Project MOAN: Mother of All Nodes


#161

It looks to me like you would be overdriving the amp. It says max 100mw input. If you could attenuate the signal from the Gotenna or hack the Gotenna settings to set it to <= 100mw power then you might be ok.


#162

What’s going on fellow MOAN/DASS-RS peeps. I’d love to hear some updates on your projects. Also: SEND PICS! @LAFD_CERT_Battalion2 how is yours coming? Also whats up with the MMCX connectors? It working?


#163

My 6dbi 900mhz ISM antenna is almost directly under my GMRS antenna.
I ended up needing 30’ of LMR-400 vs. the 20’ I originally thought I could get away with. The 40’ cable I bought the 2nd time around could be causing too much loss. Based on perfect numbers, it would only put out 1.3 watts which isn’t much improvement and in reality likely less.

Today I removed the LMR400 entirely. I picked up a weatherproof bag from REI and velcro mounted the bag upside down just off of the antenna. It’s not the most secure setup and certainly not the most weather sealed. I’ll likely get condensation inside the bag.
I’m going to run 30’ USB cable to power the unit from a solar charge controller w/35Ah AGM battery which is powering my GMRS repeater. The charge controller is currently powered by a ham radio power supply unit but eventually I want to install a panel that will power the GMRS repeater.
I also have a cheap DigiLand android tablet paired and powered by the other USB port on the charge controller so the node will respond to pings.

Every Monday at 7pm we do an FRS net. I’m going to start including goTenna Emergency Shouts into the net starting tomorrow. I currently only have 1 unit out there for the net but I have 4 more slated to go to team leaders.

I’m hoping to have confirmation tonight if the removal of the LMR 400 has improved things. If not, then I imagine the problem in my area is directly related to the nature of 900mhz.


#164

Range is still horrible. I can ping it from the bottom of my hill, maybe half a mile away…beyond that and nothing.


#165

To get an idea of what we’re dealing with (minus the topographical terrain - which is moderately hilly in this region):

My pingable nodes are the 2 highlighted regions NW (9000m) and SW (9000m) of the MOAN node. That’s about 6 miles in-between. With his GMRS repeater up and mine at 5W transmit, I can hit the same node in the 400MHz band. But it looks like we need 2 or 3 more nodes in-between to achieve a working mesh net.


#166

There is a massive propagation difference between 400Mhz at 5W and 900MHz at 1W.

900MHz is a line of sight frequency or a bounce frequency at power (i.e. you can get a signal to hit a flat surface like the side of a building and reflect towards something with a directional antenna.

400MHz is much better able to leverage the lower wavelength to propagate around or over obstacles such as terrain.

I think it is important to remember lower wavelengths would not have been options for a manufactured unlicensed (part 15) transmitter in the USA or most countries.


#167

What is the exact model of antenna you are using? This seems VERY strange to me, this should be working VERY well.


#168

I’m using the L-COM HGV-906U.


#169

Oh boy, after looking at the specs of the L-Com I think it’s the antenna.

-It has a 30 degree beam height and as such it might be throwing the RF over you.

-It has over 100 MHz of bandwidth, the SWR can’t be that awesome over such a wide range. Thus not making it efficient or as efficient as possible.

-You have the mounting bracket upside down.

  • Of course make sure all connections are plugged in all the way, both SMA and N connector. (Not trying to state something obvious, I know you’re a smart guy, hell we’ve talked on the phone! I just want this to kick ass for you!

-It has 6 dBi and that’s ok but not that awesome for a 30 degrees horizontal beam width. I have a 6 dBd with a 30 degree beam width and it’s killer. But I am a dBd queen for sure, dBi to me means nothing I love dBd.

-Of course do the updates and reset your phone and the unit after the updates/

I am NOT one to tell another man (or woman, or person) how to rig their station however I want to see you have a kick ass GoTenna MOAN. So if after you mount it right, check the connections and it still sucks I will send you a 3 dBd 70 degree antenna for free and if that does not work send the unit back to me and I will do my hardcore “get to the !@#$ing bottom of WTF is going on” mode and see what the hell is going on and we will fix it like a champ. The 3 dBd antenna I have is made for ONLY 902 - 928 MHz so it will preform better due to a more narrow/focused bandwidth.

I really want to see your station kick hella ass, let me know how I can help you Patrick. I got your six buddy!

-George “CANDY BAR!” Alex Ure II


#170

Radio LOS is radio LOS. It should work!


#171

And get the antenna away from the PVC and other antenna. Just saying, that’s what I would do but I am OCD about antenna placement. Hell that thing deserves it’s own mast IMHO.


#172

Oh…I see, they put the mounting instructions online but don’t include them with the actual antenna. Thanks guys.

I think I’m going to try running an extra goTenna as a relay node without the antenna from just inside the weatherproof bag and see what kind of results I get.

I may take the antenna/moan unit up to the park where we do the FRS net next week and see if I can hit the person I should have line of sight to about 3 miles away.


#173

I have almost a direct shot from the gazebo (in the bottom) to the fire station (top) 3 miles away. There is a slight bump over Occidental. Is this enough to kill 900mhz?


#174

Yes a slight bump can do that. I’d be interested to see what your area is like on a topo map to trouble shoot if it’s topo that’s the issue.


#175

In general terms, the further you travel, the more directional the antenna will need to be. Great experiment!

Justin


#176

@chamaile0n I am sssoooooo wanting to know what’s going on with your MOAN/DASS-RS! How’s it going!?


#177

Thanks for checking, @gua742 - I’ve been struggling to get roof access to my building to do a proper test of the MOAN. In lieu of that, I have a separate relay node set up with the USB-connected solar panel you shared. It seems to be keeping the relay node charged daily, so that’s better than nothing.

Having placed the MOAN inside (2nd floor, facing the window) the attached solar panel isn’t getting the needed sunlight to keep the 12v battery charged, and it drained after 2 weeks of moderate sunshine, so I’ve had to charge via the outlet. Once I can get reliable roof access, I’ll be able to do some real-world tests.

Hopefully back in touch next week with some results :slight_smile:


#178

Happy holidays everyone! Our team was inspired by all of you MOANers here and created this shirt in your honor:

@gua742 We’ve already made sure one is on its way to you given you coined the term :wink:

//d


#179

P.S. Anyone who makes a MOAN and posts proof of it gets a free MOAN shirt. Claim it by sharing link to your proof post as a DM to @Rahul_Subramany and we’ll get you sorted :slight_smile:


#180

Awesome! Thanks guys!