We have been talking a lot about LoRaWAN lately and there is great industry buzz around the technology. it has now become accessible, is quite inexpensive and has such a big range for devices to connect and communicate over (some time several kilometers). Well with all the power also comes some innovative ideas. one of them being location tracking.
LoRaWAN advocates have long pondered over the idea for using lorawan to send location information from a node to the cloud for various purposes. but now there is a new board in town that is purpose built just for that.
MEET, the Rak LoRa Tracker board.
The RAR811 SensorNodeBoard uses the latest LoRaWAN1.0.2 protocol and supports LoRaWAN working mode, allowing users to conveniently link to the LoRaWAN network.Hardware
the Tracker board is quite a feature packed board. It has the following specs:'
- RAK811 lora (434, 868, 915 mhz) module from RAK Wireless
- A GPS module from Ublox (Max - 7q)
- A usb to ttl converter onboard ! (silabs cp2102)
- A mems accelerometer sensors LIS3DH
- connectors for solar panels.....didnt see that coming !!!!
Here is the pinout of the module:
All the essential pins have been broken out. some interesting ones being:
- I2C lines
- the SWD interface
- some interrupts...cool
If the BOOT0 pin is connected to GND, the device will normally run the application code. So the BOOT0 pin will be connected to GND by default. If the BOOT0 pin is connected to VCC, the device will enter the BOOT mode,Use Cases:
Being LoRaWAN v1.0.2 compatible and having the onboard GPS module, there is a tonne of use cases for the module including (not limited to) the following:
- Animal husbandry
- Low power asset trackers
- Agricultral machinery
The module supports a host of IDEs:
- ARM Kiel
- Mbed (under evaluation by the author)
RAK811 TrackerBoard is an open source hardware. So developers can get all the information about the product. This includes schematics and program code. A brief introduction to the structure and basic use of open source code is given below.
Clone the repository here using your favourite git tool:
This open source project is based on the official code LoRaWAN1.0.2 and modified slightly to support CoIDE and Keil5. It has two projects inside it:
- ClassA for lorawan implementation.
- Ping-Pong for LoRaP2P test.