LoRa experiments in Plovdiv

Screenshot from 2019-02-20 12-24-46

We are working for some months on OSHW LoRa nodes and our goal is to bring up free to use for non for profit Smart City solutions LoRaWAN network which to cover city of Plovdiv .

Yesterday we installed our First LoRaWAN Gateway made with T2-OLinuXino-LIME2-e16GBs16MB + RK831 + +6dBi rod antenna on Rilon Building which is about in the city center and with height good for antenna installation.

You can see on above map – the “Raspberry Pi” is hardcoded in RK831 firmware but do not worry there is industrial grade Linux computer in the gateway.

 

rilon

We start experimenting with our LoRa868 and MOD-LoRa868 modules and made portable GPS tracker device like this:

LoRa-GPS

The results are nice. We cover almost 2km circle around the antenna. With few spots which are shadowed by tall building.

range

The secret in the big distance is the good gain gateway antenna!

We really are impatient to release these LoRa gadgets as soon as possible, but unfortunately it takes much more time than we expected.

There were lot of issues with the Semtech/ARMmbed reference designs like the RF part of their 868Mhz design actually has components values which make 915Mhz device and vice versa. We spent weeks to understand why the communication distance is not as good as expected, before we realize that we use 915Mhz LoRa nodes with 868Mhz antennas! Once we get everything complete and tested will put our boards on the web for sale and publish OSHW their correct schematics and component values, so other will not waste their time like we did.

One issue we encountered with RK831 Gateway is that it freeze from time to time when receive malformed packets and need to restart. As RK831 firmware is not open source we can’t debug the cause of this problem. The workaround now is when host lose connection with gateway just reboot latter. Really not most elegant solution, but so far we can’t do anything else.

We are preparing two more Gateways to install in the next days, which will cover more parts of the city.

 

 

New products in stock Metal boxes for ESP32-EVB-EA and ESP32-GATEWAY-EA

BOX-ESP32-EVB-EAd

BOX-ESP32-EVB-EA is metal box painted with polymer black paint suitable for ESP32-EVB-EA IoT board. It has opening for USB, Relay terminals, power jack, SD-card, IR LED and receiver, Ethernet, RESET and USER buttons and LiPo battery connector.

BOX-ESP32-GATEWAY-EA

BOX-ESP32-GATEWAY-EA is metal box with polymer black paint suitable for ESP32-GATEWAY-EA IoT board. It has openings for USB, Ethernet, SD-card, RESET and USER buttons.

ESP32-GATEWAY-EA revision with external antenna is in stock

ESP32-GATEWAY-EA

Our popular ESP32-GATEWAY board now have revision with external antenna ESP32-GATEWAY-EA. Metal enclosure is on the way too.

Sneak preview of new OSHW IoT board: ESP32-Gateway

ESP32-GATEWAY

ESP32-EVB really took us lot of time to complete mostly due to the not so complete documentation around Ethernet and our own silly errors. Also we wanted to add so many interfaces there to may people evaluate them all: Ethernet, CAN, Infrared, Relays LiPo UPS etc etc and the board become 75×75 mm. The price also went from EUR 22 to EUR 26.

In parallel we quietly were working on stripped version named ESP32-GATEWAY, as the name says we wanted just to keep here the connectivity: WiFi, BLE, Ethernet, USB for programming and micro SD card.

All available GPIOs are made on 0.1″ step strip at the bottom of the board, and two nice mount holes:

ESP32-GATEWAY-1

Today we assembled the first prototypes and we will test tomorrow. If everything is OK we will run production. We already have 100 blank PCBs ready as after so much time spent on ESP32-EVB we do not expect any troubles, but still wanted to reduce the risk to throw in the garbage bin more than 100 boards if we missed something.

So hold your breath if everything is OK we will have 100 boards for sale next week 🙂

The price of ESP32-Gateway will be EUR 22.