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Tindie Blog | Mesh Messaging with the HelTXT Lite Leave a comment

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While we’ve seen many encrypted messaging devices before, this might be the easiest way to get an encrypted communication device and become part of the ever-growing Meshtastic network. The HelTXT Lite is a small, entry-level LoRA-equipped messaging device that supports Meshtastic out of the box!

What is Meshtastic? It’s an open-source, fully decentralized mesh network that seamlessly adds and removes nodes as they come and go. All messages that devices receive, even those not intended for it, are re-broadcast to create a repeater network, extending the range by using multiple transceivers, just like a traditional mesh network. The difference is you can only decrypt messages that are intended for you.

With a good quality antenna and some distance off the ground, it’s possible to reach many tens of kilometres, with the record for Meshtastic devices being over 250km! While this device is intended as an entry-level device, there’s no reason it can’t be modified with a better antenna to reach further. Just make sure you stay within the law; though anyone can broadcast on the frequencies used by LoRA, there are power limits — don’t be the person using a 1000W linear amplifier to try and reach Europe with a LoRA device (unless you have a license to do so, in which case, make sure to let us know about it).

Amateur radio operators can legally broadcast with higher power, as long as they stay within their own band limits and power restrictions. Meshtastic actually supports this out of the box, allowing you to append your callsign to each packet. Note however that this disables encryption, as all amateur traffic must be decodable by anyone listening. In any case, happy hacking and have fun sending encrypted messages to friends and strangers alike!

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