Range vs moto talk


Oops. Lemme correct that … 1 dBd is the equivalent of 3.1 dBi. A difference of 2.1 dB. Roughly doubling effective radiated power. The Moto’s 1.8 dBd would equate to 3.9 dBi … a substantial difference in effective radiated power. At times, my typing speed outpaces my thinking speed.

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Yes, that’s exactly the reason why there’s a difference and why goTenna simply can’t recycle the features Motorola used in achieving the range it did in the past.


I think you have it backwards here. The Moto has a significant advantage over the GTM in terms of effective radiated power. The Moto’s 1.8 dBd is equivalent to 3.9 dBi. The Moto’s antenna is providing an effective radiated power of a bit more than 2 watts.

The goTenna MESH antenna is 1 dBi fractal that is essentially operating at unity gain - providing no increase in effective radiated power. In the realm of milliwatts, that’s a huge difference. IMHO, that alone accounts for most of the difference in effective range of the two units.

Differences in spread spectrum utilization, codec, compression all play a role here - but boosting the effective power out of the unit is the biggest single factor in the formula.

Gotenna has to work with the world as it is, according to the FCC. They cannot build an ISM band device that incorporates a gain antenna. Period. There are “hacks” and DIY projects that can significantly improve range of a GTM, even versus an old school Moto.

Users on this forum have verified one and two hop ranges of 26 miles or more, depending on terrain, and ten square miles in urban areas with different configurations.

Please. Stop beating the dead horse. The hungry must eat. Stop whining and build a MOAN.

Our Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team will be doing just that to allow real time tracking of our search and rescue teams - over long range - in both urban and non urban environments where there is little or no cell service. We aren’t alone. Many Search and Rescue teams around the country have begun using goTenna MESH for this purpose because it works reliably over wide areas when nothing else does.


Old thread - but I see repeated reference to “unfair comparison because Moto i355 etc is a cell phone/cell company”.

"couldn’t the same be said of millions of cell phones that lack the features you attribute to these specific Motorola cell models? "

To be clear, in DirectTalk there are two different modes - cell service over iDen and DirectTalk. The phone switches to direct talk out of cell. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t nationqisw data relay when iDen was active but when you switch a i355 to DirectTalk it is completely in walkie talking mode. So there is likely two different circuits at play in the phone. The advantage of the Nextel/Motorola phones is also a replacable antenna and both call and walkie used the same antenna.


“The goTenna Mesh is designed to provide communication in the absence of cell service. It makes no sense to try to turn it into a cellphone. If you want a cellphone, buy one, they’re cheap enough. I don’t want a cellphone, I want what the goTenna has to offer in a very efficient and effective package”

All iDen phones are in absence of cell service… iDen no longer exists. Pure walkie mode:


Confused on this as MT/DT requires no central system but it also cannot mesh without using extra devices as make shift repeaters.


Based on this thread and what else I found when digging around doing some research on the issues, I would not be too certain that “DirectTalk…is completely in walkie talking mode.” Yes, once it latches onto a freq and starts transmitting, it is. But there’s important things going on before that happens. You may have overlooked this…

Essentially Motorola gamed the existing regulatory boundaries to achieve this notable performance. The rules have changed since then, so that even if such methods could work then, they can’t now. And this advantage, even if it were legal, is dependent on use of technology that goTenna knows will degrade performance in mesh networks.

This has also changed. Replaceable antennas are specifically prohibited by the FCC for this class of licenses for the goTenna. I’m not sure about cell antennas, but I suspect they are also now so limited.

Read and absorb the FCC documentation and you’ll understand there are substantial differences between what they allowed Motorola to get away with in the early '00s and what goTenana if able to do within its license currently. That’s why it’s important to note the substantial difference in what the FCC allows - and when.