Choosing the Best Setup for your Helium Hotspot
The Helium network is the fastest growing LoRaWAN wireless IoT network, "The People's Network". The most important task is performed by the hotspot owner which is to deploy a Helium hotspot to increase the coverage. As a reward for their contribution, the Helium blockchain compensates the Helium hotspot owner with Helium cryptocurrency (HNT).
Maximize your Helium Mining Earnings
There are two things Helium hotspot owners can do to maximize their earning potentials, either changing the antenna or the location of the hotspot.
- The location of the hotspot
Make sure the distance of the hotspot is a minimum of 300 to 500 meters away from other hotspots to avoid reducing your transmit/reward scale.
- The coverage offered by the hotspot
The antenna used with the hotspot and the elevation from the ground determines the coverage offered.
In this guide we will mainly focus on choosing the best antenna specifically for you to maximize rewards.
Picking the Correct Frequency
First thing anyone looking for a suitable antenna should check is the correct frequency they need for their country.
- 470 MHz - CN470 (China)
- 868 MHz - EU868, IN865, RU864 (Europe, India, Russia)
- 915 MHz - US915, AU915, KR920 (USA, Australia, Korea)
As you can see above there are 3 main frequencies based on region. Getting the correct frequency compatible with your region is vital. If you are unsure, you can go to the link below to the tool "What Helium Region" and check which frequency your country supports.
Location of the antenna plays a vital role for your earnings.
- Place it outside. Walls and windows will block radio waves and thus you will earn less.
- Get it as high as possible, above other obstacles.
- Clear view is preferred.
Which Antenna Gain (dBi) is Best Suited?
Notice the different coverage for antennas in the picture. A higher gain antenna results in a narrower trajectory but a signal that reaches further.
A higher gain (8 dBi) is recommended if you are trying to capture signals further away and you have the possibility to place the antenna high up with basic terrain environment, such as some homes and trees.
Conversely, a lower gain (2-4 dBi) antenna is best suited if you live in the city and you have a lot of other hotspots nearby, as this antenna has a 360° coverage but can not reach as far.
However, if you are trying to capture signals near and far, an antenna with a gain in the middle (5,8 dbi) offers a good tradeoff between signal gain and vertical beamwidth. A great all rounder.
A good high quality antenna will pay for itself many times over, sometimes even in the course of a single day!
What about Coax Cables?
In one end of the cable you need an N-male connector to go to our antennas. In the other end you need an RP-SMA male connector to go to the flat coax cable, which will go to the hotspot. Our cables and antennas are fully compatible with each other and Helium hotspots.
Cables come with different shielding and connecting a cable between your antenna and the miner will result in some signal loss. However, this loss can be kept at a minimum with the low loss shielding. Buying a cheap common RG-58 coax cable will cause a gain loss of approximately 3 dBi at 6 meters whereas a LMR-400 shielded cable will only result in a gain loss of 0,6 dBi at the same length.
So, if you buy a higher gain dBi antenna, but use a very low-level shielding antenna cable, you lose some, if not all the benefit, of your higher gain dBi antenna.
In conclusion, the LMR-400 cable performs 5 times better than the RG-58 in regards to gain loss! In the table you can see the signal gain loss per meter for different types of cables.
We recommend the high shielding LMR400 cable because it offers a good trade off between price and gain loss.
Connect the Antenna Easily and without Drilling Holes!
With the flat coax cable you can easily have your hotspot inside while having your antenna outside, without drilling any holes in the wall.
The antenna connects with a flat coax cable that goes through a closed window or door. This way you can protect your hotspot from outside climate or overheating in an outdoor enclosure, and you can enjoy the warmth of your home not needing to have the window open.
Lightning Arrester for Outdoor Antennas
If you are going to place your antenna outdoors it is important to use a lightning arrester to protect any devices connected to the antenna.
Note that the lightning arrester does not protect your antenna from a direct lightning strike, it only protects your devices from a static build up during a storm which can cause a lot of trouble.
The lightning arrester is a small looking screw which goes in between the antenna and the antenna cable.