How to cover a smaller town with 5000 citizens


We have setup two RAK7258 gateways in two cities with a LoRa FiberGlass Antenna.

We are very new to LoraWAN and thought the easiest way to get more confident with this technology was to setup two gateways and get some experience.

Also we were hoping that the range was better, the antenna is still indoor and we plan to add it on the top of the roof, but we can only reach our Dragoino gps tracker just a few meters outside each house.

What we hoped was to setup something that was covering mostly the whole city (population ~5000)
Is this possible? What should we purchase? Is a RAK7258 no go for this, or is it fine? Really no budget, just want to cover most of the town.

Thank you in advance - i know the higher the anenna the better ofcourse, but some notes on the gateway/antenna will be appreciated. Do you think a RAK7258 will be sufficient for this?

Regards Jens

The number of citizens ? :roll_eyes: hmm not that important imho
rural area, hills, trees, antenna height, antenna gain, surrounding structures/buildings things like that matter… and the quality of your trackernode and antenna used.

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Hi Jens,
I’ve bought a RAK7258 a couple of days ago, too. It’s location is 2m under the rooftop of a single family home. No thermal insulation ( e.g. glas wool with foil-clad aluminum -> Faraday Cage) is hindering the reception. The standard antenna is used and with a TTGO T-Beam I got a reception at a distance of 772m out of the box. The surronding consists of single-Family houses and a lot of trees.

My GW nearby Großhansdorf:


provided that you have a full gateway (like yours, by the ways seems based on sx1301 that is slightly more sensitive than sx1308), I would say that, in terms of coverage, it is the least significant component. The main reason why it could be significant is only because, being an indoor version, you cannot put it outside without some extra work.

Antenna is crucial as the connection between it and the gateway; its position even more.
At the University I have two gateways now: the indoor one typically stays below 1km (with rare exceptions), the outdoor one reaches up to 20km but not everywhere - much closer places, inside the city, are not covered. So, surrounding environment is another (possible) issue. Part of the work is to select gateways positions that are complementary from this point of view.

When I started (with a single channel gateway, by the way), I lost a lot of time expecting more than possible from a gateway on my desktop with a 1/4 lambda antenna :slight_smile:

Decent antenna, and antenna cabling. And get it high up as you can! We have a things outdoor gateway, paired with a Taoglas Antenna. Mounted high on our office (4m pole at roof height). 6 mile radius from testing easy. Outdoor and indoors. 13 mile range line of sight.

We are lucky to be in a position with high elevation over town.

Hi all

Thanks a lot for your replies. Its very interesting to hear about real world experiences with your gateways.

Also the 772 meters reach from under a roof with standard antenna sounds very promising.

I will post back, when we get some more experience. First we will extend the cable between gateway and the antenna and place the antenna on top of the roof, the gateway still indoor, and see the difference.

Regards Jens

When placing the antenna on top of the roof take care of the necessary electrical grounding of the antenna and keep the length of the cable between the GW and the antenna as short as possible.

All the best,

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Jens, I just want to let you know that I was able to receive data from a distance of 2413m using the RAK7258 indoors with on-board antenna and a TTGO T-Beam node.


All the best,

This result does not look valid. It’s not possible to get an RSSI of -62dBm at that distance.


Hi @jpmeijers - mmmh, I’m running unmodified paxcounter source on my TTGO T-Beam Node:

To setup my system I’ve follwed the instructions given by the German Make Magazin:

There are 4 transmissions recorded with RSSIs from -62 to -70dBm:

I’m clueless how to verify my measurements. Any ideas are appreciated.
However, the GPS position is the correct one.
Thanks for mentioning that the result looks suspicious.

Who is in charge to calculate the RSSI? The RAK 7258 GW I would assume?

All the best,

Hi Jens, if you drop me an email and tell me the two coordinates of your gateways, then I will simulate it for you free of charge. I need to know the high over ground and will use 15 dB loss for the roof. If your roof is not higher then the next roof then you can add 20 dB lore loss again. Your gateway antenna has to be mounted higher than the other roofs.
In the picture as below, you find the simulation for Kirchheim in Hesse. The gateway antenna is planned at the violet bubble, 30 meters higher than the main village of Kirchheim.


Just a comment about antenna elevation: Higher does allow for longer range, but keep in mind with an omni antenna that you may be affecting reception in the immediate vicinity of the antenna. This is why some antennas are constructed with a small amount of electrical downtilt. This can improve reception nearby, at the expense of a small reduction in long distance range. More important for downlink messages of course, but still a consideration.