Disaster Drill with goTenna Mesh


I’ve got the green light to use my 4 Mesh units in the next disaster drill -1 Nov. It will be used with the Logistics Team

  1. Is there a way to have a single username and password for an account and multiple users in the account (I’m thinking employee numbers for nicknames).

  2. Is there a dummy user card with minimal text that can be stored with the units? https://i.pinimg.com/736x/75/89/d2/7589d287bd175dc8bf0b12ed756c38bb--jet-shawarma.jpg

  3. Now I have to give a class on how to use them. :persevere: Is there a best practices for communicating with the device?

  4. If a phone is dropped and broken, how can I grab a random iPad and keep communicating with the same device?

I don’t know what I don’t know so if there are lessons learned from other events, I’m all ears!



This is very exciting!!! Paging @Rahul_Subramany – maybe we can put together some best-practices for you and others (and adjust based on your experience, too)


I’ve got 8 units to play with for the very same reason. We’re on an island and could very easily be cutoff from the outside world.


We have very fancy Motorolas that does txt, but no one knows how to send a message. Who would remember how to use it with training 3-4 times a year? People hate talking on the radio!

We had simulated injury cards passed out at random. One of the remote radio operators had to act like he sustained a head injury and recited Juius Caesar Act 2 Scene 2 with a hot mike. :rofl:
Luckily we are licensed on four channels!


haha. We have those 1W Motorolas and a repeater at one of our locations. The txting is a nightmare.

We use Kenwood 3W with a local repeater here and it works very well. However they’re very expsnsive, heavy, and not secure. We have our FCC for Hawaii and some nationwide frequencies :wink:


Setting up for a demo this morning, I drove my son to the bus stop and linked my iPad to mesh and got stuck because I could not register the mesh radio. I downloaded the app earlier.

The intent is for everyone to download the app today, then issue them when needed, link up first come first serve as survivors reach the emergency supply, then reissue recharged goTennas as the teams cycle through their mandatory breaks.

Is this because the units are out of the box new or required every time the app is launched the first time, or is this neede for each device when connected?

I can get IT to push the app to 5,000 corporate iPads and iPhones, my concern is this requirement to register online.

  1. Can I register them before I place the mesh units in the emergency packs?

  2. If no is there a first responder button in the settings that can ask for a code to unlock such a feature. I have no problem registering and updating a blanket code for emergency use. Even update the master code as needed. I would keep code on the meshs in emergency packs.




@maingear while setting up your account, you will be presented with 2 options - Phone Number or Randomly assigned ID.
You can use the randomly assigned ID option, when you don’t have internet access. To do this, during setup when you are on the ‘Create your Account’ page, click on
’Click here if you don’t want to use your phone number’ option to get started.

Remember that you need to share this ID with everyone who wishes to reach you.


Ok, when the random code generator screen kicks me back to the Create Your Account screen, I fill out the Name, and select Next on the keyboard, it stalls out.

Turns out I had to click “next step” at the bottom of the page too. I thought it was trying to register itself because I clicked next on the keyboard and assumed clicking next on the screen was redundant. (Just when you thought it was idiot proof, here comes a better idiot! :rofl: )

When I shout my name that I entered above does not show. I assume this is so unverified/non-registered copy cats will not flood the system.


@maingear You’re no idiot, haha, our current app onboarding UI leaves a lot to be desired. In mid-late November our 4.2 app release will throw out everything you see today and put in its place something much more intuitive (and shorter too). :wink: @Rahul_Subramany @michaelryap are working very hard on that as we speak!


@danielagotenna great news on the update - hope you’ll stick to Android’s Material design guidelines as close as possible. What I see for disaster communications as great selling point of Gotenna is the fact people can use phones/apps that look super familiar to them, which kind of requires a UI that is very compliant with design best practices for each OS…


@Rahul_Subramany @michaelryap - FYI - Our company IDs use code 39 symbology for employee numbers on the badge’s bar codes. (I’m sure all you need is one more interface :robot:)

We are cheering you guys on!! Woo Ho! :confetti_ball:


Not to my knowledge, @maingear, but we are revamping all of the illustrations and photography seen during onboarding to help make set up easier. Do you imagine something printed and the size of a playing card, or digital (like a PDF etc.)?


Hi @elafargue, I lead design at goTenna. Nice to meet you and thank you for your feedback. You’ve described our redesign approach precisely. (On iOS, we’re adhering very closely to Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines.) In future iterations of the apps, we’ll be looking to take advantage of the features that make each platform unique too.


Whatever is easiest for you. We have taken a letter size guide and made a trifold to help everyone with the radios. Fits in the pocket…

I tried upload an example docx, but i get “Sorry, the file you are trying to upload is not authorized”

Did a walk around test yesterday and placed a node 6’ high in the center of our complex and got 80% coverage. Lots of cubes, PCs, and servers here. We have 12’ ceilings and I think If the center node was on a 10’ pole I could get 100%.



I hear you. Thanks for your feedback, Justin. Rahul and I will consider it. (If you’ve a moment, I’d love to see a screenshot of the docx you tried to upload.)


To pair a Mesh unit without internet access, you’ll need to use a random GID and skip signing up with email.

To allow offline installation of the app on iOS devices, you’ll need a computer with iTunes installed. In iTunes, go to the App Store and download the GoTenna app. The app will now be stored on the computer and should allow you to install the app offline. I would create a backup of the device first, as syncing with another computer will remove all previously synced content such as music. The Encrypted backup option will preserve most passwords and fitness data, as well as protecting the backup from misuse.


Using a telescopic pole to raise the device out of the cubical interference layer. If you are considering a telescopic pole, try to find a lever locking type. I’ve never used a compression nut style that I liked.

This model is 4’ (1 meter) closed and 14’ (4 meter ) extended. Simply taped through the belt loop. Not sure who makes it. Found it in the “mod me” pile at the makerspace.



Problem I have right now is while I can ask people to download the app ahead of time, they can’t download the maps until they’ve paired the device. When we do an exercise we have weak cell signal, that’s a big problem. That and we need to download all of California which is a sizable chunk of data and space on a phone.


This is a good point. @Rahul_Subramany App needs to be able to download maps to setup before going offline if user does not have a gotenna (meeting with others that do). Onboarding should have “I don’t have gotenna yet, but would like to setup without one”