What Does PoCv11 Mean For Me?

Short version: Use a low gain antenna, report your location and antenna gain accurately. If you’re in the US, this isn’t a big deal, as our radios pump out enough power to get excellent range even with a low gain antenna. If you’re in a region (UK, EU, etc) where your radio output is low, PoCv11 will probably decrease your range significantly.

Updated Deep Dive over here.

Want to read on for posterity? Cool!

PoCv11 is designed to help the Network more accurately assess location from radio frequency strength signals and to keep Hotspots in RF regulatory compliance. It cleans up a few mistakes Helium made early on in trying to assess radio signal strength in an attempt to combat gaming.

That’s it. If you are accurately reporting your antenna gain and your location, there’s no penalty and nothing else you need to do.

Normally I love to explain complicated things, but this one is so damn simple it’s hard to do better than Amir Haleem, CEO at Helium:

i’ll try and summarize what PoC V11 does:

adds regional support for PoC – today the network treats all PoC activity as if it’s operating in the US. this is a problem as different regions run on different radio frequencies and at different power levels (by law), so what is considered valid or invalid varies substantially. V11 adds regional awareness based on the asserted location of the Hotspot

removes SNR from the validity checks – today both the signal-to-noise ratio and free space path loss calculation (FSPL) is used to determine whether PoC packets are valid or not. this was an attempt to make it more difficult for gamers to lie about their location. it hasn’t worked well and is being removed. SNR proved to be fairly useless as a mechanism, so now only an FSPL calculation is used to determine whether Hotspots are where they say they are in relation to each other

adds a regional frequency check – V11 introduces a check to make sure that PoC packets are being sent at the correct frequency for the region the Hotspots are located in. for example if a Hotspot is transmitting packets in the US frequency bands but based in South Korea, those packets would now be invalid

complies with local power output regulations – different regions have different maximum power output laws for unlicensed radios. in the US, for example, the max EIRP is 36dBm. in the EU this is 16.5dBm. currently in PoC v10 the power output is hardcoded to 27dBm for the US and rest of the world, and 14dBm for the EU. V11 will reduce the power output if the combination of the maximum output power + antenna gain exceeds the local laws – for example, a Hotspot operating in the US with a 5.8dBi antenna would have a total EIRP of the Hotspot power output (27dBm) + the 5.8dBi antenna = 32.8dBm total EIRP, which is below the 36dBm allowed. nothing would change in this case. if instead the antenna was changed to a 10dBi antenna bringing the total EIRP to 27dBm + 10dBi = 37dBm, the miner software will reduce the power output of the Hotspot by 1dBm so that the total is less than equal to the 36dBm allowed by law. in the EU a 5.8dBi antenna would cause the Hotspot power output to be reduced to 10.7dBm so that the total EIRP is 16.5dBm

PoC V11 does not have anything to do with the 10 witness maximum, or the witness randomization changes that were added recently. we’re hoping to activate PoC V11 in early October. it is currently not active.

But, but, but, it COSTS MONEY to state my antenna gain! Relax, dawg. It costs 55,000 DC. That sounds like a lot. It’s not.

1 DC = $. 00001. So, 55,000 x .00001 = $.55. You can afford that.

I know you want to get all worked up about PoCv11 and how it will change things. Relax, it’s not a big deal as long as you’re playing by the rules. It’s part of Helium’s efforts to improve the network. Color within the lines (report your location, antenna gain, and elevation accurately) and PoCv11 will only make things better.

63 thoughts on “What Does PoCv11 Mean For Me?”

  1. Without sounding critical, it’s important that people understand that the above relates a lot more to the US, in the UK where a good set up, LMR400 cable, roof mounted several metres above your house with good line of sight will still see a RAK 5.8 reach 4-5 hexes if you’re lucky due to the already reduced power (I have 24 hotspots in a variety of environments running and have tried multiple antenna in multiple locations for weeks at a time so have a little experience) spending money on a decent 8 DBI makes a huge difference in HNT earnings here, and there’s a strong feeling that those in the EU are getting hit hard for spending hundreds on a good set up, whilst most US users aren’t bothered so the “don’t worry” comments are from those likely to be based in the US and therefore unaffected – an “I’m alright Jack” attitude and I’d suggest an emphasis in the your writing that it’s a US focus only.

    There’s also a lot of confusion on Discord as to whether the reduction in power is only temporarily applied at the point of broadcasting a beacon and the full strength of the antenna is still available the rest of the time, or if its applied for both broadcast and receive.

  2. Jonathan Pampers

    Correct me if I am wrong, but surely those in the EU (or other countries with a lower EIRP level) can’t really grumble about Helium lowering power outputs so that they are within legal levels? If the long-term growth of the network is what people want, surely hundreds/thousands of hotspots operating over legal levels in a country is a good way to go about getting it banned?

