Meshtastic

Real World Use Cases

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.

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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!

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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.

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+1

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTO_jgYxzQU with voice, messaging and some additional location/safety features (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLG5wMZGcmY) 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!

Just realized there is another commercial product - Garmin Astro. We can call it a communication device, but for dog trainings :slight_smile: Basically it can detect and transmit barks, transmit position, so then show location on the map or just a bearing and distance on smaller watch screens (via ANT+ to Garmin Fenix, Marq,…) and trainer can activate light beacon or send various commands utilizing buzzer, vibration or electric shocks :smiley: It uses (at least in US) 900 MHz FHSS.

So this could be another interesting use case.

I am really glad for nRF52 support. We might to use it for ANT+ communication with Garmin devices in the future - in our case Controls (inReach uses a sort of this) and Tracker profiles could be useful https://www.thisisant.com/developer/ant-plus/device-profiles

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I would like to use Mestastic as long range remote control for PTZ camera. The idea is the PTZ camera is placed near to a Meshtastic repeater device (located on the roof and powered by camera power supply) which can either emit IR codes or issue WiFi commands based on commands it received from remote battery powered Meshtastic device so it has dual purpose - controlling the camera and serve as a repeater for meshtastic network. The remote Mestastic device should be designed just like home IR remote control with few buttons like UP, DOWN,LEFT,RIGHT,HOME,ZOOM IN AND ZOOM OUT etc.

This is very useful when there is no internet access at the location of remote control Meshtastic device.

Please give your feedback.

Thanks.

How far away is the camera located? I feel like you would be better equipped with increasing your wifi range. I use Unifi at home and for business. They have some really impressive equipment with a real nice UI for remote management.

This is apart of their mesh network

Or if you have line of site with your camera, you can use a couple of Long Range Antennas. Im talking 16-30kms range.

I use this tool when checking elevations and obstructions.

They even operate at 900MHz to penetrate obstructions like trees

And you did say remote… Well they have you covered there too…

And no I dont have shares in this company. This is what I use at home. I have 1 AP which I run at its absolute lowest power. If Im going to spend some time outside in my back yard, I just crank up the power from the app.

You can still have a Meshtastic Repeater up there, perhaps you will be able to perform updates to the node if it was attached to an RPi through the USB.

So, not to take away from Meshtastic and how great this project has been, but I feel there are already tools out there that will achieve even more and be very reliable doing it.

@satkiwii thank you for your feedback. Yes I have been using Nanostations from ubiquity for this purpose. But problem with these devices are their antenna is very directional.I was also thinking about using 4 Nanostations to cover all directions but that become expensive. Instead we can mount 1 Nanostation on top of Pan/Tilt platform and adjust the antenna direction by using LORA command like I discussed. Once antenna is in right direction towards remote Lora node then WiFi can be used to monitor & control PTZ camera.I have been using this camera https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/250457-REG/Elmo_9718_2_PTC_100S_1_4_Inch_CCD_Color.html for few years with video capture device and RPI Zero.

Remote control is described here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2fUYxnji_g

He used ESP8266 but my goal is to use ESP32 with SX1262 Lora chip from Ebyte. For buttons built in capacitive touch on ESP32 can be used.

I believe I misunderstood the purpose of the PTZ. Instead of increasing the number of APs, your hoping to use one of these devices to point your AP in the direction needed.

Very clever. Thank you for the clarification.

There is a new commercial product similar to Meshtastic called Redacat, nicely integrated to ATAK-Civ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTm2lB7ib2Y

Former GoTenna Mesh user here.
My use cases are off-grid comms for hiking and kayaking, as well as one way comms with my young children.
The relay mode is really interesting to me, for a home relay “power consumption is not an issue” scenario, but also for a mobile relay scenario in a car, where power use should be low.

Unfortunately I cannot contribute code to the project, but I can beta test, document, design enclosures/accessories to be 3D printed…

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