HIP 17 — Why Are You Getting Scaled?

It’s one of the most con­fus­ing aspects of Heli­um; you put up your hotspot in an “emp­ty” res 8 hex, but you still get your trans­mit rewards scaled. Why is that, and what can you do about it?

First, let’s talk about “trans­mit reward scal­ing”. What is it? Let’s take it straight from the Github pro­pos­al:

[…]for each trans­mit, the trans­mit­ting hotspot’s reward will be based on the num­ber of wit­ness­es and then scaled by its own trans­mit reward scale. 

For wit­ness­es, they will receive a por­tion of reward based on the num­ber of wit­ness­es scaled by the transmitter’s reward scale. 

Translation –>

When you bea­con, any reward “assigned” to you for that bea­con will be mul­ti­plied by your trans­mit reward scale. If you have a trans­mit reward scale of .5, all the rewards you get for bea­con­ing will be cut in half. (Your Reward) x (0.5) = 50% of your rewards.

When you wit­ness, any reward assigned to your hotspot is scaled by the trans­mit­ter’s reward scale. That means if you wit­ness a hotspot’s bea­con, but that hotspot has a trans­mit reward scale of .5, your wit­ness reward will be cut in half. (Your Reward) x (0.5) = 50% of your rewards.

But how the heck is the rewards scale cal­cu­lat­ed? Which res­o­lu­tion should you look at? Here’s the vid:

What’s the short ver­sion for readers?

  • Your reward scale is a func­tion of hotspot den­si­ty assessed at dif­fer­ent scales (res­o­lu­tions).
  • Heli­um assess­es your rewards scale at EVERY res­o­lu­tion.
  • The trans­mit reward scale cal­cu­la­tion is a “water­fall”, affect­ing every res­o­lu­tion from 4–10.
  • You can be in your own res 8, or res 7 but still be in an over­crowd­ed res 4 and get scaled. See the video for an example.
  • Some­times the rewards don’t make sense. This can usu­al­ly be explained by blockchain lag, OR it’s like­ly that Heli­um is doing some behind-the-scenes math to com­bat gaming. 

Groundwork for Understanding HIP17 — Hexes & Siblings

Let’s start with the idea of sib­lings. At any res­o­lu­tion size, a sib­ling is any hex shar­ing a side with your hex. Every hexa­gon has 6 sides and there­fore 6 sib­ling hexes.

A sib­ling is just one of 3 chain vari­ables, or “chain vars” that the Heli­um blockchain uses to deter­mine trans­mit reward scal­ing at any res­o­lu­tion size.

The chain vari­ables are:

  • Den­si­ty Tar­get — How many hotspots can be in a hex WITHOUT any oth­er hotspots around
  • Den­si­ty Max — The most num­ber of hotspots you can have in your hex, even if the Sibling/Density Tar­get vari­ables are met
  • Sib­lings — The num­ber of sib­lings that need to meet the Den­si­ty Tar­get before you can move to Den­si­ty Max

For exam­ple, at res­o­lu­tion 8 (res 8), the chain vars are 2, 1, 4. Yes, it’s con­fus­ing. No, I did­n’t write it. Yes, I can explain it. I’ll go in order of the chain vars.

  • 2 refers to the num­ber of sib­lings that will need to have the Den­si­ty Tar­get in them in order for your hex to have up to the Den­si­ty Max before being scaled.
  • 1 is the Den­si­ty Tar­get, or the num­ber of hotspots per hex Heli­um allows IF the hotspot had no oth­er hotspots nearby.
  • 4 is the Den­si­ty Max, which is the max­i­mum num­ber of hotspots you can have in a hex once con­di­tions are met (Num­ber of Sib­lings each hav­ing the Den­si­ty Target.)

That means if you’re in a res 8 hex in the mid­dle of the desert with no one around you, you can only have 1 hotspot per hex before you get TRS’d (Trans­mit Reward Scale). If you had 2 hotspots in your hex, your TRS would be 0.5, or 50%.

If you’re in a res 8 in the city where it’s a lit­tle more crowd­ed, and you have at least 2 sib­lings that ALSO have 1 hotspot in them, then you begin to be able to add more hotspots, up to 4 hotspots in your hex before get­ting TRS’d. 

