The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Helium Hotspot

So you just found out about Helium and want to crush it with your hotspot deployment? First, remember WUPU. That stands for Wide-Unique-Proveable-Useful coverage. WUPU is what makes for a reliably high earning hotspot. Here are the top 5 things that go against WUPU. Let’s start with the worst thing:

1 – Overcrowding

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.

I’m seeing a lot of folks who are just putting it in their house because they don’t have any other place to put it, even if someone else is already in the same res 8 hex! This goes against the first U in WUPU, which is Unique. That is…non-optimal if you want higher rewards. If you want to crush it with your deployment, focus 95% of your efforts on the placement aspect.

2 – Focusing on the Antenna

Most new hotspot owners go through some variation of “What’s the best antenna, money is no object?” Please read the post on antennas to learn why that’s not a high-earning question. You might think you’re going for the W in WUPU, which is Wide, but many times you’ll overbuy an antenna, getting a compressed signal that triggers anti-gaming witness invalidation measures OR goes far beyond the local hotspots you should be targeting.

3 – Not doing your research

You end up wasting a ton of your own time and that of others by asking a question in the forums that you could have answered far more thoroughly and profitably had you used a Search function. Trust me, you are not the first person with your question. Type it into Google exactly as you’d ask an expert and add “Helium Hotspot” at the end, or type the key words into the Helium Discord channel and scroll through the results.

4 – Not getting your antenna outside and up at elevation

This is a classic mistake. Look, Helium is a HUGE opportunity, but that opportunity will only exist as a tremendous one for hotspot owners who provide WUPU. If you put your antenna in a window down low, you are providing a very small area of useful coverage, it will be more difficult to verify it because your signal will be weak, and if there are any other hotspots around you you’ll probably be duplicating their efforts.

Related but usually not common with people who want to crush is the lone wolf deployment, where someone puts in a hotspot that through topography or distance can’t connect with any other hotspot. Even if they’re providing Wide, Unique, and Useful coverage, it’s not Proveable, so it doesn’t really count. Hey, I don’t make the rules (even though I think the Proveable rule is an excellent one.)

5 – Not connecting via a solid (usually ethernet cable) connection.

This is a smaller mistake but a source of frustration. The hotspots so far released don’t have super strong WiFi reception, so they end up going offline, or missing a signal, or just disconnecting. Save yourself a TON of trouble and just hardline the thing in. If your connection is unreliable, you’re not really providing Useful coverage.

All of these mistakes are as common as they are avoidable. If you just remember WUPU and apply it to every step of your deployment you can avoid them.

With about 10 hours of serious reading or study you’ll be in the top 1% of knowledgeable hotspot owners in the entire ecosystem, and you won’t make these. With that much study, not only can you avoid those mistakes, you’ll easily sidestep all the other low-earning pitfalls that many hotspot owners stumble into.

Have a look through this blog, reading it will be a useful addition to your 10 hours. I’ve written about how to optimize your hotspot placement, which antenna is best, how much you can expect to earn, and more.

100 thoughts on “The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Helium Hotspot”

  1. Nik… 100% right my friend. I really need to drink one cup of patience, daily!! My RAK7248 miner started doing its thing a few hours after I posted earlier. Fingers crossed re: your RAK V2… Thanks!! D

  2. Someone came into my hex . I have a great setup 5.8 rak antenna on my roof. My scale is 1.0 . Seems like he is relayed and just starting up. Will this effect my earnings if so is there anything I can do?

  3. My hotspot wobbly glass perch is in a hex with someone who has 2 miners in my same hex which one is offline. How can I get a better res with this guy’s miner in my hex and offline? Thanks!

  4. I waited from March to end of September for Calchip to ship my miner and in that time someone bought a bobcat (got it in 3 months) and what can U do? I can’t tell my neighbors not to do something in their property because I bought mine first. What about people that live in highrise buildings?

  5. Hi Erika, about the only thing you can do is outperform them; get your antenna better positioned for more line of sight to more other hotspots. Either that or find a new location. The Network benefits less and less from each additional miner that goes in to a location where there are already miners. Earning top rewards is all about providing WUPU coverage, no consideration is given for who was there first.

