LoRa experiences?

We (local environmental organisation with volunteers) just started setting up a local measure network, making use of the sensor.community infrastructure. Currently 9 nodes in the network. After Covid this will increase to maybe 50. These are WiFi based.

We have a big agricultural area and some farmers pollute (too much). Locals, but also local govermental organisations, want to know more about these polluters. I’ve read some stuff about LoRa and the TheThingsNetwork. We’ve coverage of TTN.

Our idea was to place a dozin of sensors around a place of interest. To pinpoint or tick off a source.

With interest I read Reporting PM2.5 PM10 micro particle dust sensor by using Arduino and LoRaWAN ATIM ACW-DUINO shield - Stories - Labs And technologies develop…

Would you mind sharing your experiences? Device/Battery/Software/Etcetera. In our group we have technicians as well as persons who have general IT knowledge.

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I have succeeded to make an LoRaWAN firmware for the Heltec Wifi Lora 32 V2 board with Heltec’s library. A few sensors are currently working in Marmande on TTN (or was…)

The only problem is it has to be flashed with the Arduino IDE and there is no interface. You have to write the LoRaWAN credentials and Heltec’s own ID in the code each time.

I am currently doing something better with Platformio and the LMIC library but I have a few issues…

The Heltec Wifi LoRa 32 v2 should be easily supplied with battery (Heltec’s library implements the very low consumption. I think they succeeded to do 2 months with a power bank in Marmande, there are ways to use solar also, check on this forum).

If you want just a LoRaWAN sensor with not so much function, it is easy to write an integration which send the data to the SC API and register the sensor on devices.sensor.community. It will look exactly the same.

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Hi Pierre-Jean,

I’m investigating the possibilites and I noticed you can do much more with TTN than I thought. I asked a couple of my engineer friends (one of them hosts even a TTN gateway and has several devices, but no air pollution sensors), and their initial thought is about the calibration and quality of the sensor. And next about power consumption. Communication should be no problem (he uses RAK modules ao).

I guess I only need a LoRaWAN and if the codes are baked into the software (thus each devices must be compiled individually) is no problem.

So I hope you can provide us with more details (as 2 months with a battery sounds pretty good; can the device send battery status?). Like hardware and how to place these things in the fields (theft/vandalism)? And is the Marmande stopped due to technical problems?

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