Tutorial on the Helium network, the full point!
The Helium network, a network powered by YOU for YOU
The Helium network has created a new wireless economy that completely disrupts the traditional model of telecommunications and cryptocurrencies.
With a balance model based on destroyed (burnt) and created tokens, the Helium network uses two exchange units: the HNT and Data Credits (indexed to the dollar, $1 = 10,000 DC).
Mine Helium Cryptocurrency With Radio Waves
The Helium network is powered by an entirely new incentive model, made possible by its Blockchain. Hotspots communicate with each other and participate in the transfer of data as well as in the mining process.
What are the use cases of the Helium network?
Hundreds of companies and thousands of developers are already building and developing on the Helium network, a LoRaWAN type network (the largest network in the world) and it is also the one that is growing the fastest.
Thousands of existing solutions, sensors, devices and gateways can be easily configured to run the LongFi protocol - a powerful mix between LoRaWAN network and blockchain technology.
This is really the main strength of the Helium network, it is based on concrete uses in real life, which makes it unique in the world of cryptocurrencies.
A new type of cryptocurrency
The extraction of HNT is done by installing a simple box (called a hotspot) on your office window, your apartment or your house. That's all. Seriously?
Hotspots can provide miles of wireless network coverage for millions of devices around you using the Helium LongFi protocol. You are then rewarded in HNT thanks to an innovative proof-of-work model (which we call “Proof-of-Coverage”, PoC) to extend network coverage. Note that a Hotspot consumes only 15W of electricity on average.
Hotspots and rewards in HNT
As you can see, there are many Hotspots already deployed around the world. You will find the complete map here. There are currently more than 150,000 boxes awaiting manufacture / delivery!
Hotspots try to link up with their respective neighbors and transfer data in order to participate in network exchanges. As you can see, the more connections the more HNT you will earn.
You can check this by clicking on a Hotspot and thus observe the mining rewards (HNT) obtained by day, month and year. More details here.
Visit our home page to calculate the price of an extracted HNT and convert it to €.
Currently, the average price of 1 HNT is 12 €, but it varies greatly.
How to earn HNT?
Participants earn HNTs by mining and building network coverage (Proof of Coverage or POC) and using compatible Hotspots (it is not possible to build your own hotspots, DIY).
A world of Hotspots
There are therefore builders approved / tested by Helium and by the community. We will use two examples of Hotspots in our article, NEBRA and RAK which are the best known and which we recommend for your future installations.
For Nebra, you can buy the boxes directly on their Official page.
You have 2 options: indoor or outdoor. You must choose your box according to your environment and its positioning (in front of a window, an office, a garden shed, on a roof, etc.). Both mine the same, they will get the same number of HNTs. We recommend that you put the antenna outside no matter what.
- Indoor Hotspot: (Edit 05/05/21: Sold-out)
- Outdoor Hotspot: (Edit 05/05/21: Sold-out)
We find the exterior option advantageous, as it allows more flexibility. The box arrives with an external 3dBi fiberglass antenna of very good quality and IP67. It can use a standard power supply (not included) or PoE (Power Over Ethernet). Avoid putting the box in direct sunlight to avoid overheating.
Another model, at RAK Wireless:
HNT Spot also makes you benefit from a promo code 3% to buy your RAK Minner V2 hotspot with the code: HNTSPOT
You will find more information HERE.
Here you only have one indoor option. But, there is an IP67 box for outdoor installation.
You will find the antennas, cables and all the accessories necessary for your installation at RAK: HERE
You also have a third option with Bobcat :
More information via our dedicated article HERE
You will also find other sellers on the official Helium page. ALL the hotspots are equivalent (except for a few technical specifications specific to each one), they have the same HNT mining capacities. You will therefore not gain more with one or the other! They are all EQUAL.
How much will I earn from HNT?
It all depends on your location, the stability / availability of your hotspot and the number of Witnesses (connections) with your respective neighbors (minimum range 300 meters for this to be taken into account). Your gain is defined by an overall score which is itself defined by challenges.
To get an idea, the statistic is currently as follows:
As you can see, the optimal number of witnesses / connections is 6. Always try to get the prerequisites for the different challenges in order to get the best score and maximize your earnings. The highest rating is 1.0.
To obtain the best possible result, you must, of course, position your hotspot correctly and strategically. It must not be less than 300 meters from another to validate the connection!
You will find the various data of the hotspots already installed (by region, city) with the great tool provided by Helium (SiteBot). And so you will see the best students.
If there is no one in my area, how much will I earn?
This is not the most optimal prospect, as you will only earn 0.25 HNT per day. You can always try to install more than 2 Hotspots and thus expand your region / earnings.
Also keep in mind that many people are looking to set up their Hotspots due to the number of pending orders. This will greatly change the current topography. The next deliveries are scheduled for August / September, if all goes well.
How to easily set up a Hotspot?
This is one of the easiest tasks, it is done through the Helium Hotspot app that you will find on the Apple Store, or Google Play (see here).
Download the app and just follow the instructions.
Where to start mining?