  6. Charles Carrington

    I really appreciate the time you put into this info. As I just started my research and just received and started the sync process. My question lies around the cons of rebooting of the miner. I just opened the port on my router, do I benefit by rebooting? Also do you suggest powering down when disconnecting antenna coax, for lengthening purpose?

  7. Good question Charles, I’d keep an eye on the status of the Hotspot using BFGNeil’s tool. It may take a day or so to show up. Technically you should always turn off any radio device when switching antennas. Practically, it doesn’t seem to matter that much. I always turn ’em off, that’s just me.

  8. hi, one place I have a hotspot has his house wired with rj45 I think. basically, he brought internet upstairs in his rooms. We try to connect there but the hotspot goes offline, do we really have no choice to link the router with an ethernet cable directly or wifi or is there a way it works with his internet wall connection upstairs

  9. I always recommend connecting directly via ethernet cable, even if that means you have to run new cable.

  10. @ J If his wifi is getting approximately 100Mbps download speed consistently, it should work. Another option is powerline adapters to provide an ether connection using his powerline in the house to go from one area to the next. I have one set up that way out in a garage. There is one adapter plugged in directly to the router and then plugged into the wall. THe other adpater is in the garage and the Cat5 Ethernet cable is plugged into the Bobcat miner. It’s working great.
    Good luck!

  11. Hi Nik, Have you ever seen a Rak Goldspot miner (from MNTD) cause a router to keep rebooting itself when connected via an Ethernet cable? I’ve been using my miner successfully with Wifi for about three weeks now, but as soon as I try hard-wiring it with a cable, my Nighthawk R6400v2 router just shuts itself down and reboots, repeatedly. I’ve tried two different Cat 6 Ethernet cables and I’ve tried two different jacks in the back of the router. All signs are pointing to the fact the my router is just junk, but I was just wondering if there is anything else you can think of that I could try first.

  12. I haven’t seen that yet. I had a Nighthawk for a while and it worked well most of the time. Might be time for a new router though. 🙂

  13. Thanks for the article! We just got our antenna up and I just was wondering if you know if there are any health concerns (increased WiFi) risks with having this? Thank you!

  14. Does have higher speed on your internet make a difference in witnessing beacons? I know the first 18 are recognized and I’m wondering if higher speeds will help.


  15. Nik, I have a Sensecap M1 and is 100% synced but, “helium offline” is evident. I have the 44158 port opened at the internet incoming into the house . Does the wireless router need to be checked as well for proper open ports and in this case 44158?

  16. I have a BobCat miner that is connected by Ethernet to my Comcast internet with 100+Mbps, but it is still showing that it is relayed. I had Comcast enable the 44158 ports in both directions but that did not help the situation.
    What else can I try?

  17. How many hotspots should I put into a wallet? For example, I have 10 hotspots and I’m worried about putting them inside the same wallet. Can you tell me the relation of having them in the same wallet and how it affects earnings? Thanks for the info, keep up the great content.

  18. You can have up to 300 the last time I checked. The issues of having all of ’em in the same wallet is that it’s all public info, so easier to link your earnings together. Other than the security side of having public visibility into your fleet earnings, it doesn’t affect earnings at all to have multiple hotspots in the same wallet.

  19. Last Sync over 2 weeks ago. Explorer/Blockchain still shows as relayed but Hotspotty showing that signal isn’t relayed. Wondering what I need to do to fix on blockchain and show as synced because it says it was last synced 2 weeks ago. I have already forwarded port and checked with port checker and it shows successful port. Any help would be massively appreciated.

  20. Hey Nik,
    Thanks for quick reply…looks like all is good to go on Appreciate you sending my way. Going to take a look at the Vids as well. If Explorer says relayed and not synced but according to all seems to be good to go, do I need to do anything else or this is just a common issue with blockchain updates on Explorer site?

    Thank you.

