Low power LoRa node for I2C and RS485 sensorsDesigned by Catnip electronics in Lithuania
What is it? This OSHW board is designed to easily hook up RS485 and I2C sensors to LoRaWAN network. It is a ready-made power optimized LoRa node. Features Arduino compatible (Adafruit Feather M0 b...Read More…
This OSHW board is designed to easily hook up RS485 and I2C sensors to LoRaWAN network. It is a ready-made power optimized LoRa node.
The board is designed to be used with 4xAA 1.5V cells, actually physical dimensions of the board resemble a common cheap 4xAA holder. This strategy was chosen because for low power device it makes little sense to use recheargable batteries as you probably will not want to bring back device from field to charge it, it's much more practical to just change the batteries. 4xAA configuration allows to use up full capacity of AA cell - typically AA cells are totally flat at 0.8V, thus the circuit will stay fully operational till the batteries are flat - 0.8x4=3.2V while microcontroller works down to 2.5V and RFM69 module works down to 1.8V.
Nevertheless, power sources up to 12V can be used. Also rechargeable LiPo cells can be used.
A SMA connector is available on board, a right angle SMA connector designed for 1.6mm thickness board can be fitted.
Nevertheless, a simple wire works just fine, I was able to transmit messages up to 10km away using a simple piece of wire as an antenna. Solder a piece of single core wire and cut it to a length for your frequency: * 868Mhz - 86.3mm * 915MHz - 81.9mm
A working example firmware source code is provided. The firmware takes care of setting up radio module, sleep, querying sensors and formatting payload and transmission.
A tutorial provided by Adafruit for Feather M0 boards can be followed for the programming environment setup. In a nutshell:
Three leds are provided on the board called WAN, SENS and BATT. It is up to the user to decide how exaclty to use them, but general guidance is that WAN led displays radio activity, SENS led provides sensor activity or status indication and BATT led provides battery status indication.
RESET and TEST buttons are available. RESET button resets the microcontroller, also it can be used to enter the bootloader mode for firmware upload. If sleep is utilised in the firmware, doubleclick the RESET button to enter the bootloader.
TEST button usage is up to the user.
Serial port is availale via USB-CDC interface, it can be used for debug messages, command line interface or other uses to be decided by the user. Note that in sleep mode USB is disconnected, disable sleep in the firmware to use the serial port.
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