Lone Vinyl Wallaby also has to be one of the more Aussie hotspot names, too, which is cool.
This model is a Heltec which arrived from China yesterday after 3 weeks with FedEx (pathetic, really) and having been thoroughly inspected along the way.
When all is said and done, I should have at least one of each of the models currently available for the AU915 market.
First impressions of the unit are that it feels solid and well put together. The Nebra Indoor Hotspot in comparison is lightweight and feels flimsy. The antenna the Heltec comes with is laughable and so I swapped it for the stock Nebra, which is a much better made. The Heltec one will go with the mapper – maybe with a magnetic mount for the roof of the car.
I ordered some additional cable with the Heltec which may as well go straight in the bin. It’s thin, and it was very cheap and the loss that it provides, will surely outweigh any gains a new antenna can add. It might do in a push, but it’s a shadow of the quality of the LMR400 cables I’ve had made locally.
The Heltec is deployed with the Nebra indoor antenna for now, and will have an external RAK 5.8dBi added in due course after some testing. I’m looking forward to seeing some witnessing between the two and seeing what additional coverage it provides.
The number of hotspots in Australia is picking up the pace with 460 deployed as of 20 October. We’ve added a hundred in the last 2-3 days.
I’m expecting several more tomorrow and next week and I know a few others in Canberra who will be adding to the network in the next couple of days, too. Stay tuned!