Group Messaging Question

#1

My family and I hunt on some hunting land together and we use GoTenna Mesh for all of our communications while out in the woods.At our stands we all have little hooks that we connect our GoTennas on and so on. Our setup for going into the woods typically is we all meet up at camp and turn our GoTennas on and then create a group chat and make sure everyone is connected, then we all head out into the woods on our separate ways.

The issue that we have been running into lately is that messages will sometimes be received by some but not by others. This sort of baffles me as messages are supposed to relay from device to device so if the one sending the message could reach person C when sending then person B’s unit should attempt to mesh and resend to person C which means that the message should be sent minimum of twice and it failed both times??? Our hunting land is not that big, 120 acres at the most and the furthest distance is only 4,500 feet so we the message should be received especially if transmitted twice.

My main question is are we connecting the group chat correctly? is it okay to do it when everyone is together at camp or should we all wait till we are out in the woods separated and then start the group chat? Also, are group messages indeed relayed as advertised or does it depend on if one of the receipents had to be relayed to during itial group creation?

#2

Group chats work with anyone within range. They should hop to the final recipient.

What is the topography of your woods location? If it’s up and down, a unit that is out of line of sight may miss messages.

Do you currently use a dedicated relay located at the highest, most accessible point on the land?

If you have goTenna Plus available with the app, you get individual confirmation each recipient
received group emails. Using it may give you insight into what happens, especially if you can determine the location of those who fail to receive the message when it was sent.

#3

Our land is timber land so lots of trees throughout the property. There are some hills but generally we are only 1/2 mile or less away from each other as we spread out through the property (person to person to person). What we’ve found is that sometimes messages go through without issue, other time one may miss part of a conversation but then pickup the next part. Even when we are all at camp standing 3 feet from each other when linking up the group chat we find that most times we have to do it 2 or 3 times before everyone’s in the group properly.

I did the free trial of GoTenna Plus a year or so back and wasn’t impressed. The SMS feature seamed nice at first because cell coverage is spotty on our land but my findings were that while outbound messages were relayed properly using GoTenna the recipient had no way to send a response back over the GoTenna which made the concept, for me, pointless. It’s good to see they are making other advancements to the Plus feature such as you described but honestly something like that I feel should be part of group chats from the beginning and should not be a subscribed feature.

#4

When the leaves are on the trees they can represent a barrier to the signals.If you were hunting late enough in the season when they’re mostly fallen and things worked well, are you now trying to duplicate that with the leaves on the tree still? Because your signals will suffer with the leaves on.

Even a small hill will present a problem if it puts a device out of line of sight, if that correlates with the issue.

Are y’all that close and bouncing signals off each other at the same time? That can present problems. There’s a 5 message per minute limit on each device, but even if you don’t reach that, all the signals from radios (the GTM is a radio, first of all) in close proximity can present problems to each others reception. Try sending a message to the others from a single device, then wait a minute before anyone replies. You may find the signals getting through better.

And remember that unless confirmation is received first, the GTM will make two attempts to send a message, which further adds to the electronic cacophony if a bunch of folks close together start sending en masse. Slow things down and see if that changes anything.