Role Clarification


I’m just waiting for some RAK devices to get delivered and was thinking about the proper setup.

What’s the real difference between router and repeater?

[…] As such, direct messaging this node is not available […]

Does this imply I can’t remote administer repeaters? Which makes them basically useless as they’d be in remote high places?

Or are router nodes the fixed high ones and repeater the “throwies” that get scattered on the way out and collected coming back in? In this case they would still make sense on a map?

Another one: router disables wifi/ble. So far so good, but what about serial? I might put a Raspberry Pi Zero (or clone) in the same enclosure. Having them connected might make more sense than connecting with my phone/tablet, but in that case usb serial is easier than wifi/ble

Correct, they just re-transmit packets. You probably don’t even want you main keys on there, just the lora config so they can repeat.

So the purpose of those is to provide general repeaters that anyone can use (since no keys are needed)?

But how do you configure those? Only when directly nearby?

Also: they still do decrease the hop count like any other node? And get used preferred but a client can’t really maximise the connection as one can’t “see” it :wink:

That’s a purpose, and probably the most useful one.

Configure before deploying else you would need to be directly able to connect to it as you mentioned.

Still respects hop limit, just like all other roles. It’s setup similar to router role, where it is “preferred” by clients (really just timing).

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Thanks for the clarification.

So to sum it up:


  • no configs
  • no remote access (no need for sensors)
  • never shown on any map (no need for gps)
  • strengthens the network as no encryption keys need to be known


  • all keys configured (as they won’t repeat packages they can’t “read”)
  • remote access (for config and IO)
  • shown on the map

So in general, I probably want router nodes in places I control and maybe even want IO data. While “rogue nodes” or officially placed nodes on like mountains or antenna masts would make more sense as repeater as I wouldn’t need to configure anything other than the initial stuff (868mhz, EU, long fast) on those (and they help people that won’t know my channel keys)

And those repeater nodes better be connected to power as there’s no way of knowing the battery state?

There’s also the Router/Client role.

Useful to switch back through remote admin if you need to do a firmware update on the node, and it’s in BT range, but not close enough to access physically (high up on a telephone pole, etc).

Correct they are not a part of the mesh, they just re-transmit.

Well this is just awesome!! I’ve got one that’s been permanently in place that I rarely update and I’ve not been able to get a community thing going, so I will update it & set it in repeat mode (which I didn’t know was available, I was waiting for a second channel, a public channel, and I think that’s already been done if im nit mistaken, but I just haven’t had time to try it?). As far as I’m concerned repeat mode would be just like having a private and public channel I can just put everything in repeat mode, right?

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Yes, sounds like it. Everything on the same modem settings (long-fast, …) should be repeated as the repeater itself doesn’t „open“ the packages and therefore won’t need any channel configuration