Mesh 5.0 is here!


I understand. But for those of us (like you and me) who want to be on the bleeding edge…


It probably doesn’t help, but if you expected just a radio, then that may be where your expectations are a bit different than what the goTenna Mesh offers. It’s also a sophisticated computerized communications system. There will be updates and they do improve it. You would not want to forgo them. Things get fixed, new features are added, and new capabilities come into play. All this happens because goTenna listens to its customers and its customers offer up ideas and opinions they take into consideration.

I’m sure goTenna is listening to you on the funky firmware update. The revision you downloaded helps fix it and added significant speed to the process that will apply to that mesh unit that gave you trouble. The problem is you have to get there first with the update to make the update better. At least the process has some reward you’ll see the point of.


I’ve successfully updated 3 of my devices using an iPhone SE running iOS 11.4.1 and goTenna 5.02. Two units are early MX units and one is a black strap 2017 V1 board with the front shield, serial AA12341234.

@Ron_Smith, after owning and using goTennas for the last 8 months, I can easily say that firmware updates are the most nerve-racking part of the experience, just because any firmware update can go bad so easily. Also, keep in mind that goTenna is forging a new path with Mesh. I’ve looked for years, and goTenna Mesh is by far the best implementation I’ve come across of an off-grid, peer to peer communications system. The next best alternatives are Serval Mesh and Firechat. Ask anyone how well Firechat doesn’t work.


This seems like a very bad move. You upped the hop count, GREAT! Everyone who heard about it was psyched! In real world tests conducted locally the 3 hop range hasn’t been the best and I’m being polite. I was really looking forward to this because I convinced many people to buy them and multiple goTennas at that. I kept quiet on it because wanted to get the product out there and since this is a mesh network, the power of the network is directly tied to the number of nodes out there plus had heard early on the hop count would increase.

If a disaster happens or your child gets lost you can’t just go and sign up for a premium service. I can see maybe limiting it by 1 or 2 hops (so 4-5 hops total) to make the wealthier in society still feel they are better than the plebs and getting premium service they deserve, but not for Relays which should be full 6 or whatever the future might hold. Morally, I do have a problem with limiting because this is supposed to be for saving lives in bad situations. Take for example the recent hurricanes in PR and TX, how would people receiving the units be able to go online and sign up for a Plus/Pro account with no power or cell service? What if you were paying for some time and then your child gets lost in a national forest, but oops your credit card needs to be updated and you so now your goTenna and I suppose all units link to your account are now running at half capability?

This one seems like a land mine and PR killer. I strongly ask goTenna to re-think the current direction. I understand you all need cash flow, maybe find a good happy medium given the mission of the company and this product.

Thank you.

@danielagotenna @VirginiagoTenna


Hmmm, that is one of the uses. And if it’s a use that is of concern, then it’s something the user should be proactive about. Assuming you’re going to buy any off-the-shelf device to save your life when the chips are down and you say they should also EXPECT to have to do nothing to further prepare?

I’m sorry, I’ve just heard that same tired argument too many times from people (or perhaps one person) who seem to have an obsession with doing exactly nothing to prepare, but who expects others to be forward looking enough to anticipate their needs. I’ve taken survival, self-defense, national security, and military history training and courses over some 50 years and they universally insist, just like the Scouts, that YOU should “Be Prepared.”

Personally, I just don’t see the makings of any moral argument over the $10/year it currently costs. If they even raise the cost to list ($29.95) after the first year, the extra hops along with good onboard maps and SMS relay are a bargain. Personally, if dumped in the middle of a mess with just a goTenna, it’s the maps in Plus that would be more useful to me in many cases.

This argument, for what it is, isn’t even very well thought through. Do you even know people 6 hops away? Unless you’re done the work of checking the imeshyou map, tracking people listed there down, and swapping GUIDs with them before an emergency strikes, probably not. That is why I’ve argued before that mesh network are best built on existing relationships, not placing hopes on mere possession of goTennas, like some fabulous deus ex machina plucking the golden key to safety out of the ether floating in air.

Seriously, there seems to be a misconception going around that goTenna is some miraculous skyhook that is supposed to whisk you away from all dangers (but rather predictably now especially so from hurricanes in PR – don’t get me wrong, I have friends that have done time for PR, I know much about PR, and I can tell you people in PR rely on each other first, exactly the situation that mesh thrives in; thus, I find the trite gloaming on with regard to this issue to be as disrespectful of PR as it is of a quaintly neocolonial mindset). I’ve never seen anyone from goTenna make such an extraordinarily expansive claim. Nope, they just tell you it’s a useful communications device that could come in handy in an emergency.

