Since 2016, I have been involved in the world of LoraWan.
The combination of low powered devices together with long-range communication makes this protocol ideal for sending short messages from remote locations. It even supports two-way communication.
One of the most famous players in this knowledge area is The Things Network. They provide a set of open tools and a global, open network to build your next IoT application at low cost, featuring maximum security and ready to scale with LoraWan.
Its community is thriving on both enthusiastic makers, starters, and companies which are building their IoT solution on that backend.
This is not just an update. This is a completely new stack, built from the ground up and the team invests into a clean, portable, open-sourced backend. This new stack is standards-compliant by default and it will support the Lora 1.1 specification too. The V3 backend is designed for scale, for ‘N’ as they say (N customers, N regions, N devices, N versions):
We see the devices and gateways on the left, the V3 stack in the middle, and the third-party cloud integrations (eg. AWS, Azure) on the right.
In this blog, we look at registering a gateway and a device in the new TTN V3 Stack portal. And we integrate cloud connectivity.
During the last The Thing Conference back in January in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, I spoke with the team of Tektelic. I got this smart room sensor from them to experiment with:
This sensor works with Lora and has some neat features. The sensor reads eg. temperature and humidity of the room it is placed in, but it also has a few other sensors. One of these is a magnetic switch.
It’s this sensor I am interested in. I want to see if a door is left open (and maybe putting a big, loud horn next to it…):
A few month ago, I wrote about how to collect telemetry from The Things Network back-end and send them to an Azure IoT Hub.
The code was simple and it only provided telemetry for one device. But the technology used, was working.
Last month, I was involved in creating a workshop for the TechDays 2016 in Amsterdam. The two-hour workshop gives a good impression how to build an IoT Backend in Azure. During this workshop, we used a NodeJs bridge to pass the telemetry to Azure.
This bridge is available at using the NPM package installer: npm install –save ttn-azure-iothub@preview
I got inspired by this bridge and now I have rebuilt my bridge to handle multiple devices and more!
Somewhere in December 2015, I was made aware of this Lora initiative called The Things Network. Since then, as an IoT enthusiast, I am researching how to implement this platform in my other IoT projects.
Update 8-11-2016: this blog gives an introduction to MQTT and accessing the TTN network. A full implementation of a C# TTN->Azure bridge is available at GitHub. More details are available here.
Lora stands for Long Range and it fills a gap between Wifi and GMS, thinking about wireless connectivity for IoT sensor boards:
At the moment there are two serious implementations of Lora in The Netherlands. KPN is offering a commercial solution so it’s reliable but it does not come free. And then there’s The Things Network, a Kickstarter solution. It offers free connectivity :-).
What they ‘sell’ are gateways. These come fairly cheap (starting at ~ 250 euros) but with their gateway, you can connect up to 5 kilometers (keep on dreaming about 10 :-)) around your house with Arduino’s, ESPs, RaspberryPi etc. And with a couple of these gateways, you can cover your village or city. So get your friend involved!
The telemetry of the nodes (say twenty bytes of date every minute) are received by the gateways and forwarded to the TTN backend. But you have to do ‘something’ yourself to get the data from the backend. I will tell you how to do that using C# all the way.