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 responses to “The Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid with Your Helium Hotspot”

  1. RAK has an update issue from last push. Just reboot and I am guess­ing it fix­es it.

  2. 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

  3. Right on Deena, patience for the win!

  4. christopher Avatar

    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?

  5. Hi Christo­pher,
    Depends on what size hex (res 8, 7, etc), how many are already in it, and how many are in the hex­es around you. Take a look over here to under­stand how that works, then see if you can reach out via Hotspot­ty.

  6. 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!

  7. You’ll either have to move your min­er, their min­ers, or pro­vide much bet­ter cov­er­age. Have you used the Hotspot­ty app to see if you can con­tact them?

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. Charles Carrington Avatar
    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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

  14. Randy W. Avatar
    Randy W.

    @ 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 🙂

  17. 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!

  18. Matthew Miller Avatar
    Matthew Miller

    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.


  19. Nope, it’s a ran­dom 18, not the first. As long as you’re not on dial up, you should be fine.

  20. 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?

  21. Tee, check this post & vid I did with Neil on sort­ing out your hotspot. Rock ‘n roll!

  22. Bob Bremner Avatar
    Bob Bremner

    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?

  23. Hi Bob, fol­low the Get­ting Off Relay Work­flow over here.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. Hi Son­ny, use for trou­bleshoot­ing, and check out our Hotspot Deliv­er­ance videos.

  28. Sonny Bowser Avatar
    Sonny Bowser

    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.

  29. Trust for real­time diag­nos­ing. Explor­er can be days behind.

  30. 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

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

  32. 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.

  33. Hi Glenn, see if this work­flow helps you out.

  34. 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.?

  35. 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.

  36. Urs Wirthmueller Avatar
    Urs Wirthmueller

    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

  37. 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”

  38. 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.

  39. Hi Josh, whew, that’s a lot of ques­tions. You can def go through the blogs and answer ’em. Con­sid­er join­ing the Gris­tle Crüe to con­nect with a savvy group, or a cus­tom con­sult if you want to save time.

  40. 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

  41. Hi Paul, typ­i­cal­ly it’s OK to assert with­in 150m for pri­va­cy reasons.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 100 meters for cat 6.

  46. What hap­pen if I fol­lowed to some­one on heli­um minor app with pur­ple flag on app sense­cap us 915

  47. 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

  48. 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?


  49. 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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