LoRa is a fantastic advancement in the field of wireless communication. The multi-kilometer distances are incredible! Point to point LoRa has been nailed down with various low cost Semtec based modules like the RFM95 but the true power of an open IoT network is LoRa gateways. These provide public access accross the globe to any LoRa node as long as the node follows the guidelines (don't use more than your share of bandwidth). But what gateway do you need?
The LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway is a professional grade gateway with the hacker in mind. While other low cost gateways are a single channel, the LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway comes with a fully heat-sinked concentrator capable of multi-channel, multi-node communication all running in a friendly, hackable Raspberry Pi environment.
The LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway uses the high-power multichannel SX1301 processing engine specifically designed for LoRa gateways. If you're just experimenting with LoRa, a single channel gateway is a fine way to go; we offer the ESP32 1-Channel LoRa Gateway based on the SX1276/78 RFM95 module. But if you're planning on having multiple, public LoRa nodes you'll need a proper gateway like the LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway.
Designed for the US and Australia, the 915MHz LoRa gateway comes fully assembled in a black anodized aluminum enclosure using the Raspberry Pi 3B+ as its backbone. With this upgraded model you no longer need to provide your own microSD card (16 GB card included) & there are handy instructions on flash the LoRa Gateway image to the MicroSD card. We recommend using Resin to create your Linux image. RAK Wireless (the makers of the gateway) have a well written tutorial guiding you through the setup. The gateway includes a 2dBi 915MHz antenna and a multi-frequency GNSS(GPS) antenna. If you'd like to increase the LoRa range we have 2dBi 1/2 wave and 6dBi antenna upgrades available.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Works out of the box . Documentation is good but would have appreciated more explanation on how to debug the gateway when you cannot connect. Expected some sort of web interface to see status of log messages on Rak gateway. Instead I needed to putty into gateway and view Logs info in journalctl to debug the TX/RX issues I was having. Once I figured it the Gatewaybworked well in RX. And TX(uplink and downlink)
Reasonable set up, but don't expect plug and play unless you already know LoRa. Takes effort to be private with your net. Not an outdoor device.