The same thing applies at every res­o­lu­tion. Once you get it, it’ll make a lot more sense. 

The last thing to remind you of is that you’ll fre­quent­ly see wonky num­bers that won’t make sense. My best guess is that those are the results of some Heli­um black-box math used to com­bat gaming. 

At the end of the day, even an 8 year old child could look at New York City and know it’s over­crowd­ed, or Basalt, Col­orado and know it’s under­pop­u­lat­ed. While this is a lit­tle bit of rock­et sci­ence (the guy who wrote it now works on rock­ets), the intent is one of com­mon sense: There is no ben­e­fit to the net­work for over­crowd­ed areas.

That’s real­ly all you have to remem­ber. Best of luck with your deploy­ments, and if you need help going deep­er or opti­miz­ing your Heli­um hotspot, con­sid­er hir­ing me.

Rock on!

46 thoughts on “<span class="caps">HIP</span> 17 — Why Are You Getting Scaled?”

  1. Hi Nik, thanks for the write up. It gives me a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how to look at the dif­fer­ent hex res­o­lu­tions. I am still learn­ing so bear with me… I am look­ing at a hex that has 11 bea­cons of which six are off-line, and the Heli­um Explor­er shows it scaled at 0.63. Not sure why the six are off-line, but I believe that non are opti­mized (exter­nal anten­nas) instal­la­tions. If we install an anten­na that is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er than the rest, (22 sto­ry roof with unob­struct­ed views) will we end up being scaled along with the rest?
    Thanks in advance!

  2. Hi David, yep, you’ll get scaled with the rest. As of June 2021, no con­sid­er­a­tion is giv­en to the ele­va­tion of an indi­vid­ual hotspot place­ment. If you’re see­ing 11 hotspots in a res 8 hex, I’d look for anoth­er hex. 🙂

  3. Hi Nik, thanks for your rec­om­men­da­tion. I may have missed it in the mate­r­i­al, but, will I also be scaled if I place a hotspot in a hexa­gon with anoth­er hotspot that is offline? Thanks again.

  4. Good ques­tion, I’m not sure of the answer. I know that offline hotspots fall off the map with­in a few days, so as long as they don’t come back online, you’re safe in the long run.

  5. Hi Nik,
    great to have you, I appre­ci­ate your efforts and expertise!
    So some­times scal­ing is not as it should be, depend­ing of Heli­um inter­est for the Net­work spread…There is not much we can hold on to!?
    All­so in the answer you wrote, there are a few in my area of inter­est offline for more than 4months and still red approx 174148 blocks behind ( pls.see 881e130d43fffff)… Can you get from Heli­um staff more clear instruc­tions about posi­tion­ing and scal­ing, and what make hotspot los­ing scal­ing from 1 to 0,67 if it is alone in res 7 hexa­gon like there are 2 (see hex 881e130d65fffff) vs. this hex 881e130dc9fffff?! Thak you in advance for explain­ing us this core­la­tions and unlogical?!

  6. Hi again Natko to touch base on your ques­tion, offline min­ers could be a mul­ti­tude of things. Also reward scal­ing changes can take some time to load (ex: if you turn a min­er off it will take up to two days for it to not show on the explor­er map). If they have been offline for more than 3+ months chances are they will not come back online (at least in your area) usu­al­ly this is because of EMRIT always hav­ing to re-assert hotspots to new areas/customers. It sounds like you are ready for a Stan­dard Heli­um Strat­e­gy & Place­ment Opti­miza­tion, this is where we would go over every aspect of the Heli­um Net­work that you are inquir­ing upon. Please fill out this form if you are inter­est­ed in a ses­sion. https://gristleking.com/placement-assessment/

  7. Hi Natko, inter­est­ing re. the offline ones. I always look for place­ment loca­tions that are unequiv­o­cal­ly awe­some, but it’s rea­son­able to want to put a min­er in a place where the offline ones aren’t pro­vid­ing cov­er­age. I don’t think Heli­um will give much more clar­i­ty on posi­tion­ing and scal­ing, as those are the most eas­i­ly “gamed” aspects right now. I’d aim (over­all) for place­ments that offer clear ben­e­fit to the net­work. “If there’s any doubt, there is no doubt.” (One of my favorite movie lines.)

