Outdoor LoRaWAN gateways meant to be deployed in the field usually cost several hundred dollars, so companies also offer cheaper gateways for indoor use that can be used by developers.
RAKWireless offers this type of gateway with products such as Pilot Gateway Pro RAK7243 based on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ board, or RAK7244 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway featuring the more recent Raspberry Pi 4 board and sold for $212 and up with price depending on options such as cellular connectivity.
The company has now worked on providing much cheaper indoor/developer gateways with their RAK7246 and RAK7246G LoRAWAN developer gateways with the latter adding GPS. RAK7246 is available.
RAK7246 key features and specifications:
- SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W board with Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor @ 1GHz, 512MB RAM
- Storage – 16GB MicroSD card
- 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 via Cypress CYW43438 module found on RPi Zero W board
- RAK2246 Pi HAT LoRaWAN concentrator module:
- SX1308 baseband processor
- Full 8 uplink channels and 1 downlink channel
- Tx max: 20dbm, Rx min (sensitivity): -139dbm @ SF12 at 125kHz
- Frequency bands – RU864, IN865, EU868, US915, AU915, KR920, AS923
- LoRaWAN 1.0.2 protocol.
- External LoRa antenna
- GNSS – RAK7246G only: Ublox MAX-7Q GPS module + GPS antenna
- Video Output – HDMI port
- USB – 1x Micro USB OTG port, 1x Micro USB port for power only
- Camera I/F – 1x CSI camera connector
- Power Supply – 5V/2.5A via micro USB port
- Dimensions – 96 x 66 x 47 mm excluding antennas
The gateway comes with a 5V/2.5A power adapter, a 16GB Micro SD card, a LoRa antenna, and for RAK7246G an extra GPS antenna. The company has published a step-by-step tutorial explaining how to set up the board and connect it to The Things Network (TTN), ChirpStack (previously known as LoRaServer project), or ResIOT platform for smart city or industry 4.0 IoT projects.
Some of the most obvious cost-savings compared to their previous LoRaWAN developer gateway include switching from a $45 Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB) to a $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W, and using a cheap acrylic enclosure in place of a metal enclosure.