SB Components LoRaWAN gateways and nodes are made for Raspberry Pi and ESP32 boards (Crowdfunding)

UK-based hardware developer, SB Components, has designed a new LoRaWAN product series (gateways and nodes) for the Raspberry Pi SBCs, Raspberry Pi Pico, ESP32, and other hardware, based on RAKWireless RAK5146 and RAK3172 modules.

lorawan product series

The products are available in up to five variants (plus two relay boards) and are built to cater to hobbyists with different needs. They support several LoRaWAN server platforms including The Things Stack, Chirpstack, and Helium, with adaptive spreading factors, coding rates, and bandwidth configurations.

The LoRaWAN products include:

  • Gateways – RAK5146 LoRaWAN Gateway HAT and RAK3172 LoRaWAN Gateway HAT for the Raspberry Pi SBCs
  • Nodes – RAK3172 LoRaWAN Module (Powered by Raspberry Pi Pico), Raspberry Pi RP2040 USB Dongle, RAK3172 LoRaWAN Module (powered by ESP32), LoRaWAN Breakout, GatePi LoRaWAN 4-Ch Relay, GatePi LoRaWAN 8-Ch Relay

LoRaWAN (long-range wide access network) uses the LoRa modulation technique to transmit data over large distances. In a LoRAWAN network, nodes are the devices that interface with other electronic components and collect data or perform actions within the IoT ecosystem while gateways transmit the data to the central network server for processing and analysis.

The relay boards, GatePi LoRaWAN 4-ch and 8-ch, are both powered by the  RP2040 microcontroller chip with an RAK3172 transceiver module. They feature a “remote power switch” that can be used to turn on and control devices remotely and they can be used in industrial automation, home automation, and agriculture.

lorawan gateway hat

RAK5146 LoRaWAN Gateway HAT specifications:

  • Core – Semtech SX1303 baseband processor
  • Up to 125kHz LoRa reception, with
    • 8x SF5-SF12 LoRa demodulators
    • 8x SF5-SF10 LoRa demodulators
    • 1x 125/250/500 kHz high-speed LoRa demodulator
    • 1x (G)FSK demodulator
  • 1x SPI interface
  • Fine Timestamp (enables simultaneous reception of up to 8 packets)
  • LoRaWAN frequency bands – EU868, CN470, US915, AS923, AU915, KR920, and IN865

lorawan pico expansion

RAK3172 LoRaWAN Node (Raspberry Pi Pico / USB Dongle / ESP32) specifications:

  • SoC
    • Raspberry Pi Pico/Pico W (Arm Cortex-M0 microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB memory and 2MB storage); RAK3172 transceiver module based on STM32WLE5CC chip
    • ESP32-S3 series (Xtensa dual-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor @ 240 MHz with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth 5 (LE), 16MB storage, and 8MB memory); RAK3172 transceiver module based on STM32WLE5CC chip
  • Storage – microSD card for data logging
  • Display – 1.14-inch RGB TFT display, 240 x 135px, 65K/262K colors; ST7789 display driver via SPI interface
  • USB
    • LoRaWAN Node Expansion Board – USB Type-C for power and LoRa module configuration
    • LoRaWAN USB Dongle – Type A interface for programming and powering board
  • Pico/ESP32 GPIOs available for connecting sensors and actuators (absent on dongle)
  • Header breakout for configuring LoRa Module or standalone use with USB to TTL device (absent on expansion board)
  • Misc – 2x programmable buttons, onboard power status LED indicator, buzzer for audio alerts and notifications, boot and reset buttons (absent on dongle), battery connector (only ESP32 board)

lorawan hat

RAK3172 LoRaWAN Gateway HAT / Breakout Module specifications:

  • Core – STM32WLE5CC microcontroller, Arm Cortex-M4 core @ 48MHz with 256KB flash memory and 64KB SRAM
  • HAT compatible with Raspberry Pi 40-pin header
  • 1x SPI interface, 1x UART interface (easy-to-use AT command set)
  • Display – 1.14-inch RGB TFT display, 240 x 135px, 65K/262K colors; ST7789 display driver via SPI interface
  • 1x USB Type C interface for standalone access to LPWAN module for configuration
  • 2x programmable buttons for additional control
  • 1x buzzer for audio alerts in projects
  • Supported bands: (EU433, CN470, RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, and AS923)

gatepi lorawan 4 ch

GatePi LoRaWAN 4-ch / 8-ch relay board specifications

  • SoC – RP2040 Arm Cortex-M0 microcontroller @ 133 MHz with 264KB memory and 2MB storage and RAK3172 transceiver module based on STM32WLE5CC chip
  • 4-ch relays/8-ch relays
  • IPEX antenna connector
  • Remote Power Switch

The RAK3172 models use firmware based on RAKwireless Unified Interface V3 (RUI3), supporting the creation of different functionalities using RUI APIs, and recently open-sourced by the company.

The LoRaWAN series targets IoT applications, such as smart cities, agriculture, industry, public safety, and healthcare. Other recent products from SB Components include the Trekko Pico, Microflex MCUs, and Dual Roundy and Squary Displays, and the company also launched other LoRa/LoRaWAN in the past including the MessengerPi LoRa messenger and walkie-talkie and the Lo-Fi ESP32-S3 board.

The variants are priced from $34 to $156. The different prices are listed below:

  • LoRaWAN Breakout – $32
  • LoRaWAN Hat for Raspberry Pi – $34
  • LoRaWAN RP2040 USB Dongle – $47
  • LoRaWAN for Raspberry Pi Pico – $50
  • LoRaWAN for ESP32 – $50
  • GatePi LoRaWAN 4-ch relay – $50
  • GatePi LoRaWAN 8-ch relay – $65
  • LoRaWAN Gateway HAT – $165

SB Components has launched its LoRaWAN product series on Kickstarter with the crowdfunding campaign still having 15 days to go at the time of publication. The delivery of rewards is projected to commence by July 2024.

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