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Linux-driven LoRaWAN gateway ships with new “Wzzard” LoRa nodes

Oct 10, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 481 views

Advantech has launched a rugged, Arm Linux based “WISE-6610” LoRaWAN gateway in 100- or 500-node versions with either 915MHz or 868MHz support. There’s also a “Wzzard LRPv2 Node” that can connect four sensors at once.

Advantech announced the industrial WISE-6610 gateway and Wzzard LRPv2 Node for long-range, low-bandwidth LoRaWAN gateways on May 31, and judging from this Oct. 5 Electronics Weekly post, they are now available. Designed for I/O sensor data management and network protocol conversion primarily on private LoRaWAN networks, the products are part of a Wzzard LoRa Sensing Network family that includes a recent SmartSwarm 243 gateway that appears to be almost identical to the WISE-6610 (see farther below).

The WISE-6610 product page and data sheet are a little thin on hardware details, but Advantech has informed us the gateway runs Linux on an ARM-based processor.



Advantech’s Wzzard devices (l to r): SmartSwarm 243, an unidentified LoRa node, Wzzard LRPv2 Node, and WISE-6610
(click image to enlarge)

The 868MHz or 915MHz LoRa wireless technology can work in peer-to-peer fashion between low-cost, low-power LoRa nodes. LoRa nodes can also connect to the Internet via a LoRaWAN gateway, thereby avoiding cellular data costs for long distance IoT data acquisition and aggregation. Other LoRaWAN gateways include Aaeon’s Intel Cherry Trail based AIOT-ILRA01 and more recently, Pi Supply’s Iot LoRa Gateway and IoT LoRa Node pHAT add-ons for the Raspberry Pi.

 
WISE-6610

Advantech offers four models of the WISE-6610 gateway, letting you mix and match capacity and frequency. The WISE-6610-N100 and WISE-6610-N500 support 100 and 500 nodes, respectively, using the 915MHz LoRa standard used primarily the U.S. The WISE-6610-E100 and WISE-6610-E500 support 100 and 500 nodes, respectively, but with the more widely used 868MHz European standard.



WISE-6610

The WISE-6610 is equipped with 512MB of RAM and 128KB of M-RAM, Advantech informs us. There is also 256MB of flash “for hosting custom software applications.”

The gateway can connect to an application or SCADA server using the MQTT protocol, and VPN tunnel creation is available via Open VPN, EasyVPN, and other protocols. The network server can encrypt and convert LoRaWAN data.

The WISE-6610 is equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet port with 1.5-kV magnetic isolation protection, and there’s an SMA female connector for attaching an antenna. A Molex port provides Digital I/O with a 2.7 to 36VDC range.

There’s a wide-range, 9-36VDC input with a Molex port, as well as “redundancy-enhanced functions…specifically designed to prevent connection loss,” says Advantech. Power consumption which is low enough to support solar or battery powered operation, is listed as “3.1/6.6/40 mW (average/peak/sleep mode).”

The 150 x 83 x 30mm device can be wall or DIN-rail mounted and features 4x LEDs and a reset button. The gateway offers IP30 ingress protection and a -40 to 75°C operating range, and there are regulatory approvals for EMC (EN61000-4-x Level 3), shock (IEC 60068-2-27), free fall (IEC 60068-2-32), and vibration (IEC 60068-2-6).

 
SmartSwarm 243

We didn’t see a product page for a Wzzard LRPv2 Node, but we did find one for a first-gen Wzzard LRPv Node. On May 1, a month prior to the WISE-6610 announcement, Advantech announced a Wzzard LRPv Node paired with a new Advantech SmartSwarm 243 LoRaWAN gateway, also referred to as the BB-SG30000115-43. The launch was said to be in partnership with Semtech, which presumably supplies the
LoRa chipsets for the systems, and most likely also for the WISE-6610.



SmartSwarm 243
(click image to enlarge)

The SmartSwarm 243 appears to be identical to the WISE-6610 in size, ruggedization features, power, and I/O, and it presumably also runs Linux on an Arm processor. The only difference we can see is in the external design and in the image above (but not at top), the addition of two more antenna connectors.

 
Wzzard LRPv2 Node

Based on the Wzzard LRPv2 Node announcement and image, it’s almost identical to the Wzzard LRPv Node described in the datasheet. The only additional information we spotted was a claim that the v2 model can connect and acquire data from up to four sensor devices simultaneously.


Wzzard LRPv2 Node

The Wzzard LRPv Node supports either 868MHz or 915MHz LoRa networks and offers an optional omnidirectional antenna. There are no details on processor, memory, or firmware, but the system is said to support MQTT and JSON protocols. In addition: “The software is specifically designed to be customizable so as to accommodate the most sophisticated of monitoring plans,” says Advantech.

The Wzzard LRPv Node is available in several different I/O models including a high-end SKU with single digital inputs and outputs, dual 12-bit analog outputs, and dual thermocouple inputs. Other options provide 3x and 2x analog inputs and 1x digital input, but no thermocouples or digital outputs. I/O connections can be implemented via conduit fittings, cable glands, or an M12 connector.

The 115.9 x 95.25 x 65.15mm, 0.34 kg device offers the same -40 to 75°C range as the WISE-6610 gateway and the same shock, free fall, and vibration ratings. In addition, it features a higher IP66 level of ingress protection.

The Wzzard LRPv Node ships with dual 3.6-V, 2400-mAH AA batteries, and there’s an optional external 6-12V input. Sleep and operation modes are available, and there’s an embedded alarm system “to notify users when a threshold has been exceeded so that action can be taken,” says Advantech.

 
Further information

The WISE-6610 gateway and Wzzard LRPv2 Node appear to be available now with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found on Advantech’s WISE-6610 and Wzzard LoRa Sensing Network page, which offers links to individual product pages, including the BB-SG30000115-43 (SmartSwarm 243). (The Wzzard nodes are listed under BB-WSL2xx product names.)
 

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