I’m interested in meeting users in Anchorage in order to do some testing. I do not have an friends who have goTenna so I don’t have anyone with whom I can try it out. I have 4 goTenna because I plan to use one as a fixed relay and one as in my car as a mobile relay then one extra. Anyway, I’d love to try out the device, give it a test, with anyone in my area. -Dennis
If you can’t find a partner to help test with, acquire or borrow second phone or SMS-capable cell device, i.e. a phone that has Bluetooth Extended (BTE) and an OS up to date enough to satisfy the goTenna system requirements but no longer has cell service. I do a LOT of my testing this way, leaving the extra paired device set at home and using the one in the vehicle to send test messages back to the one at the home location.
BTW, you doing exactly the right thing to maximize the reach and capability of your personal system setting up one at home as a relay that, in effect, serves as a powered antenna, and one on the vehicle that acts as a mobile repeater.
The only iffy point is that this won’t help for Shouts, which do not relay. Here’s where your post here can help if you add an appeal for folks to contact you with their GUIDs and/or publish your own GUID here, which will allow you to add them to your Contacts and enable you to take advantage of hopping through various nodes to extend the maximum reach of your efforts. Like with email, it helps a lot to have the address for someone else in order to facilitate the contact.
If you need to extend the range of your Shouts, the main practical option is to increase the height of your paired device, while staying within Bluetooth range. One option, although I didn’t originally design it for mobile use, is my FireFly BigStick design. I need to caution you need to do your own testing with the BigStick to determine if it’s suitable for mobile use as you will use it. I suspect mine is fine around town, but not sure about highway speeds. You also need to adjust the BigStick for your anticipated overhead clearance and judge things carefully as you encounter them or something could go bang…
It was late when I wrote the previous, but had another thought to add. Check out Anchorage on the imeshyou map: https://imeshyou.gotenna.com/
You’ll see there are some nodes in the city and surroundings. Only one is listed as a stationary relay, but if you’re close to that one and set-up another that’s close enough, you’ve already got the beginnings of a mesh network. Since there is no server, the devices pass messages seamlessly back and forth, even if you have no idea who is operating that first relay. All you need do is get it on the air close enough to the other.
That said, it’s still worthwhile to work together with others and to exchange GUIDs, etc. As everyone in Anchorage is aware, the BIG One could hit and then the goTenna Mesh may be one of the few ways to communicate with others. The key is doing the prep work for disaster now, as this article by Ben Parisi in In the Mesh magazine points out:
Undoing Our Bias against Disaster Preparedness
An excellent article - thanks for pointing it out Mike!
I know the leaders at Code for Anchorage, which is one of the Code for America brigades. If no one there is messing with mesh yet, there are probably some who’d be willing to! Brigades have been very instrumental in building apps on the fly for disaster response in hurricane stricken parts of the country in the past couple years. We’ve had some cursory discussions of mesh networks in disasters, but not much more. You can ping them or just attend a Meetup - here’s the link:
Good luck -
Code for Dayton
I love your suggestion. So how do YOU find affordable used cell phones that you can use for testing? I’ve never looked for one before (only the shiny, new, EXPESIVE ones).
Thanks again for more helpful advice. Yes, I’ve seen the Anchorage map and two of the nodes are ME. I have my relay listed and my regular one listed. I feel fairly certain that I’ll find some other users here soon. In a place like Anchorage, that MUST be some interest out there.
Thanks, Janet. I have heard of the group and that there is a chapter in Anchorage. I’d love to connect with them to see any of them would want to work with me on testing out the goTenna Mesh system here in Anchorage but ALSO because I’m involved in the ham radio club here which is always in treated in electronics and anything to do with public service. Some of their members might be interested in our various projects as well as goTenna. Thanks for the idea!
I end up with my wife’s hand-me-downs, but that’s just a start. Ebay is one place to look, as well as craigslist or other such markets. I suspect there are other resellers. Some caution is in order, since cellphones are often stolen, but since you’re looking for older phones that aren’t “hot tickets” you should be able avoid most such “offers.” Ebay can be used to discover what a good market price is and something that sounds too good is obviously suspect.
Posting here is a very good place to start. Give it some time, add what you’re working on here in updates to this thread and you will hopefully find interest in replies to this thread. Give the ham angle some work, too, letting others know you’re working on this and others will show up that way.
Hey Dennis, I am a fellow mesh user in Anchorage. We have used ours a few time out on the back side of Eagle River and it worked great. I have 4 units now as well. One will be setup at the house as a fixed relay node and the other 3 will be used as mobile devices.
Hello, Another Anchorage user here. I’ll be setting up one of my 4 as a relay in the UAA area a little later today.
If you need another user to test with, I’d be happy to help.
Thank you. Another Anchorage user replied as well. That’s great. I live near Dimond HS in south Anchorage. I have a fixed relay unit at my house and 3 other units available for use. Not sure the best way to meetup. Shall we share emails or phone numbers or just use this forum to set it up? I’m off duty from my work for the next 3 days.
Thank you! I’d love to do some testing. What would be the best way to do this? Maybe we could set up an appointment and try to connect with each other? I’m located in south Anchorage, near Dimond high school. I have a stationary relay unit at my house and 3 other units available. I’ll watch closely for a reply so can do this somehow. I’ve not used this system at all yet and I’m looking forward to trying it.
I work nights and I have my GoTenna with me most nights.
I might be able to hit Dimond from my work location at the C st. / Arctic / Raspberry intersection just on the other side of Minnesota.
I’ll send you a private message w/ my details for better contact
My phone and number are 503-550-1798. My name is Dennis. Thanks!
Hope everyone in Anchorage and the rest of Alaska is doing OK.
News reports, including this excerpt from the NY Times reporting on this morning’s 7.0 magnitude quake, suggest why having goTenna Mesh available could be useful.
…officials urged residents to check on neighbors and loved ones, but to stay off phones when possible, as some cellphone towers were not working…
“At least for the first 24 hours, please try not to overwhelm the phone lines,” Jodie Hettrick, the chief of the Anchorage Fire Department, said. “Texting [and social media] is the smarter way to get a hold of family — requires less bandwidth.”