How to get the most out of your GoTenna Mesh units in the Seattle area UPDATED VERSION:
1. If you’re not using your unit keep it on so you can help keep the network going! Your Mesh unit will relay messages to other users even if your phone is not connected it to!
2. Have your unit as high as possible; an upper floor is way better than a basement.
3. Be outside when using your unit, buildings and/or building materials do a fine job of blocking radio signals. Yes this includes some types of glass.
4. Move to higher ground, the better the view the better the range you will have.
5. If you have any friends who live in a high rise condo let me know so I can talk them into letting me set up a MOAN unit in their place or on the roof.
6. Consider a relay unit located on a high hill if you’re down in a valley. Hell, I’ll even make you one!
7. I MIGHT be missing something, I hope not. A third revision will not make me look very smart.
We don’t live in a flat part of the state, we have hills EVERYWHERE. While these hills are great for views and exercise they are NOT great for radio communication. It’s about radio line of sight, what the hell is that exactly? This is radio line of sight…
What makes GoTenna Mesh so awesome is that it is easy and possible to make it have crazy awesome range because each unit is a repeater. What is a radio repeater? It is this…
OK, great I just showed you some radio signal propagation basics, how the hell does this apply to real life? For the GoTenna Mesh Network to work well users need to be on/in both hills and valleys, well really all over the place. This is a concept called node saturation, meaning there needs to be a certain number of users in a given area in order to have a functioning network. I think the Seattle area has this already but users need to keep their units on in order to make a reliable network.
Having your units on will allow for the hops to happen. I call this the “hop zone”. A three hop message will travel like this…
You will send a message to your friend but a big ass hill is in the way and well radio signals don’t like things blocking them (like at all), good thing another awesome GoTenna Mesh user left their Mesh unit on! Now that message will go to another random user and then to the person you want to reach! This type of network is called a mobile ad hoc network or “MANET” for short.
Why I think this is so cool? It only relies on itself to function. No cell towers, no fiber optic cable, no switches, and no complicated infrastructure. Plus it uses something you already know how to use: Your cell phone.
Keep on Meshing…
-George Alex Ure II