  8. John Frederick

    Hel­lo Nik. Great video. But some­thing that was­n’t men­tioned was ele­va­tion. Unless I missed it. Let’s say I have an anten­na at the top of a 20 sto­ry build­ing and some­one else has a hotspot trans­mit­ting from the 5th floor of the same build­ing. There’s this next to a win­dow. I’m obvi­ous­ly the one on top of the roof with a greater poten­tial of reach­ing oth­er hotspots. Now let’s assume that these same two hotspots are the only two in the hexa­gon. Are you say­ing I will share half of every­thing I get with the guy on the fifth floor?

  9. Yep, any hotspot in the same res 8 hex as you will cut your earn­ings unless the sib­ling require­ments are filled. What will *prob­a­bly* hap­pen is that if your HS is pro­vid­ing far bet­ter cov­er­age, the split will reward you more favor­ably over time. That’s just my guess (and how I’d tweak the net­work if I was king).

  10. thanks for this arti­cle, ive final­ly start­ed to under­stand how this is working..imo this expla­na­tion should be the offi­cial place­ment instruc­tions as there is so much false info on dis­cord about placement.

  11. I have an issue. I got scaled down from 1 to .83. I real­ly need help, please.. I have just 2 hotspots in hex8 with at least 2 sib­lings so the max would be 4 it does­n’t make sense. Please can some­one have a look? I’m will­ing to pay

  12. Sebas­t­ian, check your oth­er res­o­lu­tions; I bet you’re over­crowd­ed in one of ’em.

  13. Well i thought I under­stood it but i got scaled when 2 more HS’s moved into my res 8 , 1 of them in my res10 and 9. (my res 8 has 2 siblings)
    so my HS and the 1 in the same res 10 both became 0.5 but the 3rd 1 in the same res 8 but dif­fer­ent res 9 was 1.0.…. i moved my place­ment out of the res 10 and out of the same res 9 as the oth­er 0.5 HS and now all 3 of us in the res 8 are 0.67 and not 1.0
    heres a link to the dis­cord post i made which includes an image of the HS’s
    Im won­der­ing if i need to place my HS in the res 8 above me but that would ‘place’ my HS 180m away from its true loca­tion, can i place it that far away?
    Any help would be grate­ful­ly received.

  14. Im not in res 10, I moved my place­ment out of the res 10 (as men­tioned), and my scale went up from 0.5 to 0.67.
    As far as i can tell, from read­ing your instruc­tions and hip 17 I have full­filled the cri­te­ria so cant under­stand why still scaled ?
    Im obvi­ous­ly get­ting some­thing wrong but just cant see it.
    Thanks for the offer of con­sult­ing ser­vices, and if i was start­ing from scratch and want­ed help with more than just this issue i may have been inter­est­ed, how­ev­er that pack­age is more than i am need­ing atm.
    i can only move my HS maybe 1 or 2 res 10 hex­es, as such, it will cost me $20 to try 2 new loca­tions around my true location.
    Thank you again for this arti­cle and advice.

  15. Hi Pcste, there’s a nuance to HIP17 I did­n’t under­stand until recent­ly that explains this. Basi­cal­ly, you don’t jump imme­di­ate­ly from den­si­ty tar­get (in the case of res 8 it’s 1) to den­si­ty max. It scales up accord­ing to *how many* sib­lings are filled. If you have 2 sib­lings meet­ing the den­si­ty tar­get, you can have 2 in your hex. If you have 3 sib­lings meet­ing the den­si­ty tar­get, you can 3. 4 sib­lings = up to 4 in yours, and then 4 is the max. 

    So if you had 5 sib­lings meet­ing the den­si­ty tar­get at res 8, you could still only have 4 in yours.

    That pat­tern holds at every oth­er res lev­el up to res 4, where there’s a slight (and more or less incon­se­quen­tial) change.

    As far as how far away can you “mis-assert”, the offi­cial line is that your loca­tion gets locked to the mid­dle of the res 12 you assert it in. In prac­tice, gamers have got­ten away with far more, but that’s…gaming.

