The RF 868MHz is a public bandwidth European Low Power Networks (LPWAN) as Sigfox and LoRaWan are using for communicating.
This bandwidth is regulated by different norms like ERC-REC-70-3E in Europe and have national norms in relation. In France ARCEP 2014-1263 seems to be the last one validated in the JO on the 30th of January 2015. The following video is a second episode of my VLOG on LPWan technologies. As usual, the video is in French but this post will give you a overview in english.
Since a long to time I did not post about MQTT … The main reason was I uses MQTT as a protocol to publish data directly from a device but in a centralized environment like SigFox / LoraWan you can’t use it directly on the device. Actually I have some devices communicating with a backend and the question about how to provide these information to the customers of my service are raising. To match this pattern I have to ways : providing and API where the information are pulled by the customer and MQTT where the information are pushed to the customer.
One choice is not against the other one, I had the two kind of customers. For this reason I will describe how we can implement a MQTT server (mosquitto) to push Sigfox data device as json content.
After making LoRaWan test in a city environment, I make some test in a rural environment with the objective of evaluating the capability for being used in connected farming environment.
The result is really like what we have got in a city, eventually better in a way as the antenna position was on altitude. The following map makes with 6kbps communication shows the coverage. You can see that the coverage is really limited on the Eastern direction. This is due to higher mountains this way. Mountain are the main limiting elements and as you can see, even on short distance communication they are blocking any signal.
Once you have found the great idea of the year and you want to start implementing your first prototype it is time to choose the right technology. Some would say you should not choose at this step and implement both at end but in my point of view it looks like and economical mistake to do this way. Prototype is to demonstrate and final product. It can request another technology, for sure. But in my point of view the best is to take the right one at the beginning. For most LoRa and Sigfox are both equivalent or for some others one is over the other one, best depends who you ask. In my point of view, if I consider my 2-3 years sigfox experience and my starting experience on LoRa with 1 year background research on it, there is no magic answer. Context of your idea is the keypoint then you have some technical elements to take into account to finalize your decision.
This post will try to illustrate where each of the technology is the best and give you some decision keypoints.
Todays work was to make a simple GPS tracker communicating over LoRaWAN to check the coverage of my LoRaWan gateway in the city. Basically this tracker reports a position per minute to the network. If coverage is good, position will be recorded in the backend. That’s all !
This post details how to do it easily with the low cost and common components : Arduino for the master, Microchip RN2483 for LoRaWan communication and L80 for GPS positioning.
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