Which gateway for a newbie? AU-Australia

For the LoRa starter kits by Draguino it is when it comes to LoRaWAN. These kits have hardware for a single channel packet forwarder, not a LoRaWAN gateway.

If the kit in question has an LG-01, then that issue falls under my statement that “Trying to use a node class radio in a gateway role is rarely worthwhile.”

But what the original post I was replying said was that “its firmware was not compatible”

The issue with an LG01 or LG02 is not that the firmware cannot be made compatible with a given bandplan, it is that the hardware is not really suitable for the gateway role in LoRaWAN.

If the asker had something like an LG308 with an actual gateway-class radio in it then any current software incompatibilities would be a stumbling block that could be overcome with better software.

And by extension, in a situation where LBT is required, if a gateway lacks support for that, the issue is not really that it is missing from the software, but that it is missing hardware capable of reading non-LoRa signal strength. Where that hardware is present, replacing software that doesn’t utilize it with software that does should be possible.

UPDATE: corrected mixed up model numbers

Sorry but the LG-02 is still not a LoRaWAN Gateway - it is a dual channel version of what seems now to be described as a SCPF (Single Channel Packet Forwarder), better than an LG-01 or equivalent but still not up to snuff!. I often describe such as a LoRa to IP bridge or extender…nowhere near a LoRaWAN GW. Indeed to quote Dragino’s own Wiki on this part:

LG-02 is an open source dual channels LoRa Gateway. It lets you bridge LoRa wireless network to an IP network via WiFi, Ethernet, 3G or 4G …

Note LoRa not LoRaWAN…

1 Like

Indeed, while I was away from the computer I realized I mixed up the model numbers, and came back to see you’d already pointed that out :slight_smile:

It is the LG308 that is a true gateway

The LG02 is just a slightly more expensive “abomination”

Have also been playing with the LPS8 which looks interesting but only UDP based for now (would like to run Jac’s MP-Forwarder but not (yet) an option) - but at least it is a full GW and price looks ok so neither LG01 nor LG02 should be considered IMHO when this class of device available along with the other micro-gw’s :wink:

Have not had chance to look at the 308 yet though I have seen a few with other people…a project for the new year?!

Would like to build the software for it but can’t get my hands on one for testing.

Sorry to hijack the conversation.
Which one would you pick, the LG308 or the RAK7258?

I have the RAK7258, but the LG308 seems better in some respect:

  • Published schematic
  • Actually published build sources for the specific product, vs. RAK where they do provide sources that can create a working build but that’s offered as a solution for their kits-of-parts rather than being intended for their completed boxes
  • newer Linux kernel
  • LTE support via an mPCI slot rather than as a soldered-in factory option, ie, you can pick your own modem if you don’t want theirs
  • embedded USB hub so you can still have an external USB port when opting for LTE
  • (if I recall correctly) AR9331 chip releases the SPI flash lines when held in reset, so you can use something else to reprogram the flash if you break U-Boot; the MT76x8 on the RAK does not meaning you probably need to desolder the flash or find all the JTAG lines. On the other hand, you likely don’t need to change U-Boot on either board.

I haven’t actually seen or tried one in person, but some downside including from past usage of the AR9331 chip in other things:

  • only one serial port, ie, you can’t have both a serial debug console and a GPS at the same time, and no external serial port at all (vs the annoying RJ45 on the RAK)
  • AR9331 oddly requires a magic partition with radio details at the end of flash
  • Dragino pushes the bogus single channel idea with those models rather than their “real” gateway mostly being what come up in searches, RAK seems to be only selling legitimate gateways

The MT76x8 in the RAK and AR9331 in the Dragino are competing MIPS SoC’s - essentially derivatives of aging wifi router solutions pushed for the IoT gadget market. Both typically run OpenWRT, booting a read-only compressed image from an SPI flash and could be set to either run from a ramdisk or an overlay filesystem that writes runtime changes to a journal - far, far better solutions for a field deployment than anything using an SD card as a filesystem.

My general feeling is either box is best used with a customized build and reverse SSH tunnel type administration so comparing UI candy isn’t personally interesting. And while both offer the option of running essentially the same network server on the box, that’s irrelevant to TTN and really only useful for single gateway demo networks anyway.

Past thread on the LG308:

1 Like

Can’t speak for the RAK7258 but I have experience with the LG308. Works well out of the box. Stable easy to set up with TTN and runs very stable. I’ve used one (with 3g connection) outside in a plastic box wrapped in garbage bags for a couple of months without any issues.
Now Dragino is offering lorawan compatible gateways they’ve correctly rebranded their earlier offerings to be LoRa gateways, not LoRaWAN. It would be nice if their dealers also updated their sales blurb.

