Houston, Texas, and near suburbia

Starting up this thread for the Houston area

I started this thread because I was relieved to see that there were regional topics, and I would like to interact with my local community, and at least in the near term, not so much the entire world at a go.

If it’s up to me, anything goes as long as it is at least marginally related to Meshtastic and the hardware it runs on. I’d also say that the local weather and matters of a personal nature are also fair game :wink:


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Good morning, radio hackers, both of my stations are down for a factory reset and reconfig. It is, not uncoincidentally, battery charging day. Yes, one of the10k mah eveready ‘battery banks’ (ca. 2005) takes about 10 hrs to a full charge. It runs the Heltec V3 for about 48 hrs. The other one charges in something more like 4 hrs, and operates the wireless stick that goes up the tree for a similar amount of time.

Through the day today I will either be busy as hell or sitting on my hands. I hope to at least get both radios reset in preparation for reconfig later in the day.

73 talk later

Python CLI: send/receive messages

I’ve heard some folk, I think over on the Reddits, say that it is not feasible to send and receive messages via the python CLI.

This is a bit disappointing if true, as I am hopeful of making a full featured QT5 interface that is essentially a fancy ass wrapper around the python CLI.

I know there is a ton of doc over there detailing such matters, but I’d love to see a couple hot takes on the topic before I get so committed as that.

Thanks for your time and attention.


Back offline

I am offline again from the mesh. I am losing almost all mains power today and altogether all mains power tomorrow. I had an inspiration to do a factory reset and reconfigure for offgrid running so I would have something to play with while sans power, but somehow my radio client will not accept any pin I set for BLE. I have rebooted both phone and radio several times, rebooted phone and now iPad trying to grab the radio.

I’m going to go ahead and say it:
if this is how these things ‘work’, we’re fucked.

These little radios are pretty incredible. the meshtastic clients themselves, not so much.

Hello 73,
Thanks for starting tge local thread. Im looking to repurpose my Helium antenna & stumbled upon Meshtastic as a possibility.
Is the RakWireless starter kit recommended? How is the participation in Houston? I actually live out in Needville. Is Meshtastic viable that far out? Appreciate any advice.

I’m down in League City, and there is a fellow I can reach from my treetop relay out in Missouri City.

We probably won’t have a viable OTA mesh until we get a few more nodes in the area, but in the interim, configure up mqtt and the internet acts as a sort of common bridge.

The Rak stuff is famously low power, and quite expandable.

The Heltecs are a little less expensive, but consume more power and cant be expanded with e.g., gps and environmental sensors. They are both about as reliable as it gets.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Nice to meet you. I grew up in League City. Will the Rak be able to drive my ~10dB omni antenna? I would be looking to put a station in a box, up a pole & power it off POE. Basically cannibalizing my old Helium setup. I spent way too much on a Helium setup & looking for it to not be a complete loss.

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Nice to meet you too :slightly_smiling_face:

I can’t say about the antenna, I’m pretty new to the scene. I can tell you that the signal strength on the Heltec V3 is around -22 db. I have a pair of heltecs, but no Rak units. There are some guys around who could do a better job with these details. @yNos could probably help.

Welcome, I’m over in Kemah/Clear Lake Shores area. Yup, you should be able to use most, if not all of your old helium setup. If you don’t have anyone in your area and want to join the MQTT topic, let me know and I’ll add drop a how-to in here.

Yes, I’d like to join the MQTT topic. Thanks.

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Better yet, I’ll just link this one so I don’t have a bunch of stuff to update as things change.

Living far out, would it be suggested to start with two Wiseblocks in order for them to demonstrate communicating? I have two Lora (Helium) antennas not being used. Does only having one ip adress play any part in setting them up on mqtt?

Yeah, the rak4631 based wisblocks are a solid choice for low power consumption nodes. Those Helium antennas should work just fine with a short coax run and sma-N adapter, if you need it.
Having one IP shouldn’t matter as mqtt is a sane tcp protocol. That being said, you really only need one mqtt node per mesh.

If you haven’t ordered them already, @Ottomite may have a couple rak nodes to sell.

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@yNos Thank you Craig,
For an initial introduction I ordered a couple amazon ESP32’s.

915MHz ESP32 LoRa OLED Development Board V3 SX1262 Type-C + LoRa Antenna for Arduino LoraWan IOT Internet of Thing (Pack of 2), not Compatible with LoRa V2 https://a.co/d/jjKUYO8

One of the comments mentions recieving wrong frequency antenna. Are there any suppliers of
(not expensive) handheld size antennas that dont require confirming tune?

I’ve used these a few times with ok results.

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