goTenna Stories!

Hey Everyone!

I’m looking to get some feedback on here through folk’s goTenna stories.

What have you used them for lately? Is it hiking, off-grid networking or simply emergency preparedness?

How was the whole experience overall and did you find them useful?

Being in New York City, I think a good use for them is emergency preparedness for WHEN the grid goes down.


I’ve got several stories, but I’ll start with one that represents how I find a lot of fun in just playing with radios while building mesh in Urbana.

The Location: The basement of the old Urbana downtown post office. Built just before WWI, the old PO building still has a post office in it, but is now the local Independent Media Center. The IMC rents space to a number of local groups including the local Maker Space, housed under the front steps in the old men’s locker room.

The People: I’ve been slowly tracking down local tech activists and introducing them to the wonders of the mesh. Tonight I’m finally meeting E. who has just returned from Burning Man.

The Situation: Maker Space is notorious for bad cell phone reception, so bad that most people don’t bother trying, instead going upstairs and outside if they need to make a call. While I wasn’t sure I’d find Eric, I had and I told him I was going to contact my wife to let her know I’d be out a little longer.

The Reaction: E. is incredulous I’m even trying to reach out from the Maker Space “dungeon” with my goTenna Mesh. He’s even more surprised when the message is confirmed almost immediately and answered with a reply. This seems to impress him far more than my elevator talk version of what UMESH is up to. I eventually mention that there’s a relay node on the roof that helped, but regardless of that it was a suitably impressive demonstration of the power of the mesh.


Hey Nate,
My wife and I use them a lot for camping. Sometimes my wife or i will wonder from the campsite to explore or what not, and the goTenna is a little easier than vhf/uhf radios. Same reason it’s a little easier to text someone a quick response than to call them.
I also like to have them for disaster preparedness. I live in the southwest, and wildfires are a thing. If there is a firearm it burned down the telecommunications network, we will always have a way to communicate.

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Became familiar with goTenna’s by chance. Got introduced to the goTenna V1’s about 2 years back now and they were great as an additional layer of communications when mobile/SMS and radio (voice) comms were not practical and present.

I run small fixed wing UAV (drone) mapping gig. With ground teams of 2-4 personnel that are spread out on areas of 500 acres or more (usually more) establishing and observing ground control points using GPS gear. And we work in areas that are super difficult to reach… hikes lasting hours to even days in the Philippines. And of course, no cell reception most of the time.

Keeping track of personnel in rough terrain is quite difficult, and calling out latitude and longitude during checkpoints can be tedious. With the goTenna app + Mesh, it’s easy to keep track of the crew at a push of a button. Everyone in the crew knows how to IM (and has a phone), but not everyone has good radio etiquette. So the goTenna makes exchanging information - especially with loads of numbers easier when off-grid.