A Rough Guide To Helium Hotspot Placement

This is writ­ten for folks curi­ous about opti­miz­ing a Heli­um Hotspot placement. 

Most start with their anten­na, which is (almost com­plete­ly) the wrong approach for max­i­miz­ing earn­ings. The only way you could make a less effi­cient improve­ment at the start is to focus on what cables to buy. 

There are four fun­da­men­tal aspects of an opti­mal Heli­um hotspot place­ment; anten­nas and cables are at the bot­tom of the list for importance.

Before we get there (relax, it’s only a few para­graphs away), let’s get a few impor­tant points out of the way:

First, while I think every­one read­ing this should buy at least one hotspot and place it as opti­mal­ly as you can, over the long run you’ll earn far more by fig­ur­ing out a way to actu­al­ly use the net­work and not just pro­vide coverage.

Sec­ond, if you fol­low and read through every link in this arti­cle you’ll be ready to make excel­lent deci­sions about the best pos­si­ble hotspot place­ment. The whole thing (Heli­um, anten­nas, opti­mum hotspot place­ment) will take about an hour to digest and understand. 

Third, if you don’t want or have the time to fig­ure out Heli­um on your own, you can take a course or hire me.


  1. You know that Heli­um is a net­work of Hotspots that trans­mit and receive radio sig­nals, then pass those sig­nals onto the inter­net. In gen­er­al, the more sig­nals a giv­en hotspot receives, the more HNT it earns. Hotspots record all trans­ac­tions on a blockchain and reward own­ers for pro­vid­ing cov­er­age with HNT, a cryp­tocur­ren­cy token.
  2. You have, or have ordered, or are think­ing about order­ing, a Heli­um hotspot.
  3. You haven’t read every last post and thread on the inter­net about max­i­miz­ing a hotspot placement. 🙂

There are only a few things that real­ly mat­ter when it comes to your hotspot place­ment. Some of them will change over time, some of them are fun­da­men­tal. All are dri­ven by just one goal over the long term: 



In order of importance: 


HOTSPOT DENSITY: Opti­mum den­si­ty is deter­mined using Uber’s H3 map. At the low end, hotspots won’t earn from oth­er hotspots less than 300 meters away. At the high end, hotspots can “wit­ness” oth­er hotspots 50 km out.

Back to the Uber map. The map uses (most­ly) hexa­gons to form grids of dif­fer­ent sizes. Each size is called a “res­o­lu­tion” or “res” for short. Each hex size has an appro­pri­ate den­si­ty for its resolution.

Here is a dat­ed inter­ac­tive map (it stopped being updat­ed in late fall of 2020) of den­si­ty and hotspot place­ments. It’s col­or cod­ed and fair­ly intu­itive. Green means good den­si­ty, red indi­cates too dense. Here’s a quick screenshot:

At each “res” there is an opti­mal num­ber of hotspots per hexa­gon. That num­ber can change. It is deter­mined by a base rate of hotspots per hex plus the num­ber of hotspots in sur­round­ing hex­es. Go ahead, read that sen­tence again a few times. The details are in HIP 17, look for “Pro­posed Chain Variables.”

Yes, it’s a bit com­pli­cat­ed. It was made this way in order to pro­gram­mat­i­cal­ly account for den­si­ty dif­fer­ences between cities, sub­urbs, and rur­al areas.

Here’s a screen­shot map of San Fran­cis­co (pulled from the HIP 17 Visu­al­iz­er) to give anoth­er perspective.

Screenshot of San Francisco using the HIP17 visualizer.

Notice the green hotspots don’t have oth­er hotspot as close to them as the orange and red ones. Red is the worst; they’re basi­cal­ly on top of each oth­er and pro­vid­ing dupli­cate (or trip­li­cate or worse) cov­er­age, which isn’t use­ful to the network.

If you want to know if your loca­tion will be good, you’ll need to study HIP17.

If you read HIP17 until you under­stand it, you’ll be in the 1% of Heli­um Hotspot own­ers who don’t real­ly have ques­tions about opti­mum density. 

It looks com­pli­cat­ed at first, but it’s actu­al­ly straight­for­ward. If you’ve ever read about Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, you’ll have an under­stand­ing of hotspot den­si­ty: Not too dense, not dense enough, but just right.

