USB Dongle

Hi all,

I’m new to LoRa and I was wondering if there is a LoRa USB dongle anyone can recommend? I’ve found but I’m not sure if there are others?

I also assume, depending on frequency band, they’d have to be different dongles, correct? While on the software end of things, I assume the interfaces will be reasonably similar if not identical, right?

Many thanks, best regards,

Perhaps give the forum some idea of the application, that might affect what is recomended.

For TTN you need a LoRaWAN dongle. Note there is a significant difference because not all LoRa hardware has LoRaWAN software on board. And due to the strict timing requirements of LoRa USB is not the best interface to implement LoRaWAN on top of a LoRa module.

Please note, we only do LoRaWAN on TTN here.

Assume is the start of the LoRaWAN train wreck. Finding one LoRa dongle doesn’t make for there being many dongles.

Not in the slightest. Mostly as you can’t make a gateway out of a single radio chip which is the one on that USB device, despite what they are suggesting. You’ll end up with a Single Channel Packet Forwarder which is non-compliant, disruptive to the network and will waste an enormous amount of your time troubleshooting your devices which will expect to be have a gateway in the mix, which can hear on 8 channels and 8 spreading factors simultaneously, unlike the dongle which will be able to manage just one.

Ignoring the seductive price of bad hardware, what is it you want to do?

Thanks for your replies! Much appreciated!

I’m working on an Edge Computing Platform called and I am trying to figure out if there is an angle we can integrate to The Things Network. We’ve already created a USB dongle for Zigbee and for EnOcean, so I am now exploring TTN…

Our server software runs on Linux/MacOS and Windows.

By the sounds of it, you don’t recommend an approach where a pico-compressor is running on the USB dongle itself, right?

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Not sure what a pico-compressor is, but no. Whilst there are a few solutions around for connecting a concentrator card’s SPI to USB, they are not a solid solution due to the constraints of gateways timing being disrupted by USB.

For other readers, this was the reply before it got edited by the OP!

Pico compressor, whats that ?

Most all of the USB LoRa dongles I have seen are merly a UART front end to a single LoRa device, with the UART presented as a USB connection.

Useful maybe for plugging a single node point to point LoRa setup into a PC or Pi, but difficult to see where there is an application for TTN.

Do appreciate that the amount of data a node can transfer into TTN is very small, 30 seconds of air time a day, and you really need to plan for worst case where the node is distant from a Gateway which limits you to around 500 bytes a day.

Hi @descartes and @LoRaTracker ,

Thanks for your answers, sorry, I meant concentrator, not compressor. By the sounds of it, USB is therefore not the right way forward, and I should look into connecting to a gateway as you suggest.

Thanks for the info!

If you want to add lorawan gateway functionality with USB you could look at nFuse offering (include the USB adapter) which provides picogateway capabilities. It still requires software to run on the host but does the timing critical stuff with a dedicated microcontroller and it uses full gateway chipsets which is required to be lorawan compliant.

Excellent, thank so much @kersing ! Much appreciated! I will have a closer look!

Long story short: Maybe it’s better to go for the nfuse SX1302. Double the channels, less watts (heat). But it’s untested from me.

I am operating the SX1308, it’s fine. But I didn’t tested the downlinks.

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