  3. Hi Jonathan

    While I agree its got to be legal, the main issue is commercial viability- if no matter what you did your hotspot could only reach 2 RES 8 hexes, and required a good roof mount to get even that, would the current reward structure justify its long term viability and would that provide effective coverage to build the network that is envisioned? If you’re looking at a European population nearly 2.5X that of the USA, then it’s vital for global growth that it works effectively here, and if it is reduced, then compensation has to be increased per hotspot for people to continue to invest in the boxes and grow the network – if after POC11 a US box with a 5.8 can reach 6 miles and a European box with the same antenna can reach only 2 after it’s power is reduced (which is what you currently might see with a standard 1.2 DBI here if very lucky) then assuming circular coverage you’re looking at a massive difference in coverage per hotspot – 13 square miles vs 113 square miles and a massive difference in rewards earned. For HNT to work and increase in value over time you need to see continued increased global coverage, people just won’t continue to invest in boxes in Europe if it isn’t financially beneficial to the buyer here, destroying the HNT value for US owners.

  4. Jonathan Pampers

    I agree with you there David. From the southeast asian perspective, we have similar EIRP limits to the EU, and whilst the economic disparity between SEA and the USA might still be enough incentive in the short term, there does need to be an effective long-term incentive for people to establish good coverage.

  5. @David, thx so much for your thoughts! You’re completely right. Got my bobcats on September 7th (2 months late) to Croatia (EU) and been struggling ever since to catch up. 8 bobcats, extra taxes, LMR-400, outdoor rooftop setups, poe, splitters, solar panel, LifeP04 batteries etc. for one off-grid, >300 hours of work & troubleshooting. Not too cheap, especially cuz 75% of the stuff I needed to order from outside of Croatia…

    If I count in the hours spent, well, the ROI is… lets just say underwhelming. Averaging 0.3 HNT per miner with shifting to WUPU mindset isn’t what I expected but still pushing through and struggling. At least for now (honestly).

    Or maybe I’m doing something wrong but still haven’t figured out what… For example, Slow Hotpink Camel has >90 witnesses. Discovery >110. Not relayed, port open, ping-ok. rooftop, RAK antenna, 2 feet LMR400 cable… Yet, in the last days it’s made 1.426 HNT TOTAL. Thats 0.2 average a day. I mean seriously wtf, some on first floors or indoors make that much. I just don’t think its fair because in comparison to others with (worse or same no. of witnesses etc.) its way less. If only someone can point me in the right direction. @gristleking? 🙂

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of your days people and good luck to us on this endeavour.

  6. Does your general rule of thumb to place your miner location within 150m of its actual location still apply?

  7. Yep. The closer the better, but 150m will probably continue to be fine. I mean, we won’t know until after PoCv11 actually hits, but I’m guessing it’ll be fine.

  8. Hi Nik! Thanks for all the great content regarding Helium mining! A question from a European reader concerning PoC v11: is 3 dbi & more power from the hotspot equal to, say, 5.8 dbi & reduced power from the hotspot in the EU, or is there going to be a benefit in the future to use a higher gain antenna in the EU? Is it still going to provide longer range and/or different shape of the radio “donut”?

  9. Vapaaherra, as I understand it, all hotspots in a region will be transmitting at equal power once PoCv11 goes into effect, as long as the hotspot owners accurately enter their gain into the app.

    Now, I’m sure that a bunch of people will either forget to update or will try entering various other numbers outside of what they’re doing in an attempt to connect with more local hotspots.

    I’m not sure how that will work out, other than accuracy within a dB or 2 is probably close enough. That’s just a guess though. We’re all pretty darn curious about how it’ll pan out.

    Here in the US I’m just going to use a low gain antenna (3 dBi), report it accurately and see what happens.

  10. What is the implication for the UK then? If I have understood this correctly – we are currently, even with stock antennas, broadcasting over the legal limit. With PoC v11 we will see the overall signal strength reduced to be just under the 16.5dbmi that is allowed (as I understand it the changes will hard code attenuation to deliberately NOT equal but just undershoot the legal limits)

    Will this mean we see reduced network coverage due to signal throttling? Will this result in a different outcome / rebalancing of transmit scales in hex’s due to reduced signal strength?

    From the outside it seems like a change that will barely affect the US but will have quite big implications in the UK / EU

  11. That appears to be an accurate assessment. I don’t think we’ll see a rebalancing of transmit scales, although that’s a very interesting idea to apply regionally. Write a HIP up!

  12. I dont know how it is in the Europe and other countries but US citizens have a lot of power and control on our governments rules. Perhaps there is method to voice the antenna power limit so low?