  21. Hey Nik 🙂
    So in one of the firsts sentences you said that is waste of time to put hotspot near other if you don’t have better coverage. So I’m asking Is it a good idea to put hotspot near my neighbors hotspot ~50m away (his hotspot is placed bad inside the house ) , when i want to put my hotspot outside and upgrade the antenna

  22. Good question. If you know they have a poor placement and you’ll have an excellent placement, I’d certainly try it.

  23. I have had my miner for 5 days and I’m the only one within a mile radius (based on the hex map) my question is about the port opening port…. I have been trying to open the port on 2 different routers with no success, so I’m am still being relayed. One router is a att u-verse and the other is a net gear model MR1100. The att videos that I have watched on YouTube is not the same as the one I have so the interface is different so I can’t get it to work. For the other router there is no videos to use for reference. At this point I’m kinda aggravated. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  24. Hey Nik, I’m planning to order hellium miner, but there is no other miner in our area and there aren’t many smart devices either. Can I still mine them or will it work if I buy 3 or 4 miner and install them in a strategic place.?

  25. Hi Sen, if you’re the only one around you’ll mine very little. 3-4 is a bare minimum, I’d be looking for at least 6, although if the 4 all have clear line of sight to each other that’ll work well enough.

  26. Hello Nik – thank you for lightening up the somewhat obscure world of helium mining!

    I have two miners, one reasonably working well in my home in the city.
    The other one has been installed and added to the blockchain almost three weeks ago. It’s located in the holiday house in the mountains wir no other miners within a radius of about 15 miles. This miner keeps toggling between “synching” and “needs attention – offline”. The miner is connected via a LAN cable and can always been pinged from afar. My question is if this behavior is the consequence of being a lonely miner or if it’s a problem with the unit itself?

    Regards from Switzerland

  27. Hi Urs, hmm if it’s been going for 3 weeks and is still syncing, I’d check a few things.
    -Activity on the Explorer app. Is there anything there other than Constructing Challenges? Should be at least Beaconing Challenges
    -If there’s no line of sight to other Hotspots and you don’t have plans of installing an IoT sensor network, it may be best to move it (if your goal is to earn HNT)
    -Have you made sure the correct ports are open? 44158 is the usual culprit there.
    -Have you power cycled it? Usually that’s a reasonable thing to do after 48+ hours of “needs attention – offline”

  28. Hey there, Nik. I have 12 sensecap m1 miners, 3 bobcats, 1 Rak wireless, and 2 nebras. Initially, while building my house, I had 1 on the first floor of a large apt complex with 3 other miners in my hex. I had a stock setup and somehow still out performed the others that were higher and had better setups. (Only earned 5 hnt per month but I have a 1000+mbps gaming wifi router. Any idea as to why this happened? Also I have depended on trading daily for 5 years now so I’m well versed in that area. My new house could barely allow texts and phone calls to function both ways until I set up wifi but HOA had to ruin the excitement of killer earnings by making me remove the 5.8 fib antenna from the roof. I have every antenna under the sun but was thinking of just using an enclosure for a hidden spot at the highest point. I would have to sacrifice using my Ethernet cable but would it be a better choice with 2-300 mbps both ways just to get it to a clear line of site? I live in Texas so I am blessed with flat terrain and I am a few hex from the edge of the massive grouping of hotspots (all 1-2 story houses until It reaches hotspots in Dallas) same as the second one that I put up at a friends house but that one actually kept up with the one that was wired, had outdoor fiberglass 5.8, and higher positioning. The other one is connected via wifi, inside and just supported in the corner of a room upstairs just by the thickness of the high quality cable near a window. The one I had to move is lower on the backside of the roof but connected with a 14ft 25$ cable. Any suggestions for the others. The 2 make an average of 12-18 bucks a day combined. My family owns commercial buildings all over mckinney and are some of the tallest buildings within a 30 mile radias. I have more enclosures and was wondering if rooftop placement connected to wifi wirelessly to router right below or having them wired on the 5th story attached to the inside of the floor to ceiling windows with 5.8-8 Dbi antennas. Maybe even 10-12 dbi? Those hexes are empty too and some of the buildings are 400 meters+ meaning I could try different miners and antennas. Last question. Is there ahotspot or wireless Services I could use? If I have two modems in my house can I utilize that as well? Sorry for the unnecessary amount of questions that I probably could have researched a bit more. I was just looking for a experience over “In theory” answer if possible.

