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. […] go back to the Heli­um Hotspot one last time and just think about where it’s placed. While I rec­om­mend always plac­ing it out­side (NOT for RF expo­sure rea­sons, but to pro­vide the best cov­er­age), some peo­ple can’ t […]

  2. Nojeem Bakare Avatar
    Nojeem Bakare

    What a great write-up!

  3. Thanks Nojeem!

  4. I live in a sparse­ly pop­u­lat­ed area 3k and next town is 25k but I am will­ing to move to Eugene OR to do this hot spot gig.
    and on a wait­ing list for equipt­ment. And will get your help. when time gets clos­er. Am I cor­rect in my assumptions ?

  5. Hi Jim, that sounds rea­son­able. Keep an eye on aver­age rewards to make sure it’ll be worth it. Any time you can set up a min­er that pro­vides Wide, Unique, Prove­able, and Use­ful cov­er­age you’re get­ting the fun­da­men­tals correct.

  6. Trevor Avatar

    So glad to have found your site!
    Seems like get­ting the anten­na up high, def in my loca­tion, is a theme here! So how does one do that? Any spe­cial require­ments for a pole? Can it sway in the wind?
    If high­er is more impor­tant than anten­na ( usu­al­ly). Id like to get 20’ past my roof- Is that too far to cable from my bobcat?

    Hope thats not too many ?’s. Thanks for a great blog Nik!!!

  7. Hi Trevor, check what height will do on Helium.Vision; some­times just a few feet makes a dif­fer­ence, some­times 100′ makes no dif­fer­ence (radio shad­ow from hill). It *can* sway in the wind, but def­i­nite­ly bet­ter not to. Make that pole stur­dy! I’ve used 20–25′ of 4130 steel, .095″ thick, 1 ¾” diam­e­ter. That’s a good, albeit expen­sive, way to do it. More on anten­na gain & cabling here. Rock on!

  8. Great write up! You men­tioned putting the min­er on the pole close to the anten­na (unless I mis­read?) but what if you live in a cold cli­mate where temps go below the Oper­at­ing Tem­per­a­ture (e.g. 0 C on a bob­cat)? Any advice for keep­ing the min­er safe while close to the anten­na to min­i­mize cable length?

  9. Hi Dar­cy, thanks! Hmm, you could insu­late the box or just keep the min­er inside and run longer anten­na cable, keep­ing it low loss. More on that here.

  10. Marco Martins Avatar
    Marco Martins

    Thank you so much for pro­vid­ing this use­ful content!

    Ques­tion: can I use the default anten­na outside?

  11. Hi Mar­co,
    I don’t think so; the stock anten­nas are prob­a­bly only rat­ed for indoor use. With that said, they’ll prob­a­bly work fine for a few days to a few months, depend­ing on weather. 🙂

  12. Marco Martins Avatar
    Marco Martins

    That’s what I thought 😀
    Mine is cur­rent­ly under light rain but I’ve put some plas­tic film pro­tect­ing the con­nec­tions while I do not order an out­door one.

    BTW, just to con­firm what you are say­ing, my 2.8dB stock anten­na can have a wit­ness that is 19.2Km away, because it has line of sight. I’m on a hilly zone, and I’m up the hill, I have as wit­ness 80% of city HS. My goal is to put the anten­na high­er and I’ll prob­a­bly order a 3dB out­door anten­na or would you rec­om­mend 5dB?

  13. Yep, with Line of Sight you’ve got pret­ty long range. 20 km no prob. I’d go with an HNTen­na (that’s what I’m using on all my installs going forward.)

  14. Is there a place to see the min­ers or hot spots in OR. ? web-site with maps

  15. Hi Jim, they should show up on Explor­er at the res 8 hex lev­el. If you want to see exact assert loca­tions you’ll need to use a paid app. I rec­om­mend Helium.Vision.

  16. Hey Nik,
    Love your Blogs!
    One ques­tion left for me though, for now at least. I also have been try­ing to get infor­ma­tion on that in the past weeks, but did­n’t real­ly find any­thing valuable:
    What do I need to look out for, when try­ing to max­i­mize the RF of my anten­na? Is the mul­ti-polar­iza­tion real­ly that much bet­ter for receiv­ing sig­nals? Any oth­er para­me­ters or val­ues to look out for?

