Number of Connections/Relays?

Is there anyway to know if your gotenna is connected to a network or any other mesh unit? Would be cool to see how many units your mesh is connected too, and how large the mesh network that you are connected to is.

Just got this and it seems cool, but I dont even know if im connected to anyone (other than the second device that it comes paired with).


Try a Shout first. This goes to any goTenna Mesh within direct range of yours.

After that, check the map to see what others may have posted about their locations. That will at least let you know there are others nearby. It won’t give you the UID needed to address them a message one-to-one, but they might also Shout or respond to your Shout. Keep trying.

Which reminds of anther tip. Even if you’re not out and about, it’s good to leave it plugged in and powered up. If you’re away with your phone, the GTM will store and then download the message(s) to your phone when you return within range of Bluetooth.

Something to consider is to start a thread identifying your general location and then tag it “Regional Groups” and others may find it here in this forum more easily. Maybe calling a meet-up will bring people out of the bushes?

The best connection is a personal one and that’s how you usually find out someone’s UID, when they pass it along face-to-face. Also the hardest one to do, but as the mesh expands it will get easier.


So currently unless you receive a “shout” message there is no way to know if your even in range of anyone?

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Well, it IS a radio, of a sort. This is a feature, not a bug.

What goTenna has done is repackaged radio into a convenient, “bite-sized” format that is easier to digest than it may at first seem.

Shout is, indeed, a lot like an old-fashioned CB radio. That’s good for some reasons, like always being a ear on what’s around you. But there are reasons why the CB craze died off and they go beyond the irritating sound qualities of AM radio (which is the format that most CB is conducted in, although single side-band is also used). All kinds of folks pile into your speaker and carry on about the darnedest things and most of that happens on one channel out of 40. There is not even a modicum of privacy and you mostly have to just put up with annoying people.

In contrast, besides Shout, goTenna Mesh offers a range of privacy options, many of which are discussed in the FAQ elsewhere here. So many options people who are paying attention to their privacy are sometimes worried about the numerous warnings that the goTenna Mesh user interface issues. Mainly this is about keeping you well-informed of your various options in making choices about your privacy when using this technology. Mostly these are obscured in the fine print of other devices’ user agreements you may be more familiar with. Although there is some of this in its own user agreements, etc, goTennna philosophically prefers that you have this info right in front of you when you make these choices.

What this boils down to is you have choices in creating your “address” or UID. You can choose to be relatively open and use your cell number or you can choose to use a randomly generated UID and remain pretty darn anonymous. This anonymity is reinforced by the fact that your radio access is pretty random and a very difficult target to track for those who mean you no good, whatever their motivation. Those are the two extremes.

In between, there are a variety of location sharing options that let you make the choice about showing where and who you are. Conversations tend to happen with people who intend to interact with one another on both sides of the conversation vs say, email, where people tend to dominate who are always shoveling in dreck you’d prefer to avoid.

Does this mean that goTenna is the perfect communications medium? No, but give it a chance. People are just now discovering the many benefits of decentralized mesh networks. They are different from what we typically are familiar with, different enough that even those of us who use them discover new things about them regularly. Keep it on, use the second unit with a partner and check in here to learn more about what’s happening in your area. And I always like to leave people a thought: If something you want isn’t happening, sometimes you have to make it happen as many of us here like to do.


…if I had a dollar…

@Jstefanop, @MikeL is correct. The best way to get a feel for how many Meshers might be around you would be to send a Shout message. You may have noticed that we’re obsessed with privacy; we wouldn’t (and couldn’t, frankly) display/surface a other users’ location without them knowing and approving it.

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I understand privacy concerns and how the tech works here (I build hardware for Blockchains).

You can easily have a privacy toggle to send either a broadcast ID (something like a WiFi ssid), or a rough location.

Just picking up another meshes’s signal with zero data shared is all I am talking about here. This way I know that hey, there are another 4 meshers around me and my data is actually getting relayed if that’s what I wanted to do.

Don’t think privacy stuff as long as you have basic safe guards are a concern here. I can track down your cell phone’s singal and know exactly where you are much more easily.


Actually, you’ll know when there are others around relaying your signals. If you see your personal goTenna mysteriously flashing, yep, that could be happening. If you send a message to your other goTenna’s handler and it shows meshed via 1 nodes, you definitely have others around relaying things.

You’ll know it when you need it, so to speak.

Nothing wrong with test messages just to see what’s happening. But there’s really already something that’s pretty much what you want already there. You just haven’t experienced it yet.

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I’m with Jstepanop. I have this bright shiny new pair of GoTenna mesh and there is not any indicator that tells me if there is someone, anyone, within range. One can report that another device is in range without sharing any private information. I don’t need to know how many. Honestly, with a mesh network, one could be connected to everyone if there were no interruptions in the mesh.
If you aren’t actually looking at the device to catch the brief flash that indicates some kind of message activity, then that “feature” is unusable for all practical purposes.
The way the out of box experience works right now, a new user opens, sets up, likely gets no interaction from anyone other than his devices, so the devices go into a drawer somewhere to use for an outdoor activity happens or an emergency happens. Some kind of active participation needs to be encouraged with these darned things in order to grow the always on mesh.


Agreed…if goTenna wants to really build out a mesh network that can span whole regions, they have to make this device more engaging than a glorified walkie talkie for texting.

Simple things like stats showing number of nodes in range/number that came in range/number of relays etc etc will make this much more fun and engaging and actually keep people carrying these around and setting up stationary relays.

Even the shout feature is gimped to only relay to just direct nodes.

