Do radios need to be turned on near each other?

I have some TT-Beam v1.1 devices with the latest firmware installed (1.2.45 I believe). These are 915mhz devices with the region set to AUS to match.

When I turn the devices on I can see both of them in the meshtastic app and debug panel, and updates are recievd. If I place them both at opposite ends of my property (50m apart) without line of sight they are still communicating just fine.

However, if I head 300m away to my local overpass that has approximate line of sight to my yard, or to the top of my street which still has approx line of sights and turn the radio on once I’m away from the home, then I will only ever have the device that’s closest to me appear in the meshtastic android app, and only seem to see those signals in the debug panel.

IS there something happening like when they are within bluetooth / wifi range of each other that they are negotiating how to talk (channels, etc?). Alternatively, are there settings that I need to pre-set so that I can leave one radio at home base and have the other turn on and off at will and still expect them to be able to talk?

I’ve previously had another lora based datalogger that (and still can if I turn it on) talk to a base 15km away with not much difficulty. This issue is doing my head in.

Other helpful info:

  • Set to Long/Slow
  • Both the small red and blue lights flash periodically - am assuming this is GPS fix available. The larger / brighter red LED goes through a period of slow blinking for a few seconds every 5-10 minutes - assume this is indicating tx or location or similar.
  • Running off usb-micro or from a fully charged 18650 doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Nothing is happening with BT/wifi, the nodes will only communicate to each other via LoRa.

300m is not very far for LoRa, one thing that comes to mind is the proximity to some interference like a cell tower or potentially poor antenna’s? (the stock antenna’s can be rubbish)

Setting up the range test plugin might help with troubleshooting:

I’ll give that a go.

And recommendations on other antennas for the T-Beams?

If you want to DIY check out these:

If you want to buy I use these myself IDK if they ship across the ditch :slight_smile:

Excellent, thank you. I’ll try and grab a few of the pre built ones.

I think it’s the other way around on the TBeam - the red-blue group is:

  • blue: power controller status
  • red: user indicator

The solitary red light is the GPS. The solid ON and solid OFF state have some weird meaning that was discussed in another thread here. The 1-second pulse indicates GPS is on, active and has a fix.

I will echo what other people have said: you need an antenna, the included ones are assembled incorrectly and simply don’t work. Also, when shopping for antennas, be mindful of the SMA connector polarity: TBeam uses regular SMA, while some antennas out there are reverse-SMA.

That’s also great info. Thank you. Having programmed some LoRaWAN stuff in the past from other vendors the lack of distance with these seemingly awesome boards and software has been doing my head in.