Real World Use Cases

I have been pretty involved with animal tracking in this corner of Africa, fish to rhinos, movement alarms and geo fenced areas is exactly how we handle the sheep scenario above. Time of flight can be used rather than GPS but that is expensive for a licence. The real issue with animal tracking is the collar build quality not the electronics. That’s where the magic is.


Most of my use cases are already covered, but i have a couple slight differences that i think could be easily accommodated.

Motorcycling in a group. Tend to spread out, but within a lora’able distance. so the mesh is perfect.

  • Knowing where all members are
  • being able to spot if someone has stopped (like the cycling example)
  • being able to find the leader (follow the arrow)
  • Simple to use for those who don’t want to play tech. (“just put this in your bag…” )
  • and obviously infrastructure independent communication

So a mode that updates location (status) much more frequently , doesn’t dim the screen. I also notice that location is not shared if a device has not moved. For me its important to know where someone was the last time we get a message. Therefore always share the location.

I’m so excited about this project - I’ve wanted something like this for a longtime. My attempts never got far, APRS is close, but not right. This has so much potential.


For logging, the need to have an emergency button in case of an accident // a kind of SOS message few option of pre-register message selectable with only 1 push button / short clic next message / long press send message … will be usefull … not to use the phone … was thinking for elderly people they just carry the device with them not always cellphone which stay often in house


It (just) fits inside my lomo cell phone box … without a case. With plenty of room for other sensors.


btw - here’s a good bug with a description of how this might play out (in stages):

This is not documented, but it is actually a little smarter than this: If you ever cycle the screen on your device to look at (for instance) “Bob Dude”. As soon as you do that, your device sends a “I want an update from you” message to Bob Dudes device. That message contains your current position (because it might be useful, and we are sending a packet anyways). Bob’s device replies with his current position. Your device will immediately show that update (as will anyone elses who overheard this interaction).

But yes - defintely we need a UI for letting users tweak the (numerous) parameters that change rebroadcast intervals, sleep time etc… That is high in my queue and will be in sometime in the next couple of weeks.


The two use cases for me:
For protesters who need to be able to communicate in an environment full of stingrays and jammers (and would 100% prefer to have all phone radios off)
For burning man and its local equivalents.
Both would definitely be well-served by the option to put a unit into repeater mode


yep - I haven’t been to burning man in a while, but I think there’s a lot of cool applications for that sort of environment.

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No worries, once police needs to block electronic communication because terror/riots/violence they will block the entire free spectrum of frequencies to make sure you will not be able to communicate or remotely detonate any explosives.

You may have seen ISIS/ISIL and their Arduino steered machine guns with video transmition to remote shooter (just like your rotating home IP camera) - so no worries. Emitting this type of signal only makes you better identifiable target (less damage to innocents is guaranteed).

Also this type of equipment is a type of evidence if you assemble it on your own you usually don’t use gloves and other protection so many proofs remain on the device itself. Capturing such communication is easy and all you need is to get a key to decrypt/decipher/decode it - this is usually stored in the devices you have with you at the time of eventual arrest. Good luck with silly ideas :wink:

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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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