If you need to visu­al­ize things, use Heli­umVi­sion or Hotspot­ty. Use the options for hex over­lays in Heli­umVi­sion or just zoom in and out on your Hotspot with Hotspot­ty. If you need help with Heli­umVi­sion, con­sid­er tak­ing my Heli­umVi­sion Mas­ter Class.

If you don’t have the time or just want to skip that part, you can hire me and I’ll help you pick the best option for your area and circumstance. 

BOTTOM LINE: You need to have opti­mum den­si­ty for max­i­mum earnings.

ANTENNA VIEW: Before you go order­ing the lat­est and great­est super-hot anten­na (more on that lat­er), make sure your anten­na has a view. A “view” has three impor­tant aspects.

  • Out­side. Walls and even win­dows will block radio waves.
  • High above oth­er obstacles.
  • Clear view to as much as possible.

The view of your anten­na is far more impor­tant than upgrad­ing your anten­na. A high­er ele­va­tion “stock” anten­na (the one that comes with your hotspot) will out­per­form a super fan­cy anten­na that’s low down EVERY TIME. You can see the line of sight of your anten­na to spe­cif­ic spots using RF Line of Sight or Helium.Vision.

Get as high as rea­son­ably pos­si­ble. How high? From the Amer­i­can Radio Relay League’s doc­u­ment on anten­na placement:

To a dis­tant receiv­ing sta­tion, a trans­mit­ting anten­na at 120 feet will pro­vide the effect of approx­i­mate­ly 8 to 10 times more trans­mit­ting pow­er than the same anten­na at 35 feet.”

You may be think­ing, “I’ll nev­er get my anten­na 120′ high.” That’s OK, do the best you can, but know that until you get it high, you’ll be miss­ing out on earnings. 

A good rule of thumb to start approach­ing 90% of opti­mum earn­ings is at least 20′ above your roof and sur­round­ing roofs.

Here’s an exam­ple of a good ele­va­tion placement:

Correct elevation placement on rooftop

That anten­na is on top of a 23′ pole on top of a 15′ high roof in sub­ur­ban San Diego.

Anec­do­tal reports show that even a *1 meter* ele­va­tion dif­fer­ence can notice­ably affect earnings.

Get as clear a view of as much “civ­i­liza­tion” as pos­si­ble. Remem­ber, the net­work is only as valu­able as the USEFUL area it can cov­er. A hotspot on top of a moun­tain with clear views of noth­ing but nature for 30 miles is not cov­er­ing (to the net­work, any­way) USEFUL territory.

A hotspot on a sub­ur­ban roof sur­round­ed by a few mil­lion peo­ple and lots of data oppor­tu­ni­ties will pro­vide far more use­ful coverage.

Cor­rect ele­va­tion is vital for max­i­mum cov­er­age. LoRa is more or less a line-of-sight radio tech­nol­o­gy. While the radio waves will go through a few things (a wall or two, a win­dow, or a leafy tree), for the most part you want to be able to have a direct line of sight to both your cov­er­age area AND oth­er hotspots. 

APPROPRIATE ANTENNA: The anten­na is what most peo­ple focus on, think­ing that if they just have the “best” anten­na they’ll make the most HNT.

The anten­na shipped with any pur­chased hotspot is already pret­ty good. How­ev­er, as many Heli­ites are both tin­ker­ers and dri­ven by earn­ings, many will “upgrade” their anten­na in order to reach more hotspots.

Anten­nas do 2 things: They trans­mit (tx) and they receive (rx). Most folks get wrapped up in how well an anten­na trans­mits, but in the long term that doesn’t mat­ter that much, as the val­ue of Heli­um is in how well an anten­na can RECEIVE.

Remem­ber, the Heli­um net­work offers val­ue by being able to receive trans­mis­sion FROM sen­sors TO hotspots, then push that infor­ma­tion onto the blockchain via an inter­net connection.

While there is and has been a place for being able to trans­mit pow­er­ful­ly, that val­ue will dimin­ish rapid­ly over the com­ing year.

What the heck is “dBi”? It refers to the focus and shap­ing of the ener­gy an anten­na trans­mits and receives.

Here’s a quick dbi gain visualizer:

I can hear you now: “Ok dude, but what anten­na should I buy?” 

You can read this in-depth arti­cle on how to match your place­ment with an anten­na, but you’ve basi­cal­ly got 3 options. 

