What Does A Good Hotspot Cluster Look Like?

40–60 Hotspots.

Wait, you want more, and you want to know how I came up with that (with help)? Start by read­ing my post on PoC cycles, oth­er­wise you’ll be miss­ing some key points. Done? Great!

Let’s start with the worst case for HNT earn­ings: You’re a lone wolf Hotspot, with no Hotspots with­in tx/rx dis­tance. You can’t Wit­ness, so you miss out on 70% of avail­able earn­ings. Even with a few Hotspots around you, the odds that any of your Hotspots will Bea­con and ini­ti­ate the larg­er part of the earn­ings cycle is low. Short ver­sion: You’re not going to earn very much. 

The next worst case is the oppo­site. You’re sur­round­ed by thou­sands of oth­er Hotspots who are over­crowd­ing the hex den­si­ty rules and no one is earn­ing very much because all your earn­ings are scaled. Again, you’re not going to earn very much.

Ok, so now we’ve estab­lished the “my por­ridge is too hot” and “my por­ridge is too cold” sides. Where’s the hap­py medium?

For help with wad­ing through the data, I turned to the #gigs-and-boun­ties chan­nel on Dis­cord, though Helium.Jobs is anoth­er great option for get­ting help with any­thing Heli­um relat­ed. In this case, the folks over at Long­Fi Solu­tions respond­ed to my request and we start­ed into it.

Let’s start with my hypoth­e­sis (which was wrong, by the way). Here’s a decent way of think­ing about it, it was just miss­ing enough data points.

I thought the min­i­mum num­ber of hotspots you’d need in order to reli­ably wit­ness bea­cons and there­fore earn the major­i­ty of PoC rewards, would be around 300, just like Albu­querque. Here you can see the 24 aver­age HNT earn­ings for any giv­en res 8 hex using Heli­umVi­sion.

The aver­age month­ly HNT earn­ings of a Hotspot in Albu­querque is around 14 HNT. That may not sound much, but it’s high­er than any­thing else I could find, by a lot. I spent some time cen­ter­ing the map in Hotspot­ty on cities and see­ing how many hotspots were there as well as aver­age earnings. 

It’s a fast (well, slow because you’re ask­ing the map for a TON of info) and dirty way to get a “broad strokes” overview, although as you’ll see, it allows you to miss some impor­tant points. Here’s what I jot­ted down.

CityNum­ber of HotspotsAver­age Month­ly Earn­ing Per Hotspot
(Greater) San Diego3,8007.41
Los Ange­les13,9008.65
San Fran­cis­co6,8487.23
New York106645.8

I fig­ured that was a good start, but knew I should prob­a­bly ask around for help with data that was a lit­tle more care­ful­ly assessed and parsed. Plus, where was the gold?

Where were the best spots in the coun­try to deploy, and how many Hotspots do you REALLY need? Tel­ing me that San Fran­cis­co is not a good place to deploy a Hotspot real­ly isn’t that helpful.

So, here’s what the folks Long­Fi Solu­tions found when they dug in to my question.

What is that say­ing? What the heck is it? On the Y axis is the 30 day aver­age of HNT earn­ings per Hot­pots. On the X axis is the num­ber of Hotspots in the city. We’re zoom­ing in pro­gres­sive­ly on each graph.

Caveats: I asked for the data on the top 500 US cities. I know, I know, I’m not a sta­tis­ti­cian. There are prob­a­bly a ton of things you could get wrong by mis­in­ter­pret­ing the data, and among the things not account­ed for (off the top of my head) we’re miss­ing topog­ra­phy and sig­nal strength/data size (spread­ing fac­tor) changes around the world. Still, a few inter­est­ing points popped out.

Wait, you want to play with this data your­self? Cool, please share what you find here so we can all learn more! Down­load the data here, it’s a 32 MB file, just FYI.

