Project MOAN: Mother of All Nodes


Been doing some serious testing and there are a couple of different versions of hardware:

2016 version: Easy to hack, solder off the amp chip direct. No caps to deal with. The ground plane is small, does not circle the whole unit.

2017 V1: Have not figured out how to hack it perfectly yet. MMCX is NOT the way to go. No matter how I try I can’t get it to work, might be disabled at the firmware level.

2017 V2: Have not even tried it, seen pics of it but don’t have one in hand. This unit has the metal cage on the back.

This is subject to change, more testing needs to done to rule out mod error (bad soldering etc) but as of now (after four hours of testing) it seems I need to come up with a better way.

So far the 2016 hardware version I hacked works best, I need to get the **** on this. It’s holding up progress, and I thought this was going to be easy. @Rahul_Subramany @Jin_Gotenna bring back the 2016 hardware :stuck_out_tongue:


It’s a long shot, but the next time the board is rev’d how about adding a (ahem) ‘test point’ to the antenna feedline to make things less tricky. While asking, plated through holes? Cleverly arranged? I know, there’s no room and it might require recertification so not holding my breath. But it’s worth the inquiry!


I love this!

I am from Pittsburgh and I would love to get started on the same type of thing that you all are doing for Seattle. These networks could literally save lives or be a moment of relief hearing back from loved ones during an emergency.

I am following this closely and I may try to tinker using these posts as a guide. Or, if you ever decide to build these for others, I might just purchase one, so if you have a waiting list, please add me to it :slight_smile:


The MOAN has been offline for about a month now HOWEVER! It is back online with a new battery, put back in the old charge controller (the new one sucked!), and will up and running all spring and summer! I’ll have more pictures to come! :slight_smile:


Am I reading correctly that the newest versions of the goTenna mesh have hardware revisions that make it harder to build your own MOAN? That’s a bummer :frowning_face:


Where did you read that at?


From this post more or less.


got ya, good to know Thanks!


A question for the OP, how do you know you have your external antenna matched? The little bit of Ham radio work I do it’s a pain to get the antenna matched to the frequency I’m using. I use an SWR meter to test my antenna then connect it to my radio. Most of the time I can get 1.2 to 1.4 SWR reading but even then I’m still wasting a small amount of power.

I run a Kx2 at 12 watts and my Ft-857d at 30 to 80 watts so I have a good amount of power to work with. But at 1 watt you cant be off by much!

You can see my setup on QRZ under call sign KB3QEM


Hmm there’s a lot of misunderstanding here. People have been making MOANs out of all Mesh hardware (both v1 – beta units and v2 – commercial units).


seems like an opportunity, then, to clear up the misunderstandings.


Hi @gua742 I need at least 450 of those. I started distributing in PR and my biggest client (an energy company that is here in the Island helping to restore the energy grid) wants to use the goTenna for their brigades and want to a MOAN in all of their trucks (400 of them).

Can you built them for us? Please advise.




You should check out this company

@tourmalinewire0 on Twitter.


What kind of antenna is that? Do you have a make/model? If its nearly as tall as you are it seems to be waaaaay to long/tall to be for 900MHz. Even a full wave vertical antenna for 900MHz should only be 1 foot tall, and a full wave dipole should be 2 feet max. I’m sure it works great, I’m just confused as to the need for it to be so long considering the frequency. I’d be curious to see what the inside of the antenna housing looks like. Hopefully its not just a simple 5/8th wave vertical with a bunch of empty vertical space to make it look better and charge more $$$.


I get that MOAN’s have been built. But that’s not to say they perform well. A mis-matched antenna can damage your finals and waste power.

What I’m saying is that you cant just slap any 900 Mhz antenna onto the goTenna and assume it going to be better. In fact chances are you will be making it worse. 1 watt is not a lot of power.


This would be more relevant if the GTM transmitted on a single freq. However, IIRC there’s a pool of something like 50 freqs in a group that it has to choose from when transmitting. I can’t recall how spread out in the band they are, but for this application a fairly broad-band antenna is what’s needed, rather than one tuned to a specific freq.

That said, all my experience with tuning for SWR is lower down the spectrum, so maybe I’m missing something here?


It would be great if we could see what the SWR is in the goTenna unit. I’ve done a little bit of work in the 144 and 440Mhz range. I’ve had hi SWR on an antenna that should have worked, I’m not sure how it acts at 900.


I have tried to add the sma connector to mines but I have broken the hosing and damage the board on both is any way I can buy a pair with sma connectors form you guys?


Hi there - thank you sharing. I am interested in building a similar project. Do you have details on the all-in hardware cost and the broadcast range for the MOAN?


If you check the Seattle thread, @gua742 has shared extensive propagation maps for his MOAN