[clug] Feedback...

George Bray georgebray at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 18:14:37 MST 2009


My tests with 3G might be relevant for your great post.

I've used an Optus E169, and Telstra Sierra Wireless 301 USB modems in
pre-paid mode to maintain great, permanent 3G connectivity in places
where the service is unreliable via a 3G handset.

Both of these dongles have an external antenna connector.

I use an external antenna mounted on a tripod.

3G Long Range Antenna

To share the 3G connection I use a Draytek Vigor2820n.  This ADSL/Wifi
router also has a USB port and displays the 3G radio reception signal
strength in the browser. It redials the 3G connection on demand, if

Draytek Vigor2820n

This was my setup while travelling recently.  Using it I can scan the
horizon for the strongest signal (much like peaking a satellite dish).
 In some remote places where there is no GSM service on phones I can
at least get a GPRS service to the outside world.

If you can get a 3G service, adjusting the directional antenna can optimise it.

There's no webpage on either carrier showing you how much traffic
you've used with prepaid, you have to put the dongle in a laptop and
(optus: send an SMS with their software, Telstra: use the connection
app to query the balance).

The latency on both 3G services I used was fine for my use.  I
conduced multi-party (8) videoconferences with US and EU endpoints.
Skype video fine, YouTube fine. No sweat with the 4Mbps connection I'd
usually get. As a test, I was watching the recent Broadband Futures
event streamed live to my beachside cabin - it worked fine.

<BEWARE>Re-charging a Telstra prepaid connection takes (some time? -
48hrs).  If you use the service before the credit is made to your
account, the usage on the re-charge you bought is billed at the
maximum price. Only after <some time> does the billing rate adjust to
what you've just paid for.</BEWARE>


George Bray, Canberra, Australia.

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