Gateway Setup

Having acquired a LoRaWAN gateway and registered an account on The Things Network (TTN), now I had to configure it.

The Laird Sentrius gateway (like many LoRaWAN gateways these days) comes with a config template ready to connect to TTN. “Great!” I thought, “just give it my credentials and all will be well with the world!”. Sadly, I was mistaken.

To begin with, you need to setup a new gateway on TTN. Whilst a simple act, there is quite a bewildering array of terms in various parts of TTN’s console view, and typical of these kinds of interfaces the console only really starts to make sense if (a) you understand TTN’s data model, and (b) you have some gateways / apps / devices already configured. I realise that UX is a hard problem, however I wonder how many people could do with some simple hand-holding through their first “I want to add a gateway” experience. In particular, I didn’t know which of the various IDs and keys and names I needed to put into my LoRaWAN gateway.

All of this wasn’t helped by the gateway’s TTN integration seemingly not working. I spent ages pasting the various IDs from TTN into the admin form on the gateway, waiting for the “LoRaWAN connected” symbol to go green, but to no avail. I eventually found the logs from the gateway, but again they aren’t terribly helpful if you don’t know much about LoRaWAN (like me!). I constantly got “authentication failed” errors, hence me trying all of the different identifiers and credentials, but to no avail.

Eventualy I tried the “TTN (legacy)” pre-configured config template (slightly reluctant to use a “legacy” option on a brand new gateway and with a new TTN account), and it worked first time. That’s now what I’m using, I still have no idea why I need to use that and not the main TTN config, however it’s working and that’s all that’s important for me.

Next step was to try the devices which I’d bought.