TTN gateway: progress report
After almost two weeks with the TTN LoRa gateway, here’s what I have done:
- I have installed a small heatsink on the SX1301 IC. The temperature is now at 60–61C. Unfortunately, I have no means to cool down the MCP1727 LDO and the two inductors in the top-right corner of the LoRa card.
- Putting some holes in the upper and lower walls of the gateway case helped a bit, but not much.
- I have switched to an external Aurel GP868 antenna. The antenna comes with an F-type connector on the antenna side, and with BNC connector on the gateway side. I had to wait two more days to get one BNC female to male SMA adapter. Not funny.
- With the new antenna, I’ve been able to gain some more 500m in coverage. Not so great.
- I have configured the older LG-01 LoRa gateway to work with The Things Network. Legacy packet forwarder, single channel. The coverage is almost the same as with the official TTN gateway.
- I will start soon to experiment with other locations for the antenna.
- It turns out that upgrading the RN2483 LoRa modules on the nodes is a big pain in the well-you-know. Nobody cared about adding pads to connect a PICkit3 to update the firmware. Upgrading on serial interface sometimes works, sometimes not, and sometimes it bricks the module.
After more than one year, I stopped using the TTN gateway and I have donated it to another LoRa enthusiast.
It seems that LoRa communication is not attractive to the Romanian hobbyist community, and the traffic through the gateway was too low (a few packets per month). It simply wasn’t worth keeping the gateway online.
Originally published at https://electronza.com on January 15, 2018. Moved to Medium on May 3, 2020.