Jeremy Pippos

Quick Queensland Getaway!

Quick Queensland Getaway!

While many people were looking forward to having some downtime and much earned rest and relaxation over the New Year period. I always take the opportunity to get away when I can as it is difficult to take time off during the year when we are open.

This year we drove up to a station roughly 100 km west of Charleville in Queensland. It’s always great seeing the countryside, although at this time of year it is very hot and very dry.

We travelled from the Riverland over to Hay then headed north up to Hillston and continued heading north through Cobar and Bourke, all the way up to Cunnamulla and finally reaching Charleville. It is always a massive day, around 18 hours in the car! We like to get the drive over and done with to maximize our time out in the bush.

This year was the first year I decided to take a cel-fi phone signal booster kit using the basic magnetic antenna. I thought this would be a great opportunity as I had never travelled that remote using the basic magnetic antenna before. To say the results were surprising would be an understatement.

I temporarily set up the phone signal booster in the vehicle we were travelling in as it was not my car. I had to have a system that could quickly be removed when we returned home from the trip up north. A simple installation of the magnetic antenna on the roof and the small transmit antenna dropped into the centre console, luckily we had a double adaptor for the 12 volt power source and off we went.

A key setting that I believe must be changed to ensure the very best phone coverage should be to put your mobile device into 3G mode to eliminate the phone changing between Towers and relying on external signal sources I also locked the phone Booster onto the 3G signal for the duration of the trip


With both the unit and the mobile device locked in on 3G it helped to reduce battery consumption and also extended the range reliability significantly. After leaving the Riverland we had consistent phone signal all the way through until we reached Hillston with only a very small amount of time offline. Onwards from there we did have roughly 20 minutes of being offline travelling to Cobar and then roughly the same when travelling between Cobar and Bourke.

Getting up above Bourke is always going to have your phone searching for signal in no time however we managed only a small amount of dropouts all the way through to Cunnamulla. There was, of course, the odd drop out for 20 minutes or so but we were soon back online with a signal strong enough to make a phone call if we stopped or send a text anytime

There’s so many small towns out there with no coverage at all, however it is quite surprising to find the odd place with their own tower!

On the return trip, we maintained similar coverage – there were a few dropouts down to Cobar however we then took a right turn and headed through to Wilcannia then on to Broken Hill. We managed to have almost uninterrupted signal from Cobar back to the Riverland, with only a small amount of time offline between Broken Hill and Wentworth. The weather was terrible during this part of the drive with gale force winds building a thick dust storm that had us slow down to almost 60kph!

Check out some of the photos from the trip!

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