LoRaWAN goes mobile

Multitech LoRaWAN gateway on a mobile mast and the Long Range VAN

I would like to introduce you to my new mobile LoRaWAN setup, which lives in my LongRangeVAN.
Pictured here is a Multitech LoRaWAN gateway on a 6m telescopic mast. The gateway is powered over ethernet (PoE) so it just needs the one cable. It can connect to the Internet using the same cable, or using an M2M SIM card if there is no wired connection available.

More often than not I expect it will use the SIM card to provide the backhaul. Many thanks to Julian Tait (Things Manchester) and Ben Ward (TTN Oxford) for their advice on secure connectivity via a SIM card, and for helping me control the cost of the phone bill!

The LongRangeVAN with solar panel on the roof and mobile gateway

The LongRangeVAN has a 200w solar panel on the roof, which charges a 120AH deep cycle battery in the van, which provides the inside of the van with light and power. This means I can power the gateway and other essential camping items like laptops and mobile phones for free from the sun whenever I’m on the road. Neat eh?

Of course it also has a LoRaWAN enabled van alarm so I can be personally and immediately notified if any scallywag get into the van 🙂

LongRangeVAN alarm

It was with great excitement that I set off on our first road trip this week – a mere 550 mile round trip to northwest Wales with Richard Wenner (Things Cardiff) so we could conduct a LoRaWAN survey for a new customer that wants to do all kinds of innovative things with LoRaWAN on their 700 acre site.

Blue skies!

I had been dreading the weather – earlier this week north Wales had been battered by gales and torrential rain. There were signs of flooding and a few road surfaces had been damaged, but luckily Richard and I were greeted with crisp blue skies.

The trip was really inspiring – I love meeting people who are so passionate about their work. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who had such a good grip on where the costs were in their business as the people on site. Being able to set up a gateway on site and demonstrating the coverage it could achieve is a great way of bringing IoT to life for people.

Hopefully this will be the first of many adventures. Where next?

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