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Meshtastic Range Testing


  • 2 Meshtastic devices
    • 1 fixed sender
    • 1 mobile receiver + Android client, with GPS on Meshtastic device or Android client

Steps - Starting a Range Test Walk

  1. Disable MQTT module on both Meshtastic devices: mqtt.enabled = false
    • Range test messages are sent on the Primary channel, including on MQTT, so it WILL spam MQTT-connected nodes if MQTT is not disabled
  2. Configure the position module on both Meshtastic devices, if not already configured
    1. Sender
      • meshtastic –setlat [YOUR_SENDER_LAT] –setlon [YOUR_SENDER_LON] or set position from phone/web client
    2. Receiver
      1. If your Meshtastic device has no GPS hardware, on the Android app's Settings tab, check Provide phone location to mesh
  3. Enable Range Test module on both Meshtastic devices
    1. Sender: range_test.sender = 30 (Sender Interval, LongFast)
    2. Receiver: range_test.sender = 0 (this is the default value)
  4. Receiver: Ensure you begin to receive messages Seq [ascending number] every configured interval on your primary channel
  5. Take a range test walk for up to 8 hours :-)
    • Watch for Seq messages
    • Monitor RSSI/SNR values of your sender device on the node list; for an instantaneous update, tap your sender device icon and request position

Steps - Finishing the Range Test Walk

  1. Disable Range Test module on both Meshtastic devices
    1. range_test.enabled = false
    2. range_test.sender = 0
  2. Re-enable MQTT module on both Meshtastic devices (if previously enabled): mqtt.enabled = true
  3. Re-configure the position module on both Meshtastic devices to prior configuration
  4. Receiver: On the Android app:
    1. Tap the 3 dots in the top right corner
    2. Tap Export rangetest.csv and note where you have saved the file
    3. Send the file to the PC with Google Earth Pro

Viewing Range Test Data with Google Earth Pro

  1. Open Google Earth Pro
  2. Open the rangetest.csv file
    1. FileOpen… (or Ctrl+o)
    2. Files of type: select Generic Text (*.txt *.csv)
    3. Open
  3. Data Import Wizard
    1. Specify Delimiter
      1. No changes required, click Next >
    2. Select Latitude/Longitude Fields
      1. Latitude field: rx lat
      2. Longitude field: rx long
    3. Specify Field Types (optional)
      1. No changes required, click Finish
  4. Do you want to apply a style template to the features you ingested?
    1. Click Yes
  5. Style Template
    1. Select Create new template (or use your existing template if you have done this before)
    2. Click OK
    3. Name
      1. Set name field: sender_name (or rx_snr if you prefer to see SNR as a text label rather than by colored pin)
    4. Color
      1. Set color from field
      2. Select color field: rx_snr
      3. Palette start color: set to red (R = 255, G, B = 0)
      4. end color: set to green (G = 255, R, B = 0)
      5. Number of buckets: 16
    5. Icon
      1. Use same icon for all features: Choose an icon that is white (colored icons won't work with Set color from field)
        • I prefer the downward pointing solid arrow as it's easier to see
    6. Click OK
    7. Optional: Save this style template as rangetest.kst and you can skip going through the Style Template steps in future
  6. Left SidebarPlacesTemporary PlacesCheck rangetest.csv to see your range test results!
  7. Optional: Left SidebarLayers –> Uncheck all except Terrain and 3D Buildings to reduce visual clutter
projects/amateur_radio/meshtastic/range_testing.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/08 04:13 by Andrew Yong