Check LoRaWAN deployments on the go with WisGate Developer Base USB dongle

RAKWireless just had their “Big Tech Bloom” event services they announced many new LPWAN products ranging from WisDM fleet management system, OpenWrt based Wisgate OS, new industrial LoRaWAN gateways like WisGate Edge Lite 2, their first STM32WL module, as well as 9 new modules for WisBlock modular IoT platform with MIC, e-Paper display, GPS, an ESP32 based WisBlock core, etc…

But today, I’ll have a look at the new $99 WisGate Developer Base, a USB dongle that connects to a laptop for LoRaWAN networks evaluation, for example, to check the coverage before installing a new gateway. Alternatively, it could also be used to add LoRaWAN gateway capability to existing embedded hardware like routers or industrial PCs.

Wisgate Developer PlatformTwo variants of the WisGate Developer Base are available – RAK7271 & RAK7371 – with the following specifications:

  • Concentrator modules
    • RAK7271 – RAK2287 SX1302 based mini PCIe concentrator module
    • RAK7371 – RAK5146 SX1303 based mini PCIe concentrator module (New)
    • 8 uplink channels and 1 downlink channel.
    • 2x SX125x Tx/Rx front-ends.
    • Tx power up to 27 dBm, Rx sensitivity down to -139 dBm @ SF12, BW 125 kHz.
    • Frequency band – EU433, CN470, IN865, EU868, US915, AU915, KR920, AS923
  • Antenna – SMA connector for LoRa antenna, GNSS antenna hole (but GPS is not mentioned although it is supported by the concentrator modules above with U-blox ZOE-M8Q GPS module)
  • Host interface – USB 2.0 Type-C port
  • Misc – Power LED

The developer base ships with a 2.3 dBi LoRa Antenna and a USB-C to USB-C cable for easy connection to a laptop.

RAK5446 SX1303 concentrator
RAK5446 SX1303 concentrator module

It’s the first time I hear about the Semtech SX1303 LoRaWAN gateway baseband processor,  because it’s pretty new, and RAK5446 module is only expected to be available in a couple of weeks.

So how does SX1303 differ from the earlier SX1302? Semtech explains it’s pin-compatible with SX1302 but adds Fine Timestamp capability that enables Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) network-based geolocation. I can also see that SX1303 supports SF5-SF12, while SX1302 is limited to SF7-SF12 spreading factors.

You’ll find documentation about Wisgate Developer Base on RAK Documentation Center, and the RAK7271 LoRaWAN USB dongle can be purchased now for $99, while the RAK7371 model is expected in about two weeks.

If you are interested in other RAK Wireless announcements, check out the 33-minute video below, and go through the Big Tech Boom products’ summary.

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