RAK833 PCIe LoRa Gateway Concentrator Module


#1

(Ryan Walmsley) #2

I’ve been seeing it advertised on their facebook page. They are doing a giveaway I think over at http://www.rakwireless.com/en/RAK833.

I have to say I think I’m a bit surprised it costs more than the 831 by about £30. Then again it seems it has the FTDI USB Converter built in.


(Nestor Ayuso) #3

You can use over USB interface or over SPI interface, the selection is done with one pin.

The USB over mPCIe is standard but the use of SPI over mPCIe is not standard, so you might get problems using it in some hosts with mPCIe socket.

http://docs.rakwireless.com/en/RAK833%20LoRa%20Gateway/Hardware%20Design/RAK833 LoRa gateway DataSheet_v1.2.pdf

Why cost more? FT2232H chip, the PCB manufacture of a edge conector, the double side process (paste, pick&place, reflow oven, aoi…), the supposed CE and FCC certification


(Thomas Graf) #4

I just ordered the KIT version. For me the price is totally ok. Any comparable mPCIe card out there which is cheaper? I think in the future with higher volume production it will be chaeaper.


(Nestor Ayuso) #5

the complete list is here


(Craig) #6

Looks like the price has dropped from $177 USD to $119:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/RAK833-Industrial-Grade-Mini-PCIe-LoRa-Gateway-Concentrator-Module-SX1301-FT2232H-Chip-433-470-868-915MHz/32867370031.html

The new datasheet (V1.3) can be found here. It mentions new part numbers, RAK833-SPI/USB-xxx and RAK833-SPI-xxx (Non USB versions).

RAK Wireless has suggested the non-USB versions are due on AliExpress anyday now. Watch the space. I wonder how much more it shaves off the price with the removable of the FTDI part?


(Craig) #7

Non-USB RAK833-SPI modules are $99 USD. They can be purchased from:
https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/RAK833-SPI-SX1301Chip-868-915MHz-Industrial-Grade-Mini-PCIe-LoRa-Gateway-Concentrator-Module-support-SPI-Interface/2805180_32887664396.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.39.50e44461KNlKs8


(Amedee) #8

Does that mean it should work on “any” mPCIe computer slot?
(assuming you have the appropriate OS drivers)


(Craig) #9

It should work. The module’s power and USB interface is on standard mPCIe Rev2.0 pins.

The USB/SPI interface is selected via the SPDT_SEL pin (17). On mPCIe this pin should be wired to UIM_IC_DM - a pin designated for the SIM card (User Identity Module).

The SPDT_SEL pin has an internal pull-up of 10k, selecting USB. Provided this pin is not connected - highly probable, then you should be fine


(Amedee) #10

Interesting…

Might be able to add LoRa to my Turris router…


(Tony Smith) #11

@cpeacock, Craig my RAK833 SPI/USB arrives Monday. Feel free to run tests if you like


(Tony Smith) #12

Ali-express is listing this SPI only RAK833 as “No Longer Available” :frowning_face:


(Craig) #13

:frowning_face:

If you look at the sales on AliExpress, there was one sale (me) before it was changed to “No Longer Available”.

The information I had from RAK on Wednesday is they will be “on the shelves tomorrow”, suggesting they did have stock. I’ll have to wait and see if mine ships.


(Ryan Walmsley) #14

The SPI Only version is showing up for me at https://www.aliexpress.com/item/RAK833-SPI-SX1301Chip-868-915MHz-Industrial-Grade-Mini-PCIe-LoRa-Gateway-Concentrator-Module-support-SPI-Interface/32887664396.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.17.1ada578bzN58gS&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_3_10152_10065_10151_10344_10068_10130_5722815_10324_10342_10547_10325_10343_10340_5722915_10548_10341_5722615_10696_10192_10190_10084_10083_10618_10307_10820_10301_10821_10303_5722715_10059_306_100031_10103_10624_10623_10622_5722515_10621_10620,searchweb201603_1,ppcSwitch_5&algo_expid=976d896c-13b6-4ee5-bbb5-93138f12989a-2&algo_pvid=976d896c-13b6-4ee5-bbb5-93138f12989a&priceBeautifyAB=0

Very interesting as one of these is around £80 with a Raspberry Pi or such and correct adaptor could mean DIY Gateways for £100-125


#15

I received my RAK833 a few days ago and I’ve been working on such an adaptor for the Raspberry PI. I’m glad to say it’s working great but I have to do some compare tests with my iC880a. For the moment it makes a really small DIY gateway!

I just published the first revison of the design and an installation script based on @gnz and @ttn-zh work here:


(Ryan Walmsley) #16

Very nice! I’ve also been designing one for a company. Pretty much the same as there’s only a few ways you can put a PCIe header on a HAT. However I’ve left off the USB so its RPi only.


(Amedee) #17

That way you could also get a smaller footprint, which would be nice for a RPi Zero…


(Ryan Walmsley) #18

Bit too big still for a “PHAT” so gone for a full HAT. However as they’re a RPi authorised retailer it contains the extra circuitry for the HAT Specifications.


#19

This is cheaper than the RAK831 + adapter board even if we choose the USB version and the mPCIe to USB adapter board.

So what’s the catch?

I can see that by choosing the USB version either connected directly to a PI usb port or by a USB cable, is less compact, but for a indoor gateway the price difference is almost the PI price…


#20

@Ryanteck You are right. I’m not sure it’s worth the USB interface. The module with USB and FTDI is $30 more expensive. I guess it makes sense from the RAK point of view to have an SPI-only and a SPI&USB version, a USB-only version would be nonsense. But for a RPi hat the USB part is worthless.

Anyway, I guess removing the USB connector, the switch and the reset button and adding an EEPROM and a few more components to make it hat compliant will cost more or less the same…