What radio frequency should I use?
In France you have to choose the 868 MHz EU frequency.
If you want more detailed information, see the link following.
How can I improve the antenna of my Hotspot?
Depending on your location and height, you may need to add a more powerful antenna to your Hotspot.
Sometimes it is better to use lower density antennas, it all depends on your environment and location.
- Fiberglass LoRa antenna (3dBi) (included in the box Nebra for outdoors)
High gain (5.8dBi) fiberglass LoRa antenna
High gain (8dBi) fiberglass LoRa antenna
Magnetic base with cable for indoor access points: Link
To give you an idea of the size of the different antennas:
You will find a more complete article here: How to place my antenna?
To note : There are regulations on the power of your antennas in dBi, be sure to check the regulations. In France the regulation is on the power at the antenna output (25mw == 14dbm). You can include your cable loss in the calculation.
Nobody is supposed to ignore the law.
The best place to set up Hotspots?
As a general rule, the most important thing is to install your hotspots at the highest point with the best possible visibility (roof, balcony, mountain, etc.).
If in your area you see Hotspots located between 300m-10Km, you can easily reach them with a clear field of view.
There are various very useful tools to find the perfect petitioning and to simulate a connection with a nearby hotspot. Meet here.
How to install an outdoor Hotspot?
If we take, for example, the external box Nebra, it supports PoE (Power Over Ethernet). This is the best way to install it, as it will only use one network cable to connect it. We do not recommend the wifi connection which will be less efficient.
If you do not want to connect the antenna directly to the hotspot, you can use a LMR400 type cable at least for the antenna, but you will lose gain (dBi) and therefore efficiency.
It is always recommended to install an earth cable, we will detail this part a little later in the article.
How to convert an indoor hotspot to an outdoor hotspot?
Find an IP67 waterproof case that fits your needs and the right size.
Use the base of the box to correctly fix the Hotspot, the power supply ...
Try to organize all the cables to have better air circulation.
Use an external antenna connector and attach it to the case.
You can also buy a RAK box from Rak Wireless.
Here is a good example below:
How to increase the rewards?
Make sure that your Hotspot has a good internet connection, that it is always online, and that you are using the best antenna for your environment.
Should I use a ground wire if I have an outdoor hotspot?
This is something we recommend, if you have an Outdoor Hotspot it normally has a grounded outlet. Otherwise also the antenna can easily be connected to earth at the connector.
Or you can use a surge arrester to do this more professionally.
In some countries, the law requires the PoE adapter to be connected to earth, if this is the case, you can use a PoE injector of the following type:
If you are looking for the best grounding solution, this is it:
What cables / connectors should I use to connect the antenna to the Hotspot
For the exterior: Nebra has N type connector interface, you can connect the fiberglass antenna directly or use a cable with N type FM connectors.
Cable: If you need to extend and connect an antenna outdoors, you may need a coaxial cable. Always try to use a good quality cable, at least LMR400-600 type, the better the cable quality the less Db loss you will have. You can calculate the loss here.
Can I split the cable and use more than one antenna?
Yes, there are a lot of things you can do, but it all depends on your region and I recommend you give it a try as it can lead to a significant dBi loss which may not be worth it and destroy your performance.
It is important to use a coupler rather than a standard splitter. Please note that a cable splitter can damage your hotspot! If you ever really want to get started, here are two very comprehensive articles that can help you:
As we mentioned to you, passive splitters have a significant dBi loss, as you can see in the table below:
How to connect the outdoor hotspot using PoE Nebra ?
Outdoor hotspots Nebra Outdoor support PoE (Power Over Ethernet), so you will only need a PoE injector 802.3af certified to supply the hotspot with electricity and Internet. Our PoE injector recommendation here.
How to do the same with one cable and use the PoE for an indoor hotspot?
If you want to do the same thing and only use one cable to bring power and internet to the Hotspot, you will need at least two additional pieces of equipment: a PoE Injector and a PoE Splitter.
We have made a diagram, mentioning all the necessary material with parts lists and photos to make it easier for you.
There are two options for connecting the antenna. The former is recommended because you use less cable length and connectors. You will thus lose less dBi.
This guide can also be used with a hotspot RAK, the only difference will be on the power side, you will need a splitter with a USB-C connector.
We recommend that you use good quality equipment, as each device you add means more point of failure and therefore loss in dBi.
What happens if my Hotspot goes down?
The Hotspot has strong encryption, it has a unique encryption key and cannot be associated with any wallet other than your own.
Thus, the Hotspot cannot be reset and no one can use your Hotspot without your consent.
How to transfer the mined HNTs from your wallet in USD / EUR?
You can use multiple cryptocurrency exchange platforms, but we recommend the use of Binance (the most famous and popular platform).
How much data is used on my internet connection?
It is completely dynamic and it depends on the number of witnesses (connection to other neighboring hotspots) of your hotspot. This represents between 3 and 50 GB per month and per hotspots.
Do not hesitate to join us on DISCORD if you have any additional questions!
Find our different technical guides:
Our hardware buying guides: