Is TTN much less popular in the US?

Hi ya’ll,

So I wanted to do some LoRa software (mostly for fun) so I ordered a few TTGO T-BEAMs from China. They haven’t yet arrived, but the Dragino LPS8 gateway I ordered is here. Yesterday I placed it outside my house mounted somewhat high overlooking the San Francisco bay (with a fancy plastic bag environmental cover :grinning: ). Of course I’m just using the stock ‘indoor’ antenna, but I have to say I’m surprised at how few packets I see coming in. Only a few an hour, and so far all of those packets have been dropped by TTN with “no broker” - so presumably they are misconfigured devices someone has sitting around somewhere?

TTN seems quite popular in Europe, but looking at the map near here I only see a few gateways with only a smallish number of mapper hits. I was assuming that in ‘tech silicon valley’ would have a bunch more activity.

Is it just that my antenna is not up to snuff? Or is the network really that ununderbuilt/used here?

Anther SF Bay person! I agree, the uptake in the US hasn’t been good. I think part of it since it’s all grass roots per-say is the cost of outdoor gateways and their availability here in the US. There in the Bay Area there are a bunch of gateways (per the map) but all but 1 say they are indoors so very poor coverage. When I’ve done TTNMapping, when in east SF the Berkeley gateway provides good coverage in that area. There was a person in Morgan Hill that had an outdoor gateway the provided great coverage in that area but it went offline a couple months back. I’m in the process of getting a new gateway here to move it from indoors to outdoors.


Thanks for the reply. Good information thanks.

I see you are also a ham and I was surprised how low ttn adoption was compared to aprs (which seems super usable here).

I’ll keep running my ttn gateway (outside) and I’ll probably use my tbeams for experimenting with (non lorawan) Lora stuff.

I’m working on setting up a Mikrotik gateway as overall its the cheapest outdoor gateway that can be put together (~$250). Where in the bay area are you? There is someone in SF that is doing balloons and is using LoRa at 400 Mhz ham bands. Also, there is a growing AREDN network in the bay area if you are interested in any of that.

I am not surprised by the low take-up in the US cities because the cost of a LTE data services is very low in the US and the coverage is extensive.

I’m in the San Mateo hills - with very good line of sight for SSF, SFO, SF and across to Hayward.

But aren’t LTE data rates even cheaper in Europe?

I don’t know the prices in Europe. I am paying $1 per month for my LTE service in the US for my IoT devices and I am also paying $10 a months for “unlimited” bandwidth for an iPad.

However, LTE consumes a lot more power than LoRa so there are a vast range of applications, especially in rural areas where LoRa is superiour.

Can anyone in SF share real info about at least one working outdoor gateway? I’ve done some “war driving” and I get absolutely nothing? I’ve driven literally next to what the map shows as working gateway - nada. I got on Helium immediately with the same hardware so I am postulating my issue is simply range and dead gateways?

Thanks you~

Given the vast distances between population centers, it’s pretty much “build it if you need it”

You can’t meaningfully compare to the pyridiam network for anything beyond local relevance if you happen to be located in their backyard when you do your comparison…

Keep in mind also that there are also sorts of subtle ways a node can be misconfigured; having a known good local gateway (eg, one you manage) is key to debugging that, too.

Hey guys @KE6MTO and @punkgeek, another HAM here :slight_smile: So do you have any verified info for me where I can test a node? I’m in the Parkside so no gateways for miles but even if I get to Twin Peaks I can’t get my little node to work? It’s possible that the thing is misconfigured but I’ve tested it with “the other network” and it works so I am just looking for a real working gateway I can come nearby to test my node?

Any info will be appreciated, someone mentioned Berkeley? Is that gateway still on-line (for real I mean not just being listed on the map)? Yah no joke I’m willing to drive across the bridge for a test :slight_smile:


Alas. I’ve kinda stopped using ttn because it seems basically a non thing in the US. So I made meshtastic and there are a fair number of bay area peeps using that (see our forum for a thread on Bay area coverage)

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