Antenna Selection Guide for Your Helium Hotspot

SEKOSD Wireless Antenna

Antenna selection guide will hopefully help those, who are wondering about the best antenna that reaches out to many hotspots, which antenna will get you more activities, witnesses and increase your earnings? In this Antenna selection guide, we will try to walk you through choosing an antenna for your miner.

The helium network is the best decentralized LoRa network in the world at the time being. Hotspot owners perform the most vital task by deploying the Helium Hotspots to increase the coverage. For this important work, Hotspot owners rewarded with Helium cryptocurrency(HNT) by the Helium blockchain. In search of HNT, there are many things Hotspot owners can do to maximize their earning potential.

How to increase your hotspot rewards

  • The placement of the hotspot

HOTSPOT DENSITY: Optimum density is determined using Helium.Vision. Hotspots won’t earn from other hotspots less than 300 meters away. At the high end, hotspots can “witness” other hotspots 50 km away. The map uses (mostly) hexagons to form grids of different sizes. Each size is called a “resolution” or “res” for short. Each hex size has an appropriate density for its resolution.

  • The coverage provided by the hotspot

The antenna used with the Hotspot and the elevation from the ground determine the coverage offered by the Hotspot, make sure your antenna has a view. A “view” has three important aspects.

  1. Outside, walls and even windows will block radio waves.
  2. High above other obstacles.
  3. Clear view to as much as possible.

The view of your antenna is far more important than upgrading your antenna. A higher elevation “stock” antenna (the one that comes with your hotspot) will outperform a super fancy antenna that’s low down EVERY TIME. You can see the line of sight of your antenna to specific spots using RF Line of Sight or Helium.Vision.

Get as high as reasonably possible. How high? as Nik Hawks quoted from the American Radio Relay League’s document on antenna placement: “To a distant receiving station, a transmitting antenna at 120 feet will provide the effect of approximately 8 to 10 times more transmitting power than the same antenna at 35 feet.”

You may be thinking, “I’ll never get my antenna 120′ high.” That’s OK, do the best you can, but know that until you get it high, you’ll be missing out on earnings.A good rule of thumb to start approaching 90% of optimum earnings is at least 20′ above your roof and surrounding roofs.

Antenna Selection guide

Antenna Frequency

Let’s keep it simple as much as we can. First thing anyone looking for a suitable antenna should check is the correct frequency they need.

  • 470 Mhz – CN470
  • 868 Mhz – EU868, IN865, RU864
  • 915 Mhz – US915, AU915, AS923, KR920

Antenna Strength

  • Theoretically

Antenna strength simply is the power of the signal the antenna sends out. Remember, the way antenna increases the power of the signal is by concentrating the power coming to the antenna into narrower trajectories. The picture below shows in a simple way some of the most common sketch of the Antenna RF coverage.

Antenna article figures 12
Thanuka, 2021. Iot Off-Grid
  • Pattern Test Actual results

The signal the antenna sends out in the Lab is shown below for 3dBi, 5.8dBi and 6.5dBi. However, we could see clearly in YZ axis how the antenna is concentrating the power into narrower trajectories in higher dbi.

5 8dBi

Antenna placement

As shown below , the location of the Hotspot in accordance to the other buildings makes the use of an 8dBi antenna not suitable, since the RF coverage goes over the other buildings. Meanwhile, the use of 3dBi antenna might provides a better coverage. So the take away is, more powerful doesn’t always mean the best in RF world; It’s all about how to provide the best coverage in the terrain you are in.

Antenna article figures 2 f43cdcf5 8f5c 4a17 a7ae
Thanuka, 2021. Iot Off-Grid

Nevertheless, In an area as shown below and considering the distance between each hotspot is 300m, a 2dBi antenna with a spherical coverage would be not suitable, knowing that the other miners are few and quite apart. A 5.8dBi or 6.5dBi antenna with a narrow and far coverage might be much suitable. Also, the propagation of the RF signal in mountains areas can take more than just line-of-sight signals; so you need to set up the antenna as high as possible to maximize the use of it.

Antenna article figures 4
Thanuka, 2021. Iot Off-Grid This Video Shows You How to improve Suboptimal Transmit Scale of existing Helium miners (with & without actually moving) This Video Shows You How to use RF Line of Sight In Your Location to Figure out Which Antenna Suits the best. This Video Shows You How to Choose The Perfect Antenna for Your Helium Hotspot.


Helium coverage map – This shows you where hotspots are currently.
Helium Vision – Paid service w/free trial for assessing locations. Definitely try this out!
RF Line of Sight – Helps figuring out if you have a clear line of sight to other hotspots.