Yes, this has been a subject of considerable discussion in a number of threads. From what I understand he main issue is Bluetooth and its power demands. Not an issue for the user, because they’ll likely be charging the GTM when they charge their cell/device. A relay will more typically reside for longer periods of time and since a cell is not paired with it, what’s to prompt recharge by the user? Nothing until someone notices it’s not working unless some other provision for power is made.
I’m not a software engineer, so don’t know how big a hurdle this is, but they were hopeful for a solution to this issue. Whether it can be applied to the current generation of features may be the sticking point.
You can add features, but eventually you add enough features or want to add a feature that makes enough demands it requires a more major update than the current generation of UTM can accommodate and poof you’re into considering a new model – with potential incompatibilities with the last generation. With this already having happened with the first gen goTennas, you want this to happen only when the new generation is clearly superior to the old school product in the eyes of consumers. The ability to mesh was that clear superiority, so that’s a pretty good explanation for why the jump was made to the GTMesh.
People do wonder about this, as the example of it coming up in the Virgin Islands discussion a few days back showed. There were questions about whether the fellow’s old GTs, still working with each other, could do texting with the new GTM’s, but if you want the cool new features they come connected to a different package of software now that is not backwards compatible, then you have to make the decision to upgrade.
Feature creep is a good thing in terms of meeting consumer needs and they seem very focused on meeting the needs of consumers at goTenna. Fortunately, the software seems both robust and flexible as they are able to get it do do new tricks and solve old problems. We’ll just have to be patient until this gets figured out and use workarounds.
The “Is it powered?” issue is probably the most frustrating problem. On my home stationary node, I house it in a transparent box. I can see the red LEDs come on when it charges and see the white ones flash when the node is forwarding a message.
As for the “Is it in relay mode?” question, I mentioned earlier my last minute habit of pressing the Power button once to verify it was in Relay mode by seeing the 3 flashes it should show as in Relay mode before allowing it up the tower to go in service.
After that, it’s a matter of getting two GTMs located far enough apart to need the relay to hook up. If they’re able to reach one another without it, then the relay can seem unnecessary. When it seems like there should be meshing and it doesn’t happen and you’re still not able to get through, it can be frustrating. But it’s usually the case that things are working and it often resolves to you’re thinking you have line of sight when there’s actually enough of an obstruction to prevent reception or the distance is just too great under the circumstances.
What I’ve found best is to get closer and practice at shorter distances. It builds confidence to get consistent reception. Then as you expand the range you’re working at and find yourself missing a connection, it will likely be more apparent what could stand change in order to capture the signal.