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When you’re touring in remote areas it’s important to know exactly where you are; never ever leave home without navigation equipment or at the very least, maps of the area you’re visiting. In the event of a breakdown or emergency it’s vital that you have a reliable means of communication to call for assistance.

Starlink bush internet service

Elon Musk’s low-earth-orbit satellite internet service is gradually expanding around the globe and now provides mobile, remote-area coverage, but there have been issues.

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Satellite Phone Communication

We bought our satellite phones years ago and wouldn’t leave home without one of them; a couple of vehicle breakdowns and medical emergencies during our travels in Australia’s Outback and our best satellite phone has more than paid for itself.

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Fighting back against hackers

Defending your tablet, computer, smart watch and phone against hackers isn’t exactly mainstream travel stuff, but is absolutely necessary in these days of growing cybercrime, an expert told Outback Travel Australia.

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Adapting wired headphone outlets to wireless

Wireless external and in-ear headphones are obviously the way to go, but there are older devices that rely on a small, round input jack and wired headphones – aeroplane and gym outlets and older radios being cases in point.

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Polaris Maxx navigation unit

Polaris’ Maxx range is designed for maximum ease of use, with a large, adjustable screen and kits that suit many 4WD utes and wagons. We began testing one in 2019.

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Three words that make navigation easy

You may not know it, but the piece of real estate you’re sitting in has a unique three-word code, developed for a free app called ‘what3words’. That code can be input into a navigation device or mobile phone, allowing a delivery to be made, without the driver’s need for a detailed address and access instructions.

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Hema HX-2 Navigator

Hema Maps unveiled its seventh-generation GPS and navigation product, the HX-2, in August 2021. The product is said to integrate digital mapping and data of remote areas with moderated community sourced data and social networking. 

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Remote area messaging device

The ZOLEO satellite communicator is compact and provides over 200 hours of battery life. It is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 55°C, is shock-resistant and features an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. 

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Whatever happened to Galileo

We know that after being shown the instruments of torture Galileo recanted and avowed that the Catholic Church knew more about heliocentricity than he did. Nice people, the Renaissance Catholics. However, this scientific colossus’ name has been applied to Europe’s challenge to the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS).

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Toooair cellular two-way

ToooAir is claimed to be Australia’s first two-way radio style transceiver using a cellular network, providing push-to-talk communication across Australia, using the Telstra network.

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40-channel and 80-channel Cb radios are not toys

In February 2017, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) very quietly reversed its decision to make 40-channel UHF radios illegal from June 2017. When the 80-channel spectrum was gazetted, 40-channel radios were banned from sale and were to be phased out. Now they’re not.

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Comms VKS737 HF Radio Network

Outback Travel Australia relies on the VKS737 network on all bush trips. Contrary to the belief of many, HF isn’t ‘dinosaur’ system, but thanks to recent developments is the communications network of choice for remote area travel and disaster relief.

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Communications options in remote areas

It’s much more relaxing in the Outback when you know that reliable contact with the outside world is only a button-push away. However, UHF (CB) radios are great for vehicle to vehicle communication, but near on useless in an emergency if there isn’t anyone close-by that also has one. Mobile telephones are great, when you’re in a mobile service area, but there’s not much service in the Outback or remote areas.

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