New South Wales, like most of the other Australian states, is not kind to drivers caught clutching their mobiles. So let’s review the importance of using a hands-free kit! Our egos often challenge us to do as much multi-tasking as possible. It is way too easy to get overconfident. Plus, you never know when the person on the other end of the call is going to blindside you with something that will really take your mind off of driving, With hands-free kits, you at least double the number of hands on the wheel, from one to two!
‘Hands-on’ mobile calling and driving simply don’t mix. That’s certainly the view of the lawmakers on this issue. That’s why you’re probably looking at a loss of $256 and three points if you get caught in NSW. Similar penalties occur in other states as well. Of course, during double demerit periods, it gets worse. Rather than let someone get their hands on your wallet, why not install a hands-free kit and enjoy a permanent solution?
Nowadays, most of us change mobiles more often than we change vehicles, so a kit with an interchangeable cradle is a good idea. A new phone will only require a different cradle. The rest of the installation remains as is. Plus, switchable cradles accomodate motorists and families with multiple mobiles. As our lives rely more and more on mobile devices, this will only become more of an issue.
An interchangeable cradle simply locks into the base. One pushes the top edge of the base forward against the spring while the cradle is pushed into the base at an angle. The back is lowered and slid against the connection pins. After a few trial runs, this process will only take a second.
External high-gain antenna
The addition of a high-gain antenna will not only extend the range of your phone out into the wide-open spaces. It will improve call clarity as well in outlying areas and during inclement weather. When your 4WD is fully loaded and you’re headed into the bush, the extended range offered by a hands-free kit will be welcomed.
Ghosting and reflection
4WD vehicles often have something in common, a steel roof rack. Such a roof rack acts like a poorly-designed antenna. It can take a radio signal and bounce it around in chaotic ways. This phenomena can really interfere with mobile reception, especially in weak-signal areas.
Spotty reception can also result from the ‘shadowing’ effect of such a roof rack. Rack elements can selectively block signals, much like branches block the sun. An intelligently placed external antenna can successfully address these challenges.
Watch for kits that include an interrupt wire. When an incoming call occurs, the radio is automatically muted. If your phone has an ‘any key’ ability, tapping any key will connect you.
As long as you’re investing in a hands-free kit, why not get one with variable volume controls? This feature can provide flexibility as you use your mobile in varied settings.
The choice is clear. Someday pay a fine or multiple fines. Or, invest in a hands-free mobile kit that will bring you in compliance with the law. Such a kit will also bring peace-of-mind and improved reception. It’s truly one of the best 4×4 accessories to invest in.