Skip to main content

Getting Started

Identify Hardware

The first order of business in getting started is determining what type of hardware you will be working with. Meshtastic currently supports devices with either of the two Micro-Controller Units (MCU):

ESP32

The ESP32 is older and consumes more power than the nrf52, but is equipped with both WiFi and Bluetooth. Supported ESP32 devices:

  • LILYGO® TTGO T-Beam
  • LILYGO® TTGO Lora
  • Nano G1
  • Station G1

NRF52

The NRF52 is much more power efficient than the esp32 and easier to update, but is only equipped with Bluetooth. Supported NRF52 devices:

  • RAK WisBlock
  • LILYGO® TTGO T-Echo
info

If your device is not listed above, please review our supported devices to determine which MCU your device has or contact us in Discord with any questions.

Setup Working Environment

STOP! Put the power cable down!

Never power on the radio without attaching an antenna! it could damage the radio chip.

Prior to connecting your Meshtastic device to the computer, you should perform the following basic checks.

Verify data cable

Some cables only provide charging, verify that your cable is also capable of transferring data before proceeding.

There is no definitive way to determine the difference in cables if you aren't willing to pull it apart. Trying out a few cables will be the best way to verify.

Once you've located a working data cable, install the correct serial driver and test for driver installation.

Install serial drivers

Test driver installation

You can verify that you have a proper data cable (rather than a charge-only type cable) and that the appropriate drivers for your system are installed by performing the following test:

  1. Connect your Meshtastic device to your USB port

  2. Open a Terminal and enter the following command:

    lsusb
  3. You should see something like:

    ID xxxx:xxxx Silicon Labs CP210x UART Bridge
    # or
    ID xxxx:xxxx QinHeng Electronics USB Single Serial
    # or
    FIXME (WISBLOCK OUTPUT)
info

If you do not see your device:

  1. You may be using a charging-only cable, verify your cable.
  2. You may need to install the USB serial driver).

Flash Firmware

info

If you have a RAK4631-R (the RUI3 bootloader version of the RAK4631), you must convert the bootloader for use with the Arduino before flashing Meshtastic firmware.

Connect and Configure Device

After connecting to the device for the first time, you should set the regional settings for the radio as well as other optional settings such as the name of the device.

Use Meshtastic

with Command Line Tools

with mobile apps

with a browser

over the internet with MQTT

There are many ways to interact with and use Meshtastic, please visit the Software page for more information.