After being a bar or two short of the coverage we needed (in fringe areas) in our recent trips, we decided to buy a booster aerial. (I still remember having to go outside the van at night at Darlington Beach Caravan Park and rest the laptop on the bonnet of the car to upload a YouTube video – slow as a wet week inside the van; uploaded in minutes outside. Grrr.) I’ve posted some info about this on the C&M Facebook page, but here it is for our blog readers (not all of whom use Facebook).
We got an RFI CD2195 aerial (from the OzLinked rep at the Mudgee muster), along with a suitable bracket and a patch for our Telstra Ultimate modem. At the bottom of this post I’ll include the supplier’s website, which has a list of dealers around Australia.
There are different ways to mount the aerial. Some people buy a bracket that lets them swing the aerial down against the side of the van for travel; others attach it to a wind-up TV aerial and both go up at the same time. We attached a bracket (choosing one that left plenty of space to get fingers in to screw in the aerial) to the van’s awning mounts. This gets the aerial up nice and high if we need it for improved coverage, but we can take it down for travel. We haven’t yet decided about how to run the cable.
So far we’ve only tried it out in our driveway, which doesn’t really show how it will perform in fringe areas. Here it jumped from 4 bars to 5 bars; the OzLinked rep told us that it commonly boosts reception by 1-2 bars. (We didn’t get a patch for our phones; just the internet modem.)