Looking for personal communications consultant in Brisbane

Hi all, my first time! I am making plans for traveling long term. I would like to get my communications with home sorted according to my needs and budget but does anyone know of a communications whiz (consultant?) who could help me across the board. Believe it or not, until now I have not needed a personal mobile nor a computer. I just got an iPad last year thinking that would be my solution instead of a laptop for traveling. Not so. (I am not bagging the iPad, I love it, fabulous and easy, I just didn't understand certain things when I bought it, eg you need to sync it with a dedicated computer for updates) I would like to avoid ending up with numerous devices that duplicate features or overpay/underpay for my call and data requirements and I want it as simple as possible! The more I look into it, the more choices I find and dare I say, the more confused I get! I can find only business communication consultants. Hope someone knows of a whiz
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Reply By: Fab72 - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:13

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:13
Hi Rainbow,
It might pay for you to mention what sort of communications you actually need.
Eg: Sat phone for emergencies
UHF radio for car to car and short distance comms
Mobile phone for general comms when near townships
Laptop with wireless set up to pay your bills on line, do banking and write emails.

Is it for some specific buisness need or just to keep in touch?

The more info you can give, the better your chances of getting a tailored answer rather than generalisations.

AnswerID: 452084

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:31

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:31
Hi Rainbow,

When talking to a communication "expert" just make sure that he/she understands that the 2% of Australians not covered by Next G actually relates to approx 72% of the total area of Australia. Mobile phones and therefore Wireless internet are available in liimited areas once you move away from the coastal strip. 18 to 20km out of any major centre is about the maximum although some areas of western NSW do seem to have a better deal than Queensland. Many small centres in western Queensland do not have coverage at all.

The major issue is that people in the communications industry in the major cities do not appear to have a sound working understanding of what happens anywhere near the Black Stump.

Kevin J
FollowupID: 724752

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:46

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:46
Hi fab, as mentioned, across the board, by which i mean all that you mentioned bar the sat phone which would only be in my budget on an occasional rental basis.
But the only question i actually had was if anyone knows of a consultant who has up to date knowledge of everything available on the market.(personal use not business, there a plenty of companies to assist in business communications) but I need someone who understands my personal usage needs and can tailor something to suit. I have already made a mistake with the iPad.
FollowupID: 724758

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:54

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:54
Hi Kevin J,
That is encouraging isn't it! I would have hoped the coverage was better than that. I will keep that in mind. Ta
FollowupID: 724760

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:03

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:03
Rainbow...head straight to your nearest 4X4 shop eg: ARB's or the like. They'll be able to help you. Many of them now are also retailers for Telstra which have by far the best mobile coverage available.

Remembering though, as Kevin J said.....mobiles and wireless internet are pretty useless as you drift away from the major towns.

Personally I use a GME TX3800 UHF which is a commercial unit, meaning that it can be programmed to transmit on up to 25watts of power. (Standard legal wattage is 5 Watts).

A Testra mobile with a externally mounted antenna.

And if heading far into the great unknown, I hire a sat phone.

In the past, I have also run a HF set (RFDS unit), although with the advent of sat phones, and unless you're a radio buff, I wouldn't bother.

I'd highly recommend an EPIRB too. You may (let's hope not) be ina situation where you may not be able to talk, of if the vehicle catches fire, you can jump out with just your EPIRB and someone will sooner or later come along with a cup of tea...or medical help.

There is plenty of equipment out there, but don't be fooled into thinking you need one of everything. In my opinion, get a UHF, a Telstra Mobile phone with an external antenna, an EPIRB and hire a sat phone as required.

I guess, in short, visit a 4X4 shop in your area and stay away from desk jockeys.

FollowupID: 724761

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:09

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:09
Whoops sorry...one more thing.
When shopping for a Telstra mobile, go for a "Blue Tick". This means the unit has superior rural coverage...well, better than the non-blue tick ones at least.

FollowupID: 724763

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:20

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:20
Thanks Fab,
That helps heaps. Was not aware you could have an external aerial for the mobile, nor would I have thought of going to ARB. I had decided I would have to go with Telstra, I was looking at Nokia c5 or 6720 but got stuck on plan or prepaid, and then more and more confused when I started looking at what you got or didn't get for your money!
What do you think of a spot in place of epirb?
I will actually go to arb as you suggest. Thanks
FollowupID: 724767

Follow Up By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:48

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:48
Hi Rainbow

You really have no choice but to go with a Telstra and the next G phone with a blue tick.......but they dont all have the litle input socket on the back of the phone to take the patch lead from the external antennae......

unfortunately these input plugs on the backs of the blue tick phones are getting very scarse and I fear availibilty willl only get worse...they all seem to be relying on an induction type connection....(where the patch lead from the antennae conveys the signal into a cradle surrounding the phone).........

I rely extensively on my simple but very reliable "clam shell" design phone.....and for reliabilty I cannot fault the Samsung C5220 (has a input socket)......and the Samsung S5510 (S5510T is the same...neither has the socket)..........these are currently a run out model and are getting scarce........Because I am so impressed with these simple but effective phones (we run one of each). this week I purchased another S5510 to put on the shelf and a patch lead that velcroe's on the back to bring the signal in from the external antennae when needed....the reason I purchased another is because I love the phone and its reliability and I hate all these new touch screen things that are bells and whistles phones with far more than ever needed.

