Hallo! Just going to just post some quick pics from this weekend’s field test of the Mesthastic system below.
(Note: you can find more pics, code, and other details in a writeup post here; I hope to add better explanations there soon!)
Above: Newfound Lake in New Hampshire, USA. This is the view from the shore by the cabin; the hill to the left is what I intended to create the LoRa ‘shadow’ behind which I wouldn’t be able to receive messages without a relay node ‘hop’.
Above: the location of the ‘base station’ (inside the cabin) on the lake, using GPS on my phone (none of the Meshtastic devices I was using had a GPS module).
Above: the relay node, using my own simple custom Meshtastic board (based on an ESP32 + RFM95, no GPS).
Above: the base station node, controlled via laptop by Meshtastic-python. It replies to messages sent to it with the SNR of the incoming message.
Above: example of an exchange between the field node and the automated ‘base station’.
Above: The field node with me in a kayak, controlled via my Android phone.
The goal was to test ‘hop’ dynamics with a system of 3 Meshtastic nodes, by first setting up a ‘base station sender’ and a ‘target receiver’ on opposite sides of a hill that blocks direct LoRa transmission; and then placing a ‘relay’ node on the ‘corner’ of that hill, so that messages might ‘hop’ around it.
The ‘sender’ was located in a cabin on a lake, and was controlled by Meshtastic-python, using a script (linked to in the above post) that would ‘reply’ to received messages with the SNR of the incoming message. The idea was that from the field I could send messages from my ‘end node’ (controlled via the Android app), and if the ‘relay’ node was able to relay my message via a ‘hop’ to the ‘base station sender’, I might ultimately get a reply relayed back to me at the end node.
I was able to nicely communicate among all the nodes directly; but in my quick test wasn’t able to accomplish a ‘hop’. Not yet sure why, but my test was a bit goofy and rushed, so I might have been doing something dumb. The ‘hop_limit’ parameter seems to have been set to ‘1’ – which should allow a single hop beyond the immediately adjacent nodes, from what I understand?
Anyway, more writeup / tests soon … just wanted to post some fun motivational lakeside pics for folks :