Meshtastic

Meshtastic compatible with www.thethingsnetwork.org

Hi

As a noobie to the forum, I’m doing a lot of reading to get to grips with the technology and its capabilities. I wanted to ask if the Meshtastic will be able to utilise existing gateways on the thethingsnetwork.org.

Thanks

Colm

possibly someday, but not in release 1.0 (which is still 2-3 mos away?).

More likely though: we’ll add a feature so that if any of the nodes in the mesh has internet connectivity via its phone, that phone will then route text messages and MQTT (or some other space efficient datagram protocol) packets for any other node in the mesh.

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Wow that would be brilliant

adding a post here from Nicolas (asking the same thing) on the android app alpha tester email list. I’ll point him at this thread :wink:

First, thanks for your nice project. I can’t wait to test it, I will receive two TTGO T-Beam to do that in the next days with my Xiaomi MI8 and my wife’s Redmi Note 7.

I have a question: do you plan to use existing TTN LoRaWAN gateway network to deliver messages between meshes or if devices are out of reach? That’s something that Pycom plans to do with their Pygos and it would increase coverage a lot IMHO.

Best regards,

Nicolas

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Instead of the phone would it make sense that any node with a wifi connection (not attached to a phone) could backhaul the messages. I’m thinking a central heltec32 or t-beam connected to home wifi and always on and mounted on the roof and willing to relay messages. This could be useful to connect multiple mini-networks together and still be accessible.

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yes, that would be fairly straightforward also. good idea.

In this conversation, is only the LoRa device the “node”? In my use-case, it’s fairly likely that mesh users will have internet access via phone more often than LoRa nodes would have wifi access to internet.

Got buy-in from at least 7 more local users last night. None have a geeky bone in their body, and love the idea. Due to their normal movement patterns, they’ll spend a considerable time:

  1. In LoRa range, communicating locally (100% in)
  2. Outside LoRa range, and in 4G range, and wanting to connect to others in the mesh inside LoRa range. (50% in)
  3. Outside LoRa range, and in 4G range, and wanting to connect to others in the mesh outside LoRa range. (100% out). In this instance, not requiring them to always have the LoRa device, and still being able to access the mesh (routed over internet), would be a better user experience.

Covering only Scenario #1 would be a big help, but if all 3 were covered, I would expect better adoption. It’s a hassle to guess who’s in the LoRa mesh and switch apps accordingly. This is a point of friction we (several have InReach devices) experience now because the app (and/or phone number) changes depending on our knowledge of the others’ location.

Speaking of nodes, has anyone pinged the N-O-D-E channel guy? Lots of interest in LoRa mesh comms over there a while back, and a few devs offering to contribute, but I don’t think they got anywhere:

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re: those three scenarios
I think #1 will be quite solid sometime within the next two months :wink:
I bet gateway functionality will be working and solid within four months?
:smiley:

re: NODE - never heard of it but yeah - lots of possible shared effort there.

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Cool. Yeah, not too worried about the timeline. By the time my AliExpress order arrives, you’ll probably be on v2.37. :laughing:

I was mainly trying to figure out if there was consensus on whether the gateway would be via phone, LoRa device, or both.

we could leverage existing TTN gateways to retransmit Meshtastic messages in order to increase range

Hmm - I’m not sure that is a great way to go for the following reason: When I started experimenting with LoRa I installed a TTN gateway (which I still run) in the hills above San Francisco with very good coverage of the bay area. The usage that gateway gets is quite low and the coverage of TTN gateways (seems pretty spotty).

Personally I’m a bigger fan of letting either of the two following meshtastic nodes automatically serve as gateways for their mesh (if that node has internet connectivity):

  • The android app can gateway for the mesh it is connected to anytime it has internet via wifi or 4G
  • Any of the mesh devices that have wifi hardware (which is all of the ESP32 based boards, tebeam, heltec, whatever) should be able to be connected to a wifi network and if connected it will then gateway for the mesh. So any of these $20ish boards could magically become a gateway

(To be clear neither of these two variants are implemented yet but I thing we should do this as soon as 1.0 is finished)

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