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.