Real World Use Cases

I spent a number of years volunteering for mountain rescue.

They often go out in small parties (<10), and much larger numbers (<100) when searching an area.

Their teams are, in the UK voluntary and comprised of multi agency bodies. Naturally this is done in areas with poor cell coverage.

There are solutions available (and used) with long-range radio - these, however, have costs which make them prohibitive for issue to every party member. Also their battery life is typically less than 24 hours, so charging swaps demand multiple batteries or duplicate comms devices.

There is typically a lot more searching than rescuing. As a consequence: They need to have assured message delivery and known location including location history to ensure all areas are searched when looking for missing persons.

If meshtastic were able to reliably deliver messages to all nodes and assure the delivery of location, it would be fantastic to use in this context.


I didn’t see @Professr present the case that it should work in all cases everywhere despite any counter-measures by full-scale military deployments in any theater of operations. Remote explosives? Collateral damage from drone strikes in public protests? ISIS? Who’s being silly here?

Seems totally reasonable to consider the minimization of tracking by various flavors of Big Data by disabling trivially trackable phone radios vs. not so easy to track ISM bands. WiFi and GSM bands are easy to track/jam everyday with little to no additional infrastructure. While it’s true that it’s technically possible to track and jam ISM bands, the economics are different.

Also seems reasonable to want to use communications frequencies which are less likely to be disrupted by interference, which is more often a matter of too many people using the same frequency in proximity at the same time (e.g., sporting events).

Even if it’s just to avoid Google and Facebook serving me ads because I walked by a Starbucks in their WiFi AP database, it’s a totally valid use-case.


This is hugely useful tool for team of journalists working a story in a given area (conflict, disaster, protest etc). First between each other (priority of sending lots of small messages fast) and editors. Second if it auto-beacons the journalist locations for security teams to know where everyone is at a given moment.
Being able to build a mesh from a box of radios to work as relays (mag mount/solar/battery) and to give to journalists as “clients” would be so handy. A desktop client would make it even better.


the desktop client seems to have it’s origin here -

I believe he got my point - in other words, differing too much from the others makes you remotely identifiable.

The other thing is exactly your limited view on use of such LoRa mesh network :slight_smile:

There is variety of DIY hobbist around the world - and with statements like “crowd”, “protest”, “safe/encrypted communication without need of GSM/WiFi” you are drawing serious level of attention :wink: The limited view you have is based on safety of environment around you. Take into account that this GIT repo is available also in countries with ongoing conflicts. Do you still consider it silly? :slight_smile:

Now you’re contradicting yourself. It seems like you’re agreeing with my while telling me I’m wrong. I’m okay with that. :wink:

  • As a point of order, I am in fact a woman :stuck_out_tongue:
  • Regardless of the long-term viability of this as a tool for peaceful protest, it has immediate usefulness because the tools commonly available for censorship do not yet account for this part of the spectrum or the unique considerations of a mesh network with nodes that have multi-km range. This isn’t hypothetical, it’s in use right now and it’s proving at least temporarily effective according to the few reports I hear.
  • Let’s not derail into an argument if we can avoid it - I understand slavino’s concerns, and I’m not here to convince anyone that my use case is the best or that they should invest in it. I’m just stating that it exists.

The encryption system will be changed to avoid tampering by anyone who may get physical access to a single device. One of the main tasks will be to ensure perfect forward secrecy. Weak encryption is useless, it makes more sense to communicate in clear text.

Avoiding tracking in the ISM band is very easy if you know how to disguise yourself, just hook up a RTLSDR dongle and run the great rtl_433 (works for 868MHz too) software and you’ll see how polluted those frequencies are. Some TPMS and alarms don’t even respect duty cycle regulations.


I’m hoping to use meshtastic with my son’s scout troop. Seems like it has the potential to be a much better way to communicate when we are backpacking/canoeing/skiing/etc and spread out in several groups over several miles. Family radio just doesn’t work so well.

So far, I’ve just been playing with Heltec boards(TTGO’s are still in the mail). Been pretty easy to setup and play with at home. Been running into the bluetooth pairing issues with my older androids.

It’s a really cool project, thanks to @geeksville and all those who have contributed to this!


Suggestion for @geeksville… Maybe we should have a category for discussion on use cases for Meshtastic.

I have been trying to determine the best way to use Lora as a method to transmit the GPS location of my Sales/Delivery Vehicles for about a year. Meshtastic give me the method to…

  1. Bi-directional communication
  2. Extend the range of two single Lora devices (through mesh communication.
  3. Add compute intelligence to my vehicles.

My ultimate goal will be to have a base Meshtastic device logging GPS positions and sending sales and historical customer information to the vehicle based on GPS location as the vehicle is approaching a customer address.



Or something like “builds” where folks’ examples can live.

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I’m really hoping for Signal support. My goal once that happens is to install some node strategically around the city I live in to allow free, decentralized messaging in case of disaster or internet blackout.

I think Meshtastic (or a custom program built on it) could be useful as a tool for outdoor treasure-hunt (like geocaching) or territory-capture (Ingress) type games. They could be beacons or passive devices that could respond however you program them to whatever external inputs you want, either other radios or peripherals. WiFi or Bluetooth can already do this but their range is limiting.

Has anyone tried using Metastatic in a smart agriculture use case?

I’m currently doing a research project for an environment that doesn’t have a reliable internet connection.
Hoping to experiment with a few low-power nRF52 nodes to send some data to the Python API on Raspberry Pi as a local server then periodically upload the data to the cloud.

Could better solution than the traditional LoRaWAN option, that also provides a lot more flexibility.


I have a friend who works with communications for the CDF. He’s been following Meshtastic for a while (mostly from me raving about it) and mentioned a possible use case where fire fighters deployed deep in the woods, often without cellphone coverage, could be outfitted with a device to allow two way communication as well as some location and some telemetry data.


My use case is for connecting communities which are isolated from electricity and any form of communication deep in the amazon.

I’ve been using this tool to locate hills near important Amazon rivers, which are likely to also have communities in the need of communication. Still need to do lots of experimentation, but I think that such LoRa mesh would be feasible.


Awesome use case! You may want to check out the coverage mapping tool listed here Practical Range Test Results. It will map coverage from multiple sites and would give you a pretty good idea where you will get reception.

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I’ve given it a good read. Seems like 11Km with line of sight is safe with the default antennas, and that moxon antennas can extend that range a lot. I’m not sure if clear line of sight would be possible in the amazon, with 80m trees, even on hill tops. So intend to do some testing of how trees affect signal. An idea is to put the devices with solar kits on poles and strap them to the trees.

Any other ideas are really welcome. I have quite a lot of experience with WiFi mesh networks, but am completely new to LoRa. If it plays well for the amazon context it can be truly revolutionary.

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To have a similar solution to Motorola T800 FRS radios (unfortunately America only…) with voice, messaging and some additional location/safety features ( would be really great.

Interesting. Looks like they don’t mesh, and some of the reviews I read make it sound like their real world range might be a little less than what I’m seeing with my meshtastic devices.

I’m surprised there aren’t more consumer grade options that offer off network texting. Them gotennas are too expensive!