LoRa // or alternatives? Transmit data from sensor to database/gateway

Hi,

I'm very new to Arduino. But I have a mission - but I hit the wall. And need some help/ explanation.

Short: I want output form a sensor, to be sent to a database (preferably by LoRa - for coverage and prices)

I have an Arduino that has a temp/humidity sensor attached.
I can easily get the output to a display directly on the same Arduino board. But I would like to have that sensor located at a different location. (within range of the LoRa)

The goal is that the sensor should be as small as possible, and low power. So preferably just with an integrated battery.

Please see my drawing for an explanation.

So; How do I accomplish my goal? I'm open to other technologies as long as it's cheap and provide long-range. I know there should be a gateway for the LoRa - but how do I create this - this should be used within the same building but wifi and Bluetooth is unavailable.

Thanks for any advice!

The term 'Gateway' in the context of LoRa is usually used to describe a LoRa receiver that passes the received data onwards to a network connected database of some type.

The Things Network (TTN) is an example of this, a multichannel Gateway receives the LoRa packets and forwards them onward across the Internet to various on-line database services.

You seem to just want a LoRa receiver, although you dont make clear how the receiver is going to forward the packets to this 'database' with no available network connections.

Firstly, I think you need to define "long range"?

I have a bunch of boards that have a DS18B20 temperature sensor on them with an ATMEGA328P @ 8MHz. They were designed to take an nRF24L01 2.4GHz module but I just couldn't get the range I needed in my specific environment. I now have a small board I designed that takes an RFM69CW module and associated bits that plugs into the same socket that the nRF24L01 did. That operates in the 433MHz ISM band. It's running on 2xAA batteries, sleeps for around 1 hour using multiple watchdog sleeps, wakes up, measures temperature and battery voltage, transmits it to a "base station/gateway" (essentially the same board as each node) and goes back to sleep. The received message gets written to a CSV file using a Python script running on a repurposed Thin Client. I can then view the CSV file for each day via a web browser.

The setup has been running over a month now and shows almost no sign of the batteries being depleted.

This setup isn't LoRa but I do have another version of my small carrier board that takes an RFM96 LoRa module and plugs into the nRF24L01 socket too. I'm just about to experiment with that setup to see how it performs.

markd833:
This setup isn't LoRa but I do have another version of my small carrier board that takes an RFM96 LoRa module and plugs into the nRF24L01 socket too. I'm just about to experiment with that setup to see how it performs.

As an approximation, expect the LoRa to go between 8 and 10 times further than FSK type receivers, of which the RFM69 is an example, when used on a same data rate basis.
In addition some FSK receivers dont seem to seem to gain much in performance at very low data rates, whereas the LoRa devices do, so at very low data rates the distance improvement margin of FSK versus LoRa can be very much greater than 10 times.

@srnet - thanks for the information. I don't need the range so much so I guess I can translate that to lower RF power for the same distance and the battery power savings too.

markd833:
@srnet - thanks for the information. I don't need the range so much so I guess I can translate that to lower RF power for the same distance and the battery power savings too.

Indeed you can, on equivalent data rates, the LoRa device will cover the same distance with say 2mW of transmit power that an FSK device needs 100mW for. Or on the same transmit power the LoRa device can use faster data rates, meaning shorter packets and less power hungry transmit time.

srnet:
The term 'Gateway' in the context of LoRa is usually used to describe a LoRa receiver that passes the received data onwards to a network connected database of some type.

The Things Network (TTN) is an example of this, a multichannel Gateway receives the LoRa packets and forwards them onward across the Internet to various on-line database services.

You seem to just want a LoRa receiver, although you dont make clear how the receiver is going to forward the packets to this 'database' with no available network connections.

HI - thanks for reply.

In my head. I would connect the gateway to the internet (for transmitting the data, to a database).
But I can't seem to wrap my head-on, how I get the data from my Arduino to the gateway.
I get the point that I need a receiver - but I do also need a transmitter - right?

And what could be an example of a transmitter. I actually bought an ESP8266 Breakout - as I thought I "just" could get it to work with wifi - without luck.

So if I buy a receiver like This, and a transmitter like this. How can I physically and programming-wise get them connected?

There is something with the programming language I don't understand (if you have time to explain)
I write on the Arduino by using the IDE - but then I can read that I should program, in this example ESP8266, another way? right? And then connect it to the Arduino afterward...

Hope you will take your time, to explain.

I do know IT - but this is very unfamiliar to me :stuck_out_tongue:

I would experiment with point to point LoRa first, a LoRa transmitter sends the data and a LoRa receiver receives and displays it.

There is a differce between LoRa (as in point to point) and LoRaWAN. One of the products you linked to was a LoRaWAN Gateway, setting that up (as the receiver) and all the nodes (as transmitters) might be struggle without support.

For a brief summary of LoRa and LoRaWAN read here;