Meshtastic

Got my Ttgo T-beams yesterday

TL;DR - I get how this all works but I don’t. Is there something out there that goes into good detail on function/functions, or do I just have to piece it together?

My order of TTGO T-Beams came in yesterday! I got the beta firmware flashed onto 3 of the units and have done just a little messing around with them and the Android app. For the sake of not coming on here and asking a million questions, I’ve looked for some sort of instruction manual and can’t really find what I’m looking for. I’m trying to figure out how to tell if I’ve got all my units on the same channel, if I’m setting them up right, etc etc. (insert new guy question here). I have watched some videos and looked on the forum here a bit but I still have some unanswered questions. If anyone has an idea of a good direction to point me, I’d love to start doing some reading and tinkering. Thanks!

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I am like you, I like some instruction (text not video) to use the devices.
I propose:

  1. Start at the wiki page (currently rather sparse)
    https://github.com/meshtastic/Meshtastic-device/wiki
  2. Then, the important part, let’s add screen shots and installation instructions

I have some time to dedicate this effort, even if my typing usually has some errors

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oh yes - anyone who wants to add a real ‘user manual’ for a) the device and b) the android app would be super appreciated. And we can even bundle those manuals into the app (once they exist)

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I would be happy to contribute to this, but I can’t jump in just yet. I’m getting ready to head back to Haiti to start school and that means no hobbies, side projects, etc for a couple of weeks. If someone else wants to start it sooner, I’m still happy to test steps, grab screenshots or take pictures of OLED screens.

Scott

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I could do some pics of assembly and flashing firmware. I still have a few to assemble (got 11…). I was messing with them and just was kinda lost as far as what to expect. I had 5 units running. A couple saw all of them, a couple saw only 2 others (and I don’t think they were all even the same…) I’d send a message and 4 of the 5 got the message and displayed it, and the one that didn’t is one that said it was connected to all of them. Creating a channel with any name other than Default resulted in nothing seeing anything. User manual / troubleshooting would be awesome. I can keep notes and try to help some, too. I definitely can come at this from the total noob side of things haha

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Hi everyone,

I just placed an order for 6 Meshtastic TBeams on Aliexpress. My previous experience with Aliexpress was not the greatest, so hopefully there are no issues. The order was placed Sep 8th. Dispatched on the 11th, departed the country of origin on the 15th and has now arrived in Canada waiting for Customs as of the 18th. So all in all, a lot faster then I was expecting. Its all on Canada Customs and Canada Post now.

I have been following this project for a bit, comparing this with other options like GoTenna. Im looking forward to the build. I plan to use these for back country backpacking trips, possibly even setting up remote repeaters to extend range on some trails. I will attempt to document the process of startup, flashing of the firmware and creating a network.

I will reply back once the TBeams arrive here in Northern Alberta.

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For anyone in Canada, Customs got the package on the 18th, they processed it on the 21st and was delivered to me on the 25th via Canada Post.

IMG_20200927_132922

I got right to it, soldered 3 screens on right away. Attached the antennas and inserted the battery. With the screens attached, the firmware version is displayed on the upper right of the display during startup. It’s not there long, so if you miss it, long press the power button to power off the device and try again.

First thing I did was update the firmware to the latest 1.1.0. Here is where I will lose some if not most of you. I use Ubuntu as my primary OS. The process will be similar to those on Windows.

I followed the instruction found here


I have selected the Serial Port for the TBeam and the US 1.1.0 Firmware for my radio. Now Flash ESP. If your not sure which TTY is the TBeam, try unplugging the USB Cable and refresh the ports. Have a look at whats there. Plug the USB back in, refresh and select the newest one. If that doesn’t work. Open a terminal and enter the following line after unplugging and plugging the cable back in.

dmesg | grep tty
[56181.245015] cp210x ttyUSB3: cp210x converter now disconnected from ttyUSB3
[58869.071746] usb 2-1.2: cp210x converter now attached to ttyUSB3

I had a bad USB cable the first time I tried and this was the result

dmesg | grep tty
[58894.418015] usb 2-1.2: cp210x converter now attached to ttyUSB3
[59422.102474] cp210x ttyUSB3: usb_serial_generic_read_bulk_callback - urb stopped: -32
[59422.102714] cp210x ttyUSB3: usb_serial_generic_read_bulk_callback - urb stopped: -32
[59422.202343] cp210x ttyUSB3: failed set request 0x7 status: -19
[59422.202354] cp210x ttyUSB3: failed set request 0x12 status: -19
[59422.202359] cp210x ttyUSB3: failed set request 0x0 status: -19
[59422.202715] cp210x ttyUSB3: cp210x converter now disconnected from ttyUSB3

So if you see something like that, do yourself a favor and send that cable to the trash.

