Tag Archives: LoRaWAN

First steps with Helium IoT network

Helium is a crowdsourced-crypto-blockchain-Iot network working with LoRaWan. With all these trendy name, for sure they had the key elements to raise a large amount of money. That’s great for the development of this technology.

I’ve decided to write about this IoT network after an interesting talk given at the Zurich IoT meetup today (thank you CoVID-19 for making us the opportunity to reach such event, today online, bad things can get positive sometime).

Helium is a crowdsourced network. It means, like for TheThingsNetwork or Amazon Sidewalk, the infrastructure, at least the gateways part (antennas) are provided by anybody, basically you and me. That way the network deployment costs are really limited and the network have no boundaries.

Compared to TTN, Helium network is “crypto-blockchained” basically, the gateway owner are mining different challenges like registering some network change, proving the location of a gateway, cryptocurrency transactions… For this work, for maintaining the network architecture and relaying the messages, the gateway’s owner are earning HNT (Helium Network Tokens) ($2.24 each today).

Compared to TTN where you make it running for free, just because you are convinced about the sharing economy, Helium base its business model on a promise of getting some money back from your investment the gateways (+energy, communications…).

Helium is an IoT network, a LPWAN for being more precise. It relies on LoRaWan standard protocol & gateways. You need to add an Helium miner software on a backend system to make it running.

So they are looking to Uber-ize the telecom domain, at least this is what they are expecting.

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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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LoRaWan solar gateway monitoring

In a previous post, I’ve been introduce my home made LoRaWan solar powered outdoor gateway. I’ve been investigating on the minimal hardware to make it running and reach some interesting result in my garden ;). Now it’s time to deploy the gateway on the field (basically on a roof top) and this means I’ll not be able to continue to learn what how it evolves over time.

For this reason, I’ve made a small project to monitor the main elements I want to track about this gateway:

  • Battery Voltage
  • Battery in & out power
  • 5V powering availability
  • Temperature

For this I’ve selected a simple and LoRaWan all-included Arduino platform I already detailed in a previous post: the LoRa Radio Node. Let’s detail this project now available on github.

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IoT Decoded Podcast EP#7

IoT decoded #7, the monthly LPWAn podcast analyzing the IoT news and trends. Register to podcast : looking for feed subscription on bottom right of this web page or search for IoT Decoded on Apple Podcast application.

This month the podcast is addressing news on:

  • STM32WL LoRaWan chip
  • Seong Ji (Wisol) Sigfox module SRM100A
  • Module market evolution on Sigfox
  • The Things Virtual Conference
  • IoT and pandemic
  • Sigfox Low cost design success transmission on RCZ2
  • Short other news.

The musical theme is Cascade by Kubbi (CC)

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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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IoT Decoded Podcast EP#6

IoT decoded #6, the monthly LPWAn podcast analyzing the IoT news and trends. Register to podcast : looking for feed subscription on bottom right of this web page. Or search for IoT Decoded on Apple Podcast.

This month is mainly about LoRaWan and TheThingsConference taken place in Amsterdam en of january.

We are talking about TTN number and coming Packet Broker. We also see what is going on with STM32WL and Murata 1SJ new integrated solutions. LoRaWan 2.4GHz is also a really interesting technology for operating solutions worldwide in domains like smart building/home and industry. And much more…

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