  29. Hi, my bobcat 300 is arriving tomorrow and looking forward to getting going. My question is around spoofing. I am in a very low density area but there are two hotspots in my hex, however the adjacent hex to me has none and is literally about 30 meters away in grassland so unlikely to have any more arrive anytime soon. My question is when setting up is it ok for me to set location in this adjacent hex with it being so near or do I risk penalties of some sort. Thx in advance

  30. Hello Dear Nik & the rest of your followers.

    I activated my bobcat miner on 23rd of March 2022. Sadly I have very poor translation scales and I have changed my antenna to 8,0 dBi, no changes at all.
    My hotspot is : Stale Wooden Porcupine, Helsinki-Finland
    I had to close my restaurant because of COVID-19 situation.

    I need a friendly advice from you to guide me please.
    I only know the basic use of computer ??
    I believe that I have a problem with DATA, because it doesn’t show it.

    I appreciate any help.
    Thank you anyways.

    Best regards from Finland!

  31. Hi Danny, for the next few weeks, until Light Hotspots are activated, you can expect wildly variant earnings for Hotspots and in general LOW earnings.

  32. Hi Nik,

    I need to place my antenna 213ft away!! I have options though as I can run power to the miner at the location, my question is, what is the maximum length of cat6e or better I can use.
    I don’t want to use PoE as I run radio equipment that suffers with that technology.

  33. I was wondering if I made a mistake and my Bobcat miner 300 is registered with the bobber app and helium hotspot app at the same time? I just got my miner know very little about. All I know the most is that it was very convenient. I might have moved to fast and thought the bobber app wasn’t going to work and put my 300 miner online so I tried going back and fourth to the two apps from my App Store. I have made a few cents, but am worried now that both the bobber app and helium hotspot app both is registered to the same miner with fixed placement when I think only one should be. This isn’t about wallet registration I’m talkin over all 10 replacement registration according to the rules if moved. Please help I’m confused ah thanks

  34. Hi Nik and warm greetings to you.

    As we are aware, helium moved to IOT and now there is this HIP 83. The idea is to reward fast miners. Have you done any tests on what kind of miners can make good rewards?

    For example I have a bobcat 300 and it use to do 350 iot but now it only does 150 iot. My Internet is 1GB download and 100mb upload. When I go to bobcat miner menu via ip and click on speed test, this is what it shows.

    “DownloadSpeed”: “92.29 Mbit/s”,
    “UploadSpeed”: “50.03 Mbit/s”,
    “Latency”: “9.749117ms”

    When I go to speed test and I test my speed, this is what it shows.

    UPLOAD Mbps

    Idle latency 11, download latency 21 upload latency 53. Each test I do it is around these numbers.

    Antenna is 6 DBI with a cavity filter. I have an amplifier from acasom which is RX12 TX 3. Can this amplifier hurt the witnessing? Without it, when I beacon I get 14 people witnessing me all the time. I have this Helium geek app and I can see the grey icon which is the unselected hotspots. This icon never goes above 20 minutes because the hotspot is seeing many beacons but I don’t get rewarded that often. Maybe every 2 hours or so, which is in the middle icon. When I am in this helium geek app and click top right icon which shows the list or what my miner so and was awared for, I can see the arrival order. I am always late in time gap against other beacons.

    Biggest question is how do we improve this? Speed of internet is there. Antenna is up at least 20 m high. LMR 400 cable in 10 m length.

    Any advice?


  35. Hi John Doe, HIP 83 is first 14 to witness if there are more than 14. If you’re the 15th fastest miner, you’ll never earn. It sounds like you’re in a crowded area that has Hotspots with faster connections around you. Best option for earning (certainly not the easiest) will be to move your Hotspot to a place where you have less competition and can provide unique coverage. Does that make sense?

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