Build Your First Device Featuring LoRa®
30 November 2020 / by Katy Koenen
Just getting started developing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with Semtech’s LoRa® ICs? Interested in how to build and deploy a device? We have a great technical paper that will walk you through how to build a device from scratch using off-the-shelf components.
The objective of the Building a LoRa®-based Device End-to-End with Arduino paper is to teach you how to:
- build an end node using the Dragino shield and an Arduino Uno
- connect a moisture sensor and configure the node to send moisture readings on a set interval
- receive and log messages from your end node
- determine a sensible uplink frequency for our device
- connect the end node to The Things Network (TTN) via a gateway based on the open LoRaWAN® protocol
Following a brief discussion of LoRa and LoRaWAN, the paper is laid out in three stages. First, you’ll build an end node with a LoRa chip to measure and communicate the moisture level of a soil sample. Detecting soil moisture is key to many agricultural processes and is often challenging given the wide geographical areas where wireless monitoring is needed. This node will send data packets with moisture readings to the network as uplinks.
Next, you’ll build and configure a gateway. You’ll use The Things Network’s network server, which uses the open LoRaWAN networking protocol. When the moisture sensor sends its data, the data packet is received by the gateway and then forwarded to the network server, where the data is then decoded and displayed in the TTN console.
Once you’ve worked through the stages and built some familiarity, you can go back to add functionality to your device. For instance, you could configure it to send data uplinks only when certain criteria are met for the sensor reading, say, when the moisture reading is at or above a particular threshold. Or, you could attach other types of sensors as well, for instance a temperature sensor.
Ready to dive in? Read the paper.
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