Meshtastic LoRa Safety network

Hi Guys, anyone in the know: This is becoming a real thing, and the opportunity for this LoRa technology to be implemented in places where multiple rescues are conducted cant be overstated as a great thing

A bit of googling/youtubing for Haltec LoRa Meshtastic and youll get the idea

Basically these are low cost electronic small radio units for short messages in off grid situations. the messaging is free and requires no mobile phone reception of satellites of subscriptions
The idea is that you type a message with your phone - bluetooth it to the LoRa device which then sends out a signal to other devices to get your signal to one individual or to a network of whoever is listening: they also transmit your location.

The units can be brought quite cheaply, through AliExpress. and even built.
Having a few scattered around in the hills solar powered would create a network of these that communicate with each other and relay your message onwards.

In the case of Table mountain it would be very easy to implement and to rent out the devices to hikers with WCSR contact number on the back.

These could cut down the time to report incidents and locate lost individuals significantly, so many other areas where they’d be useful. and best of all they’re an open network, so the more out there relaying the messages the more people will be connected to where they want to be connected to. And its all subscription free.

As a neighbourhood watch security opportunity its huge. and again free after purchase.

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It’s a great technology and interesting to watch how it develops, but a big issue is ICASA. 1% duty cycle in that range which limits things quite a bit.
The line of site is also very important, without it, it has almost no transmission range.

Doesnt make sense to rent this to anyone. Doesn’t work with phone numbers put the challenging cycle of teaching someone how to use it and bonding it to their phone, still with no guarantee that it will work.

Makes more sense to rent out an Garmin InReach.

So you install an app that can interperit the signal and I think the the UI could use some polishing, but its all open source (so changes are easily made).

I defenitely think that a place with high traffic levels like Table mountain could be well suited to this type of network. my concerns would be theft, I’ve seen streetlights and cameras being stolen for the solar pannels.

That being said on something like a trail-run race or mountainbiking route, i think this could be a good way to help improve communication between stations.

Story time: I was running the whale trail last year, and on my way during the seccond 15km stretch one of the entrants twisted their ankle and could not move further. I ended up grabbing their gps location and once I got to the waterstation I gave the details to the medics who then had to start moving back along the trail to find them. Having a means to send a message via the network along the trail would have made a massive difference and the kit requirements are light enough that I think on trail it could be a game changer.

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