When I started using LoRa radios it amazed me that there was no discussion of real life range. This article will attempt to solve that by doing real walkabouts in towns and woodlands.

I plan to add more tests to this over time.

Introduction

The problem with describing range of a LoRa system is that range depends on a number of factors and so any simple summary of range will be incomplete.

In this article I’ll discuss the various things that change range and more importantly I have a very cool test system that I’ll use to make real life range measurements. …


Part 2: Detailed antenna measurements

This is a continuation of the last article about measuring LoRa antennas. In this section I go through the impedance measurements (VSWR or Return Loss) for each antenna in gory detail.

The antennas being discussed

There is one more antenna (called Yagi):

The Yagi (beam) antenna

The beam covers the ISM band (900MHz) as well as some higher frequency bands. The label says 698–960MHz & 1710–2700Mhz.

FrSky 900MHz Moxon Zipp 9

This is one of the more interesting antennas. It comes with radiation pattern documentation (+1). Not documented, it ships with an SMA-RP connector so I had to add a barrel SMA-RP -> SMA adapter (-2). $25.99 at Amazon.

The FrSky Zipp9

Looking at the traces on the back of the antenna it appears to be a dipole with an additional dipole beam that I assume adds some directionality/gain. …


Part 1: Overview and Summary Information

Selecting a LoRa antenna is tough. Measuring an antenna well is a hard task and almost no one does it. Many antennas available via the hobby channels report gain or vswr, maybe at a frequency, that they clearly often pretend to measure.

So, since I have some test equipment and I’ve spent quite a while picking LoRa antennas… I decided to review a bunch of them.

LoRa Antennas for Testing

I have a product that requires uniform high-quality LoRa communication and deciding on how to send that data has taken a very long time. Start by analyzing the various available antennas.

Earlier Article

I have an earlier post just like this. It suffered (greatly) because I had no way to capture response curves so photos of a chart from my small handheld antenna tester were it. Not great. Now I have a usb-controllable tester with on-screen results and a half-dozen more antennas. Hence the update. …

About

Mark Zachmann

Entrepreneur, software architect, electrical engineer. Ex-academic.

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