Assessories for a notebook while travelling

Submitted: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 08:26
ThreadID: 78206 Views:2844 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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I have just purchased a 17.3ins notebook for our coming 8 week trip.
I am very new at owning a notebook and would like some suggestions of what I would need to buy to assess the internet ( we currently have Telstra bigpond at home). We are also wanting to use this as TV, to download our photos,email and do some internet banking.bill paying etc. Just noticed we also have webcam. Any suggestions would be greatfully appreciated.
Thanks Julie
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Reply By: Member - Jim G1 (QLD) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 09:04

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 09:04
Hi 2 J's, (interesting my wife and also are 2 J's) we have a laptop Apple Mac, and we use it for all the things you mentioned, as well as running our business while on the road. All you need is to visit your Telstra shop and get a USB modem, take your laptop and they should put you online while there, and places like WOW or Harvey Norman will be able to set you up with a USB TV receiver (60 to 150 bucks).
Telstra 3G is the best for coverage while on the road, don't listen to what anyone else tells you.
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 16:16

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 16:16
Telstra 3G is only available in major centres.

For remote are coverage you need Telstra NextG.
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Follow Up By: The Lone Ranger - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:23

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 18:23
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 09:14

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 09:14
Yes bigpond wireless usb is the way to go while on the road, you can get good discounts if you have mobile and home phone and internet as well.
Get yourself a 12v power supply for the laptop if you don't already have one, using an inverter is terribly inefficient use of 12v.
Dick smith and Jaycar both have models with adapters to suit most laptops.
I also have small USB mouse to plug into the laptop, much easier than the touchpad.
I have a Kensington combined 240v and 12v power supply which is half the size of the Toshiba 240v power supply which saves carrying a separate unit for 12v.
Personally with the current prices of flat screen TV's with inbuilt HD and DVD players you would be better to get one than try to watch tv on the laptop.
Then if only one wants to watch tv the other can surf the net.
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Follow Up By: Selina V - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:20

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 22:20
Sorry to jump in here...Is the power supply separate for if you're away from your van? We just got a van and I plugged mine straight into the powerpoint and used it. Don't know if I'm just being thick here or what....
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:20

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:20
When we are camped in the scrub our power points don't work. We then need to power our computers from the battery supply. Those who are lovers of inverters use those to power the power brick that is supplied with the laptop. The thinkers who don't wish to squander their battery power use a replacement for the original power supply. These replacement PSUs will power the computer straight from the battery, without the losses incurred by using an inverter.

Ozhumvee seems to have found a PSU that will work from both 240 V and 12 V Could he please supply more details.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 20:10

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 20:10
The 240V/12V power supplies are common these days with my Dell laptops coming with one. (as a package deal)

They are called auto/air AC adapter (or wall/auto/air notebook power adapter by kensington). A simple search brings up this one which might be what OHV has:

Hope that helps.

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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 07:36

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 07:36
Mine is a Kensington Universal 120W AC/DC Power Adapter, model no 33197.
With my last Toshiba laptop I used a Jaycar 12v power supply but when I bought the new Toshiba Satellite a few months ago of course its power requirements were different so new adapter was required.
The Kensington unit came up in a google search as being a good unit with multi voltage input 110-240 on AC and 12- 16v on DC, multi voltage output from 0 to 24v at up to 6.5 amps to suit the piece of electronic equipment connected.
The correct voltage is selected automatically by using the correct plug for the device, a wide selection of adapter plugs is supplied and others are available from Kensington. for the website.
It is very compact and light and works very well, especially charging the laptop battery from flat where some 12v adapters seem to struggle due to lower output amps.
I managed to find one on Ebay and got it for quite a good price, far less then retail.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 10:28

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 10:28
Hi Julie,

If you have a Next G phone you can use that as a modem, but you need to be with Telstra to get any sort of coverage in more remote areas (and even that will be limited to around towns and outback communities). You can buy data packs for your online work, but while the prices are slowly getting better they are still expensive compared to what you have at home. So don't plan on doing much that is data intensive - what you have listed should be fine though.

As Peter says, get a 12V power supply rather than use an inverter, and yes a mouse can be very useful.

We bought a USB TV device on eBay and it works fine at home, but away from major towns I doubt that there would be any reception available.


J and V
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:21

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:21
Probably the best way is to get a PREPAID BIGPOND Usb modem and use that.

Presumably you mean to access the net and UPLOAD photos.

Streaming TV onto a laptop will chew up your monthly allocation in double qucik time.
You would be far better to spend $300-400 on a 19in Tv and then you can use it later at home

I had TELSTRA mobile broadband and it cost me $89 a month for 5 gig

You can now get that for about $60 off BIGPOND

Be aware they are different entities.

You can pay $60 up front and before it runs out you can top it up and what you havent used carries over.
If you dont use it all and the month runs out and you havent topped it up you lose whats left

Our friends are using this at the mo and have found that if they have some left over they can just top up with $20 and keep an eye on it
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:25

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 17:25
Buy a 6000ma power converter as anything smaller will over heat when using laptop

Jaycar part no MP3472

Dick Smith pno M 9694 or equiv

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Reply By: Witi Repartee - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:41

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 19:41
Hi..enjoy your trip.
We had visions of doing what you are proposing...but ended up buying a separate lflat screen TV as we found the TV/laptop idea worked but wasn't convenient as we often wanted to organize digital photos, send emails and take care of personal business bits and pieces....and then we went thru several different aerial scenarios...but's that's a whole new story..!
AnswerID: 415400

Reply By: Member - Amy G (QLD) - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 21:04

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 21:04
As mentioned above, but you can buy a TV tuner from any of the Officeworks/Harvey Norman/JB HIFI type stores from around $50. It is a USB stick that you plug into the computer and it picks up all of the free to air channels in range. Here is an example: TV Tuner.

The webcam is useful if you want to make video calls to friends & family back home- you can use Skype to make "telephone" or "video" calls to another Skype user (ie, the person you're talking to will also have Skype installed). You'll need some feedback from a wireless internet user as to how much this chews up your bandwidth- I haven't tried it with anything other than my home connection. The calls are free so if it's feasible on mobile internet it's a good idea to keep in touch!

AnswerID: 415417

Reply By: kingswoodwagon - Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 23:56

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 at 23:56
For use when im on the road, I get 3gb/month for $30 from Bigpond on a plan. I use the Bigpond Elite Modem.

So hunt around, the deals are there.

AnswerID: 415444

Reply By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 16:18

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 at 16:18
Telstra have just announced reduced rates - you now get 30 MB for $5 per month.
AnswerID: 415521

Reply By: ChipPunk - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:24

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:24
I usually advise getting a USB to SATA/PATA device (~$20) to connect other hard disks fro backing up, or to transfer you hard disk contents (after removal) if your PC dies etc.
Else a USB key for backups. My latest consist of micro-SD cards and a USB reader (ie, $12 for 4G, $23 for 8G, $10 for USB reader and mini-micro-SD card adaptor; all Sandisk. The USB reader fits on my thumbnail!)

The usual backup mouse and keyboard (the $15 rollable spill-proof kybs seem popular).

And of course ensuring that your main data does NOT reside on the C:\ drive. (Do people still supply computers with a non-partitioned main drive? LOL!)

(Prices are a guide only and a current typical "Computer Swap Meet" prices which are often obtainable elsewhere...)
AnswerID: 416575

Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:45

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 19:45
Are you aware if any tv stations have reception where your going ?

In WA, country tv stations DON'T transmit in digital, so getting a digital only device is not going to help you.

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 416578

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