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Raspberry Pi Zero W based LoRaWAN gateway sells for $99

Feb 19, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 17844 views

RAK Wireless’ $99 “RAK7246 LoRAWAN Developer Gateway” runs a Raspbian LoRa stack on a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a RAK2246 Pi HAT for 8x uplink channels and a single downlink. A $114 RAK7246G model adds GPS.

RAK Wireless has introduced a cheaper alternative to its Raspberry Pi 4-based RAK7244 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway. The RAK7246 LoRAWAN Developer Gateway, which runs on a WiFi/BT enabled Raspberry Pi Zero W, sells for only $99 model or $114 for a RAK7246G model that is identical except for adding a Ublox MAX-7Q GPS module and a GPS antenna.



RAK7244 LoRAWAN Developer Gateway (left) and RAK7244G kit contents including GPS antenna
(click images to enlarge)

The RAK7246, which we saw on CNXSoft, is equipped with a Zero sized (pHAT) RAK2246 LoRaWAN concentrator module, which does not yet appear to be separately available. Unlike the RAK7244, which pairs the RPi 4 with a full-sized RAK2245 Pi HAT, the RAK7246 gateway can fit inside smaller spaces such as a protective tube. If deployed using the kit’s acrylic, IP30-protected enclosure, which also holds an optional “5V 2.5A” micro-USB power supply and an external antenna, the unit measures 96 x 66 x 47mm compared to the RAK7244’s aluminum, 90 x 90 x 50mm box.


RAK7244

The RAK2246 HAT includes a different LoRaWAN baseband processor than the RAK2245 HAT’s Semtech 1301. Like that chip, the Semtech SX1308 processor provides 8x full, simultaneous uplink channels and one downlink channel.

The RAK2246 HAT and RAK7246 gateway offers up to 20dBm Tx power (compared to 27dBm on the RAK2245 and RAK7244 gateway) and down to -139dBm RX sensitivity. They support all LoRa high-frequency bands: RU864, IN865, EU868, US915, AU915, KR920, and AS923.



RAK7244 with (left) and without external antenna
(click images to enlarge)

The RAK7246 LoRAWAN Developer Gateway ships with a 16GB microSD card with pre-installed Raspbian firmware. There are instructions on how to set up the gateway, including details on connecting to The Things Network (TTN), as well as the ChirpStack (previously LoRaServer) and ResIOT LoRAWAN server and IoT platforms.

Keep in mind that the Raspberry Pi Zero W is considerably underpowered compared to the RPi 4. The tiny board has a 1GHz, ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2836 SoC, 512MB RAM, and a Cypress CYW43438 802.11n/Bluetooth 4.0 chip. Other features include a mini-HDMI port, microSD slot, and micro-USB OTG and power ports. It also offers composite video and reset headers, a CSI camera connector, and the 40 soldering points for the GPIO.

 
Further information

The RAK7246 LoRAWAN Developer Gateway is available for $99 and the RAK7246G LoRAWAN Developer Gateway with GPS sells for $114. More information may be found on RAK Wireless’ RAK7246 and RAK7246G shopping pages and the Quick Start Guide.
 

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