Appeal to DMV area users


Hi all - I wanted to reply to this thread so I’ll get updates. I’m in the DMV and am planning on setting up two stationary nodes as well as using the devices. Should be fun!!


I believe that the goTenna Pro is not compatible with the goTenna Mesh.


Setting one up in Chevy Chase Village.


I’m in the Fairfax area. While I am not (yet?) able to afford to put out any relay nodes, I’d be interested in “testing” the range and the area coverage in my very local area. I’m fine with starting small and working my way upward and outward. I can step outside this weekend and try, as the temps plummet from 60F down to 30F, if anyone wants to shout out. Pick a time? Anyone?


My “start small” test: I sat on my fat rear in my warm and cozy Fairfax, VA home and sent out Shouts every couple hours today. I did not expect replies, and I did not receive any. :slight_smile: Tomorrow, weather permitting and motivation present, I’ll try the test outside (eliminate the in-the-house variable). After that, I’ll see about getting higher, somehow (maybe hang the goTenna Mesh out the upper floor window. Then, I’ll try driving to a higher part of town. Not too many dots on the map for my area, but what the heck… Gotta start somewhere, and some folks have to be the first dots on the map!


OK, so step two has been as expectedly unsuccessful as step one was – no replies. I have taken the phone and Mesh with me every time I have taken the dog out for his business. Didn’t expect answers to my shouts, but had to check the box. I have a number of desk-bound tasks to work on the next day or two, then I might try driving around the town, maybe over to the side that has other nodes on the map (the “cool” side of town?), and give it a go. As I said before, start small and work upward and outward, especially since time and temperature seem in such limited supply of late. More to come…


Step three – new boss is just like the old boss… LOL :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: As I drove around Fairfax doing some errands, I stopped periodically and tried to shout, but no one heard me. I tried the top of a parking garage (that was, sadly, nearly surrounded by slightly higher roof tops of metal). I tried an open field atop a small knoll (yes, a grassy one) on historical grounds. I tried outside City Hall. I tried a couple parks. Antenna was still at relative human height, some sites were not well elevated, some sites were hemmed in by human structures. And, frankly, there are not a lot of Meshers in Fairfax yet, apparently. I’ll try pulling up the IMeshYou map while I am out next time and head into heart of the small cluster of nodes in the Cool part of town. I still have to talk to the local VFD and to REI…


by the blurbs & specs, It can talk to the civilian gotenna. It can be programmed to different freqs


I am a new goTenna-ite in the Northern VA area. I want to add a couple of Relay Nodes to the Fairfax/Burke/Annandale/Springfield area and looking for suggestions for locations. Any thoughts?


@Mattybme Go to the search widget in the upper right and search for “line of sight map.” The first one that some up for me has a link to a website that lets you figure line of sight coverage from a location or between locations. This can help you to figure out good places to put a node. One idea that has come up a few times is trying to hook up with your local fire department folks to see if they will let you set up a relay node at the top of their firehouse (helps if the firehouse is tall… LOL). They “get” emergency comms pretty well and are generally friendly. I’d LOVE to put one atop the Massey building in downtown Fairfax – the tallest building around sitting atop a bit of a hill in Fairfax… Church steeples might be good. Tall office buildings, of course, if you have a contact there. Atop tall poles or hanging from high tree limbs, especially on top of hills. Drink from the firehose that is this forum and you’ll glean many good ideas, both in how to build self-contained relay nodes and in where to put them.


Any chance we can get official confirmation please? This contradicts the discussion in USVI group.


Pro and Mesh work on entirely different frequencies and so as a result are not interoperable.


@henry_sheard thanks fellow FairfaxCounty-n :slight_smile: I will give the line of sight map website a try.


Ok I courtesy of a few Amazon vouchers and a 15% discount on a 2fer goTenna Mesh pack I am close to creating two Relay Nodes in the Burke/Fairfax/Annandale/Springfield VA area. Just missing the Batteries.

From my understanding, I need to distance these out no further than 1 mile apart from home base correct? Thanks to @henry_sheard for the line of sight tip! I think I know what high points to station them at.


Not a lot of experience in the DC area personally, but I’ve been there a few times for marches and research. Generally, I found it to be densely urban. The best way to achieve the advantage of LOS is height. If you have a lot of height you can do amazing things.

Here in Urbana, the urban density is less than in DC, generally, and we found that about a half mile is what is needed for reasonably reliable connections. Not perfect, but pretty good. Our nde sites are all pretty much down in the weeds, with none being located currently more than about 28’ max above ground level.

If your home location is in the center of two other new nodes that are a mile apart, then you’ve got a fighting chance it will work, especially if you can make use of a tall building or other height advantage. If you space the nodes a mile from each other, then it really depends on height in the dense urban environment.

This assumes there are no other nodes located favorably to help the ones you have planned, so it’s also worth checking the map when considering your efforts if you’re trying to cover an area for your own needs. A node that was upgraded as we started our initial build out considerably extended the network here south of where we initially thought we’d be, a pleasant surprise that required no effort on our part due to the magic of the mesh just working together.


Duke Street near Masonic Temple now has a stationary node. As does North Arlington near Yorktown High School. Doing my part.


Yeehaw! Post a photo :slight_smile:


2 small pelican cases, 2 small solar rechargeable batteries and 2 unmoded gotenna units. Nothing to write home about. :slight_smile: Waiting for my FB friends to follow lead and make the tiny investment into their own units, then we will be talking.


If anyone is interested in furthering the decentralized meshing of Arlington to allow for off grid communications, please DM me. The issue of stable, robust offline communications is something we all need to look at and goTenna makes it rather simple and cost effective. I have posted about this on Facebook and if we expose people to the concept, they will buy units and join the movement.

If anyone in Arlington would like to meet in person to coordinate efforts, I am open and willing.

#imeshyou #gotenna


Keep us posted on how this goes! If we can, we’ll jump in to support your efforts!