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#120 LoRa / LoRaWAN  Range World Record Attempt. Will I succeed?

#120 LoRa / LoRaWAN Range World Record Attempt. Will I succeed?

Hello YouTubers, here is the guy with the
Swiss accent. LoRa is the abbreviation for “Long Range”. Today, I want to see if this is an earned
name. I will attempt to break at least two world
records: 1. Longest connection to a TTN gateway. 2. Longest LPWAN ground to ground connection
with LoRa on 868 MHz Maybe you want to accompany me in this attempt. As in every sport, I have to do some training. For example, find the right antenna and extend
my knowledge about propagation of these LoRa waves in air. In video #118 I already started with the training
and the understanding of propagation. In addition, I had to set some goals for the
attempt. As far as I know, the longest distances measured
with LoRa gateways in Switzerland is 62 km. And some crazy technicians from TI were able
to get 100 km in South Africa, but with a slightly different technology. So, the goal is for sure more than 100km. But, as you know, we Swiss are ambitious… This project became possible when I discovered
in my last video about Lora, that there is a new Gateway on a hill in the middle of Switzerland,
called “Weissenstein”. But let’s start with the training first:
Last Saturday I drove around 300 km with my car, and my LoRa node. The initial plan was, to go to the highest
hill in our area, the “Grand Ballon” in France. There are websites available to map the profile
between two points on the map. And here, you see, that I should have a line
of sight. And that the distance is about 80 km. Which would be already goal one achieved. But unfortunately, it is still winter here
and the road to the Grand Ballon is still closed. So, I had to change my plan and I just searched
hills in the surrounding to get a connection. Without big success. The first connection I got was only about
25 km, which definitively was disappointing. Here, you see, that I had a line of sight
from this place to the gateway. But I was able to do some training. The first new thing was, that I discovered
a very promising project: The TTNmapper. This is a webpage and an app for IOS and Android. And they work together in a very innovative
way. You have to have your smartphone and your
Lora node with you. Then, the app on your smartphone connects
to the MQTT server on the things network. As soon as your Node sends a message and it
it arrives at one or more gateways, the TTN network sends a MQTT message to your smartphone. Because it knows the exact place of your node,
it sends this position information, together with the information about the connection,
the webpage and there, the connection is mapped. Very cool. And extremely simple. You just have to keep this app running during
your tests. And your smartphone needs to have an internet
connection, which is not always easy, as we will see later. The other thing is, that I was able to test
the different antennas. now we are here at a
nice place at the border between Switzerland and Germany and France and
in this direction is the Bison Stein LoRa gateway I try now with my biggest
antenna whether I can reach it on SF12 and this is my biggest antenna here
12 meter long and I try now to reach the Gateway and here we see one minute
ago I reach the Gateway one on SF 12 now I try with a smaller antenna now this is
the smallest antenna here a very very short antenna but it’s also for 868 it
is optimal for a small sensor node you can hide it it ideally but now I check
if I get also to the Gateway and I did not get to the Gateway you see four
minutes ago this was my last try with the big antenna and now I try with the
normal antenna I used also in my former test
and with this antenna I got it so it’s a big difference between the smaller one
and the big one so this antenna is already okay and the big one is also ok
but of course I have more antennas this is one which can be sticked to a surface
somewhere and it seems to be a dipole and it’s called super antenna Niles
let’s check one disadvantage is it 33 meters of very thin God wire which takes
already a lot of energy away but i’ll try this also didn’t make it so also
this small antenna did not make it but I have more antennas here is the next one
also a dipole it’s called a horn antenna let’s check this one this one also is ok
this is anyway one of the better antennas I had also good results in
other situation with this antenna but I still have one more this is an
interesting antenna it’s completely around and can be mounted somewhere on
on top of a roof or something it’s quite small so let’s try and this also came
through so also this small antenna here was also capable and now the last one
which is longer than the average one I used for all the other tests this is
about 30 centimeters long and also this one made it now I try this one again but
without the violent coax cable now I have it free hanging and it worked also
so also this super antenna works not just the smallest one did not work and I
check it again just to make sure and when I placed it on my roof of the
car then it came through so with the grand clean this helps a lot so now all
antennas came through also a year we see 1544 and 43 this was the smallest one
quite interesting Summarized, the antenna is less important
than many people might think. The reason for that fact is, that LoRa has
a very high link budget, as showed in video #112. And an antenna, even if it has a lot of gain,
adds only 6 to maximum 10 db to this budget. This is, why I was able to connect also with
the smallest antenna to the gateway without problems. But only, with line of sight. And without line of sight, there was no connection,
also very close to a gateway. So, I had to plan a new drive. The plan was to try the first connection at
50 km. So, the first stop was at Habsheim. Here you see
that I have a line of sight this morning it’s about fifty seven kilometers from
the Gateway in Switzerland and here i have my device with the
antenna and i just logged the first hit 57 kilometers to the
Weissenstein on SF12 I will check if it works also an SF7 and it works also on
SF7 so nearly 60 kilometers on SF7 and it works also with this smaller antenna
now let’s check the RSSI with a big antenna it’s minus 118 and with small
it’s 117 the snr is slightly different so it’s not a big difference and it’s
SF7 now we continue this is the direction of the Gateway and I will now
continue to the north to 100 kilometers so the next position is close to Celeste
at its 110 kilometers and also here we have a connection 111 kilometers and by
the way it’s with a small antenna here Now here in Schnersheim this is just
about two kilometers away from the place i really want to go and i tred and it
did not work here now i’m here in Neugardheim and this is really on a
very nice place and here is direction of Weissenstein and I got the connection
and now it’s 150 kilometers you see I got a connection to Weissenstein gateway
with the SF12 for the moment now I check again this is now the
configuration which made 157 kilometers antenna made 157 kilometers to the
Weissenstein it’s really incredible and the RSSI is minus 117 now I try on SF 7
and it works also on SF 7 but of course it’s not enough we want more in this
direction I have a small secret and it is well possible that I will be able to
create a world record for LoRa devices let’s check I’m still on my way to this
secret place or this special place I’m now in
between germany and france but still in France
Not a lot lot to see here you might wonder how I found out about the place i
will go I will tell you this after we tested
whether we will be able to create a world record now it’s finished driving
with the car now I have to walk up the hill here only birds here and still my
LoRa node so here is the way and here we get a hint Hohenbourg which
is French and Loewenstein which is German so here we have the first ancient castle
it was built twelve hundred and eighty-three but I don’t think a lot is
still remaining but you see now what I was looking for but first a little bit
of work now you see you still winter here but a
beautiful day SF7 no success still no success
this unfortunately did not work so the last chance is really
the chateaux Hohenbourg, which means high castle so probably he works there this
is the way and here is the castle with the tower and here is the point I want
to go this is the final destination of today’s journey if it works it works is
not bad luck this one was founded 200 years later than Loewenstein and it’s
a little bit better in shape but not really now I’m up
on the tower and you see these guys back then really had a knack for nice
positions for their houses if you look around here just nothing just another
castle but nothing this is really the top of this would be a perfect place for
a Trump tower I think so let’s start with the experiments unfortunately for the
moment I do not have network coverage of the mobile I have to check if I get it
somewhere because otherwise it’s hard to log where I am and also to check if we
have a connection to the things network now I got a connection to Weissenstein
incredible now we can start to experiment 201 kilometers now the
messages start to come in with minus 112 which is a very good signal strength
way with SF7 it does not work so this is definitely too much for a SF7 but
this is understandable come on now the small antenna in the meantime I had more
problems with the mobile network because it connected me to
German network and unfortunately my mobile phone has on the
French number but now I have everything place and I got connection with a small
device with small antenna RSSI: 114 quite good SF12 of course so
everything achieved what I wanted today this is a real nice birthday gift for me
for my 60th birthday I do not know but I think more than
200 kilometers with this tiny tiny tiny chip here is really extraordinary and I
think also it is the longest distance which was measured with these small
devices to a public DTM gateway so far so now I go home
I promised to show you how I found the two castles, from where the connection was possible. Fortunately, I found a great software from
Roger Coudé, a ham radio operator with 40 years of experience in RF propagation. One of the functions is to simulate the coverage
of a sender at a particulat place. I first simulated my own gateway and discovered,
that the prediction of the software were very much in line with my experience from “Wardriving”. So, I simulated the Weissenstein gateway. I treated it as a sender, not as a receiver. But physics do not care too much about that. And here is the result: We see, that it covers
a nice part of Switzerland. But it covers also a huge area in France and
Germany: This is, where I found my points at 50, 100 and 150 km. The maximum was not so easy to find, because
most of them are in a forest. And in the middle of a forest, you have a
big loss and the chance to get a connection is smaller. But then, I discovered the two castles, in
the middle of the forest. And the rest of the story is known to you. Just a small remark: If you do not believe
me that I established the two world records: 1: Here you see, that I really had a direct
line of sight. And you see also, that the Earth curvature
is clearly visible. This is, why you need a reasonable height
for the sender and the receiver. And you find a link in the comment, wher you
see the logged connections. I hope, this video was useful or at least
interesting for you. If true, then like. Bye

