Starting Out

Adventures in LoRaWAN

I’ve decided that I need a new area to geek-out over, and that I need to document that experience. Hence this blog.

I guess we first heard about LoRaWAN around a year ago, at the IoT Leeds July 2017 meetup, featuring Alan Pope (Advocate at Canonical) talking about snapd, and Philip Handley (Head of Technology Strategy at Arqiva) with an interesting talk about a variety of low-power radio options. I didn’t really take in any specifics, more of a general introduction to the concepts, and specifically I didn’t want to pick a particular technology to look into further from a talk by someone with a potential commercial interest (nothing against the talk, it was a great introduction, but I’d definitely want to hear from a few other sources before going too much further).

However, life got in the way.

I didn’t really give the topic any more thoughts until a couple of weeks ago, when we were at OggCamp (where we coincidentally also ran into Alan) and went to a talk about The Things Network (TTN) by Mike Beardmore. Although I left with more questions than answers, it sparked my memory of the talk a year ago, and with the introduction of TTN the space certainly seemed to be in the first stages of maturing.

So, I spent the rest of the day (in between attending various talks) researching more about LoRaWAN and TTN. And then the evening, and by the end of the next day (after attending another of Mike‘s talks) I was registered with TTN and had ordered a gateway1 and some nodes to start playing around.

Over the next few days, the gateway and the nodes arrived, and I was ready to start my adventure.

  1. Actually I cancelled that order as it was only a single-channel Raspberry Pi hat, probably more accurately described as “LoRa” as opposed to “LoRaWAN”, whereas I later learned that at least 8 channels is preferred for LoRaWAN. I ordered a Laird Sentrius RG186 from the lovely people at Connected Things. ↩︎