Broomstick aerial

Submitted: Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:09
ThreadID: 117708 Views:1982 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
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Does anyone have any experience with broomstick aerials.
I bought one so we could get better internet when away from towns. It worked fine when I first got it but this trip it was absolutely useless. The smart phone was getting better reception than the Wi-Fi router attached to the aerial. It is the same model that Telsta use on their vehicles in the bush so should be OK. I cant see what could possibly go wrong as it is all pretty solid. We were in a very hilly area and it is a high gain aerial so not to flash away from flat country, but still should have been getting some signal.

Any ideas?
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:19

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:19
90% that it will be a cable problem. Either a broken centre wire or short across the shield and centre wire.
AnswerID: 553217

Follow Up By: bks - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:23

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:23
Any way of finding out? You could be right as I took it off when I got home and put it back on for this trip. I did notice a kink in the cable.
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FollowupID: 838990

Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:29

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:29
Very hard to check continuity as the cable on the Broomstick end is usually permanently fixed. You should be able to check for a short by checking resistance across the centre wire and the shield wire if it has no resistance then a short is the answer.
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Follow Up By: bks - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:37

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:37
How would you do that? with a multi meter? unfortunately I bought it at Port Macquarie so cant go back to them to get it checked. Do you know anywhere in Sydney?

Really appreciate your knowledge, and help
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Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:48

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 09:48
Any Auto Electrician, or electronics workshop can check it. If you own a multi meter you can do it yourself. Set it on Ohms and see if there is any resistance across the shield and centre wire.
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Follow Up By: ian.g - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 11:04

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 11:04
They work a hell of a lot better if you clean the bugs off them, don't know why but they do.
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FollowupID: 838999

Reply By: muzbry - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 10:17

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 10:17
Good morning BKS
My old broomstick always worked until the last trip. The wire inside that is wrapped in brown paper came apart at the bottom , never to work again , Ill rip it apart one day and see if i can do a fix.
AnswerID: 553219

Reply By: bks - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 13:44

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 13:44
OK I think i'm making progress. In a very unscientific experiment now I'm back home in Sydney. I put the WiFi router in a spot with poor coverage it dropped to 1 bar of signal I then put in the aerial and it went to full signal. Therefore it would seem to not be a problem with the Aerial but due to using a high gain aerial in very hilly country side.

what to do now? Do I get another aerial for trips to the mountains? I assume they cant be modified.


AnswerID: 553225

Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 16:10

Sunday, May 03, 2015 at 16:10
Better if mounted on the roof rather than a bulbar.

Have mounted mine on a roof top fitting that was used with CB aerial years ago.

Peter
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Reply By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Monday, May 04, 2015 at 17:28

Monday, May 04, 2015 at 17:28
Strewth....I go to the back blocks to get away from the bloody internet and mobile phone!!! No way I'd be buying aerials and other gear so that I could take all the craep with me that I'm trying to get away from...hahaha
AnswerID: 553301

Follow Up By: bks - Monday, May 04, 2015 at 19:48

Monday, May 04, 2015 at 19:48
unfortunately we need the internet to earn enough money to be able to get away to the back blocks.
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FollowupID: 839128

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Monday, May 04, 2015 at 23:56

Monday, May 04, 2015 at 23:56
You need one of these 3G or 4G boosters
AnswerID: 553329

Follow Up By: bks - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 05:43

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 05:43
aren't they illegal?
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 09:30

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 09:30
Sounds like your antenna is now good, bks?

When you're camped in these hills, are you camped on a creek, and you are surrounded by hills, or maybe are you camped a bit higher up? If the former, and you're a fair way from a tower, then you might be pushing $&!@ up hill to get a signal good enough for Internet use.

Check here and also here

These businesses have a number of 3G/4G fringe area antennas that might suit your purpose. As advised earlier, you need the aerial up on the roof, or failing that, buy a lightweight mast that can get your aerial up 20, 30 or even 40 feet high. These are available, but would need some guy wires, in all but light breezes, or still weather.

Suppose it all depends on how important the Internet service is. There was a thread on this same subject some months ago..........think satellite service was mentioned then.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 553334

Follow Up By: bks - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 10:23

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 10:23
It was beside Burrinjuck dam. We could get one bar of phone reception with the phones (no aerial) but would go in and out. You need at least 3 bars of 3G to get a good data connection. When we went to the top of the valley to open but still hilly country (about 8kms) we were getting full 4G on both the phones and the modem. I assume from near Yass about 30km's as the crow flies.

Previously the aerial would increase the reception from intermittent one bar to 3 or 4.

Also I rechecked the model number and it is in fact a mid range gain aerial at 6.5dBi. which should have been a bit better.

Thanks for your help
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FollowupID: 839150

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 13:24

Tuesday, May 05, 2015 at 13:24
According to Telstra's coverage map you shouldn't be getting any signal, bks. :-). See below:



All I can suggest is get a suitable aerial, the bigger the better(?), get it up as high as possible, and maybe move around the campsite to ascertain whether there might be sites with improved reception. If the phones show a bar or two, then with a suitable aerial and good positioning, your signal should improve. Have seen some tradies in Longreach area with longer 3G aerials, and about 9dB I think, that give greatly improved reception.

If your income depends on use of Internet, then it wouldn't hurt to ring that Telco mob, and talk to someone knowledgeable there. It would be worth getting the best, for your situation, and regardless of cost, you should reap the rewards.

With UHF & phone frequencies, any increase in height can make a huge difference to RX/TX. Back in another life was using UHF handhelds extensively, and sometimes to improve the signal, all one had to do was hold the h'held as high as possible at arm's length, and talk using the remote speaker/mic. Often made a marked difference.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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