Mining Helium can be as easy as turning the device on and connecting it to the internet. Well, chances are you will want to do a bit more than that to make sure you get the most out of your Helium hotspot.
If you take into account a few simple tips, you can save yourself a lot of headaches, especially if you are new to Helium. Let’s check them out.
Placement is key
Yes, the actual work begins even before you have ordered your Helium hotspot. First, make sure your chosen spot is suitable. It means that it’s not too distant (for example no other hotspots within tens of kilometers). It’s possible to still mine HNT (or the new IOT token that’s coming), but it may be a lot less than you would expect.
Use the Helium Explorer to check your location. Also, if there are already multiple hotspots in the same hex, but they aren’t overly active, then they might be lowering earnings for each other as it’s an oversaturated sector. Finding the sweet spot isn’t always easy and it could take some trial and error. At the very least, the Helium Explorer is a great tool to check out the status of the network and the hotspots in your area.
Right, your Helium hotspot has arrived. Congrats. Now it’s time to set it up. At first, just follow the instructions you get with it. Always remember to connect the antenna before you plug the hotspot into the outlet. Wait for half an hour or so. During that time the hotspot will download necessary updates, although the process may vary depending on the make and model of the device.
During that time you can install the Helium app on your phone and register. When the hotspot is ready, press and hold the button on the back of the device so that the blue light starts flashing. Next tap the Register Hotspot button in the Helium app and follow the instructions. Be prepared to wait for a good 15 minutes or maybe even twice that. Sometimes the app takes its sweet time to update all of the data.
When the process is done and the hotspot shows in your Helium account, take a rest. Yes. Leave the hotspot for a day or more until the hotspot is added to the Helium Explorer and syncs. The Helium app will show you the progress if you press and hold the pairing button on the hotspot so the blue light flashes slowly. Then open the app and choose your hotspot then the gear icon > pair > connect via Bluetooth > Diagnostic. It should show you the progress of the syncing. Getting the syncing process done takes a while, so be patient. It has to be done right so that you can get the most out of your hotspot.
Also, it’s important to maintain your hotspot properly so that it works to its full potential. So, some very basic tips can be key to preserve your device. For example, don’t remove or change the antenna while the hotspot is turned on. Unplug the device before disconnecting and connecting any antenna.
Avoid often restarts or turn-off-turning-on cycles. They can also be bad for the device.
Obviously, make sure the hotspot isn’t too dusty as this will impact its cooling and performance. Place it in a room where conditions are relatively constant and it’s easy to reach for maintenance.
Invest in an antenna?
It’s tempting to also buy a powerful antenna for your new Helium hotspot in order to maximize token earnings. That is not always the case, though. You may get an expensive, powerful antenna and still be outperformed by a hotspot with a modest stock antenna.
Why? Because angle and line-of-sight is more important than sheer power. This is why figuring the best antenna placement for your location is actually more important than its power. Luckily we have you covered with that, too.
Use the app and features
Helium has a lot of useful software features. We already mentioned the Helium Explorer which is great to monitor the performance of your hotspot and the ones in your area. It’s a nice way to see if only you are experiencing problems or if it’s a more broad issue. Also, it’s nice to see how the hotspots deployment is progressing in your area so you can act accordingly.
Also, explore the Helium app to monitor your hotspot’s overall performance and to use Discovery Mode. This one is great to make sure your device can join the witness process and connect to other hotspots in the area. It sometimes requires several attempts to get it working, but be patient.
The Helium app is also the place where you can update hotspot information after you change the antenna or location. It’s also possible to transfer hotspot ownership and more. Basically, don’t underestimate the power of the Helium app and the benefits you can get from it.