TTN Newcastle, Australia


(Heath Raftery) #1

Here be the first post for the Newcastle TTN community. Thanks to @Maj for the impetus to kick this off and for your enormous contribution to TTN in Australia in general.

This community is a true collaborative affair, with valuable early contributions from TULIP, Eighteen04, and my colleagues at NewieVentures. If you’d like to be part of the face-to-face conversation, we’d love to see you at a Newcastle IoT Pioneers meetup some day.

Come join the ride, we’d love you to be part of it.


#2

Newcastle


(Dave Wal) #3

Heath,
I expect to be there next week.
FYI I’ve been working on a TTGO ESP32, but am not sure it’s transmitting, which I think is a configuration thing. Anyone using https://github.com/tpet93/lmic-Arduino-Australia ?

Dave


(Heath Raftery) #4

Great, hope to see you there. I’ll be interested to know how to get on with the TTGO. I know there’s a few people working with LMIC derivatives, but it’s such a fragmented project it’s hard to apply any sort of generalisations. Many people get stuck trying to configure the channels for their frequency plan. To complicate matters more, many gateway operators in Australia are switching to AS923 instead of AU915 to support more off-the-shelf devices. We’re going with the flow in the Newcastle community and standardising on AS923, but things could change!


(Heath Raftery) #5

The gateway at Eighteen04 was recently moved to the roof of the building, which warranted some more coverage mapping.

Feast your eyes on the coverage map collected on Saturday 26th May. The red and blue pins are the gateways and the dots are successful node transmissions - red for strong signal, blue for weak. Great to see continuity from the Eighteen04 gateway through to the Mayfield gateway and even some support from the indoor gateway in North Lambton. Note this was collected with a Sodaq ONE with the supplied little wire antenna, attached to the roof of a moving car.

After%20antennal%20install%20-%203

Imagine the impact if we could add a Carrington and Adamstown gateway! Any takers?


(Heath Raftery) #6

Note the eighteen04_newcastle-west and newie-ventures-genesis (in Mayfield) gateways have been updated to AS923 (AS2 923-925 specifically) today to bring them in line with the community.


(Tuftec) #7

Hi Heath,

What was your reasoning for changing over to AS923 as opposed to AU915?

Use of the different band plans here in Australia for TTN may be a long term issue.
Nomadic users are unsure what is supported by a particular gateway in a region.
It would be nice if the TTN coverage map showed the supported bandplan so that new users were aware of what plan to use for their nodes.

There are a growing number of TTN gateways here in Melbourne. I think most are AU915 but difficult to tell without testing in each area.

Peter.


(Heath Raftery) #8

Good question. The decision was made solely based on an attempt to standardise. There’s been a general effort to move to AS923 so we’re following that trend. Having the two bands definitely causes a bit of friction and as you point out the fact that it’s hard to discover makes things tricky. We’ll keep a close eye on things but for now we’re trying to be as compatible as we can by going with AS923. Privately we also run a few AU915 gateways to support some AU915-only devices, but the TTN community is publicly AS923.


(Josh Leask) #9

So, if I update the frequency on the things network site my gateway will pull that down when it boots?


(Heath Raftery) #10

Yep, like magic. Some gateways will realise eventually even if left on, but a reboot is a good way to kick it into gear.


(Jac Kersing) #11

That depends on the gateway and the software stack installed. Some do, some don’t. What are you using?


(Josh Leask) #12

Well bugger me. I spent ages last weekend trying to get the thing working. I switched (magically) from AU915 to AS923-925 last night and it worked first try. Now my Arduino thing can talk to the cloud.

For the record it’s a Laird RG191.


(Heath Raftery) #13

The TTN Newcastle & Lake Macquarie Community is officially official!

Congrats to JoshLeask for becoming the latest contributor.


(Jscooksey) #14

OK, so just trying to get a LoPy4 connected as a node to Newcastle TTN, and have had it configured to use AU915 and also specifying the channels under that, no luck.

So I should be using AS923, but I’m trying to track down documentation that tells me that the LoPy region AS923 will get the channels for AS923-925:

eg lora = LoRa(mode=LoRa.LORAWAN, region=LoRa.AS923)

Also I have been attempting to connect up on Shortland Esplanade, which should get coverage I think, given the coverage map. I should reach core-electronics-community-1-as923


(Heath Raftery) #15

Yes, the majority of gateways in the community are AS923 (which doesn’t require disabling channels), so you’ll have better luck with that.

Documentation on LoPy and AS923 is thin, so you might be better seeking some ground truths - either The Things Network forums or try to hook up with the guys at Core Electronics. They’ve managed to put a lot of LoPy devices on the local TTN community.

Shortland Esplanade will be an interesting one - if you’re elevated enough to get line of sight it’ll be a cinch, but if you’re in a hollow the significant undulations in the area might make things harder. Next week another gateway is going up in Newcastle Library which might improve things for you too.


(Jscooksey) #16

Thanks, I’ll give Core a try, also I’ll be in at Wickham on the weekend, so a chance to try a different location


(Heath Raftery) #17

Wow this community is growing fast! There are at least 11 gateways now reporting in with coverage filling out across the region. The network even won the Best Smart City Solution at the NewiAwards on Thursday night!

The network is at the point where participants are no longer coming from the small circle that all know each other. This is fabulous for the network, but means we should grow up just a tad and try to provide some measure of reliability. As a small step in that direction, I’ve been developing this dashboard that’s on display at the default headquarters of the network at Eighteen04 in Newcastle West. Of course there’s a bunch of stuff there, but a good proportion of it is dedicated to monitoring the activity of the gateways in the community.

In addition, there’s a script that triggers an IFTTT applet at 7:30am and 4:30pm each day. It reads the gateway’s “up/down” status, and posts to a Slack channel if any of the gateways are down. I’m wondering if other gateway operators would find it useful if this script posted to #newcastle on the official TTN Slack workspace?


(Jscooksey) #18

Got it sorted this morning and can see test data coming through to TTN.
Just a couple of changes required in the config, as well as position. Currently working from 6th floor at Wickham.


(Heath Raftery) #19

Great to hear! New gateway goes up at the library tomorrow. Should give you some nice redundancy.


(Chris Geo) #20

Hello,

I am currently setting up a TTN community for Darwin and have a question about sourcing the gateway hardware.
What is the best place to get the hradware for the TTN gateways, I prefer businesses from Australia for obvious reasons.

Thank you.