[LoRaWAN/TTN] Hardware / Software Options to build a Gateway

I was reading a lot about LoRa the last days and I feel a little bit lost.

I’m wondering what would be the best solution for users of this project to collect data from LoRa clients and submit it to swarm.hiveeyes.org. This thread should help to get a overview of possible hardware / software combinations and I will extend the informations from time to time.

As far as I understand there are multiple possible hardware / software combinations we could use:

  • Arduino with old MCU (ESP8266, Atmega328, …) with software based LoRa (LMIC)
  • Only with one channel non-standard LoRa.
  • Very short on resources, difficult to run a gateway on.
  • cheap
  • Arduino with modern MCU (ESP32, Cortex M0?). with software based LoRa
    • Can we run full LoRa software Implementation with multichannel? Are there libs available for this?
    • Should be possible to run as gateway.
    • cheap
  • Arduino with old MCU and hardware based LoRa
    • Full standard compatible LoRa with multichannel
    • Short on resources, difficult to run as gateway
    • Expensive LoRa modules
  • Arduino with modern MCU and hardware based LoRa
    • Full standard compatible LoRa with multichannel
    • Enough resources for Gateway?
    • Expensive
  • Rasberry Pie with software based LoRa
    • Can we run full LoRa software Implementation with multichannel? Are there libs available for this?
    • cheap
    • full linux, enough resources for gateway mode.
    • Maybe collecting audio files … and more
    • webserver possible
  • Rasberry Pie with hardware based LoRa
    • expensive
    • most complete solution (?)
    • and all other benefits of RasPie.

Just a very rough list. Would be great to fill this with more info, maybe as a Wiki page. What is not clear to me currently: is there a software based LoRa solution that supports multicannel and auto group selection? (or what is it called, don’t remember) just like the hardware based solutions with a full official LoRaWAN™ protocol stack?

Would RasPie based solution be the better platform for a gateway or would a modern MCU Arduino be good enough too?

Again, I’m very new to the topic and many of my observations may be wrong. Please tell me and I correct any mistakes.

Dear @Juergen,

LoRa (PHY) and LoRaWAN (MAC) are two totally different beasts, even though one is building upon the other.

LoRa

It is totally feasible to run LoRa nodes and gateways on small AVR MCUs with RFM95 transceiver modules. We already do this, read on my dear…

Node

The most simple solution for telemetry data transmission using LoRa would be using an AVR MCU with an RFM95 transceiver and our “generic” firmware based on the RadioHead library, which is already supporting this kind of setup. See also:


Please let us know if you have any further questions on that.

Gateway

The most simple solution would be to use a RaspberryPi with a customized JeeLink device.
However, it’s also possible to run the software stack on a more compact SoC machine, e.g. the LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo.

@einsiedlerkrebs wrote some lines about, enjoy reading:


LoRaWAN

LoRaWAN requires a more sophisticated protocol stack, as i understand from your post you already recognized.

Node

The most robust way to go would be using the integrated Microchip RN2483 LoRaWAN modem, at least from my consideration. The module itself looks pretty decent and the software support by RN2483-Arduino-Library and Sodaq_RN2483 does not look bad either. See also:


For the “Arduino Core - Tiny” variant using an AVR MCU, see also:


The latter would probably be more experimental, but of course we always like to hear from people making it possible :-).

Gateway

Please have a look at the sections “LoRaWAN Gateways” and “TTN Gateways” on

I would not start to try to build a LoRaWAN gateway based on an AVR MCU, i don’t think it’s even possible.

When already doing LoRaWAN, we aim to join the open, distributed TTN network. So we will choose our LoRaWAN gateway for compatibility with TTN. As we always like to run a system which is as open as possible, we probably will give the DIY solution based on a RaspberryPi a shot:

If we won’t find the time, we might just buy a final product :-).

Cheers,
Andreas.

Dear @Juergen,

regarding …

LoRaWAN/TTN

As we haven’t had our fingers on TTN yet, we don’t know about any details about how data actually moves around. Most probably, we should conceive a program listening to messages of the TTN MQTT API and forwarding them to swarm.hiveeyes.org, similar to what “ttn-ulm-dustfetcher” already does:
https://github.com/verschwoerhaus/ttn-ulm-dustfetcher

We are happy to support you as soon as there’s demand for this - just let us know!

Thanks for all the valuable information. I will look into this topic again when I managed to build my scale and set up my Autonomo.

Claus Kuehnel was in the recent press with a nice LoRaWAN (to be precise: TTN) hands-on with the Dragino-LoRa-Ardu shield and the Raspi-LoRa-GPS hat (RFM92/RFM95; in german):

corresponding repo:

Zusatzhinweis: lora_shield_ttn_tempC.ino aus o.g. Repository benutzt ebenfalls die LMiC Bibliothek.

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another femto gateway for LoRa/LoRaWAN, this one by Mr. Tostmann - like the JeeLink, but with an ESP8266:

(busware.de : LUW)

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I think these at around 10 euro are now one of the cheapest gateway (or node) solutions now

(edit: product page @ChengDu Helltec )

How to set up:

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