  17. Hi Lorenz, try this post on Heli­um anten­na choice, it should lay out what you’re look­ing for. 🙂

  18. Help­full suport,
    Is it bet­ter to be the first hot spot in a town of 25k or move to a big­ger one with 4 or 5 already, ( Grants Pass) ?
    Thanks Jim

  19. No advan­tage to being a “lone wolf”. You need at least 4 oth­er hotspots to be able to earn max­i­mal­ly, though you prob­a­bly want more, just to give your hotspot(s) more chances at wit­ness­ing beacons.

  20. Your posts have been fan­tas­tic and very infor­ma­tion­al, so thank you for that. Back in the late 60s and 70s, I built a lot of ham radios. I basi­cal­ly remem­ber NOTHING from when I actu­al­ly knew any­thing. Could you bifur­cate the coax with a split­ter and use mul­ti­ple anten­nas for these hotspots or would that make it worse? Thanks again.

  21. Hi Harold, from every­thing I’ve read, there’s no good way to do that; you just lose too much ener­gy when you’re split­ting the sig­nal in half. Bet­ter off get­ting one anten­na high with clear lines of sight to lots of oth­er hotspots.

  22. Nik:

    We dis­cussed this once before, and I want­ed you to share it for everyone’s under­stand­ing: do the enclo­sures pro­tect the min­ers from the ele­ments of win­ter, rain and snow? Or should we add some­thing to the enclo­sure for the miner’s protection? 

    Please advise.

  23. Hi Thomas, yes, enclo­sures pro­tect the min­ers from the ele­ments. You can use a vent­ed or sealed enclo­sure. Con­sid­er­able dis­cus­sion around which one is bet­ter. If you go sealed, make sure to include dessi­cant, and from what I’ve seen be care­ful of over­heat­ing, espe­cial­ly with the Bob­cats. If you go vent­ed keep in mind that dust is an ene­my of elec­tron­ics, so have some kind of mit­i­ga­tion for that.

  24. Marco Martins Avatar
    Marco Martins

    And mois­ture!

  25. indeed, and moisture. 🙂

  26. Marco Martins Avatar
    Marco Martins

    Putting the min­ers into this enclo­sures with them gen­er­at­ing heat I won­der if they won’t cre­ate con­den­sa­tion when humid­i­ty ris­es out­side if we have a hole for ven­ti­la­tion. What’s your expe­ri­ence Nik?

  27. I’ve got a cou­ple that have been up for months (through the “win­ter” in San Diego, com­plete with rain, fog, clouds, etc) and they’re still doing fine. My guess is you’ll have to replace the elec­tron­ics every 1–2 years any­way, just like you do with almost every elec­tron­ic thing.

  28. The Bob­cat min­er has an over­heat­ing issue? My roof is all sun. No shade. And it cooks like an oven dur­ing the sum­mer months. My aim is for all my min­ers to be on rooftops near the antenna.

  29. Yep, that’s what I’ve seen in the forums; Bob­cats seem to be more sen­si­tive to over­heat­ing than, say, the RAKs.

  30. Wow. That’s not good. How would you sug­gest ele­vat­ing the Bob­cat dur­ing the summer?

  31. I’d keep it in a shad­ed and well ven­ti­lat­ed spot if I had to put it out­side. Bob­cat has made a point recent­ly of say­ing not to put the things out­side in the heat.

  32. The attached arti­cles are very help­ful. It does change my approach. I want­ed all my min­ers to be air­borne (20 feet) above the roof. I will need a longer cable instead— slight sig­nal loss.

  33. […] What’s The Best Anten­na For Your Heli­um Hotspot? A Rough Guide To Heli­um Hotspot Placement […]

  34. HI, i bought (5) Bob­cat hotspots not real­iz­ing that I can’t have more than 1 in my home. I live in Cal­i­for­nia, I have a spot for 3 of them around my city and work, but I was think­ing about putting 2 in Cana­da, can I do that? I know they just have to be 300 meters apart, but is there any restric­tion to how far? They would all be con­nect­ed to my app that I would set up and mon­i­tor them with so it should­n’t mat­ter right? I just pur­chased today and can’t find any info on this, and i’m sure I can can­cel a few of them if I can’t pull this off. If you have any info on my sit­u­a­tion, it would be soo helpful!

