LoRaWAN soil moisture solar device using Helium network

My child have a small garden where he has tomatoes, mint, different vegetables and fruits. We want to know when it is the right time to water it.

This was also an opportunity to use my Rak Wisblock kit fro something else than just writing some blog post. I’ve chosen to connect the device over Helium network because I’m making different tests on this network currently but it is also working on TheThingsNetwork the same way. So you can use the network most covering you around.

The data will be displayed on Cayenne Mydevice for getting a quick dashboard for displaying the information. In this blog post I’m going to describe the main steps and the needed hardware to make your own device.

Continue reading

Migration to TTN v3

Announced during TheThingsConference 2021 this January, TheThingsNetwork console is upgrading to v3. In fact it is really more than a simple update because this consist in merging TheThingsNetwork and TheThingsIndustrie in a common environment. This upgrade is really different than a traditional upgrade because it has an impact on any gateways and any devices ; a big impact anyone needs to manage. Here are some of the currently known impacts on the networks and the different components:

  • Traffic from v2 is routed to v3 but v3 is not routed to v2
  • Gateway are not migrated automatically
  • LoRa Application/Integration needs to be re-created in v3 to communicate over v3
  • Device LoRaWan session needs to be refreshed
  • Coverage map are lost
  • Gateways using gRPC protocol (TTN Packet forwarder won’t relay V3 traffic over V2)
  • … some more to be discovered

As the Network is managed by many different people, and not really planned and organized by TheThingsIndustry, we are going to have disconnections and fields operations to make all of this back to life.

It concerns the TTN Initiators (people deploying the network) but also the TTN users because they need to update Applications and restart/rejoin devices once the V2 has disappeared.

The currently know planning for Europe is (Other countries not yet planned)

  • April 2021 – v2 console will be read-only (you won’t be able to add devices / gateways)
  • September 2021 – v2 infrastructure will be switched off, no more communication on it

This blog post details my advises and experience of the migration. As I’ll do it in different waves for practical reason, this post will be updated. So please come back and refresh all along the months of February-March 2021 to get the updates, content and advice will be updated according to my progress.

Personal current advice about migration: START INVESTIGATING SINGLE DEVICE MIGRATION

I had some difficulties to migrate my first device and this has been solved by upgrading the gateway and redefining it in the TTNv2 backend. Discovering such situation earlier is important to get on time for upgrading. I recommend to start migrating 1 device to identify such situation. Migrating more than a device could still means impossible ways for some of your devices to communicate through v2 infrastructure. But it will help to prepare your infrastructure for migration.

Continue reading

TheThingsConference 2021

New year, new edition of TheThingsConference, the main LPWan event now.

As this event is a big community event including industries, silicon providers, service providers, operator, integrator… It’s a big opportunity for all these people to meet altogether. 2021 due to covid-19 pandemic is online as most of the IoT events currently. Question were, how will be the quality, how will be the interaction within the community ?

TheThingsConference already had a virtual event in 2020 some month after the yearly physical conference and basically it has been a success. It also has been a good training or this 2021 event. As a consequence the event quality (platform, keynote video, talk video) have a really good quality. They basically taken benefit of the new capabilities of the recorded video like to play with a 3D device in the middle of the scene. So that really cool.

They have also taken into account the different time-shift and replaying all the conferences on different slots to allows people to follow it on normal hour. That’s great a better than the previous edition (a 24h non stop event… fun but difficult). The conference is taking place on a whole week

Interaction between the community, at least over the chat is really good and this is also a success… I’ll complete that post all along the conference but we can start seing what has been announced during the keynote.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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)

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The Things Industry is taking the lead on LoRaWAN ecosystem

Today was the first day of The Things Conference (TTC) 2020 in Amsterdam. TTC is the yearly event organized by The Things Network initiative. Years after years this event is becoming THE world LoRaWan event. The Things Network let the floor to The Things Industry, all the LoRaWan industrial ecosystem is coming to Amsterdam to discuss about the future of this LPWAn technology. The community spirit is still here, strong and awesome: I had plenty of discussions with many tech & business guy I never met before ; I’ve learned a lot of thing through the high quality conferences. Two days of conference will be too short for meeting people I’ve listed and follow the conference track.

So let’s talk a bit about the content of this first days and the direction The Things Industry is giving to LoRaWan ecosystem. Because, trust me or not, even if the LoRaWan alliance is full of big telecom companies, it really seems that, this small group of 20 awesome people from TTN are taking the lead.

Continue reading