The Adeunis Field Tester is a simple way to make test on a LoRaWan network. The device provide GPS information, temperature and an accelerometer to activate communications.
The device is big but it have a screen and you can have a direct feedback of the transmissions on the screen. It make it good for testing coverage manually. You can also program it to send messages periodically and easily put it in a car to create coverage maps thanks to the embedded GPS.
The following post explains how to set it to use it with TheThingsNetwork (as for any other network by-the-way).
This IoT class is an introduction to IoT and LPWAN, it has been made to be a 2x2h teaching session for engineer school students. This class has been given to I.S.I.M.A. school in Clermont-Ferrand in 2017. This class has been completed by 2 more hours on the backend part for IoT by Daniel Petisme. It has been followed by three industrial conferences.
The content of my class had the following slides (in French):
Introduce why IoT is a revolution compared to M2M and why service matter. Introduce the different phases of a connected object design and the involved technologies. Introduce the challenge, from the technical stand point to the business model considerations.
LPWA networks needs antennas and gateway to receive the device communication and transfer them to a network kernel. You can take a look to my post on the LPWA network architecture for more details.
In the LoRaWan ecosystem we call the first part of this network architecture a gateway. There are different kind of gateway : The network operator gateway with a big and efficient antenna, capable to support external weather like the Kerlink IoT Station and some low costs solution you can deploy at home or within a building (indoor) to cover a local device fleet.
The Kerlink Wirenet iFemtoCell device is a such type of gateway. this post will review how to get start with it and what we can expect in term of coverage.
The Things Network (TTN) is a global LoRaWan public network kernel based on crowd-source infrastructure. This initiative sounds really interesting in my point of view because it breaks one of the main LoRaWan issues : the country based operators organization.
Related to this good point, the negative point is the current area covered by a such network limited to the contributor localization, generally in the main cities.
That said, I’m convinced : when you want to create a private LoRaWan network you have to manage a network kernel managing gateways, device authorizations… You can do it yourself, you can pay someone to do it for you or, eventually, you can lever TTN for this use. As a counterpart you will extend the network and offer this benefit to any around. That way it makes sense and gives large opportunities to the networks and it’s private users.
Long introduction for a technical topic … How to join this network once you have a Kerlink LoRa Iot station available ? Continue reading →
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.
Today Sigfox is releasing a really good document about antenna design. This pretty document can be found following this link (available on July 7th). This document from TI also contains really well detailed information about the alchemy of antennas and the different kind of product you can find. From Silicon Labs you also have an interesting development kit for 868 antennas with performance published in this application note.
This is to say antenna is one of the most important part of a 868 object, as for Sigfox as for LoRa where the problem is basically the same. I discussed with different sigfox object designed and every-time the antenna was a big project issue. Some has payed about 10-15k€ to get a custom optimized design.
I never experiment a custom design but I made test with various antennas and the purpose of this post will be to give you my feedback on the different solutions.
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.