LoRaWAN Gateway suggestion

Hi!

I am new to this community. After reading some of the posts in this forum, I still would love to ask for guidance with regard to the following usw case:

I want to set up about 10 LoRaWAN 8-channel gateways at farms of friends of mine. The purpose will be to track the current temperature, humidity and air pressure at each station - just for the sake of it. Me and some of my friends would just like to do something with LoRa and this shall be our first step to get known to this technology.

Apart from integrating the sensors - which seems to be easy to us - we do not know, which gateways would be the best to use. We’d love to install them for a longer period of time and not throw them away in about a year - they should last some time.

Outdoor usage is not mandatory. We’d be able to put indoor gateways into waterproof housings, if neccessary. Ethernet is a must, GSM would be nice.

As we want to take care for the sensors and not the network, we would want gateways, that just run once they’re set up. We do not want to fidlle about LoRa. :slight_smile:

Budget should be up to 200 EUR / gateway, rather cheaper. Self-made hardware based on Ardiuno or Raspebrry is no option to us.

Long post, short question: which 8-channel gateways would you suggest or recommend for a rather long-lasting outdoor installation, that works out of the box running robust firmware?

Thanks a whole lot for any suggestion!
Dennis

I think you need an outdoor.
Read this gateway cost is cheap.


Indoor is rebuilt to outdoor.

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How many nodes will you put in each location? For weather monitoring you may not see all that much variation apart from that caused by sun/wind shadowing of hills and trees / open / nearby watercourses. While LoRaWAN is great an all, for general weather reporting you might just want a sensor at everyone’s house directly connected.

Almost regardless of what sort of local radio network you use, the main things to consider (and often the actual main expense) when deploying gateways is how they will be powered, connected to the Internet, and how you will maintain them.

Your most economically choices that really work in such a setting would likely be one of the OpenWRT router chip based solutions from Dragino or RAK. But if you you have relatively consistent power with few outages and are willing to go to the gateway location and swap SD cards should it ultimately be needed, pi-based solutions start to be plausible.

If you go with Dragino you need to make sure you are getting an actual 8-channel concentrator and not one of their only slightly cheaper nodes-pretending-to-be-a-gateway, but you get the option to add your own LTE modem and sources specifically for that box. If you go with RAK the actual gateways are more widely sold, but source support is spotty (what is available works on the boxes but is actually intended for kits of parts) and your only internal LTE choice is their modem.

In either case you’ll probably need to do some low-level OpenWRT work to come up with your own remote administration solution.

Given all this you should buy only one gateway and gain some experience with it before you buy more.

2 Likes

Like @cslorabox asked about the number of nodes, I ask: why 10 gateways? Did you already run a site survey and understood that you need such a large coverage? Unless the size of the farm is hundreds of square kms, or the shape is particularly complex with hills and mountains, better to start with less and add where needed after a site survey.

Hi Dennis,

I recently came across a company in Canada which makes an indoor gateway that appears to meet all your requirements, it’s the KONA Micro IoT Gateway from TEKTELIC. I have one here at my home office but have not tested it out yet.

More info here:

Mark

Hell of a gateway for the money that! Blown away with mine.