  35. Hi Reg­gy,
    Keep read­ing through the site for more info on how to opti­mal­ly deploy ’em. 5 is man­age­able. No restric­tions on how far apart they are. Yes, they’ll all be con­nect­ed to the “wal­let” in your Heli­um app, so you can mon­i­tor them from there. If you’d like to just skip to the front of the line when it comes to under­stand­ing what you’ve got­ten your­self into, I offer con­sult­ing for Heli­um, more on that here.

  36. Look­ing to pos­si­bly hire you, if afford­able, for an opin­ion on my location.

  37. Right on, check over here for rates. Thanks Don!

  38. Awe­some con­tent Nik. I appre­ci­ate you shar­ing! My set­up will be going on my roof with great vis­i­bil­i­ty and ele­va­tion rel­a­tive to the rest of my city. Is there a hotspot you would rec­om­mend? Does the hotspot need to be placed on the roof as well, close to the antenna?


  39. Hi Ben­ji, thanks, hap­py to share. The RAK V2 seems to work best if you’re putting an “indoor” hotspot out­doors. Check out more on the Anato­my of a Hotspot post, here.

  40. Hola , se habla de 120 pies de altura , yo dispon­go de un lugar con 350 pies de altura , la pre­gun­ta es , puede per­ju­dicar tan­ta altura , gracias

  41. Depends on what you’re run­ning. Eth­er­net cable going 300′ should­n’t be a prob­lem, but going any­more than 60′ on LMR400 (ANTENNA cable) can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce pow­er trans­mit­ted. Check this post for more on EIRP and cable loss. 

  42. LaRoc2121 Avatar

    What if you’re in line of sight of a cell tower

  43. Usu­al­ly a good thing, though if you’re too close you can be sub­ject to interference.

  44. […] whole train. The bet­ter the cov­er­age you pro­vide (pages and pages have been writ­ten on how to pro­vide excel­lent cov­er­age), the more HNT you earn. HNT is a cryp­tocur­ren­cy and can be trad­ed for many other […]

  45. Hey Nik, thanks for the awe­some write ups. It helped me learn so much. I just had a few ques­tions. I read one of your ear­li­er com­ments that we would need to be replac­ing elec­tron­ics every 1–2 years? So the min­ers would only last around that amount of time? Would the same go for the anten­nas? Also, I am cur­rent­ly decid­ing between the HNTen­na 3dbi MP or the McGill 6dbi Tune Anten­na or the Dia­mond Anten­na 9.3dbi.

    I am wedged in around some moun­tains and the max ele­va­tion I can place the anten­na would be around 27 feet. My stock 4dbi anten­na is cur­rent­ly reach­ing wit­ness­es as far as 20 km but that is only with­in the line of sight. I am miss­ing out on a big clus­ter of wit­ness­es due to a moun­tain that is about 80–90 feet taller than my ele­va­tion, block­ing my line of sight. 

    I am lean­ing towards the HNTen­na 3dbi MP but I would have to keep my min­er indoors and dbi loss would be around 1.5 dbi. So I am decid­ing the McGill 6dbi is my best option. Are there high­er gain MP anten­nas you could rec­om­mend? I know they are the best for hilly sit­u­a­tions and I have quite a bit of hills around my area. 

    Thank you so much for all that you do!

  46. Hi Andrew, the most bang for your buck will be get­ting extra line of sight, though that sounds very dif­fi­cult for you with the moun­tains. If you’re stuck with an indoor place­ment, the 6 dBi will prob­a­bly work bet­ter just to punch out through the walls. I don’t think HNTen­na has a high­er gain anten­na on the mar­ket yet.

  47. […] talked a bunch about opti­miz­ing your hotspot place­ment (see my Rough Guide for a deep dive), but it can be com­pli­cat­ed to run all the num­bers hotspot by […]

  48. with a 10 meter long lmr 400 cable I lose a lot of power?

  49. Depends on fre­quen­cy. Loss at 915 will be ~1.5 dB at 10 meters

  50. Thanks a Ton, Nik!
    Glad your friend Nick from Heli­um Vision rec­om­mend­ed you and read a lot of your blogs which are extreme­ly useful.
    So far I am strug­gling to find a ‘Sub­scribe for­ev­er’ but­ton but hope one day will click the ‘Hire me’ but­ton for large-scale implementation. 

    Great write-up, one which is more enter­tain­ing than a video!

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