Access Helium Off-Chain PoC on AWS

With the Solana migration, the Helium ETL has became obsolete, the Proof of Coverage (PoC) data are not anymore on the chain but they can be publicly accessed from an AWS bucket. We are going to see how to access these data and what I’m developing to manage them.

Discover my github project to manage Helium Off-Chain POC data

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Deploy Dragino LPS8 (DATAONLY) on Helium


The Dragino LPS8, LoRaWAN gateway is a helium ready device you can add to Helium as a Data-Only. It means it does not participate to PoC but earn HNT for transferring traffic.

It’s not a ready-to-go data-only, so you need to register the hotspot in the helium block-chain on your own but it run the gateway-rs software internally.

This device as been designed for Helium, but not only, it can be connected to TTN or another different network, like a private network. The installation with Helium network is not really complicated but you will need to process some command on a terminal and manipulate wallet-cli.

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Installing ChirpStack LoRaWan network server for Helium

ChirpStack is an open-source LoRaWAN network server that is being use in a coming future with Helium as a replacement of the console. This blog post explains how to install it with the companion solution I’ve built to interact with Helium router.

The Helium Chirpstack environment is still in Beta. This blog post requires you to own an OUI. It is still in debug, follow it at your own risk. If you own a OUI, earlier you start testing, better it is. Software is in beta – production on different OUI.

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Helium console, is it a $6600 business ?

Some time ago, a twitter thread made the community react about the amount of $6600 of communications consumption on the Helium network. This thread was full of approximations in order to present negatively the growth of the Helium network. But it is also an opportunity to take stock of the development of the use of the network. We will see in this article who operates the Helium decentralized network, what are the current data volumes and what are the associated financial metrics.

In short, we cannot talk about Nova Labs’ revenue with respect to direct communication costs because these costs are associated with different third parties offering the packet routing service. We cannot rely on this cost to estimate an associated business volume because there are many indirect costs as I have already specified in my blog post analyzing the running costs of a Helium router/console. Finally, regarding a long period where gamers found a way to earn a few dollars on the back of Nova Labs, involving many ancillary costs, distorted the data for June. You will understand all this in the rest of the article.

Disclaimer: I’m the owner of the public helium console (oui 6) – no need to makes comment like “he have written this because he own … blablabla”

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Understand Hip-51 – Helium becoming a network of network

The HIP-51 (Helium Improvement Proposal #51) starts a new way for Helium network. When it has started about 2 years ago, Helium has been designed to propose a global LoRaWan network. But, has I explained at the beginning of this journey, it’s not just a network, its the uberization of the telecom industry. In other words, once you find a good way to transform an industry, there is no reason to just transform on of its services, better is to transform all.

Telecom are not single network, they have IoT networks with LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, LTE-M, they have some WiFi services and 4G/5G services. The HIP-51 is basically a way to go that multi-service direction to compete with telecom industry.

I’ll detail in this post the way this is working (as much as I understood it, reading the HIP-51 currently under vote), and try to explain what will be the impact on the network and tokens.

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Monitor Helium Router / Console

The Helium router (aka console) is the LoRaWan network server. In a previous post I described how to setup a Helium router / console. In this post I will give you some details of what you can see in the grafana monitoring dashboard and this will help you to understand better how the network works to process the LoRaWan packets. We are going to detail what is an offer, a packet and the different monitoring information we can get from the router.

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