Range Troubleshooting

I’m having a difficult time. I know I have spoken of it some in the RAK thread, but I’m going to add some data on what I’m doing here as well to kinda attempt to zipper up this problem and get some help.

I no longer have good range from my deployments.

I have:

2 TTGO Tbeam 1.0s
1 TTGO Tbeam 1.3
3 RAK 4631s
5 T-Lora 1.0s

I am in a mountainous region with plenty of good LOS.

Initial testing with 1.2.20/21 gave me a max distance of 22.4KM to one of the T-beams from a TLora.
Other test results were great. 8KM was considered a crappy run. 12,15,17 were typical. Everything worked right for me.

Then I got in the RAK4631’s. They struggled to connect at 200m. I then went back to the TTGO’s and they are ALSO struggling now in their same configurations they always used.

I tested the Antenna SWR’s - the TLORA factory antenna managed 1.3. 1.21 for the Tbeam folding antenna. 1.18 for the large whip I was using. 3 or so for the factory RAK 4631 antenna.

I went backwards in firmware for the TTGO devices and still am not having really any luck now. 1km is the longest shot I have managed at all.

I got out ye olde spectrum analyzer and got it setup. I found that I can clearly see the spread spectrum LORA traffic I’m generating, and when I silence my network there appear to be no talkers in the area.

Suggestions are welcome - I’ll try just about anything (more gear, antennas, ritualistic sacri…not quite that,no.)

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Only thing I can think of is change the channel name, verify frequency change and see if that helps?

I gave that a shot.

I also ordered 2 brand new M8N style T-beams from amazon, hooked them up properly and flashed .43 firmware to them.

Same thing - got 400m today and that was it.

Spitballing, I think I read somewhere that some cell bands really mess with range and to avoid setting up near towers…??

I’m really far from any towers. I’m going to drag my spectrum analyzer up there and look a little harder at the output. And then drive through the town I’m trying to get coverage around/past.

That said, I think this is the consequence of Amazon Sidewalk. The noise floor just jumped dramatically most likely through the urban area as 2,000 new talkers came online.

Might be time to explore maximum gain antennas, 30DBM, etc.


Another test.

Checked my antenna SWRS and all are almost 1.0.

Got about 400m with the 4631s. Also bad with Tbeams.

Not sure WTH.

Do you have an SDR that you can look at for local interference?

Yup - and I don’t see much. I’m going to go look again - not sure WTF.

I have a super nice analyzer and it isn’t showing anything notable.

This isn’t near my site - but these guys should see if they have brain cancer at this point.