I’m thinking of purchasing a package of 8 goTennas for my team. Haven’t seen any mention of them on the forums, but the forum search functionality isn’t great.

Just curious if others are using them. The way they work, the more users the better.

This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by John Little.

8 Replies

Sandaltan ., March 23, 2019 at 1:23 pm

goTenna. Beats my string and tin cans.



John Little, March 23, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I’m just learning about this, but there appears to have been significant advances since it was first introduced.

This is a good recent review (the YouTube video is good too) of what seems to be the latest model.

This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by John Little.


KenH, March 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Can’t recall anyone talking about them. They appear to have enough range to be useful if half or more of the claimed range can be achieved in practice. If no one else is using them they will probably work well this year. I don’t know how much capacity that band has if usage increases in coming years or how much native usage there may be in Iowa towns today that will compete for the available bandwidth. Try to find reviews of them at other large events to get an idea how well they might work on the ride.


John Little, March 23, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Im a total novice on this but have been reading and watching videos all last night and today. The more people that use them in a local area, the better.

I originally heard about this a year or so ago in the context of Appalachian trail hiking, but now see that people are starting to use them at Burning Man and other big events where cell service is crippled or non existent.

Seems like a good thing if it catches on at RAGBRAI.

I’m highly intrigued.


Derek Fye, March 23, 2019 at 9:51 pm

I’ll definitely be trying them out.


KenH, March 24, 2019 at 8:08 pm

Ok, the first link given above does not describe the current mesh network product offerings. It describes an older product with far more raw range but which was prohibited from mesh network operations. You could only exchange messages with units that were within range. You could not use a node that was in range to forward a message to a node that was beyond your range but within its range.

The current products do function in the store and forward mode so they could have almost unlimited effective range if you have a string of nodes spaced at less than four mile intervals between you and your target node. If enough people at RAGBRAI have them then it would be feasible to pass messages along the entire length of a day’s ride from the “lantern rouge” to the day’s stage winner! To that extent they will work better the more users there are. However the system still has to have a bandwidth limitation of some kind so the potential for poor performance still has to exist during peak usage hours. Only those who have used them at large events like RAGBRAI can tell you if this is a problem in theory only or if you will see these issues in the real world. It is a fascinating technology, I hope that those who decide to be early adopters will report on how well they deal with the slings and arrows of the outrageous RAGBRAI crowd. I think I will discuss the possibility of using these with my teammates. I do not believe we have had a lot of trouble getting text messages through on the cell network but perhaps they feel differently and would be willing to invest $83 each to cover our team of four.


John Little, July 18, 2019 at 11:41 pm

The link I originally posted above is not the best explanation of how these work. There are lots of YouTube videos that do a better job.

But… Anyway…. Our team has 10, and I’ve heard from others on the goTenna forums that will be on RAGBRAI with theirs.

So I’m bumping this to see if anyone else here might see this that’ll be relying on goTenna mesh to help with communications.

I’m excited to put these to the test.


Michael Strief, July 19, 2019 at 9:42 am

I had not heard of goTenna, but looks like a great idea for groups to communicate. Seems a little pricey at $180. I’ve also seen some teams/groups using 2-way radios and they seem to work very well. And you can get them for a lot less than $180.


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