In this article we will discuss how far can Helium (HNT) Miner reach. As we always do, we will discuss first about a few things located in correlation to the Helium and then settle on our verdict.
What consensus mechanism does the HNT Miner use? and why is this important for how the miner coverage works.
From a general perspective the Helium Miner uses “Proof of Work'' (PoW). PoW uses a competitive validation method to affirm the transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. From a much closer perspective, Helium calls their model “Proof of Coverage '' (PoC), a novel use, which is part of the “Proof of Work” algorithm.
PoC uses diverse key resources of radio frequencies (RF) that are traveling to the speed of light. However, its range is physically restricted to a certain traveling distance. Through the radio waves the algorithm validates Hotspots, and this Hotspots legitimate wireless coverage.
Does the dbi matter?
Short answer is yes.
The dbi does matter, the antenna system is very important when it comes to getting the best range you can get for your Helium Miner. DBI is an expression used to characterize, describe the gain of an antenna system to an isotropic radiator at RF.
Rokland, which is a ALFA network authorized distributor recommends 5.8 or 8 dbi for most environments since it provides a good tradeoff between signal gain and beamwidth. As they stated, when a signal gain increases for an antenna, its vertical path becomes more narrow, this being the good angle when the antenna can receive and transmit. A very high gain setup will have a very low vertical path, in other words a very low beamwidth. They also advise the customers to not get a directional type antenna for Helium Miners, for most cases. Helium Hotspots are meant to expand and reach the network, they should be able to send and receive in all directions, which this focused directional path fails to do so by eliminating interference coming from other directions.
Therefore, for Helium Miner omni directional types of antenna are much more suitable.
So, how far can Helium (HNT) Miner reach?
Now that we have a good and useful insight into what Helium Miners uses and needs, we can easily analyze and answer the main question.
With an omni directional antenna of 8 dbi the maximum distance is 1,500 feet, and for an omni directional antenna of 5.8 dbi the distance is around 1,600 feet.
Also, since the signal can bounce off obstacles, professionals only recommend very high gain antennas for open environments, such as 10 dbi, and for city environments, indoor and outdoor they recommend 4 dbi gain antennas.