Monday, 27 February 2017

LoRa

200km from a low power 868MHz device?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adhWIo-7gr4

See this video for very long range experiment using LoRa modules. LoRa is a spread spectrum (125KHz bandwidth) data mode which can be received at very low signal levels, and its main use will be for the Internet Of Things - smart meters and other stuff which only needs to transfer a small amount of data. This is all done in licence free bands that are normally used for low power data such as remote controls.

https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/

There is also The Things Network, connecting LoRa gateways around the world which anyone can access (it's a bit like the amateur radio APRS gateway system but for LoRa devices). There are already a few set up in the Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster area.

The YouTube channel above has instructions on how to build both a node and a gateway for LoRa. 
You can get LoRa modules for the 433(in the amateur band but low power devices are used here), 868(main band in Europe) and 915MHz (USA) bands.

It's interesting to see that there's so much experimenting with radio going on outside of the usual amateur radio bands and organisations. To me, anything that could possibly get more than a few hundred metres is worth trying (further than your average indoor Wi-Fi access point).

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