Coms in Tasmania
20 January 2011
Internet was unbelievably good. Wired internet access is available on Deal island at the caretakers cottage and they are very happy for anyone to use it. Diomedea found excellent internet reception everywhere south of Deal island, even anchored in remote bays on the west side of Cape Barren island and well off the east coast of Tasmania. I don't think we were ever out of reception in fact.
The setup we have is the high gain marine antenna from Maxon http://www.maxon.com.au/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=32&osCsid=47de7bbd45c50c0b9a2915da633a8e74. This is a passive antenna and is mounted to our targa arch. The cable runs to the nav station and then there is 10cm of patch lead (http://www.maxon.com.au/shop/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=74&osCsid=47de7bbd45c50c0b9a2915da633a8e74) to join the cable to the antenna socket of the Telstra Elite wireless broadband USB dongle. (http://go.bigpond.com/wireless/?2473PSEM&pid=td_tc-wbb-ggs-semt-GGSiteLinks_PlansandOffers&s_kwcid=TC|4297|wireless broadband telstra||S||6485737386) The dongle plugs into the USB port on your computer and away you go. We watched the ABC website videos of the Qld floods in obscure locations with this system. The system works equally well for Mac and IBM (I'd Rather be a Mac) computers.
I had taken our Iridium sat phone for downloading NOAA grib files but only used it once as the internet was so good.
We also found the BOM Wind forecast technology to be very useful http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/marine/wind/index.jsp especially with endless gale warnings in the far south.
VHF radio coverage was fantastic with good relay of weather forecasts, updates and notices to mariners. We listened to Tamar radio, Coast Radio Hobart, and Tascoast radio. They all do HF coverage as well.