Imagine this: use the shout feature to see if someone from the east coast can relay a message to the west coast only though goTenna meshes.

Now THAT would make headlines, and I’d go buy 10 if these to help make it happen.

Concerned about privacy? Just offer your users to turn features like this off if they don’t want a relay used in this way.


I have two dedicated, always plugged in stationary nodes connected to old Android devices. I’ve posted the GUID generated in the title of the entries for those two nodes. That way anyone in the vicinity can try and ping and interact with the devices (though any chance of me seeing the messages will be slim). But they should be able to see their messages are delivered and how many hops it took. For our personal mesh my wife and I used our phone numbers. So anyone that gets a mesh and knows our numbers will be able to text us directly.

At the Indy 500 the other week me and one other mesher shouted to each other. Turns out we were just opposite each other on the same stretch of track so maybe about 100m apart.

In my range testing I’ve had some of my messages do two hops (one mesh unit in the car, the other one I’m assuming is one of my stationary nodes). Granted I’m currently running with a total of 7 mesh units so I’m able to do this kind of testing with four more still in boxes. I’m going to try and get some installed at some of the local businesses as long as they promise to keep the units plugged into power (either AC charger or a battery pack that supports pass through charging). I figure with well placed mesh units and the new firmware currently in beta I’d be able to easily have the near north side of Indianapolis connected. I’m hoping by exposing the business owners to mesh can help spread the word.

And once gotenna has the stickers ready to put in the shop windows that will further expand the number of people exposed to gotenna mesh.


If this is a deficiency, then it shares it with the vast majority of radios ever made. The relatively few radios that support such reporting are sophisticated, of recent vintage, expensive and either require a Ham license or other specific authorization to operate (exception to be noted below). I think a few GMRS units that were produced that had a similar capability (iDing users by GPS coordinates) are the exceptions to that general rule. Of course, hams do all sorts of “after market” hacks and GPS chip assemblies from China are inexpensive (think drones, toys, etc)

With expectations for a specific device like that, major changes in radio licensing might be required to market it unless you adopt a very similar service already available, better known as the cell phone. It you do need that, just get one of those. Because sometimes you don’t want or need cell phones; that’s an important difference for some people with the goTenna Mesh, especially from a privacy angle, .

Or you just need to do that the old fashioned way. It would be cool if someone would just go snap and change the regs, but it is what it is.

For goTenna, I think in large part it’s because they prefer that such things be treated as an individual opt-in, as well as the limited bandwidth available with a texting app. You can do that on an individual basis in the app, but a mass reveal request? If Shouting isn’t working with something like that maybe it’s time to choose slightly more time on building those human scale connections, Mesh depends a lot on two paradoxical things; anonymity and relationships. You mostly communicate with the people you choose. Thus, Mesh also depends a lot on relationships that already exist. At the same time, there is a belief that it can actually meet part of the original promises of the early internet, bringing people together instead of driving them apart.


Yea, while I have no Idea about the license these operate under and its limitations, I cant but help get excited by a completely decentralized peer to peer network that can span whole regions. Obviously gotenna is not quite there yet, but its definitely some fun first stepping stones, and really hope thats the direction they go (instead of their current focus of small localized networks for first responders/etc).


I think one of the biggest hurdles to knowing how many other users are around you that hasn’t been mentioned is battery drain. These devices last so long because they don’t constantly broadcast an ID like Wi-Fi does.

A counter feature like you are looking for is possible without causing too many issues. Since all transmissions include the GID, each goTenna could simply keep a count of all GIDs passively received in the last ten minutes or so without doing any additional transmissions. The raw data would need protected obviously, but the Mesh unit can simply report a count to the app (“There are 5 users in range.” For instance). Each GID gets deleted from the database after 10 minutes from the last heard transmission, with the database living in encrypted memory on the Mesh unit itself. If one wants to make contact, then they send a shout like one would currently.

This would be separate from the relay counter we talked about previously.


Ding-ding-ding! Exactly :slight_smile:

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You don’t need to constantly broadcast an ID to discover devices around you. These devices are always listening either way, all you would need is either a ping that is initiated user side (zero battery drain), or a simple ping every few minutes (negligible battery drain). Meshes in range just ping back with zero privacy data just to say “hey there is something in range” and your “shout” or whatever future feature is actually received somewhere.

You need user engagement for this to take off. I have been walking around downtown BK since I got these with no response or any interaction (except for a few locations I received)…pass by your office every day too. Yea they are cool for the once a year trip where they are useful, but people want interaction and without it you wont keep them engaged and like others mentioned these will go in the drawer for the next trip. This is the opposite of what you want for a mesh network to take off.


I know this is reviving a little bit of an older thread, but I want to throw in my vote too for some way of seeing that we’re communicating with someone around us. I’ve been playing with the GTM units I recently purchased and, although the map shows a few other nodes in my area, I’ve not gotten a single response to any Shouts. There’s no way for me to tell either if someone added those map entries days ago or years ago. Since it doesn’t appear that Shouts are buffered when a node isn’t connected to a phone, if someone has a GTM node running but doesn’t have a phone connected at the moment I send a shout, they’ll never see it.

I don’t necessarily want to know who is around me, their GIDs, etc. I’d just like to know that my node sees other nodes and that there’s at least some kind of GTM network around here.


To date the only gauge I use for determining goTenna mesh units around me are the green nodes on the imeshyou map. And even then those nodes can be old and non functional. I have 4 relays setup in the Philadelphia area and I’ve added a good amount of detail (including an email address) to contact me at. My relays are up 24/7 for others to use but I find myself getting discouraged because I have yet to reach anyone via shout or emergency shout / chat.