The real power of TTN is in the community it managed to build up and its members that openly share technical knowledge. If you haven't checked the TTN forums, wiki or labs yet please do so! - this is how
we came across step-by-step instructions on how to build a DIY gateway. The shopping list was quite simple (mCard with radio chip, a RasPi and an adapter) and soon all components were delivered. The next step was a little bit of soldering but it was not that difficult even for a beginner like me. With newest source code from GitHub and an adaptation of a few configuration settings the gateway was up and running within minutes! And yes, we could see it talking to TTN backend on the very first attempt.