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Part 1: Choose the hardware
With this tutorial anybody can make a complete LoRa gateway with about 200€ in parts. This project is not intended for a design and manufacture of a comercial gateway in big quantities.
A LoRa gateway runs around SX1301. This chip is not for sale in single unit quantities, and sell to qualified customers only. The only way is to buy an already made gateway board.
There are three boards in the market:
- Semtech LoRa IOT starter kit, sell to qualified customers only:
- IMST iC880A, about 189€:
- Multitech mCard-LoRa, about 156€:
- Link Labs LoRaWAN Raspberry Pi Gateway Board, 225$:
- Cisco LoRa card, sold with Cisco IR900 router only:
So, just the mCard fits to the budget, as the rest of the hardware needed is far cheaper.
mCard-LoRa is an add-on board intended for the Multitech MultiConnect Conduit router. No documentation is provided with this Mini-PCIe card because it is plug'n'play. But if we want to use it in different hardware we should reverse engineer it.
The rest of the hardware needed for a complete LoRa gateway is an embedded Linux Host like a Raspberry-Pi, 25€:
There is still budget for power adapter, cables and antenna.
In Part 2 we will investigate the mCard an the hardware modifications needed.