After having tested different LoRaWan gateway like Kerlink iFemToCell, TheThingsGateway and Kerlink Wirnet, in the past two years, I was looking for a new low cost indoor gateway for deploying TheThingsNetwork (the global crowd-sourced LoRaWan network) in my city.
Gateway are not all easy to shop, Kerlink at first. As one of my iFemToCell has burned into the hell this summer with no reason after only 3 months powered-on I was not looking for the same. TheThingsGateway has different semiconductor provider reseller but myne suffer of certain instabilities actually and I need to reboot on regular basis. So that’s the reason of this new try.
Let’s see how to setup on TTN.
The gateway can be found on mouser for a price under 200€ making it one of the less expensive. You can get better with the DiY approach when you recycle some RPI but in my point of view, to make a stable and stress-less public network it’s better to rely on packaged hardware you can deploy and change in a minute.
The gateway is provided with all the needed elements: antennas, network cable, power supply. The power supply block as the blue plastic box seems to directly been shipped from the 80’s. Regarding the price… nothing bad to say.
The gateway supports 5G Wifi networks, this is the only one I’ve been tested. I won’t say it is needed but in my own case it was important because I have some problem with my WiFi replicator on 2.4GHz…forget that it’s only due to my WiFi network settings. But I’m happy to have this option.
The 868 antenna is a simple 1/4 wave as on most of the indoor gateway. You don’t really know if it is centered on 868 or 915Mhz. For an indoor only purpose it will be OK. For a larger use you will have to change it.
The powering cable is really small and that’s a problem to select the right place to install it. Radio is the main element to consider for gateways here you need to be really near a power source.
There is no documentation coming with the gateway. Just a link on the website. Even if the documentation is indicating the Gateway is on 192.168.1.1, for real the gateway is using DHCP. You need to pay attention: the Gateway console is on HTTPS (with a poor self-signed certificate) with no redirect from HTTP.
The login is sentrius and password RG1xx so you will change this asap. The application is proposing you to do it with popup, that is a good point. But it force you to use a certain format of password… something I hate, particularly when the same guy have chosen to use the same really really bad short password for all its gateway ! man, if you are not educated yourself, please don’t try to educate others !
You can configure a WiFi (also in 5G ;)) and set the IP as static, reboot… When you change the IP for another one the refresh & cache starts to be a mess… You will see.
Setup with TTN
That a really nice point, when setting LoRaWan network, you can directly set TheThingsNetwork in the UI !
Create a new gateway in TTN console to create a GatewayID and a GatewayKey. Then in the admin panel, LoRa >> Forwarder you can put these information.
That’s it the gateway is running on TTN network. Simple isn’t it ?!?
Regarding my actual test there is no big difference on Laird than on other gateways I have. The gateway looks stable. Nice product.
There are some negative point discovered all along the usage:
- The firmware update updates the firmware even with the same version and it destroy all the settings… So you have to loose your config to know if a new firmware is available. It also clear the password to factory one.
- The configuration export is not complete.
- The web server seems to crash after a long time even if the gateway works well I had to reboot to get access back.
And the positive points
- Gateway is really stable for getting LoRaWan packets. I did not had to reboot it or anything in the last months.