Recommended Gateway Alternatives to the Things Gateway - €300 - €900


To give you an idea: one of the first outdoors WSN I set up was based on WRT54GL soho routers. I bought inexpensive IP54 enclosures from Fibox to put the routers in, and drilled holes and used cable glands for the antennas and power/data cable.

The boxes were placed on roofs and in a field where they were subject to wind, rain, cold and heat.

This is how the inside of the box looked after 6 year.

Eight years later they still function just like on the first day :slight_smile: . So I wouldn’t worry too much, just buy a good (white!) enclosure and in most climates you’ll be just fine.


Am I right in assuming that you attached the RJ45 plug to the ethernet cable yourself? The cable gland on the right side looks like a standard one i.e. you fed the ethernet cable through the glad and attached the plug.

Since I lack both the tools and the skills for such a procedure I opted for a waterproof IP65 RJ45 connector for my gateway. The nice side effect of course is that I can simply unplug the one single cable going to the gateway (since I use PoE) at the gateway to move it elsewhere. Depending on how/where the gateway is installed outdoors this may become quite an important maintenance feature. My ethernet cable is 30m long and “uninstalling” it would be quite a task.


Could it be that your enclosure isn’t absolutely tight where you feed the antennas through the glands? That would possibly explain why this setup doesn’t suffer from condensation even though you didn’t install a pressure vent AFAICS.


Indeed, that is also why I mounted the glands on the underside of the enclosure only. I tighten them enough so that spiders can’t get in, but moisture levels can settle. Water can’t get in because of the location of the glands. Poor mans solution, but works perfect :slight_smile: .


Yep, that installation looks rock solid. A friend recently lost a RaPi when his enclosure became loose during a heavy storm. The wind managed to turn it at least 90° at which point water was running along the cable into the enclosure. He had used a 2-pole ribbon cable (flat) in a round cable gland…

(Somsak) #26

What is the maximum temperature during a hot season?

(John Hunt) #27

What about the Lite Gateway (LGW) from IMST? 199€ Have you tried it?

(Bjoern A) #28

I have one, and its working as expected. No problems so far. The LiteGateway is an Raspberry B+ with the iC880A concentrator, packed into an aluminium casing. So nothing fancy, but a solid kit, like the DIY gateways.
But you have to build an outdoor case for yourself.


If you consider what you get for 199€ with this package then the price for the iC880A alone is definitely a bit steep.


Ambient temperature reaches around 31°C in summers. No idea how hot the enclosure gets, it’s white but not shaded from the sun. Winters can get -5°C. I’ve not had any issues with the equipment so far.


I have a BMP280 in my enclosure and push the data to

Here are the figures from today, a sunny day in fall. The gateway is unshaded in full sunlight (I’ll change that soon):

–> ambient is close to 60°C
–> Pi CPU temp is ~65°C

Both Pi and iC880A are rated for up to 75°C as per their spec sheet.

(K6dpy) #32

Can you share which nodes/sensors you are using with this gateway? We’re thinking of getting this gateway. Thanks!

(Osbex) #33

Does anyone know anything about capacity differences between high-end “carrier grade” gateways and DIY stuff? Have worked a lot with Wi-Fi and built own APs, and with that technology the difference in feature set between a $500 AP and something you build yourself is massive. Tesla vs bicycle. Same goes for scalability. Wonder if someone has any insight in how low-cost and DIY LoRa GW’s scale compared to high-end and more expensive gear? LoRa(WAN) feels like a quite simple implementation, so are there any differences in features, sensitivity, multi-frequency reception etc. that could justify a higher price tag?


This one fit into a waterproof enclosure with 4mm screw aligned to enclosure, just put in it, 2 screw and it’s done.

got some PCB of V1.1 mounted for those interested

(Antony Fry) #35

This doesn’t directly answer your question, it is more a ‘what do the more expensive outdoor Ingress Protected Gateways provide apart from IP?’ answer.
I was looking at a gateway for a construction site scenario and apart from the IP67 casing a $1200 gateway excluding shipping adds features like 4G backhaul and GNSS support, neither of which I needed, plus an accessory kit including lightning arrestor, LoRa and cellular antennas, mounting bracket kit, PoE injector etc. which does push the price up.
So I would approach it from this angle: what capacity do I need? How many gateways will cover my area? Do the deployment conditions warrant higher IP? Are the additional features/hardware necessary? How much DIY time do you have? Does it need to be placed externally (line of sight and building/glass material constraints)?

(Osbex) #36

Thanks a lot. I have time to build an own gateway but don’t really see the point as I’m looking at large scale deployments for customers. I want the GPS position of the gateway, possibly 4G backhaul (although it’s often MSO companies that are asking for the solution so they have the fiber points), PoE (can get that on the Pie as well, but I don’t think the Pie can manage the temp specs without a built-in heater) and I definitely want a gateway with the highest possible capacity in terms of # of supported devices. So those are the parameters I will look for in the specs when comparing prices.


Most gateways use just one radio board for LoRaWAN limiting the gateway to 8 channels. I’ve seen gateways with 16 channels listed (second radio board), however if the 8 additional channels make sense depends on you location and the channels supported in that region. There might be slight differences in the design resulting in sensitivity, but the differences will be small. Capacity of all 8 channel gateways is the same.

Differences for carrier grade gateways are: IP rating of housing, temperature range the gateway can be subjected too, features like GPS with time stamping capabilities for location services (see other forum threads on the usefulness of this feature, do not start a discussion here!), management features in the embedded OS (keep in mind sometimes carrier grade means less features :wink: ) Support for 4G/LTE.


Mind you that ‘carrier grade gateways’ will easily set you back multiple thousands dollars. We’re talking Cisco hardware here. I wouldn’t really call the €1.200 gateways ‘carrier grade’, they are just regular commercial grade gateways with added functionality like PoE or integrated LTE modem.

Specs wise, all gateways, or at least the radio boards, follow the Semtech spec and use the same Semtech provided silicon. Some gateways use multiple radio boards (Mtech, Cisco) providing additional capacity, but like @kersing says that isn’t particularly useful in most cases.

A DIY gateway will therefore offer as good as the same RF performance of a carrier grade gateway. Those last ones will however offer extended temperature range, ingress protection, service life guaranty, surge protection (both on RF side as PSU side) etc.

The hard RAK831 cafe part 1
(Sslupsky) #40

I have not done any extensive testing yet. I do have it working with the Microchip motes. I have some Laird and Multitech development boards as well but have not had a chance to test those yet.

(Roadfox) #42

In my opinion, very good suited for your description: