Quick Start

This guide will walk you through setting up a Java project that listens to device activations and messages and responds to every 3rd message.

This guide assumes the sketch and payload functions of The Things Uno / Quick Start, but can be easily applied to any other.

The full script that we will build is also included as example in the Java SDK.


Let’s install Java, create a Java project and require the TTN Client.

  1. Download and install Java (at least version 8).

    Under debian-based systems, use :

    sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk

    For Mac and Windows users, download it here: java

  2. Download and install maven.

    Under debian-based systems, use :

    sudo apt-get install maven

    For Mac users:

    brew install maven

    For Windows users, see this link

  3. Create a new Java project:

    cd $HOME
    mvn archetype:generate \
    -DgroupId=org.thethingsnetwork.samples.mqtt \
    -DartifactId=mqtt \
    -DarchetypeArtifactId=maven-archetype-quickstart \
    cd mqtt
  4. Require the TTN Client as dependency:

  5. Test your configuration:

    mvn clean compile


Next, we will write the script that requires the TTN Client module and uses it to connect.

  1. Create the main script and open it in your favorite editor:

    open src/main/java/org/thethingsnetwork/samples/mqtt/App.java
  2. Import all required classes :

    package org.thethingsnetwork.samples.mqtt;
    import org.json.JSONObject;
    import org.thethingsnetwork.data.common.Connection;
    import org.thethingsnetwork.data.mqtt.Client;
  3. In the console, navigate to the application you’d like to connect to.

  4. In the editor, create an instance of the client:

    String region = "eu";
    String appId = "hello-world";
    String accessKey = "2Z+MU0T5xZCaqsD0bPqOhzA6iygGFoi4FAgMFgBfXSo=";
    Client client = new Client(region, appId, accessKey);

    Here’s where you can find the values in the console:

    • For region, copy the part following ttn-handler- for Handler Status in the Application Overview box.
    • For appId, copy the value for Application ID in the Application Overview box.
    • For accessKey, scroll down and copy the value for default key in the Access Key box.
  5. Add a listener for the connected and error events to test the connection:

    client.onError((Throwable _error) -> System.err.println("error: " + _error.getMessage()));
    client.onConnected((Connection _client) -> System.out.println("connected !"));
  6. Run the script to test the connection:

    mvn clean compile exec:java \

    You should see something like:

    [INFO] Scanning for projects...
    [INFO] -----------------------------------------------------------
    [INFO] Building mqtt 1.0.0
    [INFO] -----------------------------------------------------------
    [INFO] --- exec-maven-plugin:1.2.1:exec (default-cli) @ sample ---
    connected !

    Use Ctrl C to terminate the script.

    If you get an error it should say what is wrong:

    Connection refused: Not authorized

Receive Activations

Now that we are connected, let’s listen for new device activations.

Be aware that you will only receive activation events since the moment the script connects.

  1. Add a listener for the activation event:

    client.onActivation((String _devId, JSONObject _data) -> System.out.println("Activation: " + _devId + ", data: " + _data));
  2. Run the script again:

    mvn clean compile exec:java \
  3. Power up, reset or upload a new sketch to a device to force it to activate and you should see something like:

    Activation: my-uno {
      app_eui: '70B3D57EF000001C',
      dev_eui: '0004A30B001B7AD2',
      dev_addr: '2601205D',
       { time: '2016-09-08T13:57:03.415027706Z',
         frequency: 868.1,
         modulation: 'LORA',
         data_rate: 'SF7BW125',
         coding_rate: '4/5',
         gateways: [ [Object] ] } }

    Use Ctrl C to terminate the script.

Receive Messages

Now let’s listen for actual messages coming in from devices.

  1. Add a listener for the message event:

    client.onMessage((String devId, Object data) -> System.out.println("Message: " + devId + " " + data));
  2. Run the script again:

    mvn clean compile exec:java \

    You should see messages come in like:

    Message: my-uno {
      "port": 1,
      "counter": 0,
      "payload_raw": "AQ==",
      "payload_fields": {
        "led": true
      "metadata": {
        "time": "2016-09-08T13:57:08.685529132Z",
        "frequency": 868.3,
        "modulation": "LORA",
        "data_rate": "SF7BW125",
        "coding_rate": "4/5",
        "gateways": [
            "gtw_id": "B827EBFFFE87BD22",
            "timestamp": 1064899219,
            "time": "2016-09-08T13:57:08.673927Z",
            "channel": 1,
            "rssi": -54,
            "snr": 8.2,
            "rf_chain": 1

Send Messages

The most common Class A LoRaWAN devices - including The Things Node and Uno - can only receive the last scheduled message in response to a message they send.

  1. In the Arduino IDE, select Tools > Serial Monitor Ctrl/⌘ Shift M.

  2. In the editor for the script, add another listener for the message event:

    client.onMessage(null, "led", (String _devId, Object _data) -> {
            try {
                // Toggle the LED
                JSONObject response = new JSONObject().put("led", !_data.equals("true"));
                 * If you don't have an encoder payload function:
                 * client.send(_devId, _data.equals("true") ? new byte[]{0x00} : new byte[]{0x01}, 0);
                System.out.println("Sending: " + response);
                client.send(_devId, response, 0);
            } catch (Exception ex) {
                System.out.println("Response failed: " + ex.getMessage());

    This is what it will do:

    • Subscribe to any device, but only the led field.
    • Create a new payload to toggle the current led value.
    • Send it off to the device we received the message of.
  3. Run the script again:

    mvn clean compile exec:java \

    After every message the script should output:

    Sending: {"led":true}

    Via the Serial Monitor you should see the message coming in:

    -- LOOP
    Sending: mac tx uncnf 1 with 1 bytes
    Successful transmission. Received 1 bytes
    LED: on

🎉 Congratulations! Now you know how to process and send messages from a Java app. Go build something!