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  • MQTT Plugin LoRaWan

    Hi Michael, Everyone, I was hoping to ask a couple of foolish questions? I am just now getting heavy into IoT. All of my needs are long range large areas and distances. I need to make sure I start of correctly. I would like to use and base all my sensors of the LoRaWan tech. Which I understand will get me miles instead of feet. I also wish to have a private wan. Not cloud hosted which I understand is common. I wish to verify your plugin will work with these LoRa devices, gateways. As I have read this is the case and I wanted to verify. Additionally if you have any additional thoughts on where I should be starting regarding long range devices/gateways(miles) I would appreciate your input. My other option I am considering is Xbee... But looks to be in the same price range with more interference issues and less range..

    Thankyou for your help
    Jack

  • #2
    LoRa is a RF technology which will give you likely the longest range for IOT-class devices without the need for a license to transmit. LoRaWAN is a cloud technology that allows multple LoRa gateways to share data.

    You can use LoRa point to point between a receiver and transmitter or you can use LoRa between one or more nodes and gateways. I will assume you have various sensors connected to one or more LoRa nodes. I assume you will setup one or more gateways that can receive/transmit LoRa and will use MQTT on the backend or network side. In the simplest case the LoRa node is also a gateway.

    mcsMQTT can be used to bring the LoRa gateway data to/from HomeSeer.

    To achieve range in miles you need a line of sight. No trees, no buildings etc. My location is heavily wooded and my range is the nature of 500 ft.

    Andreas Spiess has a series of YouTube videos on LoRa, LoraWAN and The Things Network (TTN). I understand you want to create your own private WAN rather than using TTN. That is a separate endeavor and could be a significant project if you do not want to use the Internet infrastructure. It is not clear if your network WAN is just local behind a router or if it will also span miles.

    I find a good discussion also at https://appcodelabs.com/introduction...l-lora-gateway

    I have no experience with Xbee, but I get the impression that the LoRa ecosystem has a more diverse industry backing than Xbee.

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    • #3
      Hi Michael, Thanks this is what I needed to know before I start spending more money.
      If I understand you correctly. Can I purchase a LoRaWan Gateway and connect to Homeseer HS3? I should then ask and or verify connecting to homeseer Hs3 which is at my shop from my home to view/manage my devices remotely.
      I really want to get away from Zwave and stick with the heavy hitters right from the start. However I do like the Homeseer software application and the plugins. I want to have the option of zwave, zigbee as I'm sure I will no doubt have to use them some time for typical alarm systems. sirens, etc

      I hope my understanding of Homeseer HS3 software, your mqtt plugin, and a LoRaWan Gateway and devices will solve my issues and allow for remote access and management. Im envisioning the network to work like:
      Homeseer with MQTT plugin identifies/manages LoRaWan Gateway which connects to LoRaWan devices on my property. I then want to be able to remote manage and communicate over the internet using homeseer. It looks as though homeseer has a remote application or is web enabled? I'm not sure if this is a server service provided by HomeSeer? or P2P? I don't want to have to connect to someone else's server and be forced to share my info, or deal with another companies server crashes because they are too cheap or offshore in India or China. I have my own servers, vpns, routers, etc setup so Im not at the mercy of another company especially in situations like security, locks, alarms and notifications. Right now I'm dealing with Ring as I have one of their alarm systems. Its actually a good product, and reliable. The worst part is having to connect to their cloud network in order to communicate with MY alarm system that I purchased with MY money... NOT THEIRS. I don't want to be on anyone's server just so they can spy and monitor me. Its so easy to build simple devices with self contained web servers in them. You plug them into your network, assign them a static local ip, and gateway, and ddns name and off you go... but everyone is so hard core set to spy and monitor everyone... I dont know about you but I got tired of the green leather IKEA sofa following me around town, email, internet, maps, restaurants, movies...anywhere I went,,,, There is an IKEA 2000 miles nearby,,, would you like to purchase a green leather IKEA sofa for 299?

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      • #4
        I’ve been interested in playing around with lorawan. We don’t have the things network in Richmond so I was thinking of setting up a gateway on my property

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        • #5
          You can purchase a LoRa gateway. The gateway will have a very low bandwidth LoRa RF plus an Ethernet connection that can communicate via MQTT. You will be able to use the LoRa side to communicate with other LoRa nodes that also will be very low bandwidth. This is typically reporting periodic sensor measurements or reporting events. A LoRa node will not be streaming video, audio, or browser data such as one finds with cellular, cable or other high bandwidth technologies. You will find very few consumer devices that have LoRa capability. For example, there will not be a light switch or a door-open sensor that you can purchase. To develop this automation technology you will be building it yourself.

          I do not see in your description why you need sensors that are miles from your LoRa gateway. How are these sensors/LoRa nodes powered? If they use mains-voltage then you likely could interface them with powerline Ethernet and not need a LoRa gateway and not be constrained by the bandwidth limit. LoRa also has a fair-use regulation that further limits the amount of RF bandwidth any device can use so one device does not clog the airways and prohibit others from getting their fair share of the free frequency band.

          If you are going to be on the internet for your remote management you need to be concerned with security for hacking. Beyond this there is no need to go to any public site from which usage data can be gleaned. You can communicate directly from your remote location to your Homeseer computer just a securely as you would be communicating with a LoRa gateway.

          You could go and buy a WiFi light bulb and this bulb would communicate with China to be able to turn it on and off. You could also buy a WiFi light bulb where you install firmware that communicates only with your local network to be able to turn on and off the bulb. The same analogy applies to many automation devices. The point I am trying to make is that LoRa has a niche for long range communication of small snippets of data. It is not a technology that can replace the general automation needs. Other technologies, when used in a secure manner will be effective.

          I think you will find that most people on this message board and in the general case of those who use HomeSeer, HomeAssistant or other Home Automation hubs have the same disdain for cloud-based automation and avoid the cloud as a part of their automation. There are exceptions, such as those who download weather forecast, air quality alerts, etc. These extensions are an opt-in decision and not required.

          The next green couch shadow will not be from your automation use of the internet, but from your use of a browser or smartphone. My mother has never been on internet so never experienced these type of violations, but she has ordered products via US snail mail and now gets the same frustration for unwanted mail. She also uses the telephone with continual concern about it being tapped. No matter what social mechanisms are in vogue there will be those that will exploit them. Protecting oneself as best they can is a continual challenge and good to see that you are trying. I just doubt the LoRa is the answer to this problem.

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          • #6
            Batman style telemetry from the car to the house

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