But if a person was feeling all morally compromised - or just was ill-prepared even if they live in a place that has repeated disasters that strongly suggest`you consider being prepared – about devoting the magnificent sum of $10 to being better prepared, they should then take that $10 and try to buy other supplies that are more useful in their minds. I can’t think of any right off hand, unless I was completely without a good knife…because you’re not going to get a great knife or much of anything else that is as useful as a goTenna Mesh, even if it just has 3 hops, for just $10.


Wow, Mike you wrote a tome! And went into new directions. I will give you extra points for managing to tie radio mesh networking into neo-colonialism because most people couldn’t do that. You seem to be newer on IMeshYou so you may not know goTenna shipped a high number of Mesh’s to both TX and PR after the hurricanes to help those affected which is why I referenced them. Although I replied to your reply to me (thank you for that), I was really writing to goTenna which is why I @ mentioned them. Sorry for any confusion caused. Have a good one!


Not too new to know about PR (and TX). I continue to be mystified at what seems to be a persistent if tiny effort to throw shade on goTenna in some form or fashion over that. I’m all for changing the topic back to 5.0 now that diversion has popped up again.


Are all MX units the early hardware versions without the RF shield?

I’ve asked the same question here: The first step to hardware modification


The units I have are. I’m also curious about this on a larger scale.

The two units I have that have the front shield on the board were newer units that are both AA12341234. The way to tell without breaking a unit apart is to plug it in and look at the red charging lights. If it has the RF shield, the lights will have a slight honeycomb appearance, whereas units without the shield have a uniform glow.


That’s a good tip. If you haven’t already, you should post it on the various boards discussing modification!


Pic of shield so that the “mask” is seen in the raw with the LEDs shining through it.

You can see my slobbering attempts at trying to resolve the issues caused by twisting the case and shield. It’s currently in drydock awaiting a better fix. I think I have an intermittent open between the circuit board and a component.

The shield is no longer attached at all. Doing without didn’t make the problems any worse, but didn’t help either,


This could be improved. ~18 or so years ago, we were building an update routine for Linux running on remote sensor buoys, where if you bricked it, you had to charter a boat out there and find it, replace it and start all over again. You have to be careful when you’re flashing, so there’s always a failsave recovery process.

In the case of goTenna, I see one big gap already (I’m still crawling with my goTenna, having only had them for less than 2 weeks), and that is that a connected mobile device is required to flash the GTM hardware, and each GTM device being flashed, requires a clean, separate, full download of the firmware over the network.

This means 4 GTM units, 4 individual downloads, then pushing that over Bluetooth to the GTM to flash it.

What would be nice, is to have the app download the latest firmware, then be able to flash the units ‘offline’ from that cached copy. It would also allow you to update the app with the firmware, and flash “in the field”, which you can’t do right now, as it takes about 60 minutes to flash a single device with a single firmware update. That’s FOREVER when you’re trying to get these updated to bring out into the field.


I think the SDK USB app that is forthcoming will address this.


Actually, what you’re looking for, they already do. The firmware is bundled with the app. When you install the app, you also automatically get the latest firmware for offline installation. I can confirm this because I updated my relay yesterday with all data connections turned off (no Wi-Fi and cellular disabled).

The reason updates take so long is because of bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth. Bluetooth 5 will increase bandwidth and make updates faster.


Same here just update my last two gtm with airplane mode do avoid any possible problem


Hi @VirginiagoTenna,

2 of the 4 Kickstarter units I have failed to update to the latest firmware. I’m receiving the “device is not eligible to update” message and they are stuck on firmware 0.13.48. Is the form mentioned above still valid for requesting replacements?


The form is still valid. I’ll send you a DM to help you out!


The hops for emergency shouts is still 6 for free users.


I just purchased my first few units and I was really disappointed to read that the number of hops would soon be back at 3 unless you purchased a subscription. I was going to get a bunch of these for Hurricanes in the Florida panhandle and put up relays in my home and relative’s homes. However, I am cancelling those plans. It will be impossible to get enough of my family and friends to buy subscriptions. I really feel GoTenna is missing a ton of sales here. Once you get enough solar powered relays up then the masses will be encouraged to buy units and have confidence they can reach any family member or friend, not to mention emergency services. This could be millions of units sold in Florida alone.

I wont put up relays unless there are 6 or more hops as this is what I think is necessary for a true mesh network that can reach everyone I know along 20+ miles of coast line.

For hiking in a group 3 hops might be fine, but for for hurricanes this just wont work. Even if anyone wanted to get a subscription after a storm how could they if the power was out and the cell network down?



andy_o’s description exactly describes my problem - I attempted the upgrade as soon as it came out. I’m late to this party though because when it failed I set down the unit, ran for the plane, and am just getting back to it. Can I get these instructions?