MKRWAN 1300 on Helium - guidance?


I've been attempting to OTAA join my Arduino MKR WAN 1300 to the HELIUM network for a few weeks now. I've been able to receive 'Join Request' messages from the device within the Helium Console, but the 'Join Accept' message (downlink) is apparently not received by my MKR WAN. It always times out with "Something went wrong; are you indoor? Move near a window and retry". I'm within about 2000 feet (700 m) of a Helium Gateway as shown on their map.

Has anyone here had success OTAA joining a MKR WAN 1300 on the Helium network?

Things I've tried:

  1. Uncommented the "LoRaModem modem(Serial1);" line in the example sketch as I believe my device has the Murata chip.
  2. Increased the "modem.joinOTAA" delay timer to over an hour
  3. Increased the "Set Delay Before Rx1 Window" setting within the Helium Console up to 15 seconds (default 1).
  4. I did update the firmware to the latest version and I am using the MKRWANv1 library. (I was not able to even receive the JoinRequest in Helium using the v2 library).

Finally, I've noticed it takes 10-20 minutes to receive the JoinRequest message from the MKR WAN in Helium... is this normal? Wondering if it could be timing out.

Any input greatly appreciated - thanks!


It turns out the gateway I was connecting to was the issue. I drove to the next town over and connected to another gateway and immediately received the JoinAccept message. Helium also showed "Uplink" and "Downlink" events in the dashboard (I did not see these previously).

I don't know why the initial gateway I was connecting to did not work, but if you are struggling with connecting to helium and are only seeing "JoinRequest" and "JoinAccept" events in the console (and NOT "Uplink" and "Downlink events), please save yourself some time and power up your MKR WAN near a different hotspot. You might even try a third if necessary.

NOTE: the original hotspot I was connecting to was relayed (as shown on I suspect this might have been part of the issue. I specifically moved next to a non-relayed hotspot to see if it would work (which it did).

Hopefully this will save someone some time.

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