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Meshtastic

An open-source hiking, pilot, skiing, Signal-App-extending GPS mesh communicator.

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Meshtastic is a project that lets you use inexpensive ($30 ish) GPS radios as an extensible, super long battery life mesh GPS communicator. These radios are great for hiking, skiing, paragliding - essentially any hobby where you don’t have reliable internet access. Each member of your private mesh can always see the location and distance of all other members and any text messages sent to your group chat.

The radios automatically create a mesh to forward packets as needed, so everyone in the group can receive messages from even the furthest member. The radios will optionally work with your phone, but no phone is required.

Meshtastic is a project that lets you use inexpensive ($30 ish) GPS radios as an extensible, super long battery life mesh GPS communicator.  These radios are great for hiking, skiing, paragliding - essentially any hobby where you don't have reliable internet access.  Each member of your private mesh can always see the location and distance of all other members and any text messages sent to your group chat.

The radios automatically create a mesh to forward packets as needed, so everyone in the group can receive messages from even the furthest member.  The radios will optionally work with your phone, but no phone is required.

It is fairly easy to port to other boards, but currently it works with the TTGO T-Beam and the Heltec Lora 32 boards.  You can develop or use this software without any soldering.  We'd love you to try it and join our effort!

Uses

  • Outdoor sports where cellular coverage is limited. (Hiking, Skiing, Boating, Paragliding, Gliders etc..)
  • Applications where closed source GPS communicators just won't cut it (it is easy to add features for glider pilots etc...
  • Secure long-range communication within groups without depending on cellular providers.
  • Finding your lost kids ;-)

Features

Not all of these features are fully implemented yet - see below.  But they should be in by the time we decide to call this project beta (three months?)

  • Very long battery life (should be about eight days with the beta software)
  • Built in GPS and LoRa radio, but we manage the radio automatically for you
  • Long range - a few miles per node but each node will forward packets as needed
  • Shows direction and distance to all members of your channel
  • Directed or broadcast text messages for channel members
  • Open and extensible codebase supporting multiple hardware vendors - no lock in to one vendor
  • Communication API for bluetooth devices (such as our Android app) to use the mesh.  So if you have some application that needs long range low power networking, this might work for you.
  • Eventually (within a couple of months) we should have a modified version of Signal that works with this project.
  • Very easy sharing of private secured channels.  Just share a special link or QR code with other users and they can join your encrypted mesh

Zip Archive - 5.09 MB - 02/26/2020 at 17:32

Download

  • 1 × TTGO T-Beam
  • 1 × Heltec LoRa 32

  • 1
    How to build the device code

    It is super easy to build the device code.  It is platform IO based.  See the readme located here for step-by-step instructions.

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Discussions

Kevin Hester wrote 03/02/2020 at 23:24 point

btw - lots of updates in general, but we mostly chat on our gitter and github.  For recent updates see https://gitter.im/Meshtastic/community (and ask questions)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Kevin Hester wrote 03/02/2020 at 22:33 point

QR codes now kinda work.  Full list of changes.  Now back to working on device code for a few days.

https://github.com/meshtastic/Meshtastic-Android/compare/0.0.6...0.0.9

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Dan Maloney wrote 02/26/2020 at 17:40 point

Interesting idea, as someone who spends time in the back country. Ham radio helps here with contact to the outside world, but not everyone in a party will be a ham, so being able to message within the group is a great idea.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Kevin Hester wrote 02/26/2020 at 17:49 point

Yah. I'm also a ham and that was part of my inspiration. The other thing I liked: These devices are so cheap (and include GPS), the range (even at low power levels) are great and the battery life is amazing.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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