Step 1: Gather the Required Hardware

You will need to have the following hardware for this journey:

  • A LoRaWAN® end-device

Let’s use an Abeeway Micro Tracker. The Abeeway Micro Tracker is a multi-mode tracker combining GPS/low-power GPS, WiFi, LoRaWAN® and BLE radios with embedded sensors to support accurate outdoor and indoor geolocation. It is a great device to start with for your first tests as it can be used for network coverage testing, temperature sensing, push-button, and of course indoor and outdoor geolocation. You can buy one from ThingPark Market (see below).

When buying end-devices pay attention to your region.  For example, if you live in Europe, you should buy an Abeeway Micro Tacker that supports EU868 region. There are also trackers for US915 and AS923 regions. See the Frequency Guide in ThingPark Market to identify the LoRaWAN® RF region for your country.

  • A LoRaWAN® radio gateway that is compatible with ThingPark platform

ThingPark is a hardware agnostic platform that supports both ThingPark Long Range Relay (LRR) packet forwarder and Semtech’s BasicsTM Station packet forwarder.

ThingPark LRR has been ported to all major suppliers, as described in Supported brands of base stations. ThingPark Market has a good selection of such gateways for which LRR has been ported and validated.

Furthermore, the packet forwarder software installed on the gateway needs to match the target ThingPark platform.

    • If you buy your gateway on ThingPark Market, it will be delivered to you with the right LRR packet forwarder configuration to connect to the ThingPark Community Platform.
    • Alternatively, you can connect your own gateway to ThingPark:
      • If your gateway is compatible with LRR software (see list here), follow the steps described in ThingPark Enterprise user guide to flash it with the LRR Base Station image corresponding to TPCP platform.
      • If your gateway uses BasicsTM Station packet forwarder, click here to connect it to TPCP platform.

As with the end-devices, make sure to match the RF region of the gateway with the country where you are going to use it.

Now you are ready to access your free account on ThingPark Community Platform, create the tracker and the gateway on the platform, activate the tracker to observe the data traffic on both the network infrastructure platform and also on an application server.  See below for achieving these step-by-step.

Step 2: Access ThingPark Community Platform

This portal, the ThingPark Community Platform (TPCP in short) provides free access to Actility’s ThingPark products for non-commercial use. TPCP allows developers to experience the ThingPark platform that already powers hundreds IoT networks around the world, from large nationwide public service providers to smaller private networks.
TPCP is a self-service platform, you can connect up-to 50 devices and as many gateways as you need to provide sufficient macro-diversity for your use case. As part of this Discovery License, we provide best effort support though our forum. Contact us if you think you need more capacity, e.g. for universities and non-profit projects.

As your project grows you can subscribe to paid support options to access to our professional support portal
For commercial use and higher capacity networks you can seamlessly upgrade to any of the ThingPark Enterprise solutions contact sales

Sign-Up

Step 3: Connect your gateway to the Internet

    • Plug in your gateway to a power source.
    • Connect your gateway to an Ethernet network where it can get an automatic IP address from a DHCP server and access the Internet. If your gateway is behind a corporate firewall, make sure the firewall does not block the following ports towards the Internet: FTP (TCP port 21), NTP (UDP port 123), IPsec (UDP ports 4500 and 500). All gateway connections are in the gateway-to-cloud direction and support NAT traversal, and therefore no port forwarding is required.

Note: If you gateway uses LRR packet forwarder and you want to configure its network interfaces, e.g. change IP address allocation strategy, setup cellular APN…etc., follow the steps described in ThingPark Enterprise user guide.

Step 4: Create the Gateway on Your Account

You need to create your LoRaWAN® gateway on TPCP before TPCP starts accepting traffic from that gateway.

Follow the steps described in ThingPark Enterprise user guide to provision your gateway under your TPCP account.

Note: If you bought your gateway from ThingPark Market, you must have received the “LRR-UUID” and “Public key” by email. Copy these fields from the received email and paste them in the TPCP GUI.

Wait for ~5 minutes for your gateway to complete “Initialization” and become “Active”.

Note: Gateway status may show “Radio Error” before reaching “Active”, please ignore that.

Once the gateway status becomes “Active”, your gateway is then ready to send the uplink frames it demodulates to your TPCP account and accept the downlink frames sent from any application server or cloud via TPCP to be transmitted over the air.