  16. Dick Headstrong

    Thanks for everything.
    This is an unre­lat­ed ques­tion that I was­n’t sure where to ask it. I’ve got one hotspot up and run­ning in an enclo­sure with eth­er­net and POE. I have a sec­ond min­er (Sense­Cap M1) I also want to move out­side but would be using WIFI (because my friend at this loca­tion does­n’t have wired inter­net). Do indoor units use the LoRan anten­na to access the wifi con­nec­tion as well or is it a sep­a­rate inter­nal anten­na? Or would I need to pur­chase a sep­a­rate WIFI mod­ule which had the place to add a wifi antenna? 

    There are no addi­tion­al ports on the sense­cap to plug oth­er exter­nal anten­nas into. The enclo­sure has many ports for attach­ing a vari­ety of exter­nal anten­nas. If it’s a small inter­nal anten­na, I’m sure it would be get­ting blocked to some degree by the alu­minum enclo­sure. Also, any­one know what the like­li­hood of over­heat­ing an indoor min­er like this encased in a met­al enclo­sure dur­ing the summer?

    I’m think­ing about get­ting the con­sul­ta­tion, I just wish there was anoth­er price entry point. $500 seems kind of steep for just 2 or 3 min­ers. Although to be fair, I’ve prob­a­bly leached at least $100-$200 worth of info just from your free advice, so I’m not com­plain­ing. I’m just say­ing that I’m sure oth­ers besides myself would come over to the pay­ing side if there were oth­er options. In fact, if you post­ed some of your pub­lic cryp­to or heli­um address­es, I would throw some coins in one of your wal­lets, right now.

  17. Hi Dick, the WiFi anten­na and the LoRa anten­na are sep­a­rate things; they use dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies. All Hotspots that I know about have both. The WiFi anten­nas pro­vide a less sta­ble con­nec­tion than an eth­er­net cable, to greater and less­er degrees depend­ing on brand. For the con­sult price, it is what it is. I pro­vide every­thing free here on the blog, so the con­sul­ta­tion is for those folks who val­ue their time and don’t want to go through every post and video I’ve ever made. There’s some­thing weird about pro­vid­ing an address for dona­tions that I just don’t like; feels too much like I’m putting some kind of bull­shit oblig­a­tion on peo­ple. I’d rather keep it clean. If you want a cus­tomized walk­through for your spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tion from an expert, you pay. For every­thing else, it’s free.

  18. Dick Headstrong

    This is off top­ic but very impor­tant. Some­one stole my hotspot. I think it might be relat­ed to site­bot. But the own­er­ship of my hotspot was trans­ferred with­out my per­mis­sion to this account 14B6r9xZbsVrjMgyiE8kahSWCxruAhYWLwWYMEwh3Kb636mti1V
    The only trans­ac­tion I did was with site­bot to “claim” my hotspot on their site to get full site ameni­ties. I donat­ed 0.1 HNT . Oth­er­wise I made no trans­ac­tions with my wal­let or account.

    I will pay you to help me resolve this and I think it might be a top­ic to be cov­ered in your blogs.

  19. Dick Headstrong

    Just read your response to my ear­li­er comment.
    Total­ly respect the thing about putting your address out for donations.
    I’d still like to give you some­thing for the help you’ve already giv­en, but real­ly need some help on this stolen hotspot issue.
    Name a price and I will prob­a­bly pay it. If it’s the whole $500, I have one issue.

    How do you do an opti­miza­tion in 30 days when you say that’s the min­i­mum scale for assess­ing profits??
    You would have to wait at least 60 days before even com­par­ing 2 strategies?
    Thanks Again,

  20. Hi Dick, the Opti­miza­tion is all about get­ting you set up in the right way. Once we go through how to do it, you can mon­i­tor and change things your­self con­fi­dent­ly. The 30 day sup­port win­dow is there just in case you have any ques­tions that come up post-con­sult; I can usu­al­ly save you a ton of time in find­ing an answer.

  21. Hey Nik, love the web­site, you’re awe­some. A cou­ple of my rak min­ers fin­ished sync­ing sev­er­al hours ago but still no activ­i­ty (chal­lenges, wit­ness­es, etc) and also noticed my trans­mit scale says N/A on heli­um explor­er. Should I just give it more time? Or do you sug­gest pow­er­ing off and back on? Any oth­er trou­bleshoot­ing solu­tions? Thanks!

