Category Archives: LoRa

LORIX One LoRaWan gateway review

Yes, I’ve got one of these LoRaWan light saber I was looking for, since a while! For this I really thank you Wifx who helped me to get one. I know this is really unusual for them to work with blogger, so thank you for your trust. So honestly, even if I’ve been sponsored to get the device, I’m really happy to make that gateway test. As I said this gateway is one of my favorite since a while. The reason are a really compact outdoor design. It makes the difference 😉

I did not made a test previously because this have a cost, about 500€, (549CHF) this not much expensive but a bit high regrading my non-profit activity on TheThingsNetwork local deployment.

Now, I’m done telling you my life, we can see what this gateway is proposing !

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Monitor a gateway connected to The Things Network

I’ve published a post in January 2019 on a solution to alarm you TTN gateway. It was based on noc API but these API have been deprecated. It means this solution is not working anymore.

So I’m investigating some new solution: the more relevant is the use of TTN cli solution.

Let’s seen what can we do with this.

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Low-cost outdoor solar powered LoRaWan Gateway

I really love Reece Innovation Solar powered pod product developed by my friend Jose Marcelino. They’ve made a agricultural / industrial autonomous solar powered LoRaWan gateway for a really competitive price. With much more money to extend TheThingsNetwork in my city I would have used a such solution. But as this is just a hobby for me, I’m looking for really low cost solution, something under 500€ per gateway.

My main issue to extend the network is not really to find roof but to find some where I can pass an Ethernet cable and provide the power from it. I have some place where I could deploy new gateway in conduction to be cable-less. The network is not the main issue as most of the time a WiFi network is accessible. Powering is a larger problem to solve. Advantages of outdoor gateway: you have sun available. So, as Reece Innovation did, I decided to make my solar gateway, the main differences are: my will have no LTE communication capability (only WiFi) and it have to cost as less as possible.

Let see what I’ve done

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MikroTik LoRa8 Gateway

I’ve been talking about this ultra low cost LoRaWan gateway in last October and ordered one. The time to get it has been long as it has been arrived in February this year. This sounds due to an early ordering as the product is now available, even on Amazon for a price under 180€.

This price is not so low if you compare to a Laird Sentrius but we are not talking the same product ! Here we have an outdoor gateway with PoE powering. That’s really interesting. The only missing thing is a LTE communication.

This gateway exists in two different version LoRa8 for 868Mhz zones and LoRa9 for 902 MHz zone.

Let’s see it in detail and find how to configure it for joining TTN.

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The Things Indoor Gateway (TTIG)

The Things Indoor Gateway (TTIG) has been announced and distributed during the TheThings conference 2019. Since it was impossible to get some, victim of its success (and the little initial stock). From mid-august it is now possible to get some and I’ve bought one as soon as possible.

The Things Indoor Gateway is a low cost (70€ – 90€), 8 channels (EU868 full gateway), LoRaWan gateway running on TheThingsNetwork. You can’t expect a large coverage with a such solution to be used for city wide network but it will be perfect for covering a large house or a small building where you want to deploy LoRaWan sensors.

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LoRaWan in US915 zone

I’m living in RCZ1 (EU868) area and our zone have some specific rules for using the free radio frequencies like duty-cycle to comply regulation I already shared in the linked post. I was little experienced with the US zone regulations. Thanks to a project made for a North American customer I started working on it and I’ve surprised of the differences and how it impacts the LoRaWan developments.

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First steps with LoRa Radio Node (Arduino)

The LoRa Radio Node is an AVR Arduino board with a RFM95 LoRa module. This all-in-one LoRa module allows to have a LoRaWan device for a reasonable price around 15€. You need to add a battery (like a LS14500 3,7V battery) on the battery holder for a 4€ extra cost to make it mobile. LiPo option are also available using the power connector. Even if the connectors are looking like grove, they are not compatible so you will have to make your own wiring to connect extensions.

This post is reviewing how to getting started with this board to fire your first LoRaWan frame over The Things Network.

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Alarm your TheThingsNetwork gateway

There is actually no solution to get an alarm when a TTN gateway is shutting down. That said, all the information are accessible thanks to the different API. 

To monitor my deployed gateways, I’ve made a little script in python working with IFTTT. It connects to the The Things Network api, get the gateway status and call the IFTTT webhook in case of last gateway update too old. 

On IFTTT i’ve created an applet to generate a Push notification on phone to get the alarm.

The script is accessible in the post detail.

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