Keeping in touch while going North

P7070280-1 Until recently, this famous shack in West Bay (Middle Percy) was as close as anyone got to a telephone between Rosslyn Bay and Mackay…

As good as Telstra’s NextG service is, with a conventional mobile handset or internet modem, coverage fades away as you move away from the coast or pass uninhabited areas. So…

Enter the Ericsson W25 Wireless Terminal,
which, coupled with a masthead antenna, uses the Mobile Phone network to provide a reliable way of maintaining voice and data communications, even in West Bay of Middle Percy.

I was very impressed indeed with it in operation during a trip North recently on Breakaway, a Buizen 48. A conventional telephone handset connects to the W25 (just lift the receiver and you hear a normal dial tone) and the system provides both hardwired and WiFi Internet connectivity. It operated without fuss and reliably all the way from Sydney to Mackay.

The WiFi Internet access was especially convenient. It let me use my “Touch iPod ” to do the log entries for “Where is Breakaway“.

So, what was the difference between my own basic set up and Breakaway”s?

Of course the main difference is the aerial set up, rather than the W25, but the exercise is interesting nevertheless. We experienced some “dead spots” where reception dropped out, behind Moreton Island and when anchored in the lee of High Peak Island. This happened with either system and was to be expected as the mobile phone network operates on
a  “line of sight” basis. For comparison, I carried my own Maxon Wireless Broadband modem.

On the map below:

  • Green markers indicate operation of both my basic set up and the W25
  • Yellow markers where only the W25 provided coverage
  • Red markers show the two spots where no reception was possible.

The chart is linked to a live Google map for more detail.


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