Learn about three different antennas carried by SparkFun, and determine which will suit your long-range needs!Favorited Favorite 0
Hello! Mariah back again with more content about LoRA. A few weeks before this blog post I posted a tutorial about how to set up a simple peer-to-peer network for Sending Sensor Data Over LoRa. During the process of that project I thought it would be fun to test the range of different antennas. It turned out to be quite and adventure (a bear even made an appearance!) to reach the outer limits of testing the range of a LoRa signal. Any of the configurations mentioned in this blog would work with the following tutorial if you'd like to play along. Let's dive in!
regional frequency band parameters), an 8dBi internal antenna, and a 3M adhesive backing for a quick and easy installation.
During our adventure out and about, we were able to get 1.45 mi away from our transmitter (as the crow flies). One thing to remember about LoRa is that line of sight, humidity, and obstacles are all things to take into consideration with your layout; we were able to find a few spots between buildings and breaks in trees to receive the signal, but having both antennas a bit higher up will likely extend this range!
This was a fun excursion out into the fresh snow and warm sun! Just like with our last setup, we ventured farther and farther out, stopping and hopping out of the car to check our signal and searching for spots that afforded us a clear shot back to SparkFun where our transmitter was hooked up on the roof. We were able to get out 4.26 mi with just two of these antennas chatting with each other!
Now, with this guy, we knew we were gonna be able to get pretty far out; but, as I mentioned earlier, obstacles such as buildings and trees will interfere with our signal and prevent us from really seeing what this antenna is capable of. So, where in Colorado could we possibly go to get a bit higher up… on an adventure to the mountains of course! With our increased elevation, we were able to make it 6.42 mi away from our transmitter! This led to lots of whooping and high-fives, of course.
We’ve mentioned a couple times that there are a few things that can interfere with LoRa, and some necessary preemptive research to do, but let’s do a quick recap!
Lastly, a safety tip: remember that if you hike up into the mountains of Colorado to keep an eye out for furry friends! With teeth! We saw this sweet lil guy about 15 seconds after we got back in the car; a little too close for comfort, but we like to think he’s a big ‘ol nerd like us and wanted to check out what we were doing!
Let us know what you've been using LoRa for and if you've never used this long-range wireless technology before we hope to see you incorporate into a future project!