First, and rec­om­mend­ed: Don’t buy any­thing, just use the anten­na your hotspot came with. Get your den­si­ty and view squared away first.

Sec­ond, if you’ve got a great place­ment with the right ele­va­tion, buy either an HNTen­na or any­thing in the 3–6 dBi range from McGill.

Third, if you feel like you need some­thing high­er gain and you under­stand the trade offs of a high­er gain anten­na, get a high­er gain anten­na from McGill.

But, but, what about the [insert fan­cy anten­na] I read about on the Dis­cord chat? Should­n’t I get the most pow­er­ful anten­na pos­si­ble? I want more money!”

Big antenna with a long view on a mountain.

No. Re-read the above piece on hav­ing a “too pow­er­ful” antenna. 

The one pic­tured above is a high gain sec­tor (direc­tion­al) anten­na on top of a moun­tain. Despite hav­ing an enor­mous “view”, it does worse than many place­ments that are much clos­er to oth­er hotspots. I replaced it with a 3 dBi omni, no dif­fer­ence in earn­ings. Den­si­ty mat­ters more than antenna.

Even “hot” anten­nas that are tuned to fit with­in Heli­um guide­lines (decreased trans­mit and receive pow­er) won’t rad­i­cal­ly out­per­form oth­er antennas.

One Hotspot own­er I know ran a Near­son 9 vs a Rak 8 dBi in ear­ly 2021 and kept track of earn­ings between the two. The RAK beat the pants off the Nearson.

MINIMIZED CONNECTIONS: Ok, now we’re com­ing to stuff that does­n’t real­ly mat­ter but you’ll ask about and geek out on any­way. How should you con­nect your hotspot to your antenna?

This is RF 101 (Radio Fre­quen­cy): You want a thick, clean, short (ide­al­ly 5′ or less) cable that goes from your hotspot to your anten­na. I rec­om­mend and use LMR400 from USACoax.

If you’re run­ning a cel­lu­lar back­haul you’ll prob­a­bly be fine with anoth­er LMR vari­ant for the cell anten­nas (each set­up is unique) but you will want to place those cell anten­nas exter­nal to the enclosure.

Get your hotspot up high near your anten­na to keep cable runs to the anten­na short. Run pow­er and eth­er­net to the high hotspot, then have a short anten­na cable to the anten­na. Do not (if you want max earn­ings) place your hotspot in your attic then run 20′ of thin crap­py coax cable to your anten­na. That will cre­ate more radio pow­er loss than you want. 

If you MUST have long cable runs, spend the mon­ey on good cable. If you do that, you may (but prob­a­bly won’t) get the same results as Docile Bone Pony, which uses 60′ of LMR 400 and is on top of a 16 sto­ry build­ing in the mid­dle of a large city. 

So. That’s most of what you need to know about a opti­mum hotspot placement. 


What else should you know about when it comes to Heli­um hotspot earnings?

How much HNT you get per witness/beacon trans­ac­tion will change as the net­work devel­ops more ful­ly. With a lim­it­ed amount of HNT made avail­able (2.5 mil­lion per month until August 2023, when it drops to 1.25 million/month) to reward trans­ac­tions AND many more hotspots com­ing online in the next few months, earn­ings will steadi­ly dilute.

Yeah, but how much can I earn? Check here for a very rough esti­mate. This can change sig­nif­i­cant­ly, so it’s just a start­ing point.

No mat­ter what, with the growth of the net­work your HNT earn­ings will CONTINUE TO DROP.

This MAY be off­set by an increase in HNT price. It may not. 

How can I earn even more? The long play with Heli­um is to fig­ure out how to actu­al­ly use the ser­vice. What kind of data can you col­lect, what kind of sen­sors should you use, how can you offer that as a service? 

If you want help with that or with opti­miz­ing your hotspot place­ments, I’m avail­able for hire.

How much pow­er and data do hotspots use? Hotspots use about as much pow­er as an inter­net router, and as much data as heavy Net­flix user who watch­es 2 or 3 movies most nights (100–150 GB/month). This will con­tin­ue to increase until Light Hotspots come online some­time in ear­ly 2022. 

If you live in the First World and have a broad­band inter­net con­nec­tion, hav­ing a Heli­um Hotspot will be basi­cal­ly unno­tice­able to you from an ener­gy cost/data use perspective.

