The S5 Trekker is a compact Meshtastic communication device for hikers and preppers

The S5 Trekker Bravo and the S5 Trekker Mini are two Meshtastic-enabled radios designed by SpecFive LLC, a team of engineers based in the United States.

s5 minitrekker trekker
S5 Trekker and MiniTrekker

Both devices are based on the Heltec Wireless Tracker from Heltec Automation. The Wireless Tracker integrates Espressif’s ESP32-S3 system-on-a-chip, a 160 x 80 TFT LCD, a SemTech SX1262 LoRa chip, and a Unicore UC6580 GNSS chip.

The MiniTrekker is much lighter than the Trekker Bravo and features a built-in attachment hook for connecting it with other gear. Both radios are built to be durable enough to resist the rigors of outdoor exploration. They come pre-flashed with the open-source Meshtastic software and are ready to be used out of the box.

The S5 Trekkers are intended to be used when hiking, trekking, and partaking in other outdoor activities that take one away off the well-trodden path. It is also useful for setting up a reliable communication network in the event of emergencies.

We have covered similar solutions for outdoor enthusiasts such as the Trekko Pico, TTGO T-Beam, and TTGO LoRa32.

S5 Trekker specifications:

  • Development Board – Heltec Wireless Tracker, with
  • LoRa Frequency – 915 MHz
  • Antenna –  915 Mhz LoRa antenna / GPS Ceramic antenna
  • Urban Range – ~1.6 to 4.8 km
  • Rural Range – ~4.8 to 8 km
  • USB – USB-C port for charging
  • Battery
    • 18650 Li-ion battery (Bravo), 1200mAh LiPo Battery (MiniTrekker)
    • Battery Life
      • Bravo: 8 hrs active / 24 hrs standby
      • MiniTrekker: 3 hrs active / 6 hrs standby
  • Dimensions – 140 x 50 x 40 mm (Bravo), 83 x 39 x 20 (MiniTrekker)
  • Weight –  165 g (Bravo), 64g (MiniTrekker)
  • Case Material – PETG
S5 MiniTrekker
S5 MiniTrekker

The MiniTrekker is also configured to work with the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) software. You will need to install the ATAK and Meshtastic apps on your phone and set them up to work with the MiniTrekker.

The S5 MiniTrekker and the S5 Trekker Bravo are priced at about $99 and $119 respectively on the Tindie store.

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18 Comments
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Willy
1 month ago

Sorry if I sound dumb, but I have not understood what the *purpose* of this device is. I’m not seeing any microphone/speaker, nor keyboard so I really don’t understand what type of communication it aims at providing. Or is it a receiver only for alerts ? But then why would a range be indicated. Confused.

Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Admin

We should probably have explained it again in the post, but it’s basically for messaging and sharing GPS location (within a group) when there’s no cell coverage.

An earlier article explains it in more detail: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/03/11/meshtastic-mesh-networking-project-combines-esp32-lora-and-gps-radio/

Willy
1 month ago

I have read the previous article before asking, but the use case seems to strange to me that I was certain I was missing something. So it’s supposed to send a GPS location periodically, and receive text messages from some location or another device having a keyboard maybe ?

Willy
1 month ago

OK so we should see it as sort of a wifi-to-lora gateway ?

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
1 month ago

Their Ranger model has a Blackberry-like QWERTY keyboard.

Mark Birss
Mark Birss
1 month ago

my current milkv-duo prototype is using usb input and the new gui – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2hTLabfsEM

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

They are a bunch of use cases in outdoor sport tracking.
Eg glider tracking: http://wiki.glidernet.org/ this is the infrastructure (called OGN) and https://www.weglide.org/live is an exemple of the use of the tracking data collected by the OGN

WEAZ1
WEAZ1
1 month ago

It binds with your cellphone or tablet for GUI. Then provides a short range network that can be meshed.

Jacques
1 month ago

I have to admit I have a hard time understanding the purpose of such devices. In mountainous terrain, at sea, in large desert areas, this will have no more coverage than cellular, probably a lot less, with negligible bandwidth. Absence of line of sight is a killer. If there’s no cellular coverage, the only realistic option is satellite.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
1 month ago

Add Hubble Network Bluetooth firmware to the mix

Jon McNabb
Jon McNabb
1 month ago

Carry one into the sky with a drone and you’ve got 80 miles of texting messaging coverage anywhere!

John
John
1 month ago

As there is a Meshtastic build for the Heltec Wireless Tracker, apart from loading the firmware, all they did was make a case. Fine for them & marketing, but rather dilutes CNX’s reporting if this qualifies as ‘news’.

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

Yes I agree. I own one of these Heltec gear and except 3d printed case & the small tft display It’s just the same for 4 or 5 times less.

zoobab
1 month ago

is it waterproof at least?

Luc
Luc
1 month ago

Hi, it’s not waterproof at all !

smerf
smerf
1 month ago

prepers use reticulum not meshtastic

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
1 month ago

Good point!

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