Official decription:  An open source, off-grid, decentralized, mesh network built to run on affordable, low-power devices

Joe's brief description:  Software that runs on a small low power computer/radio that creates and RF (UNLICENSED ISM radio band, in the USA 915 MHz) pier to pier data mesh network that is capable of sending text messages up to ~200 bytes (which equates to about 200 characters).  The devices can route messages through other devices on the network.  These messages can be encrypted for secure communications.  



Excellent video that covers devices choices

Here are the devices I'm semi familiar with:  

Heltec V3 is a great starter kit that can be purchase quickly from Amazon.  These will require power from either a battery OR can be powered via USB C.  Other that, they come with everything you need to get started.  

WisBlock Meshtastic Starter Kit is the most efficient device currently available (as of 4/24).  This is best for building solar powered nodes.  (Also available for higher cost on amazon)  It is also very modular and you can add various sensors and screens to it.  Here are some VERY good notes on the various iterations of solar powered builds.  

Spec sheet for the RAK19007 WisBlock Base Board 2nd gen


Great intro videos via The Comms Channel

The Comms Channel advanced series videos


Channels:  This is VERY confusing, because channels can refer to the both the channelized RF you have the Meshtastic device set to, as well as the "chat room" you are communicating in.  For beginners, and for most people, you will want to use the default after installing.  Which is encoding of LONG_FAST, default frequency slot of 20 (which is 906.875 MHz) with a default key of:  AQ==  This will allow you to communicate with anyone nearby.  


Using a Chromium based browser (ie. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, etc) you can:

Flash your device:

Configure your device:


Official Meshtastic Discord

Star Ham Radio Discord

Join us:  

Either use this link or scan the QR code below to add the open LongFast channel, and the private encrypted SHR (Star Ham Radio) channel.  

Or manually setup your own SHR (Star Ham Radio) channel with this encryption key:  HvdFikE+qnwu2lWx2jJSwGN+ya14Q1Ngc86c8sjY9ag=