  13. Thanks King for sharing your experience. When setting antenna gain, should the dbi losses via antenna cable length and connections be factored in for accuracy?

  14. Yep. Remember, they’re trying to measure what will be received, which will include your gain & loss from antenna, cables, connectors. Prolly not a huge deal to be off by 1 dBm, so if you’re not engineer-accurate no big deal.

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  16. Hey Nik,
    As of today (11/30/2021), with SNR being removed from the calculation and leaving only RSSI, do you have the RSSI limits that would make a witness event ‘invalid’ or ‘valid’. See the following link for the previous POcv10 SNR vs RSSI limits graph. Let me know if the link doesn’t work.

  17. I have a 6dbi with 30′ feet of lmr400. I input it at 5.8 because I know there is some loss with 30′ of cable. Not sure if I did it right but I guess will see on Monday.

  18. Technically that amount of cable loss will be 1.4 plus your connectors, so you’re closer to 4.6, maybe 4.5.

  19. Hey Nik, great post.

    Will pocV11 regulate power in both transmit and receive or just transmit?

    Are the power limitations only dependant on what antenna gain you input in the app or can Helium detect your actual power? If it is merely dependant on what you input in the app, could you not in theory still use a 8 dBi and input 3 dBi in the app in an attempt to not get your power limited?

    Thanks in advance!

  20. Hi Renas, PoCv11 evaluates signals on both sides, transmit and receive. If you put in an inaccurate number, the further that number away is from reality, the more likely you’ll have an invalid witness event. Remember, power DOUBLES every 3 dB. If you use an 8 dBi and input 3, your antenna will both sending and receiving an additional 5 dB, which is almost quadruple (2 x 2) what it “should” be.

    As long as you accurately report your setup, there’s no further action required.

    As far as I know, there’s no way to detect if you’re accurately reporting or not other than the submitted reports. Helium can’t detect what your actual power is, just what’s being reported by your miner.

  21. I am in UK. Following Niks advice I got HNtenna’s for my 2 hotspots and I reach hotspots 60km away. That is a lot more than 4 hexes. I also get far better rewards than most around me and a noticeably better at receiving transmissions than many who appear to have higher gain antenna up higher than mine and reaching 80 to 100kms on transmit.
    Just get an HNtenna !!

  22. Hello, Love your content, thank you! Quick question… do we need to reset our location and pay the fee also or do we just resubmit the Antenna and dbi gain using the wallet app?

  23. Shouldn’t need to reassert your location (unless you actually move your hotspot). Just make sure your gain is reported accurately and you should be fine. 🙂

  24. What is the benefit of having a higher gain antenna in EU when the power signal is getting limited so much?

    If I compare using a 8 dbi antenna and the power gets reduced to match the power of a 3 dbi antenna, wouldn’t it always be better to use a 3 dbi antenna in all cases since the power signal would be the same anyway?

    Also, the 3 dbi antenna would cover a bigger beam path than the 8 dBi. So using a 8 dBi you would lose coverage AND signal strength with pocv11.

    Is this correct or am i misunderstanding this?

    Thanks Nik.

  25. I think you’re accurately assessing the situation. I don’t see a benefit to a higher gain antenna in the EU (or almost anywhere). There are exceptions, for sure, but in general a low gain antenna up high & outside will earn the most for any given location.

  26. Thank you so much for all the advice you put out here and on Youtube Nik, my knowledge of helium mining has accelerated so quickly since discovering your site.
    Could you help me with a specific bit of advice regarding POCv11 and the UK/EU please?
    I have an indoor nebra currently with an 8dbi nebra antenna, 6 meters of LMR-400 cable and a lightning arrestor. Now that POCv11 has kicked in does this mean my Nebra is throttling the output to a full 4.1dbi and taking into account the loss for the cable and arrestor or would the antenna now be something like 3dbi due to cable and fitting losses?
    Secondly, does this throttling effectively change the signal pattern of the 8dbi antenna to look more like a 3dbi antenna or would it stay narrow and long, just weaker? I’d like to know if its worth the effort to change to a 5.8dbi or even lower dbi antenna. I’m in a remote location you see and there aren’t many other hotspots around which is why I have been using the 8dbi.

  27. Hi Rob, the Nebra won’t throttle anything, but Helium will depending on what you enter into the app. Take the antenna gain, subtract the cable/connector loss, and enter that into the app.

    Cable loss won’t change the pattern, it’ll just weaken the signal throughout that pattern.

