BLE Asset tracking


I’m looking for guidance the best way to connect Dewalt BLE Tags to ThingsBoard Cloud. I currently have the following in place - Lansitec Macro BLE beacons → Tektelic macro gateway → ThingsBoard Cloud.

Need to know how to connect the Dewalt BLE tags to the Beacons then to report into ThingsBoard. I have the info for Dewalt tags.

I’ve read I may need an IOT gateway to do this but unsure.

I need to be able to have the BLE tags report to which BLE beacon they are attached too. I am using them for asset tracking.

Is any element of your setup using LoRaWAN on The Things Network or a Things Industries server?

If not, this is not the forum you are looking for, we only do LoRaWAN on TTN/TTI.

The LoRaWan gateway is connected to the ThingsStack and then integrated into the ThingsBoard Cloud.
The BLE gateways are connected to the ThingsStack and ThingsBoard Cloud.

The BLE tags are not connected to anything specific yet.

So your issue is with the BLE stuff, not the LoRaWAN side of it?

BTW I am curious how you connected the BLE gateways to The Things Stack. Please explain…

The BLE Beacons have BLE and LoRaWan built in. I was able to add them with their eui which was great. The BLE Beacons report on the rssi between the BLE Beacons but I’m not seeing the BLE tag data though they should be advertising. I have the BLE Tags Mac addresses but no data from the Beacons.

I think we’re going to need a bigger boat / lot more detail from you to even understand the basics of the problem as it started out not looking like LoRaWAN and currently looks like a configuration issue with a device that’s outside of our knowledge. Can you link to the product documentation so we can see what this BLE/LoRaWAN device is all about.

Is the LoRaWAN element of the devices sending date to the application / device console?

We are always happy to help if a device or a sub-section thereof (like a sensor) isn’t working, but we’re not all versed in all the devices out there, so please help us with more detail, particularly as this is more about the sensing side of things rather than our subject expertise of the LoRaWAN side of things. That said, I’ve just done a BLE to LoRaWAN and a BLE to Satellite project so I can appreciate your pain with all the moving parts.

The usual “is it plugged in” type question, given that this appears to be more about the BLE side of things, but what does the vendor / manufacturer / support have to say?

Dewalt BLE Tag -
Lansitec Marco BLE Beacon - Macro Bluetooth Gateway - Lansitec
Tektelic Macro LoRaWan Gateway - KONA Micro IoT Gateway | TEKTELIC

Setup - BLE tags talk to BLE beacon using BLE. Beacon then uses LoRaWan to talk to Gateway. Gateway then talks to ThingsStack. ThingsStack then talks to ThingsBoard Cloud.

Devices connected to ThingsStack - BLE Beacon and Gateway
Devices connected to ThingsBoard Cloud - BLE Beacon and Gateway

Problem - BLE Beacons are not relaying data from the BLE tags though they are advertising. I don’t know if this is an issue with the Beacons or that the BLE tags are not joined to the network (ThingsStack and ThingBoard) so that the beacons understand to relay the BLE tags info. I also don’t know how to join the BLE tags to the network because all I have are MAC addresses and device names. The Beacons can see each other and relaying that rssi to ThingsStack so they are online and connected correctly.
I have seen this done before but on a different platform called Mydevices. They use the Chirpstack backend.

I hope that helps.

There is no concept of this in LoRaWAN - that’s akin to saying that the temperature sensor on I2C on a device hasn’t joined the network. Only the Beacon, as you describe it and, from face value on the link, can join the network. You wouldn’t register nor can you nor is it in the spec to register any device other than a LoRaWAN device.

I know we might be dumbing things down a lot, but baby steps so we eliminate the blindly obvious that’s being overlooked. You need to figure out if this BLE-LoRaWAN gateway is not sending data because its LoRaWAN bit isn’t working, its BLE bit isn’t working or both. Or indeed that its all working just fine but there are no devices near by for it to hear the advertising messages.

