This section outlines ways to identify if a site requires an external antenna or not prior to installation.
PRO-TIP: It is recommended to always bring at least a spare hi-gain magnetic base antenna (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org) and a spare angle bracket hi-gain antenna (link).
Solar Analytics Smart Monitor communicates using Telstra 3G network. Hence, there are times that the site does not have an adequate signal strength to allow the device to communicate to the 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 or not.
- Use Telstra coverage map (link) to check the coverage on the area. The Telstra coverage maps have four scales to indicate the signal strength intensity. Please refer to the image below.
If it falls on '3G external antenna' region, it is very likely that the device requires an external antenna to communicate the data to the server
- The number of reception bars on your phone will tell you if a site has a good reception or not. Anything that is below two bars would very much require one.
There are two types of external antenna that we generally recommend;
- Hi-gain magnetic base antenna with two metres extension lead — to get this one, simply contact email@example.com or call 1300 651 137.
- Hi-gain angle bracket antenna — follow this link to purchase it.
This article serves as a guideline only. The issue varies site-by-site. For an example, there are sites that are indicated to be having a good signal strength according to the Telstra coverage maps, however, it turns out the meter box is located in the basement or inside a brick garage of metal shed. Hence, it is best to always have the spare antennas ready with you all the time!
Please leave us a comment below if you have need clarification or have any questions.