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?
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 …
Any recommendations for a newbie ‘starter’ kit to get some practical LoraWan learning underway? (Based in AU)
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
Hi Bruce, I have two RAK831 gateways operating and one RAK7249 also. They have been going well. My question is regarding the Mikrotik units, can they be used in a remote situation with a built in modem for the 3g or 4g networks? That’s the 850 & 700Mhz bands, as I am in rural AU. My potential new deployment will be solar powered with no ethernet available (other than for power of course).
Not that one no. It has a SIM slot, but don’t be fooled as it only has one mini-PCIe slot and that’s full with the LoRa board. It looks probable that you could get their 4G router external box (random .au link) and put the LoRa9 board (intentionally available separately just for this purpose) in the spare slot. Their 4G modems don’t appear to have 700Mhz versions but I didn’t look too hard and I don’t have the band numbers memorised
I’ve had my gateway all of five days, so someone with some actual experience of this should probably speak up now. My initial glow of ownership is still firmly in place.
Yeah ok, I suspected as much, I got a basebox set up last year for a neighbour, and had to get a particular modem for the slot to get it to work. Pity. It looks like a good unit otherwise.
Thanks for the advice Bruce. Much appreciated!
Bearing in mind depending on where you are you may not need a gateway of your own (check ttnmapper.org at least).
The dev boards that come with a screen can be handy, and I guess at this point power consumption and range are not too critical for you.
You could start with the Arduino IDE/platform.io on the ESP32 base (TTGO, Heltec, etc) or the Heltec Cubecell range (arduino ide only, still). I’ve personally bought too many different boards, including the 8bit Arduino ones and the STM32 ones, and (right now, things change) the ESP32 and Cubecells have been the easiest to get working and extend – opinions here will definitely differ(!). The STM32 boards are possibly the best in spec terms, especially with the new all-in-one module, but the dev environment is hard work (powerful, but hard work) compared with the Arduino IDE
I’ve not used the Murata stuff (which looks very nice) or the rasppi with a hat, or the Adafruit feather or LoPy. Learning each dev environment and the foibles of each one and it’s associated stack is…time consuming.
There are heaps of threads on each of these here on the forum (and this thread is getting off topic), be prepared for some learning(/frustration) with any of them though.
Enjoy, and report back with your decision and lessons learnt
Heltec Cubecell range (arduino ide only, still)
The CubeCell can also be used in AT mode.
I had the same question, so I asked MikroTik. They told me the SIM socket is used for other products that use the same enclosure, but is non-functional if you have the LoRaWAN module. They recommended the RBLtAP-2HnD (https://mikrotik.com/product/ltap) for a device that can accommodate a LoraWAN gateway and a cellular modem in a single box. (I posted the same answer in the MikroTik thread MikroTik LoRaWAN gateways and concentrator boards).
Oh wow, that’s great news, thanks for the tip, I’ll do some research!
A post was merged into an existing topic: Dragino LG308
Hi guys, i am just starting out in LORA and made the exact same mistake as Sean which was very frustrating to say the least and put me off for a few months… I am back at it now and want to make a start but also wish to know what a suitable gateway is for a newbie, preferably for outdoor use (i am a bit wary of the iot store for selling this in the first place!). Beyond that i am a bit lost as to how to view the data retrieved from end nodes, especially in the sense of providing an end user solution so they aren’t deciphering code but just presented with easy to read data, graphs etc. Is node-red the best for this sort of thing or does TTN provide an interface for end users?
Appreciate any and all information as im very new to this.
And Dragino gateway with an 8 or 16 in it, a TTIG or one of the RAK gateways. Find one you like the look of the price of and then search on here for feedback and then feel free to ask for a final thumbs up.
Outdoor gateways for inclement climes are quite expensive - having to be flood proof etc.
You can put your gateway next to a window and then upgrade the antenna with a short run of cable to something mounted outside. All gateways have the same source of chips (Semtech) so outdoor gateways tend to be about extras & being in heavy duty boxes.
I 100% agree with Nick about the gateways. Read some reviews, check what is available with the current supply shortages. Look for the features you need. If you are in Australia, are you planning to use AU915, AS923, or both?
Location and construction of your building can make a big difference. I’m in a timber house in rural New Zealand. I have an indoor gateway and get usable coverage up to 14 km line of sight. In a town or city, in a brick or concrete building, things will be very different. But you may get coverage from other nearby gateways.
For storage and presentation of data, I’ve been using mqtt, Node-Red, InfluxBD, and Grafana on a Raspberry Pi, based on the YouTube video’s by Andreas Spiess “The Swiss Guy”. This was set up for TTN V2 so it’s probably a bit “old school” now. The mqtt messages are different with the TTN V3 upgrade, the “node-red-contrib-ttn” package is depreciated, but the built in “mqtt in” connector works fine with TTN V3 and it can all be adapted.
TTN V3 has new Web APIs which is another way to go. Read the documentation https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/docs/lorawan/ and have a good search through the forum for other approaches.
Search and you will find lots of information on each of these gateways. Price and features differ, but LoRaWAN functionality essentially the same.
TTN offers a data a storage facility, but retention in not very long. Storage Integration | The Things Stack for LoRaWAN
You can ether deploy a application locally on a PI, local pc or server. OR you can opt for a cloud instance AWS, Linode, Oracle… most of these offer a free service on their smallest EC varying from a few dollars worth of services to always free servises.
Node-Red is relatively easy to use and on there forum there is a lot of support. You can deploy Node-red on any of these services, be it local or in the cloud.
Most of the cloud providers you can run some type of storage up to 20G for free (you need to read the fin print). Here you can choose also the flavor you like, MySQL, InfluxDB, Postgresql…
Another useful tool is Grafana as a dashboard, it works with most Data Bases and the recall of data is relatively easy to integrate. It uses the same query as the Data Base you chosen.
Grafana offers a excellent user Dashboard, so does Node-Red offer a dashboard.
Grafana you can iFrame into Node-Red or even into a web page.
InfluxDB also use a dashboard (I have not used it)
Now it is up to you to do a bit of research in each of these and decide the flavor you prefer.