Suggestions for a starter LoRaWAN Gateway

Hello… I’m new to LoRa and have been reading posts here on the TTN forum about 8 channel gateways, SX1302, LoRaWAN compatibility, etc. And also watching videos such as: I’m looking for a gateway that costs around $100 USD that I can begin using out of the box and customize the code as I progress. I’m in a rural area in the US without public LoRa service. LAN cable support and the ability to add an exterior antenna would be nice so that the GW can live in my basement shop and still achieve good range outdoors with a pole mounted antenna. The low power aspect of the SX1302 is attractive as at some point I may get down to the gateway module level.

  • The Things Indoor Gateway looks simple but doesn’t support the external antenna and only supports WiFi backhaul. I don’t see a USB host port. $89USD
  • LIG16 Indoor LoRaWAN Gateway. I read a long TTN thread on this unit. I can’t tell if it’s a good starter unit - work out of the box - or if I need to immediately get into coding. $100-125USD

Any suggestions appreciated.

I own a LIG16 and connected it to TTN V2 and V3 without problems. There are still some bugs in the firmware but it works out of the box. One advantage compared to the Dragino LPS8 is the power consumption. The LPS8 consumes abt. 4 W, the LIG16 1,3W.


Thanks wolfp. I think I’ll buy an LIG16.

Mostly we treat our gateways as appliances, not something we customise. Before diving off on the first post that gives you a thumbs up on the LIG16, what do you have in mind with “customising code”?

And overall, what are you objectives for LoRaWAN in the near future - because some activities would benefit from one setup, other things not so much. The gateway is just one element in the mix.

As your first post involved a non-standard scheme and as we see a lot of false starts here, I can’t recommend enough that you learn LoRaWAN basics by doing something totally standard with a gateway and two devices, one of which you may choose to build yourself, before venturing off in to experimental schemes.

Read all of:
The devices section of:
The gateways section of:
The network section of:
The applications and API sections of:

Descarte… Perfect. Thank you for the reading list. It’s just what i needed.

You have a good memory… The approach in my first post was to jump ahead a bit to see if LoRaWAN might support a version of what we want to do. I think it might. Now I am “backing off” and setting out to learn the LoRa and LoRaWAN basics which is where my second post comes in. I have a pair of 915 MHz ESP32 LoRa OLED modules and now need a GW. I want a device that I can just begin using and is low $ but also offers some flexibility for customization and experimentation should that be of value. Thanks again.

Is there a significant difference between the LIG16 and LPS8?

They use different chips (SX1302 vs SX1308) which looks to be the main reason it needs less power, but aside from that I’m struggling to find stats on broadcast range, number of devices they can manage etc.

The official website suggests that the SX1302 is newer (and therefore I’d assume better…)

There’s a theorerical difference of likely litte practical impact in the number of simultaneous signals supported, and some new modes not commonly used.

In practice the main thing you’ll see is reduced radio deck power, and thus heat.

The significant difference is imho the power-consumption. Whilst the LPS8 has abt. 4.5W, the LIG16 has abt. 1.3W.
I have both gateways, with the same antenna there seems to be no significant difference in coverage.
Even the firmware is the same.

The software is not actually the same as the register schemes of the two chips are substantially different, but system images may well exist which include software support for both types.

I’ve got a scheme which does nothing more than try to run one version and then the other in an endless loop until one finds hardware it can run.

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Thanks. I’m struggling to find a vendor in the UK for the LIG16 so looks like LPS8 is what I’ll be playing with (assuming I even need a gateway…!)

Apart from the fact they need to count the number of lamp posts which will take to June 2021, there is no guarantee that they will use TTN as the back end - or even TTI with peering setup. Obviously this would be a stella idea as it would make Bradford a “connected-community” but I suspect that the politicians will have been feted by a commercial network and have some compelling reasons to reel out when asked why.

But mostly, it is Sooooooo much easier to debug what you are doing with LoRaWAN when you have access to a known good gateway and a known good device - Dragino do a nice little door open or damp sensor - I’d get one of those at the same time, then you have something working to base your future debugging on.

The Local Leeds & Bradford TTN Community is one of the earliest and largest in the UK and - until the Covid impact - one of the most active in UK - a key hub and contributing part of TTN UK-North, with old friends of TTN like Julian and Ben active from early on helping deploy GW’s or early use cases (Flood monitoring out from Bradford towards Calderdale, smart lighting trials , polution monitoring etc IIRC,), and contributing to the public Open Data Initiative through the Leeds Hub. Bradford city center itself doesnt have many directly registered GW’s but there are a lot in the area so may be worth checking if you get some coverage. I had a coverage map link for the area from years ago somewhere which I will try to dig out and post again…

Good chance will be on TTI/TTN as I beleive Lucy Ziodion may be providing the street light luminare and GW infrastructure through a local delivery partner (Amey?) - I suspect into TTI Backend with scope for Packet Broker access for Local community use? (part of justification beyond lighting?) and last TT Virtual Conf 21 in Jan included a pitch by Richard Perry (Biz Dev) from LZ with a segment by Allun Preece from Bradford City Council - worth taking a look :wink:

I think LZ’s lead hardware eng is also a member of the community (Chris Armitage) as they are headquartered not far away from there.

@MatthewSt as Nick suggests still good reasons to have your own GW to help debug…and of course contribute to and help local your community grow! :slight_smile:

As @Jeff-UK knows where the bodies are buried and I’m within driving distance, is there any mileage in petitioning for a TTI instance (I’d not consider street lights a good use case for TTN but it would be OK) with peering. Happy to do a few days over the Pennines to show how community devices can make a difference - particularly Air Quality.

Oh for the end of Lockdown and time when I can finally come and join all! Ah well… all off topic I guess… :wink:

V3 migration will likely mean round UK migration/road trip to access many old nodes and GW’s so will have to find an excuse soon…

@Jeff-UK and @descartes

I was coming to the same conclusion myself about having a local gateway. Looking forward to getting started as this seems like a friendly community. Watch this space for a new Bingley node coming online :slight_smile:

Personally for indoor I’d suggest the Tektelic Kona Micro Lite as a good starter gateway - Tektelic KONA Micro Lite IoT LoRaWAN Gateway

For outdoor either The Things Outdoor Gateway - The Things Outdoor Gateway - 868 Mhz

or the Nebra Outdoor Gateway - Nebra Smart IoT Gateway with LoRa® — Nebra Ltd

Best Regards,


My LPS8 turned up today, plugged it in and registered and it was already picking up packets for someone else before I’d got my first device activated!

It’s not showing up on the map yet, but I’m assuming that’s got some caching involved

Mapping is a ‘thing’ at present, so that will happen when it happens.

There is the TTN Mapper integration but you need a device with GPS or a device + smartphone to measure coverage of your gateway.