I’m ready to buy a hotspot, where should I order? I’d rec­om­mend order­ing a hotspot from Par­ley­Labs.

Is there a dif­fer­ence in hotspots/miners/radios? Not real­ly. It’s not like you can get a more pow­er­ful min­er that’ll earn you more. The biggest dif­fer­ence is when they’ll arrive, which is a func­tion of how fast they can be manufactured.

Is it real­ly worth it to put up a Heli­um hotspot? I sure think so. Will it be for you? If you have an opti­mal place­ment and fol­low all the advice above, prob­a­bly. This isn’t invest­ment advice. You could lose all the mon­ey you put in. 

How much can I make? If you do a good job, between .5 — 1 HNT/day as of March of 2022. More on that here. Or just go to Site­bot and start pok­ing around to see what the cur­rent max­i­mums are. 

How do I turn HNT into cash? Open up an account on Binance.

Is this a safe invest­ment? No. This is cryp­tocur­ren­cy com­pet­ing with giant tel­cos (Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­pa­nies). It may be a boomer (like when Uber com­pet­ed with cabs or Airbnb com­pet­ed with hotels) or it may be a flop (like every oth­er start­up com­pa­ny that tried to take on the big dogs.)

You should not re-finance your house to put up hotspots. You should be able to lose all the mon­ey you put into hotspots with­out putting your­self, your fam­i­ly, or any­one you know at finan­cial risk. Sheesh. 

Should I just hire you to do all the work for me? Maybe. If you don’t like to read or geek out, or you just want to try Heli­um with­out spend­ing a few months research­ing it, I’ll walk you through the process of set­ting up the best pos­si­ble place­ment for your sit­u­a­tion. You can take my cours­es (look on the top of the page under Cours­es) or go here to get started.



  • Heli­um Vision — Paid ser­vice w/free tri­al for assess­ing loca­tions. Def­i­nite­ly try this out!
  • Hotspot­ty — Excel­lent way to visu­al­ize den­si­ty issues AND to man­age your fleet
  • HotspotRF — use code gristleking for 20% off your first month.



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294 responses to “A Rough Guide To Helium Hotspot Placement”

  1. In the long term and depend­ing on net­work growth, we may see high­er data-relat­ed rewards, but… not for a while. With 100k hotspots online in the next few months, the same size witness/beacon rewards pie will be shared amongst a much larg­er group.

  2. I’m just say­ing… this guy is the real deal.
    Sol­id under­stand­ing of Heli­um and an inter­est­ing, hon­est chap as well.
    Nik will sort it.

  3. Thanks Nils, glad it’s been help­ful for ya. Stoked to see you light up your town. 😉

  4. […] stock anten­na that came with your hotspot. Also, find a bet­ter place­ment loca­tion. You did read about that, […]

  5. […] A Rough Guide to Heli­um Hotspot Place­ment — Before you get all hot and both­ered about going remote, see if this’ll help you find an eas­i­er, bet­ter location. […]

  6. Hi, I’m con­sid­er­ing the indoor device from Par­ley Labs but won­der­ing what you think about the Bob­cat device shown on the Heli­um web­site. It looks to have more stor­age and a bet­ter cord, so was won­der­ing if the Par­ley Labs device would per­form less optimally.

  7. Richard Street Avatar
    Richard Street

    Thanks for the arti­cle. The best I have read.

    I won­der if you can help.

    I have 5 box’s com­ing next month. I live in a small town my house is on a hill so I guess I am lucky there. We have no hotspots for 25miles.
    My ques­tions are.
    1. Would my best return be to put all my 5 box spread out in the town? or would I be bet­ter putting 3 in one town and 2 in another?
    2. Do you get a much greater return in a high­er pop­u­lat­ed area?
    3. Is it best to spread out your box’s as far as pos­si­ble (as long as they can still see each oth­er) or as long as they are 350 meters away from each oth­er the result will be the same.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  8. Hi Richard, excit­ing news about the hotspots you have com­ing! Read through the Earn­ings post to get an idea of how much or how lit­tle you might earn in areas with dense deploy­ment vs sparse deploy­ment. I can do a cus­tom dive into this for you if you’d like. Very short ver­sion: *Prob­a­bly* bet­ter to have 5 in your town, but that’s with­out real­ly know­ing any of the details.