  1. Is the Lansitec Macro Bluetooth Gateway joined to the network in the sense that you can see activity in the device (that which it is) console? At minimum, a Join Request / Accept.

  2. Does the Lansitec Macro Bluetooth Gateway have any serial debug or some such that would allow you to see if it is hearing BLE advertising messages &/or it is trying to send LoRaWAN uplinks

And heads up on our favourite gotcha, if you are testing this on your desk, the device (BLE gateway) and the LoRaWAN gateway (Tektelic) need to be at least 5m apart with an intervening wall to attenuate the signal - otherwise the device is shouting in the gateways ear and it overloads the input, distorts the signal and ends up being rejected due to CRC errors.

All that said, any company that sells an item I can recreate in a few hours and decides to force us to have a login for their documentation (ie BLE to LW is not that clever & there’s no real IP) should get lots of use of Goods Return Form - Lansitec - not sure what it says about them that they have that linked on their home page.

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Need to know how to connect the Dewalt BLE tags to the Beacons then…

Your first post is on the money.

It is required to whitelist the mac addrs in the ble-lora device. Otherwise you could get all kinds of ble beacons forwarded to TTN.

BLE forwarding can be uplink heavy, you may want to review TTN fair access policy.

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ThingsStack? Or do you mean LoRaWAN stack as

TTS isnt Chirpstack and vice versa… are you using The Things Network or a TTS instance or are you using Chirpstack?

Back to

Here is the current setup in diagram form I hope it helps.
The Chirpstack reference is just to say that I’ve seen this setup work in Chripstack so I assume I can do the same in Things.

Not as much as answering the questions posed of you directly, but I can infer that the Macro BLE Beacon is connected to the LNS. NB: Devices don’t send to gateways, they broadcast & are potentially heard by gateways - there is no logical connection or handshaking.

To be clear, this is all volunteers answering, the is not a commercial support desk and most of this has implied an issue with the BLE tag to BLE Beacon which is only marginally related to LoRaWAN, we have no access to the documentation & we don’t know if there is any logging on the Beacon or indeed what enquiries you may have made of the vendor(s). Help us to help you.

Did you take note of this message?!?! It looks like the author has experience with the devices involved and the reason stated makes perfect sense (to me).

If that’s the case then I need to talk to Lansitec about a way to talk to the BLE Beacons to whitelist the Tags. I will try that.

Would that not have been a good course of action in the first place - or in parallel?

I didn’t realize that they would need to be whitelisted if that’s the fix in the end so this was helpful so far. I’m sure that Lansitec will let me know pretty quickly if that is the case and how to do so. I can then mark this as the solution or not.

I meant asking support / reading the docs plus answering the questions directly asked of you - good forum etiquette when you are using volunteers time in a drip feed fashion like this.

I might be worth downloading an app called NRF Connect to your phone - it scans and displays BLE information.

So in the end I was not able to get any help from Lansitec they ignored my emails into helpdesk. I’ve instead moved the network server from ThingsStack to Mydevices. That has made the process much easier. The beacons now can see the Tags and report on them. Now figuring out how to make it so in Thingsboard how to have the tags move from beacon to beacon on a map automatically. The tags report which beacon they are attached too now how to make the tags attach themselves to those beacons in Thingsboard.

Given the prominence that Google places on search results of this forum, this lacks some context.

I believe this to be entirely subjective & more likely a result of revisiting the problem from a different angle. There is nothing about TTS that would prevent you from configuring the LoRaWAN device to hear the BLE beacons in the same way that there is nothing in TTS that prevents me from attaching a hamster wheel electric generator output sensor to a Seeed LoRa-E5 development board. LoRaWAN devices send the data they are configured for, the LNS has no say in that regard.

As you are no longer using TTN and that your original issue was tenuous at best in terms of using TTN given it was entirely between the tags & a third party device, there is nothing further we can support you with, this TTI funded forum is for TTN & TTS LoRaWAN discussions only.