It appears that the web client is not full featured – so I am told anyway – so presumably I should not expect it to work the way I had thought. Never mind, now that the iOS app has been updated it appears to receive messages fine, at least through the second T3S3 device I have.
So, my setup so far (so far? It’s not likely to expand…) is this:
- One T3S3 (Node A) is directly connected to a collinear and is accessed via wifi. For this, the web app will send messages but not receive them.
- One T3S3 (Node B) with its supplied tiny antenna is powered by USB and accessed via Bluetooth and the iPhone. The MacOS app does not receive messages but the phone does, so all is well.
There are issues here though. Because Node B is getting all of its information from Node A it shows every node in the area as having a good signal strength which is false as only one or two do. Also, when a message is sent it is (presumably) acknowledged by Node A (I am not sure on that) which is not a good indication that the message is actually going anywhere.
For Node A with its wifi connection I have installed the Python API on my Linux box (and also on the Mac but I’d rather it be on Linux) and have a small Python script which reads all data provided by the node and writes to a file – for now. A program then parses this and produces useful output, for example when nodes advertise or messages are sent. The next step for this is to make a database so that nodes can be recorded along with their positions, signal strength and times etc.
This is all just a bit of fun really as I always liked playing with data and transforming it and such – a fair bit of my work (when I did actually work) was related to this. I’m sure that now the iOS app has been updated I can swap Node A over to use Bluetooth and access it directly but this way I get a record of everything in the area too. It does add a hop to messages going out from my Node B but I can always adjust that setting anyway.
All in all Meshtastic is a fun / serious / useful ‘thing’ quite literally able to form ad-hoc networks for very little outlay or even experience. Devices can be put in a weatherproof box with a reasonable antenna, plus a battery and maybe a GPS, and perhaps even a solar charger, and positioned in an area to form an ad-hoc network – just like it says on the tin.