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All this was mounted in a weatherproof electrical switch box ($200), on a sturdy stand that Nick’s dad made from scrap metal, and which also held up both aerials and the solar panel itself. Whew.

The precious wifi signal’s destination, at the bottom of the hill.

At the woolshed:

Aerial for receiving wifi signal from the top of the hill: 19dBi 2.4GHz Square Grid/Dish Antenna ($178) from City Technology: connected to a:

Wireless Bridge: D-Link DWL-G810 ($80) & Router: Draytek Vigor 2110N ($300): providing a wi-fi network for the woolshed & connected to a:

Aerial for relaying the wifi signal further down the hill: 19dBi 2.4GHz Square Grid/Dish Antenna ($178)

These were all mounted in and on the woolshed roof.

The receiving aerial at our woolshed, catching and storing energy (ok, catching wifi signal, actually)

Down at the homestead:

Aerial for receiving wifi signal from the woolshed: 19dBi 2.4GHz Square Grid/Dish Antenna ($178): connected to a:

Wireless Bridge: D-Link DWL-G810 ($80) & Router: D-Link DI-624S ($200)

And thence by normal-person wifi technology, the wifi proceeded to become available to our computers. Huzzah.

After you include all the tangly bits it all cost about $3500, not including the considerable time spent. When you multiply all those held-breath counts of 15 we’ve had over the last 4 years waiting for things to load, I’d say the cost was worth it to our family farms’ various businesses, and our collective sanity.

The verdict? I’ve never been happier. I love my husband so much for figuring this one out it could make you sick.

System stability? Mostly good. The system as a whole functions maybe 80% of the time, the rest of the time, it doesn’t. The Telstra Modem seems to go down pretty regularly, even though it consistently reports 42% signal strength. The other links occasionally fall over too, especially in wet weather. Why, we just don’t know.

We just make a cup of tea and wait until it comes back online. We’re well trained in waiting for our pages to load.

As luck would have it just after we installed the system, some visitors to the farm started receiving text messages on their Optus mobiles in a couple of isolated spots.This was a disturbing first for Milkwood. It turns out Optus just installed a new transmitter only 10km away making our attempt to get wireless broadband from Telstra’s Tower 36km from here kind of ludicrous.

Maybe the gods of things that flash and go beep might bestow kindness upon us and offer up a new Telstra transmitter nearby, a contract solicitor to help us escape their iron contract grip or a network geek who will fine tune our current rig in return for good food and conversation.

At least we have fresh air, warm tea and happy chooks.

Hey there! Are you a geek who could troubleshoot the above system to make it more stable? We would LOVE to hear from you.

We can’t afford a whole new rig, so suggestions of the “you know what you should have done” variety that require us to start from scratch are not what we are looking for. Replacement of strategic bits considered, however.

We will show our thanks with pastured lamb, olive oil, and/or free courses on the most blisteringly interesting and useful subjects you’ll ever sit down for. Please comment below or get in touch. Many thanks in advance.

Read more about this fabulous homestead at, and some titles from their fabulous blog:

All about our Winter Permaculture Design Course

Best Edible Plants for your Vertical Garden

Design Basics: Mapping the Sun on your Site

Visiting: Fork & Hoe Collective – Tasmania

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