Telstra Wireless Broadband 7.2 USB2 Mobile Card VS Mxon Blue Modem

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 12:48
ThreadID: 75054 Views:5387 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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I know communications have been done to deathin the forums but I admit to reading everything and still being confused. I know that we need access to the Telstra network for the best phone/broadband coverage. We don't have a Telstra mobile but would like to have access to the internet in most places (including Skype). We are doing a full year's tour of Australia so will need it in the fairly remote places. I wanted to buy a Telstra Modem but the one that many people have recommended (which I think is the Maxon "blue toaster") is no longer readily available. The new one is the 7.2 USB 2 mobile card from Telstra, which is more expensive. We were thinking of this option linked with an external atenna, but if it is no better than the older blue modem, I don't want to spend the extra money (old one around $99). Does anyone know if the new 7.2 USB modem is better than the older Maxon......also does anyone have any idea of what type of distance an external atenna will extend the signal by. Thanks for any advice
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Reply By: Member - Ian F (WA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:00

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:00
From personal experience the 7.2 USB is the better way even though more expensive. The external antenna does improve the reception. If you were able to use the old Maxon I think you would be very disappointed.
AnswerID: 398636

Reply By: Member - Alan John C (WA) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:04

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:04
Murray I use an external arial on my modem in WA for the past 3 year it gives you the strength equivilant to an external aerial that is attached to your hands free kit as far as distance goes this relates back to the situation of where the closest tower is so distance is not a major it is the strength of signal that calculates your reception. The one I have ,I purchased an addaptor so I can use it either with my phone or plug into modem and has magnetic base so if in your van it will hang off your cupboard hinges to allow signal to get out.

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AnswerID: 398639

Reply By: Member - Syd R (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:10

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:10
Hi Murray, Have used both modems the Bigpond is by far the most usable and reliable. Skype ok but gets a little difficult when using the camera but voice is OK.
never bothered with the external antenna. Basically if you get reception your mobile 3g phone then your modem will work. I was an early adopter of the technology in nov 05.
Syd Reilly

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Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:22

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 13:22

we have used the maxon modem with Telstra 2.4gb mobile phone antannae on the road for 2.5 years so far. The antennae is on an extendable pole (white square camping pole) mounted on the A frame. Tip of antennae is just above the van roof line but can extend higher. We haven't ever had to extend higher..

We regularly have a service when others don't so I can give you that info with confidence especially in rural areas and"bush" to a certain extent.

Telstra sell the smaller cable connections to suit the maxon modem for the antannae lead which in our case is about 5m.

Can';t coment on the 7.2usb modem as I've never used or needed it.

cheers Baz
AnswerID: 398647

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:01

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 14:01

What brand/model antenna are you using may i ask?

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Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 10:12

Monday, Jan 11, 2010 at 10:12

label says Model CO 2195,,, 6.5 - 3 db,,,, 800-2200mHz (mHz not entirely clear on label

was purchased from Telsta in 2007 but others sell then,,, mounting for bull bar

mine is just black stick just over 1m high - latest ones I see in SA at this time are white

Hope this helps

cheers Baz
FollowupID: 667765

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:38

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 15:38
We have an external aerial fitted to our van which is great in remote areas.
As we have the telstra next G phone and an optus usb modem I had to purchase patch leads for both.
We find the external aerial very useful in a lot of areas as the signal strength can be non existent on the phone and then after connecting to the aerial we have signal.
And we do have the phone that is recommended for rural areas by telstra.
As for the optus network it is good in the eastern states however in WA it is only available in the MAJOR towns. @ the moment.

My advice would be to go Telstra with the Rural recommended phone plus an external aerial if traveling with a van.

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 398677

Reply By: anglepole - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:51

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 17:51
Obviously an external aerial will increase coverage particularly at the boundaries.

That said, although Telsta is available in "more places" in remote and rural areas they by and large fade to nothing about 10-15 k from the site or town.

An example if you camp in a Coober Pedy Van Park you will get a good signal. If you camp 20ks down the road you will get nothing. The External aerial may make an improvement 10-20 ks of town.

Telstra Next G prepaid toggle will cost $20 for 150kb not much Skypeing there.
AnswerID: 398702

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:41

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 19:41
I'll be different I use an old Bigpond home wireless modem BP3-EXT which has been unlocked so I can use it on the TELSTRA network

This connects anywhere there is a signal from Telstra.

I had a Telstra USB modem and had endless trouble with it constantly dropping signal

It was a ZTE and I had 3 and none were much good out of Sydney Melbourne or similar large high strength signal areas.
I tried them on two different laptops and got the same result.

Telstra finally after a fight refunded my money.

I asked if the new 21 series was any better and they wouldnt guarantee it so I bought this old clunker for $85 on Ebay and stuck my data pack sim in it and had no more trouble.

It sits on the wheel roll in the van behind the aluminium wall and goes great.

We Skype on it regularly and I also use it for VOIP calls which I get for 10c untimed to any ordinary number in Australia

No need for the external aerial ever

IS a cheap effective alternative

AnswerID: 398727

Reply By: Tadooch - Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 22:15

Sunday, Jan 10, 2010 at 22:15
The Maxon "blue toaster" was a 3.6 modem. A 7.2 is faster (550kbps - 3000kbps, bursting to 6000 kbps) and a 21 faster again (550kbps - 8000kbps). The higher the kbps the faster (potentially) the speed. The more speed the better the picture on your webcam. Keep in mind te data this can use is at the hi end per minute of use.

The 7.2usb stick is free on a 2 yr contract. The 7.2 modem is $99 (2yr).
The 21usb or modem is $199 on a 2yr contract.

Antennas are decibel or dBi rated. The higher the dBi the stronger the signal gain and speed. Bigpond have a range of antennas and here's a site I found on the forum previously... that has antennas for all wireless devices.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 398741

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