I am new to LoRa and I want to build a Gateway on my own for PoC.
I have seen that Raspberry Pi can be used for this purpose. And that there’s a LoRa concentrator and shield available which can be connected with the Raspberry Pi.
So the hardware requirements for Gateway can be summarized as,
- Raspberry Pi dev board.
- LoRa hat
- Concentrator module.
Apart from above do I need anything else ?
Also if you can suggest models/versions for the hardware it would help.
Second thing is if above hardware is ready… can we install all chirpstack s/w components like,
- Packet forwarder
- Gateway Bridge
- Network Server
- Application Server
on the raspberry pi ?
Considering end devices will be needed to test the end to end flow… can we say that all the above things (h/w + s/w) form a working LoRa solution ?
Yes, you could probably run everything on the RPi and this would be something like Semtech’s IoT Starter Kit. This is because RPi is a Linux-based system, Semtech’s reference gateway software (includes libloragw and either the classic UDP packet forwarder or Basic Station) can run on a Linux host and so does Chirpstack.
The Semtech software communicate with the concentrator board over SPI and use GPIO07 for reset. This may vary for the actual hardware design, but this was used by the Semtech IoT Starter Kit and probably various copies out there.
If you build your own image with a new kernel, you need to adjust the overlay to free up GPIO07: Upgrade to kernel 5.4.51-v7+ breaks Raspberry Pi Hats that use SPI and expect GPIO 7 to be free · Issue #162 · Lora-net/lora_gateway · GitHub
Usually, the concentrator is part of the RPi hat, so you would only need to connect the hat to the RPi.
Thanks for the update…
For PoC purpose I had installed the docker containers of all the chirpstack components on a linux desktop and they were running successfully.
Also I had Chirpstack simulator running on the same system… but I was not able to see any node on the chirpstack-application-server.
Do you have any idea whether this is because I used a Linux desktop instead of RPi or is it due to other hardware dependency like the concentrator, lora antenna, etc.
Did the gateway’s packet forwarder successfully make contact with the Gateway Bridge (GWB) component of Chirpstack? If it did not successfully boot up or is not able to contact the GWB, do check your configuration for the gateway software.
I started all the components one after the other and did all the basic configuration as mentioned in the Chirpstack documentation.
Also the containers were helathy all the time without any error…
Can you please guide me on how to make sure the gateway’s packet forwarder successfully makes contact with the Gateway Bridge.
Take a look at the log file for the packet forwarder. Usually, there will be messages that indicate whether it has successfully contacted the GWB component.
Classic Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder: PULL_DATA (heartbeat) messages are sent periodically, every 10s by default. Usually, it will log whether the GWB acknowledged each individual heartbeat.
Semtech BasicStation: it uses websockets, so the packet forwarder will log whenever the connection is broken and when it tries to reconnect. It also receives the configuration for the concentrator(s) from the LNS, thus the gateway will not operate if the LNS cannot be reached.
Thanks for the hint…
I will check the logs once.