  9. Hi Bryan, both the Bob­cat & the indoor Nebra from Par­ley should per­form the same when it comes to earn­ings. As soon as I have either in my hands I’ll do a quick review of ’em, but this is a case of place­ment and ele­va­tion being far more impor­tant than what mod­el of hotspot you have.

  10. Awe­some, thank you Nik

  11. Hi Nik, great read! I’ve looked at the heli­um map you linked to see hot spots around me, there is 1 hot spot in the red are around me, 1 on the verge of the red and green zone and 1 per­fect­ly in the green zone, there are then a few out­side it bit not by much. Does this sound okay? 

    I have ordered an indoor min­er last month but I’m con­sid­er­ing order­ing an out­door one to put on my roof(no large build­ings or moun­tains around me)

    Any advice would be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed, thank you

  12. Hi Peter, on Helium.place, the red zone is real­ly the more use­ful of the two, as the poten­tial green zone is far big­ger than what is shown. As long as you’re not shar­ing the red zone with anoth­er HS you’re off to a good start.

  13. Christopher Avatar

    Hey there! I live in a desert basin. Most every­thing around me is same ele­va­tion for ~7–15 miles depend­ing on the direc­tion, so I’m con­sid­er­ing attach­ing an anten­na to my roof. Do you have a rec­om­mend­ed anten­na mast? Thank you in advance, and thank you for all of your posts. I’m learn­ing a lot. Wait­ing on my bob­cats to arrive.

  14. Christo­pher, I’ve used 4130 .095 thick­ness 1 ¾” diam­e­ter pipe, often rec­om­mend­ed by ham radio types and usu­al­ly comes in 18–25′ lengths. With your set­up you won’t need a fan­cy anten­na, and the stock one should do fine depend­ing on how close oth­er hs are to you.

  15. Hi Nik, sor­ry I think I explained incor­rect­ly — there is 1 hot spot in the red zone, it keeps chang­ing the place that It is with­in a few meters but it’s 250~ meters from where I’d be putting mine up, does this mean my rewards would be great­ly diminished?

    Thanks again

  16. Christopher Avatar

    There are 10 hs with­in 3–7 miles of me and ~100 hs in the major city 12 miles north (only one build­ing in the way 3 miles out). So stock bob­cat should be fine placed prop­er­ly in my home? Is it also wise to put my sec­ond one in this helium.place green-ish area of my neigh­bor­hood at a fam­i­ly mem­bers house? They’re about 1200ft away (anoth­er is about 1500ft away). It’d be the clos­est hs to me. Oth­er­wise I have a hand­ful of oth­er options through­out the north­ern area of my state.

  17. Peter Thompson Avatar
    Peter Thompson

    Hi Nik, I apol­o­gise as I prob­a­bly did­n’t make myself clear. There is 1 hotspot in my red zone already, it’s 200–250 meters away but def­i­nite­ly there 

    Would this great­ly dimin­ish my earnings?

  18. Oliver Parkinson Avatar
    Oliver Parkinson

    Hi Nik,
    I am from the Uk and I am expect­ing to get my Nebra indoor min­er this month. There are a few min­ers in my area but I am unsure of the range I am like­ly to achieve I have read the they can reach up to 10 miles depend­ing on the topog­ra­phy of the area. I have put a range of 10km into heli­um vision and looked at the line of sight there seems to be a direct line of sight with about 8 oth­er min­ers in the area. Does this sound fea­si­ble to you if there is a direct line of sight? I am think­ing of plac­ing my min­er in the top room of the house next to the win­dow which should be opened and con­nect­ed to the inter­net router through an eth­er­net cable. I have read the arti­cle but it is a lot to take in so I bet I will read it a few more times. Can you offer any­more tips specif­i­cal­ly to my circumstance?
    Thank you very much,

  19. Hi Oliv­er, putting it inside your house will decrease the range you can reli­ably con­nect with oth­ers. Out­doors with­in 10 km is rea­son­able, indoors it’s a lit­tle more of a crap­shoot, although direct line of sight is a very good thing. Best of luck with it!

