The SparkFun LoRaSerial Kit is a pair of serial radio modems that simply passes serial back and forth between one another. The LoRaSerial provides you with the means to report data every few seconds even if it's located beyond WiFi or Bluetooth® range. With this kit, you'll be able to transmit data over LoRa giving it incredible range compared to other methods. We’ve even been able to regularly transmit over a 9mi (15km) line-of-sight using two LoRaSerial radios using a larger 5.8dBi antenna on the transmitter and the stock 1/2 wave dipole antenna on the receiver.
LoRaSerial utilizes a 1 Watt, 915MHz transceiver and an open-source protocol to transmit AES-encrypted data at 4800bps or approximately 480 bytes per second. Although this won't get you video streaming quality, the LoRaSerial is very good at getting whatever data you need, encrypted or not, from point A to point B without fuss. The radios in this kit automatically frequency hop (FHSS) between channels to avoid collisions. The ‘airspeed’ or data rate is configurable up to approximately 2,000 bytes per second for shorter range, or for extremely long range transmissions, as low as 40 bytes per second.
The radios in the LoRaSerial Kit support simple point-to-point communication as well as multipoint broadcasts. Multipoint broadcasting makes this kit ideal for GNSS RTK and many other geospatial scenarios where one device needs to produce and delineate data that many other devices might need to utilize.
The LoRaSerial firmware supports an innovative and simple-to-use ‘training’ method. Pressing the train button on both radios will generate a new random network ID and AES encryption key to share them. This makes pairing radios in the field as simple as a press of a button. By bringing the radios near each other the LoRaSerial training method is as simple and secure as you could ask for.
Currently, SparkFun is offering radios in the LoRaSerial Kit that utilize 915MHz modems that are allowed in most parts of the world. Please check your local restrictions before purchasing. The radios are fully configurable to restrict frequencies, channels, dwell time, power output, and a variety of other settings to make the radios compatible with your local regulations.
Note: LoRaSerial is designed to operate at the physical layer of LoRa sending data directly to an endpoint as opposed to something like LoRaWAN which operates on the data and network layers. For this reason, LoRaSerial is not intended to operate on LoRaWAN.
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How do these connect to arduino or esp32?
The included cable plugs into the UART connector. An Arduino or ESP32 can then send and receive data to the radio.
What are the pin out for the UART serial cable? Is there a corresponding part number?
I may be confused, but two UART cables are included. The UART connector pinout can be seen both on the sticker on the outside of the enclosure and the PCB silkscreen seen here.
The pinout is as follows:
I'm not seeing what kind of power I might need for these... for example what kind of solar/battery setup might be required to send some sensor data once a minute. Thanks.
It's here under the Hardware Overview. The average standby current at 30db transmit power is ~60mA. It depends on how much data you're sending. Assuming ~20 bytes, at airspeed 4800, this is 480 bytes per sec, or about 20ms of transmit time. Let's round up to a second because there's ACKs and possible retransmits. For 59 seconds you'll be at ~60mA. For 1 second you'll be at 510mA, or an average of 67.5mA. Using a 2000mAhr battery, you'll get 2000 / 67.5 = ~30 hours. I presume from here you can calculate your solar and batt needs.
What type of range does it get without direct line of sight?
That is the million dollar question and nearly impossible to answer without actually setting up the radios at your location. In short, in an urban area, 1000s of feet (more than 0.3km) but likely less than a mile. But there are many factors that will improve the range:
Hope this helps!
Hello SparkFun friends
Can you please provide a part number for the “ 2x Serial Interface Cables” I would consider a buying a few extra for backup if I change the microcontroller it’s connected to.
Good question: it's CAB-18079 but please do note that the wire colors may very.