I’ve been heavily involved with sensors and remote sensing for many years. Recently, I’ve become intrigued with remote sensing, and began my exploration with LoRaWAN. However, to start experimenting with sensor nodes, I would need a gateway to receive all my node transmissions (as well as send back any data to the nodes). Below is how I built and implemented my outdoor LoRaWAN Gateway.
Bill of Materials
|Raspberry Pi 3 B+||$35|
|LoRaGo PORT Multi-channel LoRaWAN Gateway (Sandbox Electronics)||$150|
|8 dBi antenna (model EW-915-8-OMNI)||$110|
|IP67 Weatherproof Enclosure||$18|
|Antenna mast clamp||$10|
|Passive power over ethernet (PoE) injector (2)||$15|
|RJ45 Waterproof panel mount connector||$7|
|NEMA box vent (2)||$7|
|Antenna tripod mount||$25|
|Weatherproof cable glands||$10|
|12-volt 5-Amp power adapter||$11|
|Adjustable voltage regulator||$9|
|50 feet CAT-7 cable||$26|
|SHT31 temperature/humidity sensor||$14|
Positioning the components on the back plate of the enclosure was simple enough. There was a lot of room to work with, and I gave consideration to how heat would rise in the case. The Pi was positioned relatively low, with the temperature/humidity sensor positioned near the top to obtain potentially the most extreme conditions of the case.
An antenna mast mount was used to secure both the enclosure and the antenna to a 2-inch steel pipe. This pipe was then fixed to a satellite tripod mount. Rubber washers were used both inside and outside of the enclosure to prevent water intrusion through the mount holes.
Two vents were installed, with one higher than the other to facilitate airflow that would arise from the heat generated by the Pi and gateway hardware. The 12 volts from the PoE injector was regulated to 5 volts to power the Pi. The LAN was connected from the PoE injector directly to the Pi to provide network connectivity. WiFi could also have been used, however this is often not as reliable as a wired connection. The gateway hardware attached directly to the Pi for both communication and power. The antenna from the gateway exited the enclosure through a weatherproof cable gland and connected to the antenna.
The gateway was bolted to a plywood deck and the CAT-7 ethernet cable was connected to a router to provide internet access for the gateway to send data to The Things Network. This setup could also be modified for use with a custom-built LoRaWAN receiver if one wished to build their own network (i.e. if there was no internet access and all data was fed to a local server).
The area surrounding this gateway is heavily wooded, however I’ve successfully received transmissions from a mile away. The property this is on is only 26 acres, so it easily covers the entire property.