Los Angeles, California


#1

So the topic is part local and part global in scope.

I am wondering what people think about not just treating their units as emergency devices or when needed devices.

I fully support the idea of 24/7 nodes and I intend to run one on the 9th floor of a building at Sunset and Wilcox looking west. However, the real strength of mesh is more units.

If we all wait till either there is a critical event or we are operating in known limited access area, then we can’t be sure our units are functional or that the mesh network in our area will be robust enough.

So I am suggesting people consider keeping their units charged up and on as much as possible.

While I am not a HAM operator, I remember hearing on my scanner nights when they would do a roll call on the network. Perhaps if nothing else in an area once a month people should turn on their units so we can organically test overall coverage.

So to that end, I am running mine 24/7 and will be somewhere between West LA and Hollywood and next week when my black units arrive I will have one up and running full time from the 9th floor in Hollywood.

Feel free to PM me if you are near or going to be near and want to test range here in Los Angeles.


TURN YOURS ON ... Near Beverly Hills on Sunday 9/8 (10am-3pm)
Unpaired GoTenna Mesh as repeater?
#2

THIS. This is why we made imeshyou.com so people could visualize the otherwise invisible/ephemeral goTenna Mesh network and be inspired to treat their devices as day-to-day technology with unexpected/surprising use-cases and applications — and not just for going-hiking, going-on-vacation, in-case-of. :slight_smile:

(It’s also why we plan to integrate imeshyou.com with the off-grid app/hardware in the next 6 months, and also why we’re discussing potential blockchain integrations to incent behavior that builds out the network beyond Mesh Believers like you and me who are committed already.)

@Firqby Might you consider editing the title of this thread from “Leave it on - Los Angeles” to something like: “Leave your goTenna Mesh on ALL THE TIME (Los Angeles & beyond)” so that more people click on this? That way people outside L.A. join the conversation?


#3

I have a mesh node sitting by the front window on a solar panel. Soon it will be on a mast on the roof. Grid be damned :smile:

Most people buying gotenna will never see these message boards, so @danielagotenna is right, the App will be the catalyst for getting most people to think about the “mesh grid” as a real thing and to leave units not just charging but online.


#4

Hi @dbfish,

I’m with you; my unit is powered on 24hrs with a solar panel on the 3rd floor of my apt building. At night the goTenna battery dips to between 64-71%, but when I come home from work each day the power is roughly around 91%. It will be interesting to see how Seattle’s cloudy fall/winter will affect my solar charging, however I also have a portable power charger I can attach to the solar panel, to make it a mini MOAN like @gua742 's unit.

Once my other units come then I will keep them in my EDC bag for personal use; but for now my single unit is for “everyone”.

Amon


#5

I’ll have one in Northeast Los Angeles at the top of Monterey Hills along side our GMRS repeater.

The GMRS repeater is running DC off of a solar charge controller and 35Ah AGM battery. Currently the charge controller is powered by a standard ham radio power supply. Hopefully once my 501c3 gets up and running, we can invest into actual solar panels.
The solar charge controller has 2x USB ports on it so it’ll easily be able to power the goTenna Mesh.
Once I get mine in (hopefully today) and @gua742 can convert it to have an SMA jack, I’ll purchase a 6dbi gain antenna (for “emergency use only” of course) that’ll mount on the existing antenna mast just below my GMRS antenna.
We should have full coverage of northeast LA or at least a good chunk of it from that vantage point.


#6

I have 2 extra Meshes for relays. For right now one stationary and one mobile. If I don’t pair them with a phone they work as a relay by default correct? If that is the case, is there a way to tone down or off the fast blinking white LEDs? They are very bright and seem like they are sucking up energy which they might not need to. Maybe change firmware to one flash every 10 or 15 seconds or less? Maybe change the flash to use the red LED’s?

Are there any recommendations from goTenna team on best ways to deploy repeaters?

Thank you.

-Andy


#7

I thought that after a couple of minutes the unit gave up trying to pair and the flashing light went off.


#8

I guess I didn’t wait long enough. :blush:


#9

I will connect one to a UPS, which is a big battery backup, in a higher location but still indoors for now.


#10

@AMcL Repeater/relay units need not be paired to a phone. You can find best practices for deploying relay units, within FAQs available in the goTenna app.
The LEDs will stop flashing after ~5 minutes, if the device does not pair with any phone.


#11

Thank you Rahul. How will firmware updates be done on non-paired Meshes? Are there any analytics which can be taken from relays? Any API integrations?

