Overview

LoRaWAN is similar to a cellular network, our suggested provider is The Things Network, a community-driven initiative with a large amount of public gateways to connect to (check out the map of publicly listed gateways here). 

We're going to build a gateway (highlighted in red in the diagram below) to pass data from your LoRaWAN device to the internet. 

raspberry_pi_what-is-lorawan_edited.png
LoRaWAN Network Topology (via https://lora-alliance.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/what-is-lorawan.pdf)

What is a LoRaWAN Gateway?

If have a Pi (or Feather)  LoRaWAN device set up, you'll likely want to immediately start working with LoRaWAN. Our suggested network is The Things Network, a community-driven initiative with a large amount of public gateways to connect to (check out the map of publicly listed gateways here). 

Gateways form a bridge a LoRaWAN device and the Network, receiving the device's data and forwarding them an application.

If you don't have a gateway near you, it's possible you could face a dead-end. While multi-channel gateways exist (we stock the official The Things Gateway), they're often expensive - placing a cost barrier on entering the network (as a hobbyist/hacker/experimenter). 

About Single Channel Gateways

Single channel gateways are NOT LoRaWAN-compliant or officially supported by The Things Network.

Single channel gateways (like the one we'll be building) are a LoRa device which forwards data to a network. They're great for getting into LoRaWAN without purchasing a more expensive "full gateway" (like The Things Network Gateway we stock).

However...

Single-channel gateways are not LoRaWAN compliant and are not currently supported by The Things Network (due to poor coverage, among other reasons). For more information about the debate about single channel gateways, check out The Things Network forum.

Parts

The LoRa Radio Bonnet is recommended for this guide - you not only get a radio module, but also a 128x32 OLED display for status messages and three buttons you can use for creating a custom user interface or sending test messages. 

Adafruit LoRa Radio Bonnet with OLED - RFM95W @ 915MHz

PRODUCT ID: 4074
The latest Raspberry Pi computers come with WiFi and Bluetooth, and now you can add even more radio options with the Adafruit Radio Bonnets! Upgrade your Raspberry Pi with a LoRa /...
$32.50
OUT OF STOCK

There's also a 433MHz version which uses the amateur or license-free ISM band (ITU "Europe" license-free ISM or ITU "American" amateur with limitations).

Adafruit LoRa Radio Bonnet RFM96W @ 433MHz

PRODUCT ID: 4075
The latest Raspberry Pi computers come with WiFi and Bluetooth, and now you can add even more radio options with the Adafruit Radio Bonnets! Upgrade your Raspberry Pi with a LoRa /...
$32.50
IN STOCK

For a less-permanent gateway build, you can build a gateway using a RFM95W LoRa radio breakout and an OLED display, along with a few buttons.

Adafruit RFM95W LoRa Radio Transceiver Breakout - 868 or 915 MHz

PRODUCT ID: 3072
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.  Do you understand this? And...
$19.95
IN STOCK

There's also a 433MHz version which uses the amateur or license-free ISM band (ITU "Europe" license-free ISM or ITU "American" amateur with limitations).

1 x Adafruit RFM96W 433MHz
RFM96W LoRa Radio Transceiver Breakout - 433 MHz

Raspberry Pi Zero W

PRODUCT ID: 3400
If you didn't think that the Raspberry Pi Zero could possibly get any better, then boy do we have a pleasant surprise for you! The new Raspberry Pi Zero W...
$10.00
IN STOCK

Raspberry Pi 3 - Model B+ - 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 with 1GB RAM

PRODUCT ID: 3775
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the most popular Raspberry Pi computer made, and the Pi Foundation knows you can always make a good thing better! And what could make the Pi 3...
$35.00
OUT OF STOCK

You'll also want to pick up the following parts from the Adafruit Shop if you do not have them already:

1 x Pi T-Cobbler Plus
GPIO Breakout - Pi A+, B+, Pi 2, Pi 3, Zero
1 x I2C OLED Display
Monochrome 128x32 I2C OLED graphic display
1 x Breadboarding Wire Bundle
75 flexible stranded core wires with stiff ends.
1 x Tactile Buttons
Tactile Switch Buttons (12mm square, 6mm tall) x 10 pack
1 x Breadboard
Full Sized Breadboard
1 x uFL Antenna
uFL SMT Antenna Connector
1 x Raspberry Pi Power Supply
5V 2.5A Switching Power Supply with 20AWG MicroUSB Cable
1 x 8GB SD Card with OS
8GB SD Card w/ Raspbian Stretch Lite
This guide was first published on Jan 17, 2019. It was last updated on Jan 17, 2019. This page (Overview) was last updated on May 23, 2019.