In this hands-on lab, we built step by step a LoRaWAN® gateway using a low-cost Rapsberry Pi 3 and the “MST IC808A LoRa® concentrator” board. We used Semtech’s LoRa® Basics Station as the packet forwarder application.

We also performed all the steps to configure the gateway’s packet forwarder to connect to ThingPark Community, and we commissioned the new gateway on ThingPark Community.

As ThingPark Community is free, you now have a very low cost platform to experiment with LoRaWAN®. You will find many low-cost LoRaWAN® devices on ThingPark Market … or you can make your own !

The ThingPark platform already includes drivers for most devices, as well as connectors to all major IoT platforms. If you make you own device, you can create your own driver and use the built-in ontology mapping tools (e.g. JSLT) to feed data in the right format to your target ioT platform.

This is not a production-quality solution. To get to that level:

  • We would need to further configure Raspi OS to autostart the LoRa Gateway and LoRa Basics™ Station when the device is powered on.
  • A PCB should be designed between Raspi & IC808A concentrator to avoid cabling issues.
  • The packet forwarder would include a watchdog, would use georedundant links to the ThingPark Community network servers, and would provide more monitoring information.

All of the above are already implemented in commercial grade gateways using the LRR packet forwarder , but you can get quite a long way with the Raspberry Pi and a bit more work !

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