  20. Hi Peter, check the hex map to see if you’ll be shar­ing a Res 8. If so, your earn­ings will be clipped due to over­den­si­ty. Even if you don’t share a res 8 hex, you and that oth­er HS won’t be able to wit­ness each oth­er. If you can both pro­vide unique cov­er­age that does­n’t over­lap each oth­er you’ll make slight­ly more, or if you can pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter cov­er­age you’ll earn more, but in gen­er­al you should­n’t put anoth­er hotspot with­in that red zone.

  21. Hi Christo­pher, a 12 mile shot is out at the edge of a stock anten­na. Focus on the 10 that are clos­er to you. Dou­ble check the hex res 8 on Helium.place to see if you’ll be shar­ing a res 8.

  22. Hi Nik — I am new to Heli­um, and have been doing research, and thank­ful to have found you! So I just moved into a gold­mine of all hotspots loca­tions in NY. I now live on the top floor of the build­ing and own a part of the rooftop where I plan to install my anten­na. On the rooftop, there is def­i­nite­ly 360 cov­er­age and you can see the man­hat­tan sky­line from where I am. I may have to extend the height for anoth­er 10 meters more to be safe. There are tons of host­pots all around me, but noone in my build­ing has one except me. My ques­tion real­ly is this — would you rec­om­mend me installing mul­ti­ple hotspots on the same rooftop? Will I earn more if I do this or will it be shared between all the host­pots? I was think­ing of maybe order­ing 2 or 3 more, but not sure if it’s worth spend­ing for more hotspots if the earn­ings are the same. Super excit­ed to get start­ed. Thanks in advance.

  23. Hi John,
    Pumped to see how excit­ed you are, Heli­um is a pret­ty ener­giz­ing thing to find! Installing mul­ti­ple HS in the same loca­tion will not earn you more, it’ll actu­al­ly earn less because you’ll clip your own earn­ings but won’t make enough with the mul­ti­ple hotspots to off­set the dif­fer­ence. You’ll earn more by find­ing oth­er loca­tions, prefer­ably out­side of NYC since it’s sat­u­rat­ed, and then work on opti­mal deploy­ment strate­gies for those. One thing to think about is that since NYC is so sat­u­rat­ed, it’s like­ly that at some point in the next year (or less) Heli­um will fur­ther adjust the den­si­ty chain vars on HIP17 to dis­in­cen­tivize those super-dense areas. I did get your oth­er com­ment but delet­ed it just so you don’t have a dou­ble-post. 😉 ~Nik

  24. […] Putting your hotspot in the same res 8 hex as anoth­er hotspot WITHOUT pro­vid­ing sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter cov­er­age is a recipe for low earn­ings and wast­ed effort. I’ve gone into this in depth over in the Rough Guide. […]

  25. Peter Thompson Avatar
    Peter Thompson

    Hi Nik, thanks again for your reply! 

    There is no one shar­ing my hex 8, but also no one in the green area of that hex 8 that I’m in also
    So I won’t get to wit­ness his and vice ver­sa, but with oth­er hotspots in a few mile radius would this still be sufficient?
    I’m a kines­thet­ic learn­er so I’ve read every­thing on your site but strug­gling to absorb it com­plete­ly, I’m going to give it a read again tomor­row morn­ing and try and wrap my head around it more — thanks again a million

  26. Don’t sweat the green areas on Helium.place, those are con­fus­ing. The big thing is to not be in the red zones. You can wit­ness any­one out­side of your 300m radius as long as you can make radio con­tact with ’em. That comes down to place­ment (out­side) ele­va­tion (up high) and then anten­na (depends.)

  27. Cool sto­ry, thanks, Nik! 

    Soooo, I ordered my indoor Nebra min­er on Sat­ur­day. The con­fir­ma­tion page offered this link. I soon began to pan­ic which turned to sui­ci­dal! (not real­ly, hehe) But I learned my loca­tion, here in the riv­er val­ley sur­round­ed by neigh­bors who like their trees, may not be ide­al. Oh well, I may have to park it at my daugh­ters house. I’ll try it out and see what happens. 

    Ques­tion about loca­tion and cov­er­age: Sup­pose I have two min­ers with hi gain/directional anten­na mount­ed so their cov­er­age pro­file is per­pen­dic­u­lar. Could that defeat the ‘too close’ prob­lem? They would each have a dif­fer­ent audi­ence, so to speak. 

    Anoth­er ques­tion, if I may. Did IoT devices expect to com­mu­ni­cate just via WIFI before HNT? What moti­vates them to con­vert to LoRaWAN? Maybe that’s for new devices, going for­ward. Hmmm.

