I’m very new to the things network and the whole LoRaWAN topic.
I have a German “Freifunk” gateway to share my internet connection via an open “Freifunk” WiFi hotspot.
Now I read about LoRaWAN and the possibilities with long ranges etc. and I want to share my internet connection also with the TTN. Maybe later I will use LoRa as well. (I am currently doing some ESP32 experiments with WiFi).
Those are the boundary conditions.
I did some googling and reading and found two possible LoRaWAN gateways that seem to be a good and cheap choice (<200€):
-MikroTik wAP LR8
The question is: which one should I choose to increase the coverage of the TTN? Or none of these? I am open to any recommendation with a budget of <200€. And: if possible a future proof device. I don’t want to buy a new device every year
Welcome to the TTNcommunity. Concerning the coverage of a gateway there is no huge difference between the gateways because most of them use the same chipset.
Much more important is the antenna and where you mount it. With an indoor antenna in a city you will get a coverage of a few hundred meters, with an outdoor-antenna on the roof you might get a few 10km.
As gateway you can use e.g. the Dragino LPS8 or LIG16, you can connect an external antenna quite easy. The advantage of the LIG16 is the power-consumption: 1.5W instead of 4W.
Depending on where you live in DE, it could make sense to contact your local community on their Slack-channel or the community-page of TTN.
The MikroTik wAP LR8 is an excellent product but has a more advanced user interface as it is based on their range of routers. Whereas the Dragino is only about LoRaWAN. If you are comfortable with routers, then either is good, but if you just want to setup a gateway and move on to the fun stuff, go Dragino.
Sadly I can’t find any informations on the chips used within the MikroTik. Are they the same as in the Draginos?
The Draginos are both very hard to buy in germany. Very long delivery windows. The MikroTik is on stock.
And I have no problem configuring mikrotiks routerOS. Already done that before.
So which one should I choose? I read some thing that MikroTiks device can’t change frequeny plans and uses the old udp forwarder?
@wolfp local communitys page on ttn seams to be broken?
imho MikroTik uses the Semtech-chipset, but I don’t know if it’s the newest one.
If you already know how to handle a MikroTik router, maybe it’s easier for you. Dragino seams to be on backorder in DE until end of June.
The local community pages seam to have a few problems in the moment. But they are working on it.
You can try: https://forum.iot-usergroup.de
It’s got an SX1301 inside - so original technology - there are some small sensitivity benefits with the newer chip sets as well as good amount of power saving.
But fundamentally, you have to use Semtech chips to make a gateway so there are some variations in power use & sensitivity but as antenna placement is everything, concentrate on that.
Coming soon, 1st July, new VAT regime which will make buying from outside the EU as un-fun as we are experiencing in Blighty - no more €15 packages, doesn’t apply to this purchase, but get your extras whilst it’s easy!
For DE you need the one with the Lora8 board (for EU868). There’s two bundles, one with LTE and a more robust chassis (and more expensive) and one without LTE. Both work well.
Yes Mikrotik are using the UDP forwarder with no announced plans to change (no announced plan at all, it’s difficult to get a peep out of them). I believe Dragino are as well though? It’s simple, proven and works - I don’t think you need to be in any rush to get to Basics Station.
+1 to the need for additional config expertise for the Mikrotik router though, let me tell you about the time I left the DHCP server running on my local network…most devices continued to work.