Annexe and mobile reception

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 26, 2007 at 23:37
ThreadID: 124073 Views:3912 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Have just a couple of quick queries to pump the experience of BT owners.

Is the annexe worth it? Does this depend on how long you stay in one place?
Will certainly have the awning part for shade etc.

What is mobile reception like inside the BT? Does the metal frame of the van act as a Farady's cage and kill off reception? If so, does this mean external antenna with wire to inside of van?

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Reply By: Motley - Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 01:02

Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 01:02
Can't comment on the pros for the annexe. Didn't order one and haven't missed it.

As for phone reception, yes the caravan does shield the signal.

We were recently at the Rally at Copeton where signal was marginal to say the least.

Several had external antennas but to my knowledge, I was the only one able to get a signal on my NextG Turbo Modem, using a high power, magnetic base antenna I purchased from Maxon, the manufacturers of the turbo modem (about 100 bucks).

I just eased the fly wire off on one corner and poked the cable through.

Incidentally, despite the fact I could get an Internet connection, using the antenna on my Motorola NextG phone still didn't give me a signal. Go figure!


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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 01:41

Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 01:41
Bato was able to get a signal on his external antenna parked about 100 metres from Motley, but my van that was parked next to Bato with similar external antenna could not get a signal.

Using Motley's magnetic base antenna I was able to get a signal on my mobile Next G phone , but nothing on the Next G wireless modem that slides into the side of the computer.

Have just changed to one of the newer Blue USB modems, and the signal strength is much better than the old modem, so it may have been a modem problem.

Annex, we have used ours about 6 or 7 times in 6 years, mostly just 2 sides when the weather was pretty bad, and the friends around us without an annex all then came and sheltered in ours for happy hour and overnight storage of chairs etc.

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Reply By: Innkeepers - Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 18:09

Thursday, Sep 27, 2007 at 18:09
Hi Hob,
Annexe is a personal thing...if you plan to spend weeks at a time in one place...then maybe...for would only be used in times of extended bad weather and then we have the option of sitting it out inside or moving location...Annexes take up a lot of storage room and then you have to equate your usage of the thing that takes up the room.....It's a personal requirements decision and we decided NO.

Now..NextG Phone and Internet definitely is shielded by the caravan external cladding...a fibreglass bodied caravan would not short need an external antenna in those situations where the local NextG signal is not strong enough to allow you to rely on the internal antenna built in to the modem capturing enough signal though the windows.

We went for the USB Telstra Turbo Modem (The Orange One). The Blue Bigpond one is exactly the same product made by Maxon, except the Blue one is fitted with software that allows it to be "Speed Capped". This is so that Bigpond can charge a different rate scale for higher speed data flow...Eg Fast and Super Fast Plans.
The Orange Telstra Turbo Modem is not speed capped...connect and it runs as fast as it can....however the plans are all different and you should compare the plans of both to make your decision there.

Back to the antenna...we use a 6.5DB Mobile antenna made by RFI
(RF Industries) for the BT and as Pete does...ease out a corner of the insect screen to pass the cable through. Our BT has a sail track fitted to both sides of the roof, so I just modified a "Z" Bracket to allow it to hook onto the sail track...easy to attach and no drilling of holes.

For the last 3 weeks we have been through the S.W Qld Channel Country and bush camped by waterholes in the middle of nowhere. We had NextG service in most places...Presently we're in Thargomindah at the Explorers Caravan Park and came in from the bush as the weather reports were for rain and thunder storms and we were camped on a black soil claypan on a waterhole...not good if it rains in black soil.

In this park inside the BT, the turbo modem fluctuates between no signal to one bar of signal...with the RFI external antenna clipped on we have full 5 bars of signal.

The last waterhole we camped on was 50 k's North of here and miles away from bitumen road and inside the signal at all and with the External antenna fitted we had 3 bars and good download speeds.

Hope this helps
Rick & Julie

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Reply By: Luvntravln - Friday, Sep 28, 2007 at 16:51

Friday, Sep 28, 2007 at 16:51
We would not be without our all weather annexe!

We have to be stopped for at least a week ++ in warm weather and a week in cool and wet weather before we install.

Some have an annexe solely of mossie netting to minimize the flies and olthers pests; we have canvass sides with a large window and door in each side so that it can be open and protected from pests or closed for privacy.

In the front is a large netting window which can be covered with a two-layered perspex and canvass. That makes it an all weather annexe.

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