Facing signal strength/range issues on my LoRa setup.

Hi, I am a currently working on a project which requires me to transmit data to 3-4 kms. I have integrated a SX1278 LoRa transceiver with ESP32 and sensors on my node device. I am using an ESP32 with another SX1278 module as a gateway and have also connected the ESP32 to WiFi. However, I am facing issues with the range of this setup as my gateway is only able to receive packets which have been transmitted within 100-200m. Is there anything I could change to improve the range of my setup? I feel I haven't used a good enough antenna for the gateway. I am currently using MT76813DBI as the antenna for both my node and gateway. Should I change the antenna for both my node and my gateway or only my gateway device? Also, which model would be recommended to achieve a 5km range? P.S. I am operating in the 433MHz band.

Well LoRa is not magic, it does not know how far you want the signals to go.

LoRa can depending on the settings, run at high speed for shorter distances and low speed for stupid long distances, you adjust the setting to the range you want.

More information on the various settings here;

https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=619758.msg4199357#msg4199357

Extreme short range is a symptom of a damadged module. One that has been operated even breifly without an antenna or has a deffective antenna or the antenna is not designed for the frequency used (433Mhz in this case).

raghaviyengar:
I am currently using MT76813DBI as the antenna for both my node and gateway.

P.S. I am operating in the 433MHz band.

Is the MT76813DBI antenna designed for 433Mhz ?

Also, which model would be recommended to achieve a 5km range?

Over what kind of terrain?

Communications at 433 MHz and higher are generally limited to line of sight, unobstructed conditions.

srnet: Is the MT76813DBI antenna designed for 433Mhz ?

That antenna is only good for 2.4 gHz. WAY too short for 433. Paul

Line of sight is important. A single tree can completely block your signal.

These "stupid long distances" that LoRa has done (couple hundred km) is always achieved by attaching one of the nodes to a weather balloon and sending it high up. Guaranteed line of sight that way, as long as it's high enough to be above the horizon from where-ever the other end is.

Current LoRa record is 832km I believe; https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/article/lorawan-world-record-broken-twice-in-single-experiment-1

jremington: Over what kind of terrain?

Communications at 433 MHz and higher are generally limited to line of sight, unobstructed conditions.

Right now, I am testing it at my workplace, and it isn't ideal for LOS communication. Eventually, once I have finished working on the project, I would be deploying them in farm fields. Is 433MHz not ideal for this kind of a terrain?

Paul_KD7HB: That antenna is only good for 2.4 gHz. WAY too short for 433. Paul

Is there a particular model that you would recommend for my setup? If not, ideally what should be the gain and length of my antenna for outdoor applications similar to mine?

raghaviyengar:
I would be deploying them in farm fields. Is 433MHz not ideal for this kind of a terrain?

868Mhz LoRa, which has slightly worse propagation than 434Mhz, is widely used for setting up sensors in farmers fields, checkout The Things Network;

raghaviyengar: Is there a particular model that you would recommend for my setup? If not, ideally what should be the gain and length of my antenna for outdoor applications similar to mine?

Just use a simple 1/4 wave bit of wire for now, then maybe later you can compare results with purchased antennas.

In most places in the World, there is little point in using gain antennas, since you have to reduce set transmitter power in order to stay within legal limits, so nothing is gained. The exception is if the 'Gateway' doing the receiving of data is receiver only, no transmitting, then you can fit a gain antenna.

srnet: Just use a simple 1/4 wave bit of wire for now, then maybe later you can compare results with purchased antennas.

In most places in the World, there is little point in using gain antennas, since you have to reduce set transmitter power in order to stay within legal limits, so nothing is gained. The exception is if the 'Gateway' doing the receiving of data is receiver only, no transmitting, then you can fit a gain antenna.

Yes, once I am able to establish Point to Point connection between 2 devices, I'm gonna try to put together my own gateway which should be able to receive data from multiple nodes in a 4-5 km range. For now, I'm gonna use a 433 MHz compatible antenna which is locally available, but for the gateway, I'd like to use one which will be able to increase my range significantly.