Home Labs Stories Sydney LoRaWAN GPS trial a success...on TTN


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Posted on Nov. 17, 2017




*Sydney is a very large coastal city, approximately 120km long and 70km wide. With only 7 TTN gateways in the inner suburbs, I was able to get some really accurate geolocation using the Digital Matter "Oyster" tracker and their platform, Telematics Guru.

A week ago I sat down with Stuart German from Digital Matter, a Perth based GPS telematics company. He managed to sell me a few of his new Oyster LoRaWAN GPS trackers over a coffee. They've been in the business of telematics and GPS for over 10 years, and have a global presence.

So today I decided to put an Oyster to the test. After a few torrid days in Melbourne's heat, I thought, why not take advantage of Sydney's magnificent weather and take the Oyster out for a spin on my Ducati.

LoRaWAN GPS is designed to be completely independent from the cellular network, and to last for years without need for battery recharge. It is designed to locate items at longer intervals like every 15 minutes, or every hour, or every day. So it's more for locating things such as heavy plant and equipment, shipping containers etc. Or expensive items including illuminated road-side signage trailers...or my motorbike!

I thought..." lets see how well this works just driving around Sydney". Well, I have to tell you, I'm impressed. Pretty much everywhere I stopped for more than a few minutes, the Oyster managed to get my location mapped. If you were a Council or a University trying to track your equipment, and you have a LoRaWAN gateway nearby, I think you are going to be happy with this solution.

And the best thing about all of the above is that there is no Telco involved. All I did was put 3 x AA batteries in the tracker, downloaded the Telematics Guru link and logged in to make sure my tracker was being read (it was) and set off. There was one small incident when the GPS tracker un-gaffer-taped itself from my bike top-box in the middle of a busy intersection (thanks to the lovely construction site traffic controller who picked it up for me). I re-attached it inside the lid of my top-box and it still worked fine. Onwards.

Meshed has deployed most of the gateways in the Sydney inner suburbs, thanks to our wonderful The Things Network sponsors such as KPMG (Barangaroo), UTS (Ultimo), UNSW (Randwick), ATP (Redfern), AARNet (North Ryde) and Meshed (Castlecrag). More are soon to be installed.

The KPMG gateway on Barangaroo has been pinged from Parramatta and as far away as Menai, about 30km away.

So in summary, as you can see from the map, It's given a nice view of the locations that I stopped at, and even some while I was still in motion. The resolution really surprised me too as it appears to be metre perfect. Given that it's working on a free public network, with only 7 gateways located in the Sydney inner 15km ring of suburbs, connecting to the free cloud server, The Things Network, I'd say that's a win. The area that I covered was at least 230 square kilometres. I must have passed through at least 20 different council areas on my trip. Imagine what you could do with a few more well placed gateways!

Nice product from Digital Matter. Another great feature is that their Telematics Guru platform can track both LoRaWAN and 3G/4G trackers on the same interface...very handy. Our first Oyster sale is going out to a lucky customer in regional NSW tomorrow. Happy trails!