The C5220 is on run out for as low as $69...and the S5510 for $129.....both are advertised as pre paid but that is irrelevant as the post paid sim works in them anyway..........I had to look hard to get one this week

The Telstra T90 is a good blue tick with a antennae socket (have one of them as well)

by the way I hate Telstra with a passion for a huge number of reasons based on years of using them but I would never consider using any one else because of the Next G coverage...there is no equal for coverage and performance with their blue tick phones

I have no affliation with Samsung either but their phones have always performed flawlessly for me and the blue tick Nokia I tried was no match for the phones mentioned above for signal reception.

Life is a journey, it is not how we fall down, it is how we get up.
VKS 1341

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FollowupID: 724803

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:38

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:38
Hi Bungara,
Will be taking your info when I go to purchase a phone. That is a fairly strong recommendation for the Samsung if I can obtain one. The price sounds good too!
FollowupID: 724806

Reply By: snoopyone - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:25

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:25
For radios Kyle Communications at Burpengary.

He fits all sorts of systems from Tassie to New Guinea.

An expert on UHF and HF.
AnswerID: 452085

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:25

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 18:25
Hi snoopyone,
Thanks, have made notes
FollowupID: 724768

Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 21:25

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 21:25
Hi Rainbow. On the advice of two interstate truckdriver friends I recently purchased an Iphone4. I am with Telstra and so far, (the last 2 weeks) travelling throughout NSW it has been brilliant. I am not running an outside ariel yet but my truckie mates say that is even better in remote areas so that may be something for you to research as well. Cheers,Bob.

AnswerID: 452103

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 08:43

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 08:43
Read my comments on the Iphone.

Works OK in high strength areas but sadly lacking away from them.

The Iphone 4 has an inbuilt aerial problem in that if you hold it a certain way it masks the aerial.
As per here
Iphone 4
And here
aerial probs

To increase reception I use one of these

Car cradle

FollowupID: 724801

Reply By: Member. Rob M (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 07:35

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 07:35
Try Olbis communications at Rocklea.
They sell all of the above devices and are very helpful.
Rob M

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 452109

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:32

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:32
Rob M,
They are fairly local to me so I will go see them thanks. Very grateful for everyones input.
FollowupID: 724805

Reply By: PeteS - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:02

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:02
Hi Rainbow
Hope you finally sift your way through the maze. Even those who are savvy still find it a bit of a mine field sometimes.

You mentioned in one of your replies about using SPOT in place of an EPIRB.
I use SPOT as part of my backup communications plan and love it. The main thing that should be pointed out is that SPOT is operated by a private company that could possibly go bust at any time. I'm sure they would have some support no matter what (that's why I own one) but I think this should at least be pointed out.

We enabled the SPOT tracking facility also so our family & friends can watch our track updated every 10 minutes. When out of mobile range we send an OK message each night to our children (or whom ever we choose) via an email/text.

The Triple Zero is an emergency services situation however the HELP button (not life threatening) only goes to a group of people you select in your SPOT set-up. You therefore need to have a plan well thought through prior to your departure of what they would do, who they ring to get to you etc, etc. If sent to multiple people you must ensure they communicate between each other first so multiple assistance is not despatched.

I have an amateur radio licence so HF radio is one of my backup comm plans however I think a Sat. phone is a good choice these days. We went on Goog's track about a year ago and a Sat. phone was the simplest and most direct form of communications we used when we came across an accident on the track.

With emergency comms you need a main source, a backup source and if possible a source when all else fails.

AnswerID: 452111

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:52

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:52
Hi PeteS,
Yes, the maze gets deeper! Great info on the "spot". Gone are the days of hitching a van on the back of the family sedan and heading off into the wild blue yonder, no phones, satellites, epirbs, spots,compressors,fridges.....................etc. Your "press on. Obstacles are seldom the same size tomorrow as they are today" is very relevant to me at the moment. I will remind myself of it as I continue to jump the many obstacles life is throwing at me currently. Oh well, gives me challenges!
FollowupID: 724807

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:58

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:58
If you go for a Satfone Only go with an IRIDIUM based setup.

DO NOT get talked into a Globalstar unit.

Inmarsat are also Ok.

Have to say that or will get jumped on by a certain few LOL.

Older Motorola Satfones can be purchased reasonably cheaply now and do the job perfectly.

Can be used with a TELSTRA sim card (not prepaid) with minimal cost.
Sim must be internationally roamed

Call charges in and out are approx $3.75 per minute.

You only pay for what you use
FollowupID: 724808

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 11:04

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 11:04
That sounds like a more affordable option than what I have seen so far. Thanks
FollowupID: 724810

Follow Up By: PeteS - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 11:32

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 11:32
Hi Rainbow
I agree 100% with snoopyone. I mean't to mention in my previous post to only go with Iridium. I have seem to many frustrated people on alternate phone providers.

FollowupID: 724812

Reply By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 13:35

Sunday, Apr 24, 2011 at 13:35
We recommend Dave at P7 Offroad, (P7 comms) for all your communication needs. Great guy, easy to deal with and knows his stuff. His website is P7offroad.com.au , and phone number is:

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AnswerID: 452178

Follow Up By: Rainbow - Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 12:59

Monday, Apr 25, 2011 at 12:59
Thank you, personal recommendations invaluable. Will be following up

FollowupID: 724924

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