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Helium Crypto Mining – Increase coverage using the Poynting Omni Antenna

Oct 28, 2021 | Articles, Case Studies, Newsletter Articles, October 2021, Press Releases, Product News

Inteto Connect are distributors of Poynting Antennas’ products in South Africa and African markets. In the article below they explain how they are using Poynting’s OMNI-292 Antennas to increase coverage for their Helium Crypto Mining Customers:

Helium Crypto Mining and the native token of the Helium blockchain ($HNT) has been in existence since 2019 and is known as the people’s network. Helium is a blockchain network designed to provide wireless coverage to the masses. This cryptocurrency has slowly started to get some foothold in South Africa.

The Helium Blockchain is based on a new, novel work algorithm called Proof of Coverage, and rewards miners in $HNT, the native token of the Helium blockchain. The following is an extract from an article written by Will Norris on GitConnected.

How Does Helium Work?

Helium uses a new work algorithm called Proof of Coverage (PoC), and rewards miners in $HNT — Helium coin like ETH is to Ethereum — for using radio waves to validate those hotspots are providing wireless coverage to devices. Much like Ethereum uses graphics cards to crunch cryptographic hash codes that provide the proof of work needed to validate transactions, Helium miners verify that wireless hotspots aren’t lying about their service by using radio waves to “interrogate” hotspots about their activity

Radio-Frequency and Proof of Coverage

Proof of Coverage only works because of several key properties of radio-frequency (RF) that allow miners to produce proofs that meaningfully prove the legitimacy of hotspot activity:

  1. RF travels at the speed of light, which means it has effectively zero latency.
  2. RF can only travel a limited physical distance.
  3. The strength of an RF signal can be used to determine how far away it originated.

These three characteristics are fundamental to Proof of Coverage functioning since they allow the blockchain to constantly check if hotspots are working properly via a “Challenge”.

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Blockchain-3

Proof of Coverage Challenges

A challenge is the actual unit of work that must be completed to satisfy the PoC protocol. Challenges involve three roles: challenger, transmitter, and witness. Each role serves a specific function to verify the data transmitted by a hotspot.

Challenger

  • The challenger is the hotspot that created the challenge. This happens every ~200 blocks.

Transmitter

  • The transmitter is the hotspot being challenged. It is responsible for sending (“beaconing”) the packets of data that pertain to the challenge.

Witness

  • Witnesses are hotspots close to the transmitter that can verify the transmitter is sending the challenge packets as it should be.

At any time one of your hotspots could be performing any one of these roles, and each one is rewarded HNT by the network. So, setting up a Helium miner in a window of an area that has existing Helium network activity will start to earn more HNT than an area that has no coverage. I will link more in-depth documentation on the inner workings of the Helium network in the Resources section; for now, let’s dive into determining your potential mining profits.”

Why an outdoor antenna?

In South Africa (like in most countries) the wireless network operates on the 868 MHz band, and you connect to this network with a router (called a miner in this case). The miners that are used in South Africa are the:

  • Bobcat Miner 300
  • Sensecap SENSECAP M1 LORAWAN INDOOR GATEWAY

By deploying this simple device in your home or office, you provide your area with low-power network coverage for any IoT device and earn $HNT.

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The miners come with an indoor antenna that allows them to link to other miners within a radius of a couple of kilometers. Sites advise miners that “If you get an indoor miner, they are generally meant to go next to the highest window available in your home. You also should remove any metal mesh on the window you are using as it will disrupt the signal.” This can be further improved by replacing these antennas with a high gain omni-directional antenna, like the Poynting OMNI-292 antenna.

“Miners often get no coverage outside their house with the standard antennas on the router. By adding an OMNI-292 external antenna miners have got a footprint radius of up to 24 kms. This enables them to have a substantial proof of coverage area.” – Adrian XX of National Observation Systems cc

As the Miners mentioned above come are supplied with a RP SMA Female connector we supply the OMNI-292 with a 5 or 10 m extension cable with N(m) to RPSMA connector. These are made with LMR195, but if you want a longer cable – we can supply LMR400 in a longer length. Conventional wisdom recommends LMR 400 in 5m lengths, but this is unnecessary and makes for a difficult installation, we recommend the use of LMR 195 over 5m distances and will happily explain the calculations behind the rationale to any interested party.

Please remember that we are not crypto mining experts but RF and antenna experts and shall gladly assist with an antenna solution.

If you want to extend your Helium Network to increase your reach and coverage, contact [email protected] or call 012 657 0050. For more info on the miners talk to Adrian at +086 123 6333 or [email protected] who can also help you with installation of the solution.

About Inteto Connect:

Inteto Connect (Pty) Ltd., owned by Poynting Group opened its doors in 2007, and since then, we have been doing what we love – “making wireless happen”. We are proud distributors of Poynting Antennas’ products in South Africa and African markets. We also provide a second line of high quality, cost-effective antenna products.

We work with a wide range of clients across all industry verticals. We are proud to have relationships with all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in South Africa and have provided our turnkey antenna installation solutions to most of the South African MNOs. We have a network of more than 300 resellers, system integrators and installers across the country. Our footprint in Africa includes resellers in Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Tanzania and we have Egyptian and Sierra Leone partners coming onboard soon. By integrating our antennas with their systems, a complete, high quality, signal boosting solution is supplied to customers. The end-user can get support or purchase our antennas at our outlets in Gauteng and the Western Cape or can purchase antennas online via Takealot.com

For more information, visit www.intetoconnect.co.za