-Andy


#12

@AMcL you have 2 options w.r.t FW updates:

  • Leave non-paired relay units at the existing FW. This version will be 100% compatible with FW updates that will be released in the next 6 months.
  • When new FW is released, pair a phone to the relay unit & update FW. We notify customers via email. If you haven’t done so already, sign up for email alerts from the goTenna app. Settings->Profile->Email

#13

I would actually suggest people also get a cheap android phone to pair to the mesh unit and leave it on and charged all the time. Here’s the reason - it’s the only way to be able to “ping” the mesh unit (open a new 1/1 message to the GID and tap “ping”, and know it’s actually turned on when you want to check on it from another location. Here’s why: my gotenna overheated today sitting under a solar charger on my deck. I measured it at 129 degrees in 85 degree weather and direct sun, and the LEDs did not work and it would not connect to an already paired phone. I couldn’t test if it could still relay, had to cool it down and turn it off and on before it worked.

Second suggestion - publish the node GID on imeshyou map. This way we can ping a node and know if it’s online (if a phone is connected to it). I just did some tests and unless a phone is paired a node does not respond to pings or messages to the paired GID. The app does all the heavy lifting. When I turned the phones Bluetooth back on, the shout messages were stored but the 1/1s from a new “guest” GID were not received. But here’s the interesting part- if i used the node phone and tap and held on the contact and sent a message back- even if the guest gotenna was no longer in range, the guest could then ping and send message confirmations again - even if a phone was no longer connected to the node.

This means we can sort of play double opt in node ping games. Here’s how:

Publish GID of node (pair to your phone).
Node hunters drive near locations of nodes on map and send shout "hello node!"
Node should store all shouts (there is some limit, its high) until phone is re-paired. Hunter goes home.
Node owner pairs phone and see’s stored shout from hunter. Taps to send 1/1 message back that will fail.
Node hunter returns at a later date and sends a 1/1 ping to node- even if no phone paired- GREEN CHECKMARK. You can now drive around that node and send pings to help determine distance and send locations to the node 1/1 chat to help the owner define the radius more precisely on the imeshyou site. This should be gamefied and added to the app in the long run to help verify and test nodes and is a sort of “node geocaching” game!


Suggestions on inexpensive devices for use with your "extra" Mesh
#14

I had just recently replaced my iphone 6 with a newer model, so I bound my always on mesh node to that phone. I’ll have to test the range still mind you, but it’s at least always on and always plugged in. I just had to cover the LED with electrical tape, because the blinking was driving me crazy at night :slight_smile:

I mostly just went with the pairing for that so I could do firmware updates. If I could bind two meshes to the same phone it wouldn’t be a problem, but I only have so many devices with Bluetooth LE in the first place.

I should have my second always on node soon, just waiting for it to arrive later in the month.


#15

All – don’t forget to save as stationary nodes on the imeshyou.com map. We gotta make this view blow up, too few stationary nodes yet:


#16

Don’t know if this is a solution for the masses, but it may be possible with a Raspberry Pi. I was able to get their competitor’s (Beartooth) app to run inside of a virtual machine on Windows using Virtual Box. Getting it running was actually much easier than actually getting the app to display in the correct orientation. I don’t know about the sanity of trying to run Virtual Box on a RPi, but there may be advantages to pairing with a RPi. For example, the RPi is set up with a wired Ethernet connection, so for that guy doing MOANs, it would make remoting into them much easier. Also, since the RPi is a general computer, you might be able to run companion processes on the RPi to go beyond what you can do with an Android or Apple app/SDK.


#17

@jbowman90 were you able to give Bluetooth access to the app hosted within Virtual Box?
I haven’t come across any Windows Android or iOS emulators that offer Bluetooth support yet.


#18

Yes. I was able to use my laptop’s Bluetooth to connect to the Beartooth device and send messages to another Beartooth device paired to my phone. When I was researching this, I came across the same problem. Namely, a lot of Android emulators say they won’t use the host’s Bluetooth connection because the underlying framework, which in one case was Virtual Box, wouldn’t support it. Don’t know if that info was several years old or not, but I did not have a problem getting any of this to work technically using Virtual Box. My biggest problem was that the app was rotated 90deg, so I had to install another app in the virtual machine to force it into a certain orientation. My main motivation was that using a phone say at a base station is stupid. You’ll most likely be on a laptop, but goTenna or Beartooth don’t provide a native Windows/iOS program or app.

By the way, I used the android x86 image when installing Android in the virtual machine. http://www.android-x86.org/documents/virtualboxhowto

Also, the setting to get Bluetooth to work in Virtual Box is a little obscure. I think it’s something like “USB serial devices”. Anyway, if you google how to get Virtual Box to talk to Bluetooth, I remember there are several results that specifically tell you how to enable this.


#20

Huh. I have a Chromebook that can run android apps. ((drops phone and runs off to test))


#21

irulu make a small tablet [7"] 512mb with blue tooth & android 5.1. I’ll be testing the 8" model.