Large scale deployment using public resources in a single region

I am curious if anyone has previously gone after a single geo and really gotten to ~100% coverage by working with aligned local parties.
Ex: calling fire departments and getting it placed strategically to cover a large area with well situated devices.

I started learning and this seems obvious to me. But I’m totally new here (as you can tell from my other question too) so maybe this is obviously a bad idea for some reason I can’t imagine.
I called a few fire depts I have connections in to and all were on board with deploying one if I bought it for them. Which I’ll admit I’m tempted to do as it serves my personal interests well. :))



Well we’re about to start deploying 20,000 goTenna Mesh units in NYC thanks to this grant program:

(More here:

We’re about to start regional threads/groups on Mesh Community to make finding people near you easier, and early next year we hope to do target regional “group buy” type offers to get lots of people in one area to commit to building out a mesh network…

Open to new ideas!!


Makes total sense. I want this for the puget sound. :slight_smile:
More pragmatically…the topography means i can probably cover the areas I care most about (downtown seattle, reaching over to bellevue, then to the south west and north) for ~20 carefully selected nodes in the right locations / on top of the right bldgs. I’ll admit it is tempting.
Have you thought about reaching out to fire depts to host? My initial swag calling a few yielded a 100% “yes you can put it here” rate.


…would you be open to users like me who do this for you and get it deployed to a bunch of places to blanket a metropolitan area? Everyone wins.


This is an excellent idea. If a few others here on Mesh Community might reached out to their own FD’s and see if they get similar answers, we can probably create a strategic campaign across the entire community (and all our users/customers who aren’t even on these boards). :slight_smile:

(I have a background in community organizing so the prospect of this is very exciting!)


I have no background in community organizing. I am an engineer/mgr. :wink:
That said, that I got a 100% accept rate from my first few swings implies it should be doable. Even I can do it…

Fire depts also tend to be centrally located and many have a tall tower. Or a tall bldg. Attractive option.


Yes, they also know the value of critical comms. :wink:

I am very excited about this idea here @gtpnwadpt. Let’s see if we can get others to validate it with their own local fire departments and we can create an scalable process for people like you to help deploy Mesh units across communities!


Yes, they also know the value of critical comms

Beyond critical comms, my understanding is that they like to get to the fires quickly. Being centrally located helps with that. But I’ve never been a fire fighter so what do I know. :slight_smile:
I am attracted to fire depts in part because they are also mission aligned. They too would love to see emergency comms be a solved problem.

Feel free to reach out to me offline. I will pilot this with y’all if you will help/support the effort.
Would offer to help with your overlay of overlay networks problem but from the other post sounds like you have that in hand which is awesome. I need >4 hops!

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I like where this thread is going.

One of my friend’s buddies works at a fire department. I was demonstrating the Mesh units to them, but they were wondering if the Mesh would work better than their radios. If they do, I can see Fire Departments easily adopting Mesh units.

I’m working on getting 2 nodes placed soon that will enable comms between my house and work, which is a distance of about 10 miles. Luckily, both locations have hills that are in LOS of each other at 65 feet above the ground, which should be perfect for hanging a node and solar panel in a tree. These two will provide decent coverage in the immediate area and along ridges further out. If this goes well, I’d like to start reaching out to get more stationary units in place. Every day this gets higher on my priority list, as the cell networks have been having issues lately (couldn’t get a call through just half an hour ago).


I’m not even that far yet. Getting them adopt is a much taller order. I just want them to host one.

I love the idea and would like to do a smaller scale implementation with at least 2 permanently placed nodes. This would cover most or all of our very small town.

My biggest issue with placing a permanent node is that if the mesh powers off due to power loss it stays off. I would like to see it restart automatically when power is restored. We don’t get a lot of sunlight here in Michigan so even with solar I can’t guarantee reliable power easily.

I have a place I want to stick a permanent node about 60 feet up and another spot
similarly place later. It will be a tremendous pain in the rear if I had to manually power it back up.

I have been going over schemes to hack my way around this problem but obviously it would be way simpler if Gotenna could enable that feature.

My best current thought would be to have a arduino or other small device simulate a 5 second button press and then a few seconds later simulate a 2 second button press.
If the Gotenna is on the 5 second will turn it off and the 2 second will turn it on.
If the Gotenna is off the 5 second button press turns it on and the 2 second press does nothing.

It’s an ugly hack.

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The powering off issue is very serious for long term device placement. I think we just need to ask the GoTenna team to address this (and we know they are reading this thread :)).
The alternative is lots of battery to dramatically reduce the odds we ever hit this. Ugly.

Another issue is that upgrades are not on the table for these devices. I don’t know how to comment on this issue. Do we need to worry about this?

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Oh yes we definitely know they are reading this forum. Big thanks to the entire Gotenna team for their help!

This has been asked and they understand why we want it. I don’t think they committed to it however so it’s good that anyone that wants auto power on express their interest.

Their 2.0 version of the Aspen Grove protocol will be worth the trouble of accessing a difficult to reach permanent node when they finish it. Gotenna does not have an ETA for that yet.

Aspen Grove 2.0 may include things like increased hops and the ability for shouts to make hops. They even suggested hops might not have a limit but even a small increase in the number of hops would be worth it.

Another cool update is the update that enables the USB SDK . I expect that update to come next year sometime(fingers crossed). That update will only be useful for nodes you want to connect to external devices like a single board computer. That probably won’t be needed for most permanent nodes but I can see use cases like weather stations and IOT devices.


@gtpnwadpt any updates to report at your end?

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Putting these in at fire stations is an excellent idea. I just sent a request off to my local fire department to see if they would be open to hosting them at all 25 fire stations. I even offered to buy the first 4 but let them know I hoped they would look into getting some grant money. I’ll post back if they respond with anything meaningful.


I will admit i have not pushed hard as I got the sense on the board this was not of great interest. But I’m still interested. :slight_smile:

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@gtpnwadpt I’d think that you should not let some silence on the board stop you – the benefit of getting YOUR FDs to host relays helps you and those around you, regardless of whether folks in other locales are jumping on board to follow your lead or not, and thus it is worth the attempt! Whether goTenna can support that financially in any way (e.g., price break) is a bonus, but separate from the basic idea.

I figure that I can contact my local VFD. It’s part of my town, which is surrounded by a larger county, and the county runs the over all FD, which includes my VFD (yeah, it gets more confusing than it should). I donate to the VFD every year – that can’t hurt to grease the skids. :wink:

Go for it!


Anyone reading this should be aware of this related effort we’re getting off the ground (and need boots-on-the-ground help with!):


Should I become an ambassador? I have no real sense of what that means for my effort. :slight_smile:


Email to learn more :slight_smile:

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