  28. Thanks John! The “too close” issue will be first deter­mined by where you “assert”, or set, the loca­tion of your min­er. This will be confirmed/verified through the RSSI/SNR val­i­da­tion curve set by Helium.

    Putting two min­ers to close to each oth­er on the asser­tion side will be a prob­lem, even if they cov­er dif­fer­ent areas.

    I’m not sure what the plan was for IoT as far as rapid expan­sion before Heli­um. Prob­a­bly just on a busi­ness use case sce­nario. What Heli­um has done so far is an amaz­ing­ly good job of align­ing incen­tives in such a way that we’re going to see IoT cov­er­age fol­lowed by use grow in the kinds of pat­terns Sil­i­con Val­ley types like to see. At least, that’s my prediction.

  29. Danny Maloney Avatar
    Danny Maloney

    Hi just want­ed to say thank you for writ­ing this Nik. Super infor­ma­tive and with all the mis-infor­ma­tion that is now run­ning ram­pant this tru­ly cleared up a ton for me! I recent­ly jumped the gun and was a dum­my and pur­chased 12 dbi anten­nas for my units com­ing in June. I now will be return­ing them and get­ting 8 dbi ones! I unfor­tu­nate­ly can’t get in there and tin­ker with it like you men­tioned. Don’t want to chance me hurt­ing the units! I’ll test for a cou­ple weeks with­out the anten­nas first then see if the 8 dbi anten­nas help out! Again tru­ly appre­ci­ate the great read!

  30. Right on Dan­ny, glad it helped you out!

  31. Great stuff Nik! I just pre-ordered/pur­chased my first HNT min­er. I live in a small ski resort town in Col­orado. Some enter­pris­ing per­son has 4 min­ers set up on their side of town, set up in a square about 400m apart. My place is about 500ft in ele­va­tion high­er and 3km away. I’m think­ing I should ori­ent towards his grid as best I can. The oth­er choice would be to ori­ent towards the down­town cor­ri­dor of town, but there are no min­ers there, yet. of course this could all change in 4 months when I get my Nebra. What do you think?

  32. Hi Doug, you’re prob­a­bly best off with an omni anten­na unless there’s noth­ing but moun­tain behind you. Even then, the direc­tion­als can cost you cov­er­age. I’d start with the stock and see how it goes. As of today (4/17) there are a few new anten­nas about to come on the mar­ket that might change the game, so stock for now is a good call. 🙂

  33. Juan Vicente Avatar
    Juan Vicente

    Hi Nik. I pur­chased my min­er (a bit impul­sive­ly I admit) and now dis­cov­ered that have 2 oth­er min­ers in the red zone! One active, and one inac­tive. I went on a walk in the neigh­bor­hood and did­n’t see any exte­ri­or ante­nas. Does this mean that I can improve my earn­ing odds increas­ing the hight of mine? I think my loca­tion is ide­al. On a hill (over 150 feet) and across the riv­er from a big city (2 miles) I’m all in now!

  34. Increas­ing the height is almost nev­er a bad idea, but putting 2 min­ers in one res 8 hex usu­al­ly is. Can you find anoth­er place­ment? Check out the Helium.Vision post I just put up, that may help with fig­ur­ing out where you might be bet­ter off plac­ing it.

  35. Juan Vicente Avatar
    Juan Vicente

    I wish I could find anoth­er place­ment, but I live in sub­ur­bia. I doubt that some­body will lend me their house.
    Pity. Seems that all res 8 hex­es have a min­er already.

  36. I get it, though it’s not like they have to lend you their entire house. 🙂 All you need is a con­nec­tion to their router and you can *prob­a­bly* pay their entire cable bill in exchange. No guar­an­tees on that, but it might be a good place to start.

  37. Juan Vicente Avatar
    Juan Vicente

    Hi Nik, In search­ing for a bet­ter place­ment I have noticed that all three of the maps show active hotspots in the mid­dle of the Hud­son riv­er! How is that pos­si­ble? Thank you for your time and patience with me!
    show active hotspots in the mid­dle of the Hud­son river!

  38. No prob. Those are most like­ly either gamers or folks who are false­ly assert­ing their loca­tion to main­tain privacy.

