ESP32 LoRa 1-CH Gateway, LoRaWAN, and the Things Network

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Contributors: jimblom
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Introduction

Note: Please note that this tutorial is for SPX-14893. If you are using this with latest version [WRL-15006 ] please refer to the SparkFun LoRa Gateway 1-Channel Hookup Guide.

The ESP32 LoRa 1-CH Gateway combines an ESP32 -- a programmable microcontroller featuring both WiFi and Bluetooth radios -- with an RFM95W LoRa transceiver to create a single-channel LoRa gateway. It's a perfect, low-cost tool for monitoring a dozen-or-so LoRa devices, and relaying their messages up to the cloud.

ESP32 LoRa 1-Channel Gateway

SPX-14893
Retired

Complete with a Qwiic connector and a breadboard-compatible array of ESP32 pin-breakouts, this board can can also serve as a general-purpose ESP32/RFM95W development platform. So, instead of using it as a LoRaWAN gateway, you can turn it into a LoRa device, and use the powerful ESP32 microcontroller to monitor sensors, host a web server, run a display or more.

These boards are a great way to begin dipping your toes into the world of LoRa and LoRaWAN. Not only can they be programmed as versatile single-channel gateway, but they can also be used as a LoRa device, or a general ESP32/RFM95W development board.

The goal of this tutorial is to get you quickly up-and-running with the ESP32 LoRa 1-CH Gateway. It'll explain how to program the board in Arduino, how to our recommended gateway firmware, and even how to turn the board into a LoRa device.

Required Materials

The ESP32 LoRa Single-Channel Gateway is designed to be a nearly-complete LoRa gateway. There are just a few extra components you may need to get it up-and-running. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

To power and program the board, you'll need a micro-B USB cable and a computer with Arduino installed. To boost your LoRa radio's signal, you'll also need an antenna. You can either use the included U.FL connector -- with a U.FL-to-SMA adapter and 900 MHz SMA antenna -- or solder on a ~3-inch strip of wire.

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

Hook-Up Wire - Assortment (Solid Core, 22 AWG)

PRT-11367
$16.95
34
USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

CAB-10215
$4.95
13
Interface Cable RP-SMA to U.FL

Interface Cable RP-SMA to U.FL

WRL-00662
$4.95
1
900/1800MHz Dual Frequency Duck Antenna - RP-SMA

900/1800MHz Dual Frequency Duck Antenna - RP-SMA

WRL-09143
$7.95

Tools

You will need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories.

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$8.95
7
Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

TOL-14228
$44.95
2

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Serial Basic Hookup Guide

Get connected quickly with this Serial to USB adapter.