Keep on hacking is your best bet here if you see an immediate need in your situation. Rather like F1 and hotrodders developing features later adopted by the Big 3 as OEM. Maybe cherrypicked is a better term, because lots of stuff that aficionados feel should be mandatory gets lost in the translation to the mass market. It’s simply too limited in application, creates other issues that may not be wholly desirable, and imposes added costs beyond what the mass market will bear. Elements of all of those factors in this discussion. Remember that most manufacturers build for 90% of the market. Outliers have to generally make their own way.
My frustrations regarding sealed devices is definitely not limited to goTenna. Having just had the pleasure (sarcasm) of opening an iPad to troubleshoot limited touch functionality, I really don’t like it when a device requires anything more than a screwdriver to get into. The fact that my laptop has clips on the bottom cover bothers me enough as it is, because even though screws hold it together, those clips break and weaken the structure if the bottom cover is removed, and I’m due to tighten down the screen hinge.
To be fair, my goTennas are likely going to be the last sealed device of my collection to require a replacement battery due to the designed charged voltage of the battery. I’m merely thinking about regular consumers that don’t want to spend another $80+ on a new Mesh unit when a cooked relay unit has the battery puff up on them, when they could instead buy a $20 battery or capacitor, pop it in, and be back in business. Like I said earlier, even if goTenna changes the design to have an easily changeable battery, it wouldn’t help me at all unless I buy more devices in the future, which isn’t likely unless many more people in my area start using them. The terrain just doesn’t lend well to any reasonable distance.
I guess I just really want the mesh network to grow. I travel a good amount for my job and would love to find goTenna mesh networks where ever I go. There’s something powerful about building our own network that can’t be shut down.
But the range isn’t there. Here in Indy we get about 0.7 miles before needing a relay. Then power is another problem. Once electric power goes out the GTM has only 24 hours left and the same user’s cell phone is probably about the same. I’m frequently swapping out the external 20,100 mAh battery every month with a fresh one even though it is on a solar panel but there isn’t enough light even in the height of summer to keep the external battery charged for the GTM. I want to have our own network that can’t be shut down but the reality is most people will not have the setup needed to have battery power more than 32 hours into an emergency and the majority of the mesh will go down. I can maintain my stationary relays for months but that is only because I have multiple battery packs I can swap out with an external generator. But that will be a far cry of being useful if no one else, lay people, can keep their GTM much less their mobile phone powered during an extended outage. I do not know what the solution is here. But power to both the GTM and the mobile phone is going to be a serious issue in areas with no power or available generators for weeks.
I will agree that a power outage will put a strain on the mesh (which is another reason for replaceable batteries) but there are ways to charge cell phones (and goTennas) in these situations such as 12 vdc cigarette plugs in cars (assuming you have a car charger), battery packs, car jumper packs, laptop USB port, solar charger, gas generators and hand crank generators (these suck, once you use one you will switch to solar…lol)
We had some problems with power here at first last winter. I was worried that heat would be an issue this summer. But since going to the 6 W panel or a combination of smaller panels that add up to 5.5 W, power hasn’t been an issue. The network is reliable.
One thing is to make sure your battery pack has an always on feature. This used to be a relatively rare feature, but it’s become much more common now that wireless ear buds are getting to be the standard. They draw so little current at full charge mfg’s were obligated to go to what amounted to an always one system.
I would just open the thing up and replace the battery myself. It’s way easier then replacing a phone battery.
Perhaps Gotenna will even do refurbs in the future.
I suspect something like this may come about. Trade in your long in tooth GTM for a substantial discount on an improved GTM2, for instance.
Makes a lot of sense, but I think we’re several years away from that because the batteries aren’t going to be dropping like flies starting yesterday as some think. It’s a mobile device like many others using basically the same technology. Seems to work pretty well with cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc, etc, which typically see a 4 to 6 year life.
No reason I can see to expect much less, with the possible exception of those used on rooftops as relays where heat exposure may be a limiting factor. That is more realistically a limitation of the available technology and not something peculiar to the goTenna Mesh itself.
my exact thought too!
I was just thinking yesterday about battery life. My personal goTenna Mesh has been in daily use for over a year now. Still holds a charge (~24 hours) that far outlasts my iPhone’s, which had it’s battery freshened about the time we acquired our first GTMs. To me, battery life is a problem that just hasn’t shown itself to actually be a problem here.
Your “Sample size” is too small from a statistics point of view.
True, it’s just a data point.
On the other hand, what evidence has there been of short battery life or need for early replacement? It’s been months since the last post in this thread before this small flurry. And this thread is mostly a “it would be nice” discussion, not one about short-lived battery issues in use.