Wi-Fi as Ministry | Part 6
HooToo TripMate HT-TM01 TripMate Wireless N Portable Travel Router with 6000mAh Battery Charger
The HooToo Tripmate HT-TM01 (TripMate for short) is a multi-purpose tool that has potential as a Wi-Fi for ministry device. This one device performs three separate functions quite well, each having a place in the Wi-Fi as ministry context. The main points here are from HooToo’s webpage for this device (http://www.hootoo.com/hootoo-tripmate-ht-tm01-wireless-router.html).
– Portable Travel Router: Instantly turn a wired internet connection into a wireless network. Create your own personal network and hotspot. Although this may seem more suited to a business traveler spending time in a hotel with no wireless, there is certainly application for Wi-Fi as ministry. If you need a Wi-Fi connection, but have access only to a wired connection, the TripMate can provide wireless access to a small number of devices (5 or less), assuming that you have an ethernet cable to plug into a ethernet socket. The TripMate accepts an ethernet cable, and will convert that wired signal into a wireless signal. Given the increased usage of mobile devices with data plans, the need for this may be decreasing in a ministry context.
– Wireless Bridge: The TripMate will function as a bridge for an existing Wi-Fi signal, creating a separate, private Wi-Fi network. In this mode, the TripMate requires every user to know the Wi-Fi password.
– Personal Cloud: Acts as media server so you can share access to your USB stored files on your personal network. Attach a USB device formatted as NTFS/FAT16/FAT32 and the TripMate will make the content available wirelessly. Like the AirStash, this functionality requires the proprietary HooToo TripMate app on the device to work. This means that the functionality of the TripMate is limited to people who already have the HooToo app installed on their mobile device. When the Wi-Fi password is disabled, leaving the device open to any user, this device has great potential for sharing Gospel media via the open Wi-Fi network.
– External Battery: 6,000mah built-in battery allows it to operate on its own power and charge your mobile devices on the go. The device website claims a battery life of 12-17 hours, depending on usage. This small device has enough power to charge a mobile phone, potentially twice. The TripMate will extend the life of a tablet by about 4 to 8 hours. Used in connection with other Wi-Fi as Ministry devices (AirStash or BibleBox), the TripMate is a very portable but powerful battery.
- Ethernet cable to connect to a wired network (if intended).
- A USB cable for charging the internal is supplied.
- A USB stick pre-loaded with content to share (if intended).
- A USB cable for use with mobile device (if intended).
A hope for this device was that it would offer more security than the AirStash with less complexity than the BibleBox. Another hope was that the TripMate would create a secure environment on which to offer an open Wi-Fi signal like the BibleBox, but that functionality is not available with the TripMate right out of the box.
Although users claim the ability to connect to the TripMate without use of the app, which some users describe as “clunky,” that functionality has not been observed in eDOT’s testing of the device. This functionality would be ideal for Wi-Fi as Ministry usage. A user could load content onto a USB key, insert the USB key into the TripMate, and power the TripMate. This solution would provide content via Wi-Fi for an extended period of time, far longer than either the AirStash or the BibleBox. In eDOT’s testing of the device, it is possible to remove the Wi-Fi password of the TripMate, but users must still have the HooToo app on their device to connect to content.
Used as-is, out-of-box, the TripMate is very easy to use. Plug in a USB stick or an ethernet cable, and the TripMate will automatically determine the role that is intended (Personal Cloud, or Travel Router). Unfortunately, it is not possible to combine roles. The TripMate, as-is, will only support one role at a time.
The TripMate scores well on portability, being only slightly larger and heavier than the AirStash. Because this device requires a USB stick rather than a SD-card, the device as a personal cloud is slightly bigger/bulkier than the AirStash. A standard sized USB stick would be liable to break with the TripMate if concealed in a pocket. Used with a low-profile USB stick, this device is very useful for ministry, especially if the Wi-Fi password is disabled.
In summary, the TripMate is a potential help for Wi-Fi as ministry. In its function as a personal cloud, with content pre-loaded on a USB stick, the TripMate allows users to connect to content (through the app). Used as a portable battery, the TripMate will allow other Wi-Fi as Ministry devices to continue working up to three times the normal duration of the battery.
Comment | Share | Join the conversation
 Be prepared for a long recharge time for the TripMate. The recharging time approaches ten hours if completely discharged.
 It is possible to reprogram the TripMate with increased functionality. This process is similar to that for the LibraryBox. At this point, there is no support for BibleBox with a TripMate device.
 It appears that when the latest version of firmware was issued, the functionality of connecting via a web-browser was removed.
 The AirStash uses an SD-card that slides into the device, and thus does not project beyond the dimensions of the AirStash unit. By design, a USB device extends beyond the USB port. Thus, on the TripMate, any USB stick or drive will add to the dimension of the device. Certainly, a low-profile USB drive such as the SanDisk Cruzer Fit Low Profile series would minimize the impact of the USB drive on the unit’s dimensions.