goTenna Mesh community

Use case question

Hi, I bought a pair of GTM and have set one of them up. A few questions that might be simple but are not clear to me:

  1. Do you need to be paired to a GTM on iOS every time you want to send a message? If so maybe I was thinking of how to use this in a wrong way.

  2. my family is going on a cruise :ship:, and I read this is a great way for a family to communicate on a cruise ship at potentially at ports. So each member needs their own GTM, on there person or within BLE range?

  3. Why doesn’t the node map contain any way to connect to a node? Ie there’s no numbers to connect to? What’s the point?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Kevin.
Here’s some answers.

  1. If you want to send a message to another goTenna Mesh user, you need to be paired with your device. The recipient doesn’t need to be logged in, but their GTM must be on and within range either directly or via the mesh to send to another recipient. Their GTM will store the message so it can be read later.

  2. Be aware that some cruise ship’s have prohibitions against various devices, mostly so they can sell you their onboard networks. Fortunately, the GTM is small and innocuous enough that it can usually be discretely brought aboard. Just FYI. You will need one GTM per user, as it can only pair with one phone at a time.

  3. You don’t need any numbers to connect to a mesh network. It’s just there and will relay messages up to the maximum number of hops, as will your personal GTM any time it’s on and you’re not using it to transmit. No central server, no passwords, no numbers. It just works. Keep in mind that you will typically encounter only those marked as stationary relays being on the air, although this is likely changing to include more people with mobile apps running as the mesh is built out. If they walk around with their GTMs on, they’re helping spread the mesh.

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Awesome, thank you so much, great answers!

So it seems like the “Node Map” is really just a marketing tool? I think each node should be given the option to identify itself, in real time, through a heartbeat or some other system, and then there should be an “opt in” true node map. This would help with travel greatly, too.

The node map is something to get you considering the possibilities. That’s more than just a marketing tool. No, it isn’t a guide to the network, but let’s you know there may be a place where your signals may hop simply because they’re near enough to other users to benefit that way.

That said, a GTM isn’t like a ham radio. Generally, most messages are sent to another person you already know their address for. Using the Shout feature doesn’t require an address, but it also doesn’t hop, so will reach only nearby users.

It seems like what you’re asking is to plug the mesh into the regular internet. Remember that goTenna is really more like the non-internet, since mesh ordinarily doesn’t connect with the internet or cellular networks. While it’s possible to do it, no GTM ordinarily uses the internet silently, so what you are asking for would require the addition of considerable capability to the GTM.

Also keep in mind that most GTM users don’t put anything on the Node Map, perhaps only 1 out of every 10. Privacy is a big deal to many GTM users. It is a guide to where you might find mesh, but those are not the only places you can find mesh, since so many don’t post up any locations.

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You might consider leaving a gotenna in your cabin to act as a relay too. On a ship, you’re in a faraday cage basically, so the more help the better.

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