What communications are best for you?

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 at 09:52
ThreadID: 129683 Views:9916 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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Is your phone the right one to take on the road? You will be surprised at the real answer.

Do you know how to get on the internet when there seemingly ISN'T any internet reception? This book shows you how to do it.

Do you know how to protect and share all your photos, eBooks and important files between your tablet, smartphone and laptop? This book explains how.

This project was commenced by caravanner Grant Nielsen, after finding fellow caravanners shocked to find their communications didn't work in many of the locations they expected them to. Over three years the project has grown. All the latest information is in the just released latest version of the electronic book "Staying in Touch on the Road".

Read more about this and download your copy from Staying in Touch on the Road

While the first edition was free of charge and a donation to the RFDS requested, this edition has a download cost of $9.97, which includes a donation to the RFDS.

Where will your phone network give you reception? Check out the coverage maps and more on Communications and look closely as the coloured reception patches turn to lace. You may not have reception when you most need it.

If you are on Facebook, please share the post on this e-book. It may even save a life with the right communications when most needed.Share Staying in Touch on the Road on Facebook

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Reply By: Toyman - Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 at 22:05

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 at 22:05
Hi Mother,
He left out the set of Free steak knives.
Read his first one and it would have saved someone doing their own research.
Don't intend paying to see his latest ideas.
Majority of our trips are in remote areas, and as much as I hate Telstra if I want coverage I have to use them.
A Telstra Sim, on a plan, in any brand of phone with an external aerial connection and a decent aerial (better still a Yagi) will get phone reception majority of the time.
For an Emergency carry a Sat phone and use the same Sim (make sure it is on roaming).
If you can get phone reception you can get Internet.
AnswerID: 588398

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 10:37

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015 at 10:37
Hi John

I first 'met' Grant following him going fishing in the north; Karumba I think it was, and he found other campers who had purchased phones believing they would work for them on their holiday, but they were shocked to find they had no reception. These people thought they had done their research, but what the salesman tells you is not enough. Grant was conerned about the safety aspects with this lack of correct knowledge.

At the time, my communications web page was about as good as there was for practical advice across all the devices. Grant merely wanted to get together a flyer to hand out to travellers. That was really the first version, and it has grown since then. While I keep updating my page, Grant has gone into a lot more detail and scope than I intend to go so I was pleased to support his work.

Like many of us, Grant has good reason to thank our aerial medical services.



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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 20:26

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 20:26
Once you are out in Woop Woop - beyond the range of even Telsta the only options are a Sat phone or HF Radio. I have both but do not use the Sat Phone on a plan, it is purely for 000 emergency calls'.

When out in the country where there is little traffic we always run the UHF on 'open scan'. This way you will pick up any properties or other work units who my be operating in the area. Just keep a note of their frequencies I case of emergencies. When travelling with dogs I often used to call them up to see if 1080 baits had been laid in the area.

Also a good idea to keep accurate tabs on where you are currently located. Nothing worse than trying to explain to the emergency operator that you are 'somewhere along the Woop Woop north road'

John and Jean
AnswerID: 588399

Follow Up By: Toyman - Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 21:20

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 21:20
Actually have been to Woop Woop in WA ,down near Donnybrook was a Mill Town in 1925,sign and a few ruins are still there.

FollowupID: 856395

Follow Up By: Titans - Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 01:05

Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 01:05
Hi John & Jean

We used to have a Sat Phone on a plan but it got stolen a while back in Adelaide when the van was in storage. Anyway we will get another one when we get back on the road again how do you get one and not have to be on a plan. What does it cost to just have 000.
We only want one for emergencies for us, not worried about people contacting us cause we are usually in and out of range with our normal phones.

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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 04:03

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 04:03
Lola, if I have the sat phone outback I transfer a sim from either Heather's or my iPhone to the sat phone. It doesn't take much and as long as you have global roaming enabled is pretty inexpensive.

I did a break even analysis a few years back and as long as you were only doing limited calls, it was a heck of a lot less expensive than having a Telstra account for your phone. I haven't checked lately, but really the charges haven't come down to any extent. I think at that stage, you needed to do more than two hours and 120 calls to be better off with a satellite sim. The charges are just like overseas calls. Most people hang up if they are calling in and asked to hold.

iPhones sims may need a little surround to keep them in place, but they do work. It is the dimensions of the required satellite sim and the micro sim for the phone that drive the need for the adaptor. They are readily available on auction sites like eBay.
FollowupID: 856397

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 20:10

Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 20:10
Hi Lola,

We bought ours when the Government still gave out subsidies to people who lived outside a mobile area. We managed to get the full 85% subsidy rate and bought a Inmarsat Pro for the princely sum of $124.75 plus a $50 block of credit

I think the subsidies have fallen away now, however, a while ago the government made a ruling that all sat phones (Not sure about mob phones) had to provide emergency call (000) access even if there was no credit on the phone.

All our sat phone required was a software update. I should check with your supplier.

I think you can still get a 'block' of credit' that has to be used in a certain period as opposed to a plan - at least you can on my network.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 588400

Follow Up By: Titans - Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 23:03

Saturday, Feb 21, 2015 at 23:03
Thanks John

We will look into it when we get a bit closer. Deffinately food for thought.

Cheers Lola
FollowupID: 856398

Follow Up By: Uncle Dodgy - Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 00:38

Monday, Feb 23, 2015 at 00:38
Hi John

You are correct.
For the benefit of other interested members, this is what we have.
We have an Inmarsat ISAT Pro phone that we purchased new outright, for $850 including GST and 240 V & 12 V chargers, and we buy blocks of time units as we need them.
The down side I guess is that these blocks of time need to be used within a certain timeframe which is dependant on the value of the blocks purchased.
Our smallest available block is 50 units (currently $70) with expiry period of 90 days, with varied increases up to across 500 and 5000 units ($600 & $5000 respectively) that have expiry at 365 days.
We have mostly used the 50 unit blocks and simply call up and buy more when our block credit is getting down. (You can free call and check on how many units you have left and the expiry date at any time.)
When you purchase more units these are added to your remaining units, and are all set to expire at the newer date.
This is what suits us now.
Our old unit was an out dated vehicle mounted one and perhaps of no use if the aerial was broken in an accident.
The new one is hand held portable, and we can take it with us walking or boating.
Hope this helps.
John & Sharyn
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