  22. Hi Kgp, give it more time. If they just fin­ished sync­ing they’ll prob­a­bly bea­con some­time in the next 24 hours. I’d wait 2 days before doing anything.

  23. Hi Nik, I hope you are doing well. Quick ques­tion- can we select who we wit­ness to not have our rewards scaled down? We have a site that has great ele­va­tion, and the sim­u­la­tion shows 637 wit­ness­es, but near­by hotspots rat­ings are most­ly less than 1.00. I was shocked at the $HNT esti­mates and want to know if we can select who we wit­ness. Thanks in advance!

  24. Hi David, nope, you don’t get to pick who you wit­ness. You *could* try to man­age that with direc­tion­al anten­nas or shield­ing, but not worth it; I mean, why not be able to wit­ness as many bea­cons as possible?

  25. Hey Nik, we sim­u­lat­ed a site that has excel­lent ele­va­tion — 300+ feet, the only live min­er in hex (one hotspot turned off for over 6 mo.), a 3dbi anten­na, wit­ness­ing 637 hotspots at 175% per­centile. Accord­ing to HotspotRF we will only be reward­ed 9 $HNT a week. Should­n’t the site be earn­ing max­i­mum rewards because we have tak­en the time to opti­mize the instal­la­tion? I under­stand the Peo­ple’s Net­work needs the best cov­er­age for IoT senors to trans­fer their data, how­ev­er, if we are not able to earn a decent amount of $HNT, then the incen­tive of deploy­ing hot­spos goes away. There should be an option to not wit­ness hotspots that are ridicu­lous­ly scaled to near zero earn­ings because they are step­ping all over each oth­er. I’m just say­ing. Sor­ry for the rant! LOL

  26. It’s a good point, though you have to imag­ine all those hotspots you’re earn­ing off of are earn­ing even less. :). Also, sim­u­la­tions are just sim­u­la­tions, they’re not real. HotspotRF has said they’re only accu­rate 60% of the time, +/- 20%. That’s because it’s bloody hard to pre­dict the earn­ings on a net­work grow­ing so rapid­ly. Right now (12Sep), any­thing over 1 HNT/day is still pret­ty good.

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  29. I am wait­ing on 18 bob­cat hotspots that are spaced about 2 weeks apart my 20 week ship esti­ma­tion date will be mid oct give or take:/ But I will find the mon­ey for the help you have been a life saver with your free info and I might as well get it right the first time. Thank you Brother!

  30. Hey Nik! Great post as always. I would like to move my hotspot to a new loca­tion. Explor­er shows that hex loca­tion, and some sur­round­ing sib­ling hex’s to have a hotspot. The weird thing is that all of these hotspots (4) in total across (3) Hex­es, are not becon­ing, wit­ness­ing, or doing any­thing. Will my hotspot still be scaled even though they are inac­tive but still shown “online”?

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  33. Hi,
    I have 2 oth­ers in my hex 8, and my reward scale is now 0.26.
    Can i move my loca­tion on the app more than 110 meters but less than 150 meters in order to get into a new hex? Hotspot­ty says if i do that my rewards and the oth­er two hotspots near me will go up to 0.77. Will this work or is rough­ly 120m too far to fake my loca­tion away from me?

  34. We’ll see how sen­si­tive PoCv11 is. Tech­ni­cal­ly you should­n’t do this, but prac­ti­cal­ly, well, lots of peo­ple mis­as­sert to “clear” a hex.

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  36. Hey Nik, any guid­ance regard­ing the choice between
    A. A way over­crowd­ed urban area (Van­cou­ver) with heavy scal­ing (0.2) but many many wit­ness­es, or
    B. Zero scal­ing in a rur­al area with at most 3 wit­ness­es (one old them being a “hotspot relay”?
    Option B will be help­ing the net­work expand, but I don’t expect there to be a lot of data trans­fer in the area.

  37. Mark Liccardello

    Thx for your info & videos! I HAVE A TERRIBLE wit­ness reward units # 17. Is this because anoth­er hotspot moved into my hex? I am think­ing I can reassert the hotspot 535 meters with­out mov­ing the hotspot… not sure
    Thx for your input…

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