The hard RAK831 cafe part 2

(Phil Wilko) #123

Sorry @BoRRoZ I wasn’t very clear.
I meant specifically the items you included in post 44 on this thread.

They were workshops related to Practical Skills and included, from memory, how to set up the RAK831. None of the workshops have been uploaded to YouTube. I just wondered if they will at some point.


I don’t know if some workshops are recorded.
This is the content of the RAK workshop.


Major update of PI Zero RAK831 Shield in action

Hardware build

Software setup

more things to come about this soon…

(Gry Kyo) #127

Superb result and really great setup guide @Charles Cudos the hard work :+1:

(Zane L) #128

@Charles your little gateway is awesome!

Do you plan on implementing a docker setup for it, like the one that jpmeijers put together for the other gateways? I’d definitely order a few of your PCBs to test everything out if that were the case.


Thank you guys.
Unfortunately, I’m not expert in nor docker. Not that I could not, it’s just a matter of time, and doing all this open sourced stuff (design, test, documentation, …) takes me too much time, and I need some to do my business work :smiley:
Anyway, any Pull request to improve all made stuff are welcome :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@ Charles: great tutorial .

Just before this weekend I received my RAK831 gateway from China. The interface_board I got that from a friend who visited the TTN-conference. The rest of the stuff I had somewhere in a box like a 5_Euro RaspiZero (without WiFi) and instead of wifi a wired 10Mbp USB-ethernet adapter, a 1.3 inch OLED and a some connectors.
Soldering was done very quickly.

Burning Raspberry OS on SDcard and then a ssh-login with putty from my PC. Installing the Gateway software, most was intiutive and easy to follow. The most difficult things was filling in GW-ID and the very long GW-KEY. Ofcourse I made a mistake in the KEY the first time. That went well on the second try. Getting some text on the OLED went OK. Also I had to edit a file for eth0 instead of Wlan.

It was a lot of typing commands and strings. Maybe there can/will be a script some day, that makes most typing unnessecary and will be less prone to errors in the GW-KEY.

So I am a happy (real) GateWay owner now. Thanks, to all participants, for all the hard work and coding that makes this project doable for everyone.


thanks, for sure making setup has a script is already in my mind (because I’m testing a lot of GW) . I would like to recode OLED script to be in monitoring one (make 1 of 2) and select things displayed with push button action, lot of things to do to improve.


Maybe the little pushbutton that is already on the board can be made multifunctional. A short push to go through several OLED windows and a real long push for a shutdown ?

For the moment I have this GateWay on my desk. Later I am going to put everything in a watertight enclosure, mount it close to the antenna and power it over the ethernet cable.


Exactly, that what’s is already done (for shutdown only), you need to push long time to initiate shutdown :wink:

(Coeus) #134

Can anyone give me some hints about getting the GPS of RAK831 working and have the gateway’s location automatically updated in the TTN console / TTNMapper?


RAK831 board is getting pretty warm.
I measured a spot of 52°C with an ambient temperature of 25°C, without enclosure, open air vented.
In a small non-vented case the RAK831 will probably get real hot.


(Martin Sloup) #136

Hi guys,

I successfully built my TTN GW with RAK831 and RPi Zero W in small IP68 gray plastic box. But in now days when the outside temperature increase the temperature, the temperature on RPi Zero W CPU comes up to 65-70 deg. of Celsius (checked with /opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp) which is a really hot. Unfortunately the box is located on northwest side of building, so the afternoon sun is shining on the box.

Are you observe higher temperature in your setup too?


(Biermi) #137

I’m using the iC880A concentrator board with a pi zero and have the same heating issue. The specification for the pi zero says up to 70°C. For my solution i have printed a little canopy which protects againt direct sun shining and also i have implemented two solar panels and a cheap 12V fan for cooling the case. After installing that canopy, my temperature now max 55°C instead of nearly 67°C. So the best you can do is to build a little protection against direct sun shining. For my solution see here our TTN Freiburg community tweet:


It might also be interesting to check the heat of the RAK831 board.


I am using a 50x50mm copper heatsink, sticked with 4 pieces of “25*25mm Square Double Sided Thermal Adhesive Tape”, to be sure the RAK831 will not overheat when located in direct sunshine. I can also screw a small ventilator on the heatsink that I probably will use when I mount the gateway in a box/pipe on the roof.

First I could feel the hotspot , the heatsink does not get hot anymore.


Arcao, how did you get the temperature reading of the Pi-Zero-W ? I like to show that temperature in my Domoticz system.
I also like to attach a GPS to my RAK831, like shown on your picture. Did you connect only the PPS to the RAK or did you connect RX-TX too ?


I don’t see an airvent at all…

you need something like this in that airtight system


I wonder if a GPS-PPS signal would help solve some joining problems with my RAK gateway.

The gateway can receive SF7,8 and 9 very well but when I try to join a Pro-Mini/RFM95 node it cannot join with SF7 or SF8, even SF9 sometimes does not join, but in the end all nodes will join in SF9 or SF10. The same nodes have no difficulti to join with a signal channel ESP8266/RFM95 gateway in SF8.
I believe this could be a timing problem. The RAK831 reports every minute about a time offset that drifts often more than 100 microseconds. According to this post only the PPS signal is neede. So i am going to connect PPS from a Ublox receiver to the RAK.

(Martin Sloup) #143

The LoraGW is sending the CPU temperature every 5 minutes to my MQTT server. Node-Red then show the value on a dashboard.

I just installed mosquitto_pub:

sudo apt install mosquitto-clients

Then I added cron directory /etc/cron.5minutes and appended bellow line into /etc/contab:

*/5 *    * * *   root    cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.5minutes

in the /etc/cron.5minutes I created shell script:

/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp | awk -F"=" '{print $2}' | awk -F"'" '{print $1}' | mosquitto_pub -h mqtt -u my_user -P my_password -t my/topic/cpu_temp -l

About the GPS, I soldered U.FL connector near the SMA and connected smaller china GPS antenna instead of bigger one delivered with RAK831 converter board. I also tried to use NMEA data for MP forwarder and it works, at least it’s sending correct location info to TTN console. I’m planing to enable beacon data sending and valid GPS is crucial for this as I know.