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LoRaWAN gateway offers a choice of Orange Pi, Raspberry Pi, or i.MX6 ULL

Jul 1, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 4298 views

M2M IOT’s $120 “GW-01” LoRaWAN gateway runs Linux on an Orange Pi Zero H2+ SBC coupled with an 8-channel LoRaWAN board. The GW-01 follows a similar GW-01 RPI add-on for the Raspberry Pi and an i.MX6 ULL based GW-01 PoE gateway.

Moscow-based M2M IOT has launched a GW-01 LoRaWAN gateway built around an Orange Pi Zero H2+ SBC that supports outdoors installations. The GW-01 combines the Zero H2+ with an 8-channel LoRaWAN board based on the Semtech SX1301 LoRa concentrator.

The GW-01 is a modified version of the same board found on the company’s $95 GW-01 RPI add-on for the Raspberry Pi, as well as a $245, all-in-one GW-01 PoE gateway with Power-over-Ethernet support that runs on an i.MX6 ULL (see farther below). All three products ship with an open source Linux stack with LoRa gateway and packet-forwarder software pre-flashed on the board and posted on GitHub.



GW-01 with (left) and without the underlying Orange Pi Zero H2+
(click images to enlarge)

The new GW-01 gateway operates in the 868MHz or 915MHz LoRa frequencies and has -139 dBm sensitivity. The range is 2.5 kilometers when surrounded by buildings or up to 10 Km in open space. The 5V-powered GW-01 measures 80 х 50 х 20mm without the supplied antenna and can operate in 0 to 70°C temperatures.


GW-01 without the Orange Pi
(click image to enlarge)

The GW-01 runs OpenWrt or Armbian on the Orange Pi Zero H2+, a variant of the similarly open-spec, 48 x 46mm Orange Pi Zero with a slightly improved Allwinner H2+ instead of an H2. The H2+ SoC similarly provides 4x Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.2GHz and a Mali-400 MP2 GPU.


GW-01 gateway setup screen and Orange Pi Zero H2+
(click images to enlarge)

The Zero H2+ has only 256MB DDR3 RAM, and the only display interface is an AV-out header. There are also single USB 2.0 host, micro-USB OTG with 5V power input, and 10/100 Ethernet ports, as well as a microSD slot, WiFi, and a 26-pin header that supports early Raspberry Pi boards.

The Zero H2+ board on the GW-01 has 8MB serial flash instead of the usual 2MB in order to incorporate the 4.5MB OpenWrt image. The SBC has lower power consumption and a lower $8.50 price than any of the modern-era RPi boards.

For prototyping purposes, the gateway requires at least one LoRaWAN equipped end node and a web server. For the latter, M2M IOT recommends TheThingsNetwork or its own cloud.m2m-tele server.

 
GW-01 RPI and GW-01 PoE

The GW-01 RPI and GW-01 PoE have the same specs as the GW-01 except that the PoE model has a wider -35 to 70°C range. The GW-01 RPI requires any Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 board to operate.



GW-01 RPI board (left) and integrated with Raspberry Pi 3
(click images to enlarge)

The GW-01 PoE is a standalone product such as the GW-01, in this case, integrating an apparently homegrown SBC built around NXP’s power-sipping, single Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 ULL SoC. It has an Ethernet port with 48V PoE support for easier installation.

Like the GW-01, the RPI and PoE models have an 80 x 50mm footprint, and the SBC on the PoE model similarly adds 20mm on the vertical. They both ship with antennas. Like the GW-01, the PoE model runs on OpenWrt while the RPI shield uses Raspbian.



GW-01 PoE (left) and underyling i.MX6 ULL-based SBC
(click images to enlarge)

LoRa is a long-range, low-bandwidth wireless standard that 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.

Other LoRa gateway boards for the Raspberry Pi include Pi Supply’s IoT LoRa Gateway. We’ve also seen some LoRa ready gateways based on the i.MX6 UL, which is very similar to the i.MX6 ULL, such as Forlinx’s FCU1101.

 
Further information

The GW-01 is available now for $120 while the RPI and PoE models go for $95 and $245, respectively. More information may be found on the M2M IOT website and GitHub page, as well as the shopping pages for the GW-01, GW-01 RPI, and GW-01 PoE.

 

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