$99 RAK7246 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway Features Raspberry Pi Zero W SBC

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 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway
Click to Enlarge

RAK7246 key features and specifications:

  • SBC – Raspberry Pi Zero W board with Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 processor @ 1GHz, 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 16GB MicroSD card
  • Connectivity
    • 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
Raspberry Pi Zero LoRaWAN Gateway
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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.

RAK7246 LoRAWAN developer gateway is sold for $99 plus shipping, while the RAK7246G variant goes for $114. Either can be purchased on Aliexpress or RAK Wireless store.

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DurandA
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I’m not sure why they specifically mention LoRaWAN 1.0.2 since the concentrator only forwards raw LoRa messages.

Vladislav Yordanov
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Vladislav Yordanov

That is actually a good point. I think it is because of the GPS being optional. You kind of need it for the 1.0.3, right ?

theguyuk
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theguyuk

So would you say this a step up from the from $98 LPS8 Indoor LoRaWAN Gateway (Included SX1308 LoRa Concentrator) – 868MHz

Vladislav Yordanov
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Vladislav Yordanov

If I may. I think they are a bit different. The one from Dragino is very nice and user friendly. More for a beginner than for a developer. It does have the advantage of an Ethernet port, so that is a plus. No GPS though so less future proof if that class B get some traction on the years to come.
Biggest advantage of the RAK in my opinion is that it is a standard Pi HAT concentrator module, so it is upgrade able further down the line: outdoor enclosure, bigger antenna, bigger RPi, etc. The Dragino is a single board probably, not sure never seen the board myself.
So yeah seems both have their merits:
Dragino – more user friendly maybe (never actually tested it), due to Web UI
RAK – more developer friendly, future proof and upgrade-able.

The above is my opinion though. I haven’t actually done any comparative research, etc., just at first glance.

Yann
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Yann

I hope they will sell the Pi Zero hat alone !

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