The LoRaWAN part of this Guide is deprecated and is no longer possible! Single-channel packet forwarders no longer work after the Things Network migration to The Things Stack v3. For more information about this decision, visit:

This guide assumes that you've gotten your Raspberry Pi up and running, and have CircuitPython installed.

Installing CircuitPython Libraries

We're running CircuitPython on the Raspberry Pi, installing the libraries for radio communication is simple.

To install the library for the display, enter the following into the terminal:

pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-ssd1306

You'll also need to install the framebuf module in order to write to the display. 

sudo pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-framebuf

To install the library for the RFM9x Module, enter the following into the terminal:

sudo pip3 install adafruit-circuitpython-rfm9x

Testing the Setup

There have been a lot of steps so far - let's verify that everything is wired up and all the libraries are installed properly before moving on to sending and receiving data. 

The following code is for checking if the RFM9x radio is set up for transmitting and receiving. Save the code on your Pi as

# SPDX-FileCopyrightText: 2018 Brent Rubell for Adafruit Industries
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT

Wiring Check, Pi Radio w/RFM9x

Learn Guide:
Author: Brent Rubell for Adafruit Industries
import time
import busio
from digitalio import DigitalInOut, Direction, Pull
import board
# Import the SSD1306 module.
import adafruit_ssd1306
# Import the RFM9x radio module.
import adafruit_rfm9x

# Button A
btnA = DigitalInOut(board.D5)
btnA.direction = Direction.INPUT
btnA.pull = Pull.UP

# Button B
btnB = DigitalInOut(board.D6)
btnB.direction = Direction.INPUT
btnB.pull = Pull.UP

# Button C
btnC = DigitalInOut(board.D12)
btnC.direction = Direction.INPUT
btnC.pull = Pull.UP

# Create the I2C interface.
i2c = busio.I2C(board.SCL, board.SDA)

# 128x32 OLED Display
reset_pin = DigitalInOut(board.D4)
display = adafruit_ssd1306.SSD1306_I2C(128, 32, i2c, reset=reset_pin)
# Clear the display.
width = display.width
height = display.height

# Configure RFM9x LoRa Radio
CS = DigitalInOut(board.CE1)
RESET = DigitalInOut(board.D25)
spi = busio.SPI(board.SCK, MOSI=board.MOSI, MISO=board.MISO)

while True:
    # Clear the image

    # Attempt to set up the RFM9x Module
        rfm9x = adafruit_rfm9x.RFM9x(spi, CS, RESET, 915.0)
        display.text('RFM9x: Detected', 0, 0, 1)
    except RuntimeError as error:
        # Thrown on version mismatch
        display.text('RFM9x: ERROR', 0, 0, 1)
        print('RFM9x Error: ', error)

    # Check buttons
    if not btnA.value:
        # Button A Pressed
        display.text('Ada', width-85, height-7, 1)
    if not btnB.value:
        # Button B Pressed
        display.text('Fruit', width-75, height-7, 1)
    if not btnC.value:
        # Button C Pressed
        display.text('Radio', width-65, height-7, 1)

To use the code, enter the following in your terminal:


You'll also want to download the font file, font5x8.bin, and copy it into the same directory as the script:

Then, let's check the setup:

If the RFM9x is detected, the OLED will display Detected! 


You can test  the buttons by pressing them and watching the display for changes.

If the wiring of the radio module is incorrect - the display will show ERROR. Check over your wiring on the Wiring Page and re-run the test. You may also need to ensure the correct CircuitPython library is installed for the module. 


If the OLED does not turn on - first check that it is wired correctly. Then, make sure you enabled I2C from raspi-config and installed the required libraries (adafruit-circuitpython-framebufand adafruit-circuitpython-ssd1306).

Install the Single Channel Pi Gateway

WiringPi is PRE-INSTALLED with standard Raspbian systems. To check if it is pre-installed on your system, run:

gpio -v

If you get something, then you have it already installed. Otherwise, install WiringPi by running:

sudo apt-get install wiringpi

Then, clone the packet forwarder repository 

git clone

Navigate into the packet forwarder directory

cd single_chan_pkt_fwd/

and compile the code for the gateway

sudo make all

You'll also want to download the font file, font5x8.bin, and copy it into the same directory as the script:

If you are using a Raspberry Pi ZEROyou will need to change a value within the configuration file. Using a text editor, open the global_conf.json file. Replace "is_pi_zero": false with "is_pi_zero": true. Your configuration file should look like the following.

  "SX127x_conf": {
    "freq": 905100000,
    "spread_factor": 7,
    "pin_nss": 11,
    "pin_dio0": 3,
    "pin_rst": 25
  "gateway_conf": {
    "ref_latitude": 0.0,
    "ref_longitude": 0.0,
    "ref_altitude": 10,
    "name": "Radio Pi Bonnet",
    "email": "[email protected]",
    "desc": "Adafruit Radio Pi LoRa 1-Ch Gateway",
    "is_pi_zero": true,
    "servers": [
        "address": "",
        "port": 1700,
        "enabled": true
        "address": "",
        "port": 1700,
        "enabled": false

Gateway Usage

From within the single_chan_pkt_fwd/ folder, run the Python program by entering the following into the terminal:


The display should show the Gateway EUI. Keep this screen open, we'll need it for the next step.

This guide was first published on Feb 05, 2019. It was last updated on Jul 14, 2024.

This page (Things Network Raspberry Pi Setup) was last updated on Jul 14, 2024.

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