Indoor Gateway + Sensor max range?

Hello TTN community! I am brand new to this world, but getting quite excited about it and reading as much as I can!

I am planning to get this two items from the things industries:

  • LoRaWAN Soil Moisture and Temperature Sensor
  • Enterprise Indoor Gateway

to run a small pilot in a rural area BUT I need some advice/help on this PLEASE.

The plan is to set it in a rural area in the south of Italy to monitor soil mousture and temperature in an orange field. The Gateway would be indoor (in a house where also internet connection is available) and roughly 800m away from the sensor.

Would that work? there obviously no major buildings in between, but not either a perfect line of sight… how likely is to work? As far as I can read relay nodes are not an option.

Apologies for the basic question and please feel free to send me to some more things to read!

Thank you


Possibly yes, possibly no - it will depend on how wet and how long the piece of string is! :wink:

As someone new to the field (excuse the pun) perhaps you should spend some time reading on the basics (Learn at top of each page here) and also search the Forum - after ~9 years there is a lot of accumulated knowledge relating to LoRaWAN coverage and the issues users have confronted and the advice given to them at various times scattered through the Forum threads.

In ideal conditions, if GW high enough, and Antenna for the sensor node also high enough off the ground then assuming no absorbtion of signal by the farm building then 800m entirely reasonable/do-able…but!!! We cannot say as we know knothing of the specific circumstances & things to consider TL:DR (wrt Forum search and Learn) include - but not limited to topics like (in no order of priority/impact) :

  1. Height (node & GW)
  2. LOS (Line of sight) - if you stand at one end of signal path with rolled up newpaper/magazine and look to other end point can they be seen? ((ok thats high priority!))
  3. Freznel Zone issues (node on ground but also intervening 'blockers), get antenna up >1m if you can - always helps but not essential depending on circumstances (parking sensors often on ground surface, water meters might actually be in small pits! but systems can be engineered to mitigate problems and work :slight_smile: )
  4. Absorbers between - Topology, Woodland, Building/Machinery clutter - mobile or fixed (can cause fun with intermittent behaviours!)
  5. Antenna orientation (get both vertically aligned!)
  6. Antenna type (each end - dont get suckered into buying some fancy high gain device - can be self defeating and cause other issues - 2-3.15 dbi just fine, unless compensating for cable/connector losses in which case 3 - maybe 5.8 dbi can be ok depending on circumstances))
  7. Connection losses/cable types
  8. Farm building construction (is it it old, thick solid stone (damp?) walls etc.)
  9. Is GW antenna (doesnt need to be the GW unit itself!) inside (poorer depending on position) or outside (better - assuming on the side of the building facing where the node is located of course!; best yet get it above the roofline!)
  10. (see topology & LOS above!) Is farm building on otherside of a hill relative to where node is (be careful as even small undulations in ground can effectively limit/mask true LOS!)
    Lots more but this is your starter for consideration.

And so on…like I say - its a piece of string question.

Approach is usually if you think it should work then JFDI, try and see…perhaps you can borrow/loan kit to test - even a cheap LoRa Tx/Rx p2p solution will show if the RF path can work for your use case…

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Thank you so much. I will certainly do my homeworks and study more, but I suspect in the end I will (as you say) JFDI and let the community know of what happened!

Perhaps the TTIG? So to add to the above:

  1. Ensure you get the names of things correct - there are lots of complications and getting the words right helps enormously with seeking help.

and I’m not sure TTI sell a soil moisture & temperature sensor, so:

  1. Be specific so we can give you more definitive advice.

You run the risk of buying a gateway &/or a sensor that isn’t going to be a good fit for your use case.

thank you Descartes.
I was thinking to get these two as they both appear from TTI. I thought they would work easily together (key for a beginner like me…)

Ah, the TTI shop!

LoRaWAN has a detailed specification to ensure that gateways and devices and infrastructure work together. Occasionally this glitches, but mostly interoperability is expected.

I’ll leave @Jeff-UK to comment on the Kerlink gateway but it looks like a good starter to me.

As for the Seeed Soil Moisture sensor it looks like the probe is resistive so whilst it will get you started I’d not get more than a couple before finding out about capacitive sensing with levels - so it can sense the moisture level at various levels along the length of the probe and won’t corrode over time. The 0 ~ 100% (m³/m³) implies a range from bone dry to actually being in a bucket of water so you will have to calibrate the readings to your own situation as soil type makes a lot of difference.

The standard observation for sensors that detect things on the ground or below is that the actual antenna needs to be on a post at chest/head height. If you put it on the ground its signal will be significantly reduced.

A post was split to a new topic: Do local gateways interact?

this is so helpful! thank you so much.
I was under the impression that those were both products from the same manufacturer, but I gather from your reply that I was wrong. Will keep studying, looking and trying! I guess that’s were the fun is.

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Subject to @Jeff-UK’s observations on the Kerlink, I’d just go with it.

You have to learn LoRaWAN and you have to learn enough chemistry, physics & electronics to sense stuff in the ground. This is best done by trying stuff.

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Welcome chiral3.
I have not used either of those devices. But. I think 800 meters should work ok.

I have the TTIG ( the things indoor gateway) in my house, but located at the top of my house, indoors. And I have a simple adafruit “feather” with a temperature sensor 1 km distance, it communicates very well.

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thank you. good to know!