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Mayfly with LoRA module physical connection

Home Forums Mayfly Data Logger Mayfly with LoRA module physical connection

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    • #14599
      Dale Drummond


        I am working on a project that is trying to use the Semtech SX1272MB2DAS Shield LoRa transceiver for connectivity back to a Cisco LoRAWAN gateway. I was successful in getting the HYDROS-21 sensor reporting data correctly via the Mayfly serial port and writing to the SD card but I am having difficulty finding out how to physically connect the shield to the Mayfly board. The documentation from Semtech has the board layout schematic but I want to make sure I am connecting it correctly to the Mayfly.  Has anyone had experience using the SX1272MB2DAS shield? If so can you share how you connected it?

        If someone has a schematic showing which pins on the Mayfly are used for LoRa connections I can hopefully figure out which pins those map to on the Semtech shield.

      • #14600
        Anthony Aufdenkampe

          Dale, I’m not familiar at all with the Semtech SX1272MB2DAS Shield LoRa radio module.

          I am, however, quite familiar with the MultiTech mDotTM LoRa radio modules, which come with an XBee interface that plugs right into the Mayfly and works without any trouble. My colleagues at LimnoTech’s Ann Arbor office have been using them successfully in the field for over a year, and I’ve started working with them myself in the last month. I’m hoping to share a full integration with the EnviroDIY ModularSensors library in the next month or two.

          BTW, if you are not yet using ModularSensors, I strongly encourage you to do so. You can learn how to use it by following our Learn EnviroDIY Programming tutorial at https://github.com/EnviroDIY/LearnEnviroDIY.

        • #14601
          Matt Barney

            Hi all,

            Glad to hear about others using radio modules to relay Mayfly data to in internet connection. And Anthony, it’s great to hear about the mDot modules potentially being incorporated in ModularSensors. That’s something that we at Trout Unlimited will definitely be interested in exploring in the coming months. I could possibly contribute some time to that effort if needed, so contact me directly if that’s of interest. We are also considering (and have a volunteer who is currently working to implement) XBee 900 MHz radios. Can you tell me what the tradeoffs are between that and LoRa (or point me to some resources)? I really haven’t gotten started exploring yet, so would appreciate any guidance/experience.



          • #14602
            Anthony Aufdenkampe

              Matt, LoRa is a big leap beyond the Xbee 900 MHz self-meshing and local network stuff.

              Shannon set up an Xbee 900 MHz network for us in 2012, which I think is still in use. Short story is that 1 km range is max and bandwidth is low for standard HTTP Post requests.

              LoRa is much longer range (5-10 miles or more) and lower power. It does this with very low bandwidth, but it uses its own data transmission protocol that is hyper efficient. A special LoRa server platform needs to receive the data, which decodes the packet and forwards it in any format you want (i.e. HTTP Post to Monitor My Watershed). We use The Things Network (TTN), but there are also commercial options. You do need a LoRa receiver, which costs $50 to $2000, depending on capabilities and range (I’m happy with my $250 Laird RG191). TTN has many community gateways around the US, so you might not even need one.

              I’ll keep you in the loop, and reach out to you for help testing.

            • #14606

                Hi Anthony, I would also be available for testing/helping integrate LoRa networking and I have some gateways. Wow great news to hear there is an implementation done.

                For my local SSU I volunteer as Industry Advisor, and for last years Engineering Capstone project a student used an Adafruit LoRa module on a raspberry pi pretty effectively.
                https://www.adafruit.com/product/4074 “LoRa Radio Bonnet with OLED – RFM95W @ 915MHz – RadioFruit”
                I’ve also purchased but not tried the $13 Xbee

                I got the low cost LoRa Indoor Gateway for testing “The Things Indoor LoRaWAN WiFi Gateway – 8 Channel LoRa 900 MHz”
                https://www.adafruit.com/product/4345 $85

                We also initially got some other gateways that where very complicated, but the one that is a low cost outdoor
                Dragino OLG02 Outdoor Dual Channels LoRa IoT Gateway 915 MHz (NA)
                RB-Drt-23 Ordered: 1 USD $84.00

                One item to note, is that not all gateways are active on the ThingsNetwork (like mine).

                The outdoor “Dragino OLG02” only implements in hardware two LoRa channels out of the 8 specified. This can easily be managed in the sending side as to which channels can be hopped. When I registered the Dragino OLG02 on TTN I specified there where only two channels available.

              • #14608
                Dale Drummond

                  Hi Anthony,

                  Thanks for your reply. I will have to check out the LoRa radios you suggested. I’ve been looking at the ModularSensors library as well. I’m am also checking with the project sponsor to see if there is a reason that specific LoRa radio module was chosen.

                  Thanks again!


                • #14633
                  Dale Drummond

                    Hi Anthony,

                    I picked up a couple of the MultiTech mDotTM LoRa radio modules. Can you share any example code you have for getting them communicating? or do you need anyone to help test the ModularSensors library additions you are working on? I am happy to test and report back with any issues.



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