Using the middle button, you can cycle through the displays. This shows you battery level, number of radios discovered, your satellite link (Leave it outside for a bit to get a good lock). Second line is the default channel name and your radio ID. To power off the radio, long press the Left button. The Right button reboots the device.

Lets Pair it to a phone now

Lets quickly take care of the elephant in the screenshot above. This took me a while to find on my device. You have to make sure you approve all of the needed permissions. And turn on High Accuracy mode for the GPS. You will notice in the screenshot above, there is an annoying little message that pops up when you open the Settings Tab “You Must Turn on (High Accuracy)…” This is different for every device. To get this message to go away I had to turn this on. Im running Android 9. I found it in the Google Location Accuracy.

If you only have 1 device powered up at a time, you will know exactly what radio your pairing to, otherwise compare the LCD Readout to the Selection shown on the screen. Once you select the radio button the Bluetooth code will display on the TBeam. This is where it can get a bit annoying. Pull down from the top on your android to see if the pairing prompt is there. I kept leaving the app because nothing was happening.

With any luck, you paired and you will see a message on the setting screen letting you know your connected (See screenshot above) So Lets move on. Your Excited, lets test these things. So you leave them powered up and try sending messages from varying devices. This is where I was having problems. I left everything on the default settings. This also means the radios are broadcasting at MAX power. It could be that having 3 radios in the room was like 3 people shouting at each other in a small space. After a little while it seemed like the devices were hibernating. I couldn’t wake them up. The App kept saying they were sleeping. Pulling the battery and re-inserting it also did not help. It was strange. They did not appear to be working. So I decided to make my own Channel Name.

Start by Unlocking the lock. Assign a Name. And if your testing them in close spaces, turn the power down. I went right down to Short Range. Now Lock it. You can use the QR code, use a barcode scanner on the other device or use the share link. This will provide you with a Hyperlink, email it, send it in an sms. Open it with Meshtastic, not a browser on each of your other devices paired to a radio.

Once that is complete… use the button on the right of the TBeam and Reboot each device after changing the Channel. I was not able to send/receive any message until I reboot each device.

OK, so what if you dont want to solder the screens on. Because really, if its paired to your phone and strapped to your bag, or nested in a waterproof case, do you really need the display? Plug the TBeam into your USB port. Now open a terminal. Windows users can use Putty. Set your port to the appropriate port and Baudrate to 921600. I was using ubuntu so I just used the Terminal.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install cu
cu -l /dev/ttyUSB3 -s 921600

PASSKEY_ACTION_EVENT started 
*** Enter passkey 541253 on the peer side ***

This will update your repositories and install cu and start listening on ttyUSB3 at a Baud speed of 921600. Now press the Right button on the TBeam to reboot the device. A Lot of information is going to be flying by. Wait until it appears to have stopped. Now open the Meshtastic App and select the radio you want to pair with. You will want to look for that PASSKEY_ACTION_EVENT started message. That is the key you will enter for pairing.

In Ubuntu, you can either close the terminal, or cleanly disconnect by typing

~.

Once the device is paired, it will just reconnect unless you update the firmware again, or upgrade your Android.

If you were successfull, you should see each device listed and should be able to send and receive messages. The Cloud with a check mark lets you know that your message was received somewhere.


Maps take a little longer, but eventually everyone shows up.

That’s all I can do for now. Sorry if its fragmented, I have 3 kids under 5 and they are all hungry! Time to get back to being a parent :grinning:

Please, use any of this, where ever it may reside as a manual. I just replied here for now.

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This is great. In fact I think it basically is our new manual. :slightly_smiling_face: