Meshtastic

Practical Range Test Results

I thought I would start a thread to record range test results and the setup. Below are a couple of links I have found useful for simulating coverage and mapping elevation along a path. If there are better tools out there, please let me know and I can update the post.

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I’ve done 2 range tests so far; 11km and 13km. Both were clear line of sight, and both gave about 80% signal strength on the display.

Hardware T-Beam v1.1 865, standard antenna
Firmware v0.7.9 and v0.7.10
Channel setting: Very long range

I think 20km would not be a problem, with the standard setup, I will try in the next week or so.

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I had a bit of success today. We had a bit of snow nearby the last couple of days and today was mint so took the two year old to the snow for the first time.

It was an unplanned outing so I quickly slapped a TBeam into a box with a Moxon out the side, climbed up onto the roof and taped it to my TV antenna pole, about 7m up overall.

Headed for the mountain and initially had no luck as in the direction I assumed my house was, there was a hill in the way. Before heading home we drove a little higher for a more direct line of sight and I couldn’t believe it, we had connection at 97.9Km, 0% signal!

I should have done my research on the Moxon as I assumed the radiation pattern aligned with the plane of the PCB. Looking into it when I got home I should have sighted along the short edge of the antenna in the desired direction. So better results could be expected. I did replace the roving modules Moxon with an LPRS ANT-WP915SMA-Y but I couldn’t get a connection. Says a lot for those Moxons.

Devices - TBeams
Firmware - 0.7.10-US
App Firmware - 0.7.93
Channel Setting - Very long range
Antennas - Moxon 5.15dBi SMA - Aliexpress
Range - 97.9Km
Signal - 0% (?)

Sorry for the terrible pictures!


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Beat me to it! That is good range. I feel the standard antennas probably let them down a little but it is hard to tell without the right test equipment to check them.

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@dafeman Wow! that is impressive range.

Thanks for sharing your test results.

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Super interesting and useful! What antennas were you using when you got 11km?

Wow - those moxon antennas are only $11! Not bad for 98km!

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I’m sure if you point them in the right direction (doh!) you could get a lot further. And also have a couple of mountains at your disposal.

I was just using the standard antenna that came with the T-Beam. 11km absolutely no problem sending and receiving messages with signal strength always around 80%+. I must admit I was thinking they might max out at 5km, but was a bit taken aback when they did 11km and 13km without a problem with the standard antenna. Looks like using an upgraded antenna is going to give some impressive results - 97.9km, wow. My usage project is polar snowkiting and that range is far more than we need. I just need to figure out what is going on with the power consumption as I only get 24 hours out of a battery when it is sleeping (could be dud batteries). Keep rolling with Meshtastic, it is quite a game changer…

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Goodness! The cheapest I could find was $20, but I’m getting two

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@dafeman - amazing results! Now I’m looking for a similar Moxon Antenna on 868MHz. Or I could have a stab at building one: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2124434

Also your LOS survey tool, I found this: https://www.scadacore.com/tools/rf-path/rf-line-of-sight/ but the one you’re using seems to have more parameters / specification. Do you have a reference to it?

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For those of you playing around with tools on the web - this one: http://www.heywhatsthat.com/ (select new-panorama) allows you to see all the line-of-sight places on a map … never new these existed.

Oh if you select a particular line on the map, you can do frequency refraction analysis too!!

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They seem relatively simple so would be worth having a crack at making one for sure. I had referenced http://heywhatsthat.com/profiler.html in the top post. It certainly seems like a very handy tool!

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@dafeman sorry for not using my eyes well. You did indeed reference the tool. My mistake.

Please welcome this link into my bookmark list :heart_eyes:

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Hey, no problem. I look forward to seeing some of your test results!

Quick question. What’s the range without line of site? I"m thinking this would need some range without line of site to maximize usefulness.

Depends on what material/obstacles are between nodes. I think only you can answer this for your specific environment(s).

In my non-scientific range tests, I got a max of 1.2 miles through 32 houses, 2 apartment buildings, a shopping center, and a slight hill between the two nodes.

I think there is at least one thing here that cuts in to the range I am getting near it.

For more depth on range affecting factors, there’s considerable material available in research - I reference a couple in this section of the wiki: https://github.com/meshtastic/Meshtastic-device/wiki/Aerial---antenna-information---selection#environmental