Haruki Toreda's HelTXT Lite Is a Compact, Standalone Node for Meshtastic Communication Networks

Designed for messaging without a smartphone or other device, the HelTXT Lite claims full compatibility with other Meshtastic nodes.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoCommunication / HW101

Haruki Toreda has designed a compact gadget that aims to provide a quick-start platform for those interested in the Meshtastic mesh network project — and which operates entirely standalone, without needing to connect to a smartphone or laptop.

"HelTXT Lite [is] an affordable entry-level device designed for those who need a reliable communication solution for off-grid scenarios," Toreda explains. "This compact unit is a standalone communication device that doesn't require a smartphone for operation. Ideal for preppers, emergency situations, outdoor adventures, or anyone looking to get started with Meshtastic with little technical knowledge, the HelTXT Lite integrates seamlessly into the Meshtastic LoRa platform, enabling you to build a reliable mesh network with multiple devices."

The compact HelTXT Lite provides a quick-start way to communicate off-grid via a Meshtastic network. (📹: Haruki Toreda)

Built atop the LoRa radio standard, Meshtastic is designed to provide off-grid communication between two or mode nodes set up in a mesh infrastructure — allowing more distant nodes to automatically route their messages through intermediaries. Typically, a Meshtastic radio is used with a smartphone or computer over Bluetooth or USB — but standalone communicators are an option for those who only want to carry a single device.

The HelTXT Lite is built around an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller with a 915MHz LoRa transceiver, connected to a compact antenna projecting from the top of the device. There's a compact 0.96" single-color OLED display to the top, above a small tactile M5Stack keyboard for message entry and control. An integrated 1.1Ah battery provides power for use on-the-go, chargeable via a USB Type-C connector.

The HelTXT Lite is now available to order on Toreda's Tindie store at $79.99, and is claimed to be fully compatible with existing Meshtastic nodes; the 3D printable parts have been published, with a full bill of materials and wiring instructions, to Printables under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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