Meshtastic

Higher Power in ITU Region 2 and/or using a Ham License

I have been looking into what I could do with the power output on these radios and I believe using no license just in ITU Region 2 we can go up to 3.2 Watts and with a Ham Radio License (and of course naming your radio with your call sign so you are legit with it transmitting under your call sign, you could go up to 1,500 Watts (I don’t see the need for that much but legally you could transmit with it if required to make the link come up).

Has anyone else looked into this? There are some old cell phone amps that could potentially be used to get the power up some.

In my mind the nature of mesh networking vs say, backhaul or backbone networking is better suited to the low power nature of LoRa. If long range point to point data links were my goal, there’s a lot of Motorola equipment out there that could be repurposed. I suppose much might depend on location as well. We’re only secondary users (and there are a lot of other secondary services as well.) Oh, and the no encryption allowed stuff.

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For people that are not HAMs and think a license is the only thing stopping people from transmitting at a higher power I’d like to point out that there are a number of restrictions HAM operators must adhere to when using those increased powers.

Unencrypted is just one of the restrictions. No commercial use is another. There are also strict guidelines concerning interference with other operators and services.

If a HAM decides to try ‘an old cell phone amp’ I’d hope they have the foresight and equipment to make sure there are not undesired transmissions on neighboring frequencies. Harmonics are a big issue when you start running these inexpensive radios beyond the designed transmit power.

Absolutely. I completely forgot about noncommercial use.

I get the encryption, that’s a great point… the header could have your call sign but if the payload is encrypted that’s out for HAM use…

My current use cases are all non-commercial, what commercial use are you guys looking at using this for?

I don’t have any commercial use in mind. I’m on the NW coast of Haiti and we have hurricanes, earthquakes and political unrest on a fairly regular basis. My use case is emergency or off-grid communication. Our mobile phone network is unreliable and owned by the government so they can turn if off (if it’s not already down for some reason). I use HF to chat with folks back in the States when I can, but I mostly want to make sure our staff here can communicate. I’m getting ready to bring a digipeater/iGate online this week. I doubt it will actually see any traffic, I don’t think (but I do hope) that it will be heard by some APRS stations in the DR.

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you can set the channel key to an empty string (using the python app) and then the channel will be unencrypted.

that said, I think this is probably rarely needed. line of sight seems to me to be WAY more important than power for most current applications. Users commonly get 15km of range with the stock antennas, and some have reported 98km of range with a directional antenna.

(caveat: though technically I’m a ham, I’m really just a mere software geek and my RF understanding is super limited)

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