Mammoth Mountain (CA) ski areas - now fully Meshed!


#1

Mammoth Mountain in California is now fully covered via goTenna Mesh powered Relay Nodes. We’ve deployed solar chargers connected to goTenna Mesh devices through out the Ski areas to keep goTenna Mesh devices running 24x7.
Meshers hitting the slopes at Mammoth do share your experience here!


Hops/relays Max count?
#2

Amazing!!! I want to use these devices everywhere, everyday.


#3

@Rahul_Subramany Woohoo! The first of many.

If any of you reading this wish a ski resort (or similar) in your area was also “Meshed up”… email local@gotenna.com. If you have good connections to people who can give us access to certain places (like a recreational area) — even better! :slight_smile:

EDIT/ADD: More photos (via @Rahul_Subramany) who hopefully will share more over the next few days:



#4

Neat! My legs won’t stand skiing now, but it’s great fun.

I’d like to hear more about what solutions they chose for solar power.


#5

I’d like to get a look at the whole mesh package with the solar and some specs to get an idea of what size panel you are using. We’ll want some down the line data from everyone on how this goes for them. You can’t beat real world data.

I hope you implement the function to remember power state after reboot in the next firmware update. Aside from increased hop count and USB SDK that’s my next biggest wish list item.


#6

We used Biolite solar panels for this deployment. We partnered with Biolite and they kindly donated 5 panels.
These nodes have been live for ~30 hours so far. I would recommend using at-least a 5W panel with a minimum of 2200 mAh power back up. This ensures that goTenna Mesh will have enough back up power even if the sun is not out for multiple days at a time.

Yes, we are looking into this. Increased # of hops and the USB SDK is much further along and will be part of the next release.


Meet FIREFLY: Lightweight, Improvised Portable Relay Nodes (EASY!)
#7

I may not be a skier or boarder. But one thing I DO know is the Eastern Sierra. And let’s face it. The Eastern Sierra is just one of the most spectacular places in the country AND a GREAT place for a multitude of other outdoor activities. Mammoth Mountain is kind of cool because (among MANY other things), it stands relatively alone in the Long Valley area. This means that the nodes on Mammoth Mountain are probably quite far-reaching, and can be used by many more people than just skiers/boarders on Mammoth Mountain. Hikers can probably reach these nodes from miles away, allowing them to keep in touch with others who they might not otherwise be able to. If more nodes could be placed in various strategic locations throughout the Eastern Sierra area (like maybe White Mountain Peak, Glass Mountain, Mount Tom, etc.), it probably wouldn’t be too hard to cover much of this rather vast area.


#8

:raised_hands:t4::raised_hands:t4::raised_hands:t4: checking this out next time I go, how cool! I was visiting just a few months before mine shipped so looking forward to test this out.


#9

Meshers having fun on the slopes @Mammoth last night!


#10

A/S/L

That really made me LOL :smiley:


#11

Ski Patrol @Mammoth Mountain are testing goTenna Mesh performance on the slopes. They will also monitor the status of stationary relay nodes deployed through out the mountain.


#12

Hey Mammoths - how has this been working over the past month?

And is the BioLite product holding up? Does it discharge the GoTenna in ‘off hours?’


#13

First off — Way cool to have this area all meshed!

A few questions for GoTenna:

#1: The GoTenna is mounted horizontally in the photo, but most people would typically have their GoTennas vertical. Does this cause any sort of degraded performance?

#2: It looks like it is in a simple plastic bag. How weather proof is the unit? Would water begin to collect?

#3: Have you measured the lowest temperature this unit being deployed here?


#14

Great questions!

  1. It’s certainly best to have the Mesh vertical, if possible. But what’s most important is having it elevated and with few obstructions.

  2. The plastic bags were a quick installation solution. We have support on the mountain that can replace the bag if need be. Since this installation, we’ve got more weather proof containers (plastic boxes) for the Mesh.

  3. I’m not sure of the lowest temperature experienced on the mountain, but goTenna Mesh can work at a temperature as low as -4F .


#15

Depending on elevation, winter temperatures in the Mammoth Lakes/Mammoth Mountain area occasionally to FREQUENTLY drop below -4F. This is particularly true at the higher elevations (where -4F may even be a daytime high on a few days a season). Of course, the upside is that fewer people are out on the slopes when weather is this cold.


#16

I just bought two BioLite SolarPanel 5+ after reading this article and placed one on the roof already. ($60 each at the REI anniversary sale, going on right now!)

The panels themselves are a nice grade, with the cells encapsulated in solid clear plastic (not laminate). I would actually venture to say this puts out actual real-world honest-to-goodness 5W of output given the 10in x 8in size of the panel.

With the recommendation I saw on here, I am using the “plus” version, which includes a 2200 mAh battery. It adds a little bit to the cost, but I can see it working out better in the long run if the battery on the gotenna starts to degrade. The battery itself is non-replaceable, which is a negative to this setup, but I hope to get a good couple years out of this.

I am curious how much testing the Mammoth team did with these. Previous devices I’ve had in the past would shut down and only re-start with a push of the power button. This panel seems to have a auto-reconnect feature and does not require a button-push, which is perfect for this use. This was a lucky break for the Mammoth team if they got this right the first time.

Until multi-hop shouts come out, I have only a very small chance of actually making contact with anybody. At that time, I’ll try to relay to the local mountain (line-of-site) and contacts will be much easier.

I might be able shout out to San Francisco or San Jose, and I’ll be very happy.

I am curious if the devices will take on a super-node architecture in the next iteration of Aspen Grove. Within the SF bay area, some mountain nodes might have a very heavy duty cycle relaying messages, and that will be awesome.


#17

you know, I don’t recall seeing the duty-cycle of these GoTenna mentioned anywhere - your comments on node-based ridges brings this to mind.


#18

After a little more testing with using the BioLite solar panel, it looks like it requires a button push in order for the solar panel battery charger to become active. This is not ideal.

I am testing using other battery packs. There is one I had laying around called a “fuelrod” (www.fuel-rod.com) that doesn’t have any buttons, and supports pass-through charging. The battery is 2600 mAh, and assuming a 3.7v battery brings it to 9.6Wh. Looking at the FCC internal photos, the goTenna internal battery is 2.18Wh, so we’re looking at over a 4x increase (minus losses for voltage conversions).

I’ll try with many other battery packs I have laying around (and I have a LOT!) to see which one would work for extended operation. Current test cases:

  1. Pass-through charging
  2. Does not have a self-imposed charge/discharge time limit. (or auto-shutoff)
  3. At least 10Wh, but 30Wh for multiple rainy days, and 100Wh for extended operations/events.

Anyway - I wanted to let anybody else know reading this thread is to save your money and get the non-battery version of the Biolite panels if using them for this specific application.


#19

Pass through charging I have found is not common. I do have a RavPower 20100mah battery pack that supports pass through. I use mine to keep my stuff charged when I’m traveling and pass through is convenient. I think a few of their other RavPower battery packs at smaller sizes do have pass through.


#20

Here are some inexpensive USB battery & solar options. Neither have any button or switch and start charging just by plugging in.

18650 Li-ion Battery USB Charger Power Bank Case: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CG64QMP/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_GEslBbERKDA1X

10W Solar Panel Charger 5V USB Ultra Thin Monocrystalline: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCXZJ8Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_aFslBbA4JWS56