  39. Mahaney Avatar

    Thank you, for this arti­cle very well writ­ten; and extreme­ly helpful!!!

    I ordered a few hotspots which who knows when they’ll actu­al­ly arrive. There are cur­rent­ly none show­ing in my city, I imag­ine in short time that’ll change. I plan to place the few I ordered approx 1.5 mi apart from one anoth­er. Can you advise if this is a good plan, or should they be closer/further away? Thanks in advance for your insight.

  40. Hi Mahe­ny, check the Helium.Vision video I post­ed, that’ll help with plan­ning. I also do cus­tom con­sult­ing on this, more info on that here.

  41. Nik,

    As an appli­ca­tion devel­op­er, What is the cost to use the Hotspots for the trans­mis­sion of col­lect­ed data.

    I’m in agri­cul­tur­al area that I believe is ripe for the exploita­tion of this mod­el for “Smart Agri­cul­ture” applications.

    Thanks for writ­ing a great piece on this inter­est­ing technology.

  42. Brien, DC (data cred­it) cost is fixed at $0.00001 per 1 DC. Check how much data/data cred­it you might be using here.

  43. Hi Nik,
    Real­ly good stuff here. I also ordered my first indoor min­er thats due to arrive in July 2021. My town only has 2 min­ers thus far and I live at least sev­er­al miles away from them. This may be a sil­ly ques­tion but when I use heli­um place to deter­mine best place­ment I find that my own address is in RED zone. I tried some oth­er places around me and get­ting the same result? Is this user error or have you got­ten ques­tions like these before? Thanks in advance for your feed­back sir!

  44. Hi Jasper, your place­ment on Helium.Place will always be sur­round­ed by red; that’s where you want to make sure oth­er hotspots are not. Does that make sense?

  45. Hi Nik, how are you buddy?

    First of all, I found your post very help­ful. I am real­ly thank­ful to you, may GOD bless you!!!

    My ques­tion is, do you think this will be okay if I use 20 meters exten­sion cable for plac­ing the default anten­na (of Nebra indoor min­er) on a pole? I mean using an exten­sion cable does­n’t affect the per­for­mance of Nebra hotspot indoor miner.

    And can I do the same with an out­door miner?

    I will be very thank­ful to you 🙂

    Best Regards.

  46. Hi Kashif, glad you found this help­ful. Check over on my Anten­nas post, but a 20 meter exten­sion cord for *pow­er* won’t be a prob­lem. A 20m anten­na cable is work­able as long as it’s low loss, say LMR400. You can use those indoor or outdoor.

  47. Hi Nik, great info by the way.

    I live in the UK and intend to do either of the fol­low­ing with my inter­nal nebra.

    1. Place it next to a win­dow with a patch lead through the frame to take the anten­na out­side. (very high qual­i­ty cable, no more than 500mm)

    2. Sus­pend it high in the roof eaves in the loft (con­crete tiles) and use (if need­ed a good qual­i­ty high­er db aer­i­al) I am tak­ing advice from a radio spe­cial­ist shop near me)

    What would you sug­gest please

  48. Hi Woody, sounds like #1 will get it out­side. Depends as well on the “view” each place­ment has. Sounds like the loft with con­crete tiles will atten­u­ate the sig­nal more than you’d want. Let me know what the radio spe­cial­ist shop comes back with, always keep to hear oth­er opinions!

  49. Thanks for quick reply.

    I will post info I get from radio guy.

    He had not heard of these min­ers, save some­one ask­ing for an upgrade and men­tion­ing min­ing with­out going into details.

    I have promised to send him a brief descrip­tion and some links for him to get his head around it.
    He says he has bet­ter qual­i­ty cable than lm400.

    I think first off, I will use the stock aer­i­al inside the win­dow for a few days,
    then try same aer­i­al with up to a metre of h/q cable attached to gut­ter line & run­ning back through bed­room win­dow to device.

    Not sure about putting a dirty great mast up because light­ning grounding.

  50. Hi,

    I have a ques­tion ‚can­not find it myself so i am liv­ing in small coun­try Latvia town Riga and i see that in my town are 4 hot spot dis­tance 5–6 kilo­me­ters away from me for exam­ple i live in street named Bukaisu iela and oth­er HS are on Mati­sa iela and Lejas iela and Juglas iela would it be pos­si­ble for me to reach them ? is it a good investment ?

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