Mesh in the sky

I decided to send a mesh node up on one of my quadcopters. This one isn’t all that powerful, but it has GPS guidance so it can stay in one spot while I experiment. I powered the GL.iNet USB150 Microuter with a 3.7v Li-poly pack from one of my smaller quadcopters and zip-tied it to the bottom.

I set up my laptop and Rocket M2 next to the BattleVan™ and made sure everything was connected.

I got the quadcopter up to 110m (360′) above ground level. The Microuter saw no other mesh nodes aside from my Rocket M2 — Not even the AR150 indoors.

The below graph starts at 110m, the signal spike was about 20m up in the air on the way down, not when it landed. After a while, I took off again and got to about 60m up before the low battery return-to-home kicked in. The graph ends with my drone on the ground about 3m from the rocket.

The antenna on-board the Microuter is tiny, and it’s not a very powerful radio to begin with. I may try flying the AR150 up in a similar fashion. It’ll likely involve stripping it out of the plastic case, but there would be a better antenna. I’m not really expecting to find another mesh node, even 400 feet up in the air, since the nearest nodes I know of are 8-10 miles northeast of me and I’m not using a directional antenna between sites.

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