermittent from all three networks. Works  a little during the night and early morning. Stops in the day time and comes back in the evening.Several calls to Vodafone Customer Services have not helped resolved the issue.

Some networks in the UK are operating on 900mHz and I thought this might be worth a try. This is a relatively new development. 3G broadband on 900mHz rather than 2100.  With a change of router and a little exploration of the site with the Mifi Router on top of a tiling batten to give some height a good connection was possible but at the moment only in one place – up a wild cherry tree!


Internet connection was all but impossible last year. Now in the same location a fast and reliable broadband connection is available all day, every day.

More to follow – hardware, set up and future developments.