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LoRaWAN with MultiTech and ARM mbed

October 29, 2015 / LoRaWAN, wot.io, ARMmbed, MultiTech / Posted By: wotio team

One of the more interesting developments in the massive IoT ecosystem is the quickly growing base install of LoRaWAN devices. As wot.io partners Stream Technologies and MultiTech bring these new technologies to market, we are happy to be able to provide the data services infrastructure to support these new IoT connectivity options. Let's look at some of the options now available.

Networking Options

When people speak of the burgeoning proliferation of connected devices in the IoT ecosystem, one thing that is sometimes overlooked is considering the implications of which network type the actual device(s) run on. For many touted use cases, the more common networks are ill-suited for the task:

  • WiFi takes up too much power and the range is too limited
  • Cellular (3G/LTE) is too expensive per connected unit
  • Cellular (CAT-0) is still a few years out.
  • Bluetooth LE range is too limited.

LoRaWAN however, in tandem with some other 6LoWPAN networks like SigFox, are making strides to fill that void of being all of 1) low power 2) low cost and 3) long range. Perfect for any IoT application!

Demo Setup

Let's get started setting up our LoRa network. For this we're using:

  • MultiTech Conduit Gateway, with a
  • MultiTech MTAC LoRa Gateway Accessory Card installed
  • MultiTech mDot modules, mounted on a
  • MultiTech Developer Kit

The LoRa mDot uses an ARM processor and is ARM mbed enabled, so developing LoRa solutions using these ARM-powered devices much faster and more pleasant.

If you're using a USB-Serial cord as I am to connect to the DB9 port, you can use the following to see that the line is connected:

> ls /dev/tty.*
...
/dev/tty.PL2303-00001014

The tty.PL2303-* listing above confirms that our Serial line is connected to our USB port.
You can also confirm that you are properly connected when the D7 LED is lit up on the MultiTech Developer Kit (UDK).

I'm using CoolTerm to send in the AT commands to the MultiTech LoRa mDot module which we have mounted on a MultiTech UDK.

AT  
AT&F  
AT+RXO=1  
AT&W  
AT+FSB=7  
AT+NI=1,wotioloranetwork  
AT+NK=1,<ENTER_PASSPHRASE>  
AT&W  
ATZ  
AT+JOIN  
AT+ACK=1

After that's confirmed, we simply drag&drop our compiled binary from the mbed online editor onto the device, and it flashes, connects, and starts sending data automatically!

We can now hop over to our MultiTech Conduit and use the Node-RED interface to see that data is flowing from our LoRa mDot into the Conduit. So let's take that data and pipe it into the wot.io Operating Environment.

From there, that LoRaWAN data can be combined with other data sources and is easily fed into a wide range of data services to truly unlock its value.

You can check out the full module source code over at the ARM mbed website. And check out other posts in the wot.io labs blog and our main website for information on data services for your IoT application.