LoraWAN custom gateway build

Hello there,
Few weeks ago I have asked a question how to start with lora wan on Facebook, what to order and few people helped me. But then I had to choose between gateway modules which are really expensive. I need opinions based on my task which is to set up(build using Raspberry Pi 3, concentrator board antennas etc) a gateway and connect it to TTN server, take 2 lora nodes (doesn’t matter which) and make project work(read data from lora sensors) through TTN Api. I have found few modules Rak831, Rak2245 with Pi Hat, RHF0M301–868 with PRI 2 Bridge RHF4T002 for integration, IC880A. What would you suggest which one should I take that has good community and documentation for nice setup. Also do all of them can be connected to Raspberry Pi 3 model b+ (here it’s not the case and this is too expensive considering that it doesn’t come with any sensore node https://www.seeedstudio.com/LoRa-LoRaWAN-Gateway-868MHz-Kit-with-Raspberry-Pi-3.html). Rak2245 seems very good and affordable with Raspberry Pi 3+. What are your suggestions to buy for gateway setup? I have to assamble it not to buy already assambled. Thank you in advance

That board has an unfortunate and rather embarrassingly naive design error in its use of a unsuitable, slow and entirely unnecessary level translator chip which marks a real step backwards for the company that makes it. That said, if you reduce the SPI clock speed it works, and this isn’t likely to be a performance issue in most cases.

In the positive direction, if you get it in a form factor that plugs right into a pi, that’s a simplicity vs. something you have to wire in yourself.

But going back in the other direction, a pi isn’t really a very good choice of compute platform for a field deployed (vs home or office experiment) gateway. Of course you can take something meant to go on a pi and later make a wiring harness to use it with a more robust embedded computer.

In the long run, pretty much any of the offerings with an SPI-interfaced SX1301 or SX1308 chip which are configured with support components suitable for your frequency band is probably usable. Something where it’s clear how to use open source packet forwarder repos rather than whatever half right/half wrong system image the board vendor wants you to use is preferable. Fortunately that mostly comes down to figuring out which GPIO is the concentrator reset line is wired to and what its logic sense is. Though if a GPS is offered there can be various quirks around the way that is interfaced to the pi, not that you actually need a GPS.

The one thing you do need to avoid are boards where the SX130x chip is hiding behind an FT2232 USB interface - those are deprecated. The USB designs that do have future potential are the picoGW ones (from nFuse etc) which use an STM32 as the USB interface.

Great, you answer told me so much about what should I consider. My task is for collage to build lora wan gateway connect it to some server TTN maybe and some nodes for humidity or temperature, it’s purpose is to show how sensor read data on a longer distance 2-3 km with a good line of sight. So my professor asked me to make a gateway, not to buy already assembled, I have watched many tutorials and read some documentation’s how to do that, the only problem was to choose correct and affordable concentrator board which will work with raspberry pi 3 model b or even better b+. I really liked this project so I don’t want to make some crap but also not in a position to spend more than 250 euro 300 at least. I know that some of them need jumper wires to connect rasp with lora board and some of them has bridge board for easier connection. I can see you have a loot of experience and knowledge about this. What would you recommend to buy of all of these (SX1301, 1308) or what do you think about link I have provided up here(that is expensive considering that ther is no sensor) where they have this RHF0M301 with bridge PRI 2 Bridge RHF4T002(here is raspberry pi 3 model b but can it work with model b + ?) It doesn’t matter you know answer on all my questions but you already helped me a lot and few ore answers will help me to choose(if is’t not that expensive I would already had 2-3 of them). Also would you recommend TTN or chirp stack or some other server to deploy node and gateway? Thank you a lot in advance :slight_smile: