Low power LoRa node for I2C and RS485 sensorsDesigned by Catnip electronics in Lithuania
This OSHW board is designed to easily hook up RS485, I2C, SPI and analog sensors to LoRaWAN network. It is a proven in the field, power optimized, fully opensource LoRa node with working firmware exa…Read More…
This OSHW board is designed to easily hook up RS485, I2C, SPI and analog sensors to LoRaWAN network. It is a proven in the field, power optimized, fully opensource LoRa node with working firmware examples.
The board is designed to be used with 4xAA 1.5V cells. 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:
Note that for commercial projects you have to certify your full device with antenna of your choice.
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.
UF2 bootloader is pre-installed. You can upload firmware updates by simply dragging and dropping the firmware file to a disk.
Use Platformio to program the board. All you need is a USB cable. Working low power code examples are provided.
Three leds are provided on the board called WAN, SENS and BATT. It is up to the user to decide how exactly 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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Arsenijs | July 21, 2023
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