This section outlines ways to identify if a site requires an external antenna prior to installation.
PRO-TIP: It is recommended to always bring a hi-gain magnetic base antenna (contact: email@example.com) and a spare angle bracket hi-gain antenna (link) to an installation where 3G network coverage is not certain.
Solar Analytics Smart Monitors communicate using the Telstra 3G network. Some sites do not have an adequate signal strength to allow the device to communicate to our server. As such, the device needs to be equipped with an external antenna.
Checking signal strength
There are two ways to determine if a device requires an external antenna:
- Use the Telstra coverage map (link) to check the coverage at a site. The Telstra coverage maps have four scales to indicate the signal strength intensity. Please refer to the image below.
If a site falls in a '3G external antenna' region, it is likely that the device requires an external antenna to communicate data to our server
- Alternatively, the number of reception bars received by a phone on the site can be an indication of signal strength. If reception is below two bars, an antenna may be required.
There are two types of external antennas that we recommend;
- Hi-gain magnetic base antenna with two metre extension lead — to order this, simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 651 137.
- Hi-gain angle bracket antenna — can be purchased in this link.
As signal strength varies from site to site, this article serves as a guideline only. Even sites indicated to have strong signal on coverage maps can be limited due to poor metre placement in areas such as basements, brick garages and metal sheds.
Please leave us a comment below if you have need clarification or have any questions.