  28. Hi Nik. You said it’s not a big deal as long as I’m playing by the rules… but in my case it’s a huge deal. PoCv11 did the opposite for me (getting 20 invalids that I didn’t have before) and earnings down “clipped” by 60% (round vanilla dragonfly). Everything asserted correctly, 3dbi McGill antenna gain – 3m(10ft) LMR-400 Times Microwave cable (0,384 loss) – Times Microwave arrestor (0,2 loss) – 0,1 for connectors = 2,316 dbi asserted. High up overlooking the city. Was making 0.7 HNT before PoCv11, now down to 0.25. Any suggestions what to do, please…? (EU located, Bobcat 2GB, RUT240)

  29. Hi Mario, interesting that you’re doing everything “right” and your earnings went down. My *guess* is that your invalids are coming from nearby hotspots who haven’t updated their antenna gain, which will change the reported values into the involid zone. That’s just my guess. It’s an off grid?

  30. Nothing actually changed since POCV11, my hotspot is 150m away from the real location and my antenne dbi is 5 instead of 4. So POCV11 isn’t a big deal….

  31. Hi everyone 🙂 one question. Where did 16,5 dbm came from when in Europe MAX EIPR = 25mw and this is 14 dbm. In that case we cannot use any antenna or I missing someting?

  32. Hi Nik!
    I understand, that PoCv11 reduces the power of the transmitted signal. But what does mean ” PoCv11 evaluates signals on both sides, transmit and receive” for the receiving side? Is the receiving (the witnessing) miner applying its antenna gain mathematically to the physically measured RSSI?

    Best Regards!

  33. The final “number” used to assess antenna signal strength takes into account both the gain on the tx side and the sensitivity (gain) on the rx side.

  34. I bought the RAK 8dbi antenna from them direct and it comes with a 3ft cable but they don’t specify the type of cable it is. I recently just switched from a 5.8 dbi and I noticed my earnings decreased by about half, that is after a day of increasing by 15%. What should I put in for the antenna gain in my settings? Lastly, I’m in the suburbs (ASHBURN, Va, USA) and my miner is 9 meters up on the second floor window with a decent view outside. Do you think 5.8dbi would be better? Regardless both antennas came with cables that were no specified so I don’t know what to put for the gain?!? What’s a ballpark I should put because I have just been putting the antenna gain.

  35. A day isn’t long enough to make a good decision. You’re fine to just put 5.8 in the app, though if you want, you can account for cable loss. I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference.

  36. Also when I compare the same hotspot that I witness, I am trying to compare the RSSI and SNR values. Is a better signal a lower negative number for RSSI and a higher more positive number for SNR?

  37. Will do thanks! But could you address my final question?

    I have been comparing the witness transactions between the same beaconer (5.8dbi antenna vs 8dbi antenna). I noticed that while the RSSI values are LESS NEGATIVE for the 8dbi, for the most part, and the SNR is MORE NEGATIVE (these are in comparison to the 5.8dbi). Does a LESS NEGATIVE RSSI such as -101 vs -103 mean a stronger signal?

    Also, in terms of SNR, is a MORE NEGATIVE SNR better, such as -5 vs 5?

    Thank you!

  38. Pingback: Why My Helium Mining Profitability WENT DOWN?! – PennsylvaniaDigitalNews.com

  39. Hello Nik, thanks for the great posts as usual always very informative, not sure if you remember me i was getting the RAK 5.8dbi antenna on a 10ft pole, its been doing really well, just to let everyone know it witnessed a beacon 189km away which is approx 116miles i was gobsmacked, so pocv11 doesnt seem to reduce or limit the receiving side of the antenna, ive also sent a beacon myself 109km so pretty good stats, it can also witness local hotspots to me, this is on 9metres of lmr400 mcgill microwave cable, i havent added the loss yet but i will be doing, i do have a question, would i benefit from trying an 8dbi, as some hotspots im witnessing are also being witnessed in red areas which affets rewards, so was looking to go even farther away to green areas so they are less prone to send a beacon to those red ones.

  40. Right on! No need to go to an 8 dBi, you typically won’t see a huge difference in range when you go up in dBi with LoRa. Higher gain is used more to punch through known obstacles. PoCv11 won’t effect your gain at all on the receiving side (as far as I know), it’ll just take it into account. It will, however, dial you back on the tx side if you’re over the legal limit.

  41. Hi.. from the UK here and i have been putting 3.5 for my 4db antenna with 5mtr LMR400 cable… is that correct or should i just leave at 4?

    Reading up through the thread it seems to suggest that helium will throttle the power and rx dependant on what is sees set, is this the correct assumption?

  42. I know someone asked above, but surely people arent going to update their antenna (EU) UNLESS they get invalid warnings. Its not a guarantee leaving a lower dbi in the app and using a higher dbi antenna will result in this, until tried. So surely people are going to try to keep a higher transmit power

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