Gotenna at DefCon 26 in Vegas Aug 9-12?


Great! I hope you found the CERT training useful and informative.

I think I was directly to the front left of you, possibly in an off-duty goon shirt. I remember you asking if I minded that you were taking a video. I haven’t watched all of your video but I skimmed through and it doesn’t look like you got anyone other than the speaker.

The speaker keeps talking about how you rebuild infrastructure with large boxes of expensive gear and not $70 devices but I wish someone would have pointed out to him that no one believes that we’re going to rebuild infrastructure with $70 Bluetooth devices but also not everyone can drop several grand on gear.

He does make a few valid points that I brought up in posts early on when I was trying to test them in an area without cellphone signal. Dropping GoTennas into an area with no cell signal doesn’t work. But dropping GoTennas with paired cellphones that already have the app and maps already downloaded are a different story. Of course, the cheaper cellphones and tablets don’t have GPS so that doesn’t do all that much good either.
I just wish they had installed ROM space on the goTenna so that you could side-load the software from it once it was paired.

Where GoTennas come into their own are in the pre-planning stages. If all of your team leaders have their GoTennas and know how to use them and charge them then you can track your teams easily. If there are high elevation locations that have self-sustained nodes already in place it gives you relatively inexpensive infrastructure to boost your responders capabilities.

What I need right now are those nodes. I need something sealed and easy to drop on the roof of someone’s home that I don’t have to ever worry about and I’ll have my node network in place. But now we get into what I didn’t want to deal with and that’s putting in a significant amount of time and effort and money into hacking a solution together. And at that point the ham argument that amateur radio already has this solution becomes valid.


Whew cool. I tried to keep you out of it. I hope I wasn’t bothering you, just wanted to make sure. Some people do not like to be filmed.

Yes, the CERT training was very helpful! Good to get to know other volunteers in the area and get current on best practices. Found it all very very helpful in Puerto Rico.

I agree completely. The guy didn’t consider your use case at all.
I’m very hopeful that on the mesh hardware rev. 2 that they include that ROM / flash space for the install file AND maybe even a cheap gps chip for headless SOS emergency mode (as well as pathfinding for relay mode).


It’s always interesting how the attitude of some people is:
Your product isn’t perfect. Since it’s not perfect, it’s garbage and no one should use/buy it and you should die in a ditch.

I’ve always been of the opinion: Let’s get the product out that might not be perfect but works reasonably well and is reasonably thought out and then we’ll make it better.

Of course, the flip side is that it seems like Google releases utter garbage to be first to market and then tries making it work later. =D


Yeah, I really hate that attitude where people absolutely trash a product because it doesn’t meet their particular use case. It’s a tool. Is it perfect on version 1? No. Does it have great potential? Can you write your own apps using their SDK to make it better? Or couple it with a phone and Mesh Developer Toolkit and a waterproof box + solar, HELL YES! I agree with you.