Practical Range Test Results

Using the Range Test Plugin, I got 2km in a flat suburban area with lots of houses and trees.
I’m using the 915Mhz T-Beam with the standard antennas and LongSlow radio settings.
The receiver was in my car (1.5 m above the ground) and the transmitter was 3m above the ground.


I think you’re the first person outside of the internal Alpha group to use the range test plugin. How was it? Easy? What settings did you use?

Please let us know, the PyGUI can set these settings for you pretty easily. Ive been testing custom settings for long range tests.

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Almost 170km I think I could have gotten the signal abit better if I went abit further up the mountain with both nodes but it was getting late by the time I had finished setting up the test.

2x Tbeams sx1262
2x Omni 868mhz antennas
Very Long Slow


Never heard this long.

Over water plus hill tops, good combination

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That is unbelievable!!!

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I just picked up the fixed node, turns out all the messages sent went through fine.
I think the antenna was simply not as good as my portable units.

The last message test message sent over 166km

I should note I got confirmation from sending node for the messages sent.

I think if I ever attempt to beat this I might try with directional antennas finally :stuck_out_tongue:

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What antennas are you currently using?

With the stock 915MHz antennas, in hilly terrain, we’re battling to even get beyond 1km.

I was using these on portable receiver side:

This on the sender side (I don’t think its as good)

Are you using the newer chipset?
The sx1262 is 160mw vs the sx1278 50mw.

These links take some planning and playing around with propagation on, line of site is key at longer distances.

Using the standard supplied 915MHz antennae, we’re really restricted to immediate local vicinity. In Australia 915MHz tx_power is restricted to 3mw, so that’s already against us, plus being hilly terrain our line of sight is haphazard at best, so we’re looking at what we can to to optimise the antennae.

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Nasty NZ seems to have very relaxed rules around ISM bands for example on 864-868mhz we are limited to 1w with no duty cycle limit or 4w if you have frequency hopping.

So I could put a double-biquad on a sx1262 and not be close to the power limits.


I got 24km a few days ago.


Really impressive. Thanks for sharing.

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Isn’t the 1278 100mW not 50mW?

The stock antennas are pretty bad. I’ve got three of them now and they are all identical. See the bottom of this post for a VNA sweep.

VSWR of ~3 equates to a loss of about 25% of your power.

The crazy thing about the link b8b8 posted is that is crosses over downtown Vancouver. The noise floor that the signal has to punch through must be really high.


It seems the max output is 17 dBm/50mw on meshtastic. Could be mistaken however still learning the software side of things.

hmmm ok, that sucks. Maybe its only location dependent. Would be nice to use the whole 100mW or even more on the SX1262 (160mW or whatever) 22dm.

Edit: looks like its the hardware limit. I retract my statement.

The SX1262 uses 160mw I believe :slight_smile:

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The coders are doing the best they can, with the knowledge they have at the time to program reasonable default settings for devices and regions.

If you think hardware limit was set too low for a specific device I recommend doing a bit of research and start a topic that explains what you found and links to the relevant documents that support your findings. Bonus points for creating a corresponding git hub bug and linking to it.

Regional settings are a best effort to establish defaults that stay within the current understanding of the rules and regulations of that area.

Any of those settings can be changed by someone willing to edit the code and recompile. Part of the community accepted this is A) True for an open source project regardless. B) Sufficient barrier that requires a level of understanding and skill that prevents an uniformed user from selecting settings based on the overly simplistic view that more is better.

That said, many of the settings can be changed using the python interface.


meshtastic --setchan txpower 100

Sets the output power to the max 20dBm for the SX1278. Geekville has suggested to leave it at default 17dBm because apparently the max rating is for very low duty cycle.

In North America the legal limit is 30dBm so we should be able to use all the 22dBm that the SX1268 can deliver.

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