Here are my takeaways:

  • You prob­a­bly need at least 40 hotspots to be earn­ing well, and by earn­ing well I mean as of Oct 12th an avg month­ly HNT earn­ing of 14 or above.
  • 40 hotspots isn’t a guar­an­tee, it’s just a rea­son­able target.
  • Once you get beyond 300 hotspots, it’s not that you can’t earn, it’s that avg earn­ings are low, which is impor­tant for fleet deployers.

Here are addi­tion­al take­aways from the Long­Fi Solu­tions crew (specif­i­cal­ly, @the-wildcard on Discord)

  • It’s inter­est­ing to see how things con­verge as you move to the right, I guess it’s to be expect­ed though
  • With the pace of new hotspots com­ing online, a lot of these num­bers include hotspots that haven’t earned yet. Will revis­it in a week or 2 to see what’s changed.
  • Most inter­est­ing to me was that the cities with the high­est aver­age earn­ings per hotspot have 40–60 deployed, a lit­tle low­er than what I’d expect­ed would be need­ed to maximize

A few addi­tion­al points are worth men­tion­ing. Remem­ber, I was look­ing for best areas, not nec­es­sar­i­ly the best loca­tions. Loca­tions are straight­for­ward: Get the thing high with clear line of sight and view to lots of Hotspots. Area is hard­er; how many Hotspots do you real­ly need? 

Now we’re all one step clos­er to find­ing out. If YOU are a data geek and would like to con­tribute, please let me know what you’re think­ing in the com­ments, I’d love to include you in the col­lec­tive wisdom! 

If you’d like me to help you with either your indi­vid­ual deploy­ment or your fleet deploy­ment, con­sid­er hir­ing me.

Until next time, rock on!

4 thoughts on “What Does A Good Hotspot Cluster Look Like?”

  1. Not so much for­got as “did­n’t include”. Work­ing with fleet deploy­ments late­ly, they need to start “big pic­ture” and once they find a like­ly place, explore further.

  2. Hi Nik,
    Can you clar­i­fy: “You prob­a­bly need at least 40 hotspots to be earn­ing well, and by earn­ing well I mean as of Oct 12th an avg month­ly HNT earn­ing of 14 or above.”

    Does that mean you need to be WITNESSING at least 40 hotspots to be earn­ing well? If so, is that mea­sured by the num­ber of “recent­ly wit­nessed” hotspots in Heli­um Vision?

    Some of my stats:
    HS 1: 15 recent­ly wit­nessed. Earn­ing .39 HNT per day
    HS 2: 25 recent­ly wit­nessed. Earn­ing .53 HNT per day
    HS 3: 28 recent­ly wit­nessed. Earn­ing .28 HNT per day
    HS 4: 15 recent­ly wit­nessed. Earn­ing .25 HNT per day

    Those are all in a metro area with around 150 oth­er hotspots. There are no oth­er hotspots in the same hex as mine at res­o­lu­tion 8. All have oth­er hotspots in some of the adjoin­ing hex­es. All are at rewards scale 1.

    HS 1 & 4 wit­ness the same num­ber of hotspots but their earn­ings are sig­nif­i­cant­ly dif­fer­ent. HS 3 wit­ness­es more that HS 2 but makes sig­nif­i­cant­ly few­er HNT. I know it’s more com­pli­cat­ed that just wit­ness­ing hotspots, but what would be caus­ing these dif­fer­ences if the num­ber of wit­nessed hotspots is 75% of the rewards and what can I do to improve rewards?

    These are all Bob­cats with the stock anten­na inside a sin­gle pane of glass. I’m plan­ning on chang­ing to out­door anten­nas 15–20 feet high­er than they all are now. I assume this should increase rewards sig­nif­i­cant­ly, or is there more I should do?


  3. Hi Brad, 40–60 is just a start­ing point. Take a look at the scat­ter plot graphs to get an idea of where the avg earn­ings in a clus­ter of 150-ish is. Get­ting your anten­na out­side and high­er almost always increas­es rewards. Rock on!

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