Hot Air Balloon / Kite to Get a Node way up?


Hi there! I’m amazed to see this fantastic community! At the Aerocene Foundation, we are actually dreaming with a Mesh Network that relies 100% on solar power, with solar balloons instead of helium, which is a scarce and expensive resource. You can read more on this newly created topic.


I’m just going to go tot the dollar tree and get some balloons, tie them together and use 550lbs cord as the line tied down. I’ll post some pictures up once I have together.


Well, it’s been in the 100s and what sucks is that has been windy. It been windy enough to not be able to launch the balloons holding the gotenna mesh.


It took about 18 balloons to lift the gotenna, and I’m using a twine like line. I’m going to try to put up to 50ft up then up another 50. I hope my gotenna doesn’t rip and fly away. I’ll update as soon as I have a successful launch and test results regarding distance.


Please take video!!!

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Will do, unfortunately it’s still windy. Regardless of this wind I’m going to order some stronger latex balloons and I will continue to test. And I will make a video of it all.

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This is absolutely incredible. I really hope you’re able to get this out!

Is it a party or a goTenna Mesh? Spoiler: IT’S BOTH.

Please let us know what kind of range performance you achieve with the UP style goTenna Mesh!


Lmao!! I will most definitely post all the information
Including: altitude, distances, and furthest range I was able to successfully get a message out.


Here are a few photos of my initial test flying a gotenna kite. It seems to work quite well. Next test will be with a helium balloon as well as a drone.


Awesome! Do you have any initial result from the kite Mesh?

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Wasn’t able to reach anyone using shout. However my range throughout the neighborhood to other friends and family was greatly increased. The most difficult aspect was dealing with the wind gusts. Definitely need a steady strong breeze to make this reliable. A larger more stable kite would would also help I think.

Handy for quick deployments just to send out a few messages and GPS position, if there is wind of course.

I think a sturdy helium balloon with a strong string would be a more reliable option.

But kites are more fun! :grin:


So true! Also, most kites are rather light and breakdown to be very travel friendly. This method could really come in handy in certain emergency situations!


Finally got around to test flying my drone with Gotenna attached. Worked quite well. Link to my video on twitter:


@ShootAnyAngle - Nice video on the drone-mounted goTenna Mesh (GTM)! What distance were you from the recipient of your message? Also, was it a 1-hop message, or were relay nodes involved? Finally, have you done range testing with your drone-mounted GTM to determine how far you can get with one hop?


The recipient wasn’t really far away. No relays in between. Further testing required. This was just the initial flight test to see if the little fold up drone could carry the weight of the Gotenna. If my free time lines up with a rain free weekend I’ll try a more substantial range test and report back here.

P.S. As long as the drone motors and other electronics don’t interfere with the GoTenna’s antenna I would expect a significant improvement in range

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Another factor to take into account for those first test flights is balance. The drone you used here was actually pretty ideal for this, since it provided a good spot to piggyback on the goTenna Mesh.

Other drones make this trickier as they don’t have such a congenial spot. My drone is like that (Cheerson CX-23). Current plans are to suspend the GTM underneath the rough center of gravity of the drone’s shell. I also plan on suspending it vertically as this gives the best orientation for the antenna as well as putting it below the blades.

Keeping thing in balance is important, because sensors in the drone are designed to manage the drone’s position by reference to its level state. Putting more weight on that is off-center could cause erratic behavior, although the drone can self-correct up to a certain point.


Something I did when I was hanging a Kestrel (weather meter) under my drone was use fishing line tied to the legs, then taped in place to keep the line in the middle. I had a fishing swivel free hanging off the line, and another tied off to the Kestrel, which allowed for easy detaching of the Kestrel when not in use.


Check THIS out. How about very small balloons that can and HAVE orbited the planet dozens of times carrying tiny solar powered ham radio APRS gear. No reason this couldn’t be scaled up and used for GoTenna.

Various legal issues might have to be sorted out but I don’t get too worried about those “annoying details” :wink:. Besides you could have GPS controlled mode freq and power selection.

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