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Tips for setting up your Miner and Antenna

Many people in the Helium space believe that just because you’ve paid for your Helium miner, you should automatically see the returns that your neighbour or friend is seeing. This is not the case and there are many factors that contribute to this. In this post, we will go over how to increase helium witnesses which will increase your earnings in a few simple steps, and why your earning may be dropping. Please note that any changes to your Helium miner will take around 3 days to sync to the network and show increased earnings.

The Antenna

The antenna has a huge roll to play in optimizing your returns. Many stock antennas and other antennas that are commercially available use non optimised VSWR designs. (Voltage Standing Wave Ratio) The new highly tuned Mcgill Microwave Antenna designs have been specifically tuned to operate with peak performance over only the frequency band of interest to UK/EU Helium Hotspot operators – the UK/EU 868 frequency band and the US/AUS 915 Frequency bands.

An example of the coverage of the 6dBi Mcgill Microwave antenna can be shown in the photo below. Located in Dubai marina, the tuned antenna can be witnessed 140 km in Abu Dhabi.

A good comparison between the superior performing Mcgill Mirowave antenna and the RAK antenna can be seen here .

Helium Hotspot coverage from Dubai Marina

Helium Hotspot coverage from Dubai Marina

The Coaxial Cable Assembly

The cable between the Miner and the Antenna experiences something called dB signal loss. The shorter the cable the less signal loss hence more power to your antenna. The cable itself needs to be of high quality. For example a 10m cable typically supplied and used with miners suffer RF Signal Loss of 5.2 dB (that’s only 56.4% efficiency)

A Times Microwave LMR-400 cable for a 10m length loses 1.4dB (Much higher coverage, therefore giving 74.8% efficiency!)

It is recommended to use the shortest LMR400 cable to connect your antenna to the hotspot. 5m or less is best for optimum results. But 10m will work if you use the LMR600 cable.

Internet Connection

When connecting your Helium Hotspot Miner. Try where possible to connect to the ethernet cable as opposed to Wifi. Reason for this is your Helium Mining box performs many updates throughout the course of its lifetime. Doing this through Wifi can take longer than through Ethernet cable, meaning your Miner isn’t working with 100% efficiency when this is taking place.

Antenna Positioning

It is essential that the antenna is positioned outside and as high as possible. (NOTE – The height of the Antenna will have an effect on the type of Antenna to use) Please feel free to contact us for further advice on this) The UV that glass in houses/apartments has, reflects a lot of the signal back into the adobe which effects the amount of beacons/witnesses that the Antenna picks up on. Below is an example of an install on a balcony, located as far away from obstructions as feasibly achievable. There is also a caption of the attenuation loss through certain materials.

Antenna install on a balcony

Relayed Status on your Miner

A relayed Hotspot is not directly connected to the internet, but through another Hotspot on the network. If you do not have the correct port open on your internet router, it will take even longer to sync the blockchain and your hotspot will have a yellow “Relayed” status. This is slowing down your sync and will harm your rewards even when it finishes, since your responses to challenges will be “relayed” and will often time out before they are relayed through other hotspots.

44158/TCP is the port that is required to be opened to enable the Miner to communicate with other Miners over this port.

Every router is different so the best way to obtain information on how to open the port on your selected router is to search for youtube videos and to contact your internet supplier.

Correct settings in the helium application

Make sure to input your antenna height and TX / RX gain in dBi. Measure the antenna height from ground level and input this value. Your antenna dBi rating needs to be selected and input into the Helium application. The reason for this is to stop invalid transactions.

Helium has implemented a Proof-of-Coverage system, PoCv11. Proof-of-Coverage is the system used by Helium blockchain participants to verify that Hotspots are where they claim. The new POCv11 also

  • adds regional support for PoC

  • removes SNR from the validity checks

  • adds a regional frequency check

  • complies with local power output regulations

It greatly reduces location spoofing and stops those that are trying to game the system to get maximum helium rewards. This video will explain POCv11 in more detail..

In the example below, select the dBi of the antenna and the height in meters from the ground level of your house.

Antenna setup for your Helium Hex Hotspot


The worst thing to happen is if your helium miner goes offline. Your earnings will go to zero so you will have to troubleshoot your miner fast to get it back online.

If you follow the above tips you will have increased Helium witnesses and earnings on your hotspot. Remember that any changes or updates to your system will take around 3 days for the Helium network to register and start sending extra witnesses to your hotspot.

This delay is just the way it is so you must be patient. Let it sync and come back in three days to see how much HNT you have earned.

I can guarantee that if you upgrade the stock antenna to an external helium antenna you will receive increased earnings if there are other hotspots in range. Do it now and reap the rewards.

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