New range record 47.4 miles!

Today, I set a new range record using the goTenna Mesh, single hop, of 47.4 miles! This was air-to-air. I fly sailplanes (aka gliders), and a friend and I went flying today with goTennas in our cockpits. Here is a photo my sailplane, for those who are wondering WTF a sailplane is. Sailplanes fly without engines by catching updrafts, like a surfer catching waves.


When the record transmission was made, my sailplane was here, at 2599ft above sea level:°51’53.2"N+121°24’49.1"W/@36.8715302,-121.4205171,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d36.8647811!4d-121.4136298

The other sailplane was here, at 5755ft above sea level:°23’23.9"N+120°47’59.0"W/@36.4034201,-120.8392216,12z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d36.3899697!4d-120.7997167

This is probably close to the maximum range of the goTenna Mesh. The other sailplane was even further away at times, but this was the farthest distance we were able to communicate at. Communication was not reliable at this range. We only got one message through, despite sending them every 20 seconds. We did get pretty reliable reception as long as we were within 10 miles.

This record was set using an Android app I am developing that uses goTenna’s SDK. The app is for sailplanes to share their locations while airborne. This helps pilots keep track of where their friends are, and to avoid collisions. Normally, pilots have to use their radios to figure out where others are, but with my app, all sailplanes in the area are shown on a handy map. Cell service is unreliable in the air, and sailplanes often fly in remote areas without cell towers, so the goTenna Mesh is perfect for creating an airborne datalink that doesn’t depend on cell service.

Here’s a screenshot of my app after I landed at Hollister airport. The app keeps track of the maximum distance it received a message from. It’s shown in the bottom left corner. It’s in nautical miles, since that’s what’s used in aviation. 41.2 nautical miles = 47.4 miles. The app calculates the distance using the other sailplane’s GPS position, which is contained in the messages it receives.

Any questions, let me know!



Thank you so much for sharing the great photos, and congratulations on hitting the new point-to-point goTenna Mesh range record.

Should you ever be in a position to make a video when you’re gliding please share it here; I’ve always wondered what it’s like to be up there all quiet.

(Your sailplane app also sounds awesome. Let us know how that goes.)


Thanks, Daniela! Here’s a short video of me flying my sailplane. I’m circling in a thermal, which is warm rising air. Hawks do this too, and one buzzed me pretty close. I think he was trying to let me know I was encroaching on his territory :slight_smile:


I guess you don’t worry too much about engine failure in the air :wink:


@gua742 check it out :wink:

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****ing awesome! Great job!


I hear the beeps! Is that how you know you’re in a thermal? I’ve done some RC flying, and they make a device you put in your ear to let you know that you’re in a thermal in a similar way. Very cool.


Right, that’s the vario. Beeping means you’re going up, and the higher pitched the beeps, the faster you’re going up. That’s how you know you’re in a thermal.


Great job! We should make a sticky thread to put the record holders as time goes on.



I’d like to start seeing mesh records — i.e. records where meshing occurs. The product is called goTenna Mesh after all :wink:

There’s far less limitations to those records (meaning people can keep breaking 'em!) than there is to point-to-point records. Just a thought !


You’re right, Daniela, but the current implementation is capped at 4 hops. Once the new algorithm is rolled out, there will truly be no limit. Right now the theoretical limit is (max hop)X4.


I know :wink: but I’m interested in seeing max within those constraints regardless


47.4 x 4 = 189.6 miles :smiley:


Do itttt with proof!



For now, I’ll have it back soon enough :slight_smile:

This message has been sent from George’s iPhone. If you need to reach him right away please call or text (206)-488-8987

Thank you.

I’d like to see if we can hook up a few MOANs to those Google loons and check distance there :wink:


@chamaile0n you could try to replicate Project Loon using a bimp and goTenna mesh.
Check this out


Nice, where do we follow updates on new algorithm?

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I don’t think there is a single perfect place but when they increase the hop limit I’m sure there will be a big buzz in these forums. Here are some snippet from elsewhere on the forum you may find interesting.

Based on current information early 2018 will see improvements but I believe the 2.0 version of the protocol will be the one that may include infinite hops for certain situations. That will probably be late 2018.

EDIT: Something else to look forward to in 2018 is the USB SDK. That will allow us(the general public) to develop software interfaces with pretty much any devices that supports USB host.

USB SDK examples: PC, MAC, Raspberry PI, ect… I personally imagine a USB implementation that connects directly to a WiFi router and may include WiFi mesh protocols.


The problem here is that, by your own admission, it took MANY tries to get a message through at this single hop distance. With FOUR hops, EACH node must be able to successfully send a message in order for the message to go through. So if there is, say, a 10% chance that you will be able to get a message through a given distance on any single attempt (on your part, that is, since the Gotenna actually makes a few attempts on each send), the likelihood of a successful transmission drops to .01 percent for four hops! And this assumes that EACH HOP has the same chance of success. In order for meshing to work with any reasonable chance of success, you clearly cannot be operating at the ragged edge of a Gotenna’s range. You must be close enough that transmissions are decently reliable. Of course, mesh nodes with an external antenna (such as a MOAN or any possible future product developed by Gotenna) could GREATLY increase the reliability of each hop at long distances, making meshing with long hops more feasible.