Step 5: Create an Application

The ThingPark platform has codec drivers capable of decoding uplinks for many popular device brands. Decoded payload is visible in wireless frame logger UI as well as data presented by connectors to the application servers. Codec drivers also convert downlink text commands into binary payload. However, long term storing and fully processing (i.e., visualizing, correlating, reacting on, etc.) the application data and controlling the application behavior (e.g., how often to send location info) on the device require application-specific processing. This is done on dedicated application servers which need to be connected to the network server.
TPCP comes with pre-integrated connectors for popular IoT cloud platforms, such as AWS IoT, Microsoft Azure IoT and IoT Central, IBM Watson, ThingWorx, and of course generic HTTP and MQTT servers.
Abeeway Device Manager (ADM) is the application server software for Abeeway trackers. At this step we will create an application on your TPCP account so you can use the ADM with your tracker.

  • Select “Create” under the “Connections” on the main menu
  • Select “Basic HTTPS”
  • Use “Name” field to assign a name to your application
  • Set the “URL” field to “https://abeeway-dev1.thingpark.com:50540”
  • Select “XML” for “Content Type”
  • Set the “Tunnel Interface Authentication Key” field to “e8959e26fd9bce52700605a9cfe74d53“. This is the key which ensures that downlink commands for devices associated to this application can only be sent by the legitimate application server.
  • Feel free to add any notes to the “Additional Information” field that you may want to associate with your application
  • Click on “Save”

Now the ADM application is ready to send and receive application payloads via the TPCP for the devices you will be designating. You can see the application listed when you click on the “List” under the “Applications” in the main menu.

Step 6: Create the Tracker on Your Account

Now let’s create the tracker as a LoRaWAN® device on your TPCP account. Most popular device brands come with pre-validated profiles which provide the optimal settings of the LoRaWAN® protocol stack. Of course, generic profiles are available as well.

  • Select “Create” under the “Devices” on the main menu
  • Select “Abeeway” as the device manufacturer
  • Select “Micro-Tracker” as the “Model”
  • Use “Name” field to assign a name to your device
  • Set the “DevEUI” field to the 8-byte globally-unique value that is used for identifying your tracker. This value is represented in hexadecimal format (i.e., 16 characters, such as A1B2C3D4E5F6A7B8) that was provided to you along with the tracker.
  • Select “Over-the-Air Activation(OTAA)” as the “Activation mode”
  • Set the “JoinEUI (AppEUI)” field to the 8-byte globally-unique value that is used for identifying the Join Server of your tracker. This value is represented in hexadecimal format (i.e., 16 characters, such as F1E2D3C4B5A6F7E8) that was provided to you along with the tracker.
  • Set the “AppKey” field to the 16-byte value that is used for authenticating your tracker at the LoRaWAN® layer. That value is represented in hexadecimal format (i.e., 32 characters, such as 00112233445566778899AABBCCDDEEFF) that was provided to you along with the tracker.
  • Feel free to add any notes to the “Additional Information” field that you may want to associate with your tracker
  • Select the application you had created at Step 5 under the “Application” and press the “+” sign to set it for your tracker
  • Select “No location” for “Mode”. Your tracker device will be reporting its location at the application layer, hence it does not need to use LoRaWAN® geolocation service.
  • Click on “Save”

Now your tracker is ready to be used. You can see it listed when you click on the “List” under the “Devices” in the main menu.

Step 7: Let’s Activate the Tracker!

Your tracker is ready to join the network to send and receive application data.

  • Power on your device by continuously pressing its button for few seconds until you hear a melody. (If you are not sure about the state of the device, you can turn it off by the following sequence: 4 short clicks,  1 long press, 2 short clicks, 1 long press and maintain the button pressed until the end of the boot-mode melody).
  • Tracker will perform a join procedure and send application data which can be observed on detailed device page that you can access by clicking on the specific device under the “List” sub-menu of the “Devices” menu. Observe the “Device Status”, “Radio Traffic History”, “Radio Statistics”, and “Last 10 Packets” frame on that page.
  • While TPCP  provides network diagnostic tools for observing the traffic at LoRaWAN® level, you will prefer to use the ADM for fully processing the application-specific features for Abeeway trackers, and managing the device configuration and behavior over the LoRaWAN® connectivity. Go to the ADM UI on your browser and login using the same credentials as you have on TPCP.
  • You will see your device listed under the “Select Devices” tab. Click on the device to see it appear under the “Selected Devices” tab. Click on the “Select” button.

Now you have full control and view of your tracker. On this portal you can see the radio, battery, temperature, and location statistics, raw location logs, and map view of all reported locations. This portal also lets you remotely change configuration of your tracker.

Refer to the following two documents to learn more about the tracker device and the ADA application: Abeeway Micro Tracker Reference Guide, Abeeway Device Analyzer Guide.

Enjoy LoRaWAN®-based tracking using the most powerful LPWAN platform, ThingPark!

We’d love to hear about your experience. Share them on Twitter with #HelloLoRaWAN® hashtag. If you have questions or need help, please use the TPCP Forum.