1 Like

Just wondering how things have progressed with the external gateway?
Depending in price I may base interested in purchasing some
Regards, Ben

1 Like

Given that both the LPS8 and the LG308 which you apparently have use the same AR9331 processor module and have SPI connected classic concentrators, I’d not expect a lot of compatibility differences there. Their factory builds also seem to use the same source repository, so any differences are probably readily discoverable.

Given built images for these are fairly small, if there’s someone who has a box and a good understanding of flashing firmware via U-Boot (if the system gets broken to the point where the web gui no longer works) it would seem like sending a build to test could be a viable path. Not even really clear that whatever you are doing for the LG308 would not simply work, especially at the level of running alternative user space components like the packet forwarder - unless you are using the SX1276 (apparently present in v1.1 only?) as a transmit path, but it would seem you could try not doing that on the LG308.

Hi Ben, Tony is presenting his motivations and reasons for developing the GW and the background to the trials and tribulations of deploying gateways at this comming weeeks TTN Conf APAC/AU…if not to far for you perhaps you can go participate and ask him directly :wink: His presentation to TTN-UK Conf a couple of weeks back was much appreciated as was his Workshop contribution so I heartily recommend you take a trip if poss! :wink:

2:00pm Tech track

19 November
Stamford Plaza
North Terrace, Adelaide
South Australia

Been there, done that. Avoid it if possible and don’t want to consider it for something like this. Too much effort without any gain for me. Sorry if that sounds wrong, but I’ve invested a lot of money and energy already and I’m not about to spend time and effort on remote support and debugging software on a new platform.

Edit: my LG308 is deployed remotely on an island with 3G without remote access. Traveling there would cost me the same amount as buying an LPS8.

I did take a look at that, but unfortunately I can’t take the time out required to attend this time (18 hour drive or possibly 8 if I were to fly) but I might have to keep an eye out and plan to attend one in the future

Hi there theonlysean,
What gateway did you end up choosing in the end? And how’s the development work going for the smart-gardens projects?


Hi Phill,

I ended up going for the laird gateway. It has more than one purpose for me which is great. I’m still working out which sensors I’ll be using for this. Progress is slow but still moving …


1 Like

Hi All,

Any recommendations for a newbie ‘starter’ kit to get some practical LoraWan learning underway? (Based in AU)

Many thanks

Hey Kieran,

I was recommending the Laird gateway but the recent upgrade wasn’t the smoothest, super solid gateway though. Also region-locked it, which I’m sure helps with certification but kinda sucks if you wanted to move it to another country/band.

So, my recent purchase was a Mikrotik GW, which is cheaper, has a cheap & apparently nice antenna (AU$80), and all mounts on a pole outside w/PoE injector included. It has a few quirks but is amazingly configurable. Available for ~half the price of the Laird. It’s still early days but seems solid. Multiple sellers in .au too.

You could go RaspberryPi+Hat route but I’ve heard a lot of different stories about stability of hardware and software. You really want your gateway to Just Work rather than wondering if you’ve stuffed up your Node or your GW is playing up…I have been there too many times.

In Node terms, it depends on your requirements. Do you want something ready-to-go, something just to connect sensors to, or something to wire up, program, and experiment? What do you want to do with it?


I would also not recommend raspberry pi hardware for any sort of field-installed embedded system. And in that regard, pre-made boxes can be a solid choice.

However, it’s also extremely useful to have a box where you can get a shell and directly view packet logs without reliance on the internet backhaul or TTN servers, modify the software and add custom scripts, for example to have a reverse SSH tunnel in for management . That desire can rule out things like the TTIG (closed source), and some locked-down conventional gateways. People do regularly run custom system images on the multitech boxes, my understanding is that there’s good source support for the dragino actual gateways (with “8” in the model number), I’ve done it on the RAK mt7688 boxes though they don’t officially support that, etc.

But if gateway is going in a development rather than field location such that someone can easily get to it, then a raspberry pi can be fine and is certainly flexible.

Thanks fellas, i appreciate your help and insights. I’ll try explain my requirements a bit better;

  • I’m at the very start of this journey, having just developed the appetite to learn more about all things IoT starting with LoRaWan as there is some overlap with my job in local government
  • So for now this query is only for personal interest and learning
  • I’m reluctant to bite off more than i can chew, for that reason an out of the box ready GW may suit to get to grips with everything. Having said that, if you feel my sanity wouldn’t be impacted and the resources were there to assist with a raspberry-pi solution then id be all for it
  • Node wise, i would definitely say something to code, wire & experiment as this is not meant to serve any other purpose than developing my own knowledge. I guess something to have a bit of fun with!
  • Lastly as its a learning experiences, I’d prefer to keep the cost low, at least until i get an idea of what i can do with the technology

Sorry if this is a bit vague, but i’m am open to suggestions on solutions & paths you feel provide the best way to gain a practical understanding of LoraWan