goTenna Mesh community

How to make a unit stay on?!

If you can’t move it to blip it on, then that may be the problem. Just holding it down doesn’t allow it to restart into what is effectively permanently on mode so long as the clip holds the button down. But you must be able to move your hold-down to do the restart. Otherwise, it’s basically my instructions above [to the best of my current knowledge.]

This needs field-testing, if for no other reason to see if power consumption is within the capacity of current batteries and panels. In the winter, the slight heating effect might even be desirable. People should report back their findings when the weather allows.

Sorry to drag this on but I’m still a bit confused. If I’m following correctly to get a GTM into “always on mode” you must:

  1. Jam the button down
  2. let the GTM battery run down
  3. plug the GTM into power
  4. momentarily release then re-jam the button (blip the button)

At this point if the unit dies again will it automatically restart when power is applied? Like in a solar application with no external battery and the sun returns after several overcast days.

My interest in this possible feature lies in the use of a GTM as a relay on solar power. If the GTM will turn itself on when solar power is restored it will drastically simplify my mountain top relays. I can live with occasional down time at night or during gloomy periods if I don’t have to make the several hour trip to reset it manually. Thanks!

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Yes, that’s the routine that worked for me.

That seems to be the consensus. I always like to see such things for my self. However, the design is said to relay so long as the GTM is on, no matter what the white flashing lights are doing. And holding the Power button down leaves it always active when power is restored.

I’m just not in test mode right now other than one that I am experimenting with on the patio. Problem is there are 3 others relays nearby, but perhaps in weeks ahead I can say more about the radio working on it’s own by recording some good data. Right now it’s survival mode, but will also get some relays built. I need to decide before they go up whether they are Powerclipped or not, because several will be relatively less accessible after they’re up. Not having to go back for a long time would be delicious.

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Nursing the sick kitty gave me some time to follow-up on this and I am starting to agree with you. What are we missing?

The one thing that does not seem to happen without some human intervention is pushing that button at least once.

Essentially, what is blipping the button? Just another way to manually reboot the GTM. The tests I’ve done ALWAYS require at least that minimal human intervention with the power button clipped down. The unit will not power back up by itself even after accepting a full charge and the red light going off without that manual reset.

I’ll throw it back to those who claimed this is an “always on” solution. The results do not seem to be able to be replicated. It you actually achieved this state, then please review and clarify the instructions on how you did so. It might work with a paired phone to start with, or when a battery remains hooked up but runs way down? I used a wall wart and disconnected from any power in my experiments.


I just tried the step where you “blip” the button and the GTM does not come back on when power is applied.

Dang, this would be the “holy grail” of solar relays if it would work. I still hope I missed something and there might be a chance. Please advise if anyone figures it out.

I’m definitely interested in GoTenna as soon as they have the hardware update to support the “always on relay” functionality. I’d love to set up a relay in the attic/roof, but I don’t really want to have to climb up there to check/restart it :stuck_out_tongue:

It also seems like it would be a lot easier to do the “GoTenna Ambassador” work if the boxes automatically came back on in relay mode when power was available (as well as the proposed changes to allow “status pings” by the relay owner)… currently my understanding of the system means that the person responsible for a relay has no way to know if it’s even online currently except to go physically look at the flashing lights on the device. If an ambassador is pitching GoTenna to local buildings/companies, it feels like a real blow to the sales pitch if you have to tell them that you’ll need to be able to access the unit once a week, or have them come up and check it once a week. Being able to say, “the unit will recover automatically in the event of power failure”, or even, “the unit is self contained and solar powered, so it will run completely independent” would be much easier selling points.

I’m super excited by the amount of traction GoTenna has seen, I was sort of waiting for “mesh network standards” to come out before I commited to a specific vendor, but at this point GoTenna is so large, I expect that any standards that come out will likely be backwards compatible with their system. To do otherwise would be setting your “standard” up for failure, since nobody wants to throw their GoTenna away for some new unproven system.


Welcome to the mesh community, jshands!

Please be assured you won’t be going up there for weekly resets, even in the absence of changes to the hardware. Once you have a good grasp of the power needs at your location, things usually work fine for extended periods. I have nodes that have never been down. I also have a few that do come up with power/reset issue from time to time.

This is somewhat experimental, but that’s what makes it fun. You find problems, you figure them out.

You’d want reliable power even once we get an auto reset feature, so it sure doesn’t hurt to find out now what works and what doesn’t at your location. I’d say to go ahead and try some small scale experiments to figure out your baseline power configuration.

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I don’t get it. Why are there like a dozen hardware kludges on here? I mean, it’s great that people have figured out how to fit a square box into a round hole, but why doesn’t goTenna save the state of whether we are in relay mode or regular mode in the built-in flash, then read the state when the power is initially applied? (If the battery was dead.)

Expect a firmware mod soon. From me, someone else, or goTenna themselves hopefully. (That’s a more maintainable option.)

It was hoped that this could be implemented via a firmware update, but that seems not to have been possible. The latest is that there must be a hardware change made in future update to the current build.

Meanwhile, you need to add a battery to your box. Voltaic makes some that have a Always On feature, as do many more recent battery packs that are designed to recharge those tiny ear buds many people use now to listen. So long as there’s always power, the GTM will stay on.

I guess not from goTenna then? Get smarter with your tools guys. The K24 has 1MB of flash storage. You’re saying you can’t just use a single bit of that to store the state of being in relay-node mode? (Or if you can’t get smarter with your tools, open source it. I won’t sign an NDA to work on this stuff, I’d back off of it like it’s nuclear poo-poo if you do that. But, I won’t need to either in order to fix it. Greater than zero people can read and write ARMv7 opcodes.)