31 comments on “#120 LoRa / LoRaWAN Range World Record Attempt. Will I succeed?

  1. I wonder how it is possible for a light of sight radio signal when the earth is curved? For that distances the earth is under the thousands of feet? Can the earth is really Flat?. Amazing indeed.

  2. Your record has been broken…

  3. Is it possible to increase the data transfer rate from 1mbs to 5mbs to ideally 25-30mbs. Can that be done if the range is much closer. Maybe 1km.

  4. this is so cool! I'm ordering some LoRa devices today, but I am unsure of what to buy. I want to build a cheap gateway, and a couple of cheap nodes. Any suggestions on what to buy to make it cheap as possible? I am confident in soldering myself 🙂

  5. Thank you Sir for such a useful and knowledgeable video for All IOT geeks! And congratulations for the record.

  6. Very entertaining and interesting.
    You must be very passionate about Lora!
    Kudos! You've inspired me to study Lora and develop applications.

  7. What about other types of antennas, like: parabolic like they use on radar, or a cantenna? I would like to see the same test with esp8266/ esp32. Thanks so much for what you do… and Happy Birthday…

  8. scho gseh?
    but no earth's curvature… i.e. no ground-ground

  9. my god do this great guy destroy flat earth wile having fun trying to beat a record, man you are the best grandpa of the world

  10. What weather and time conditions are helpful for 868mhz to reach long distances? Evening instead noon or is night even better? Low humidity? Summer or winter? I noticed for 1090mhz that during sunset in summertime I archive more often long distance connections (350nm instead 250nm) in the direction of the sunset then at other times this is maybe an atmospheric effect of the ionosphere. From a ground to ground perspective, what would be the ideal conditions for lora for long distances?

  11. Mr. Spiess, you are a genius. Great work. Watching your attempts, I plan to work on LoRaWAN, myself. Thank you. You truly are an inspiration! Congratulations on the record!

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