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Espressif Systems and Amazon recently announced the ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) module, which provides support for features such as out-of-the-box connectivity to the cloud service ACK, Alexa control, „seamless setup”, and Amazon Dash completion for connected devices.

This new module is as much as 50% lower in cost.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset
ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO

How Alexa Connect Kit Works

With Alexa Connect Kit, you can make nearly any device with power into an Alexa-compatible smart device your customers will love, all at a fixed per-device cost. You simply integrate an Amazon-managed ACK module into your device, connect it to your device’s microcontroller (MCU) over a serial interface, and add interface code to your device’s firmware to interpret control messages from the ACK module. The ACK module adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and all the software needed for Alexa control, Frustration Free Setup, security, and log and metric collection – managed and updated by Amazon. For your customers, products built with ACK include Alexa control through voice and the Alexa app, and the option to support Amazon Dash Replenishment. For developers, ACK enables you to connect your devices to Alexa without the need to operate a cloud, create and maintain an Alexa skill, develop a companion app, or deal with IoT firmware integration. With an ACK module on your device, you can focus on building great hardware.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

The RAK2287 is a mini-PCIe LPWAN hub module based on the Semtech SX1302 that can be easily integrated with existing routers and other networking equipment with LPWAN gateway capabilities. It can be used on embedded platforms that offer a free mini PCIe slot with SPI connector. In addition to LPWAN functionality, the module is equipped with a ZOE-M8Q GPS chip that provides GNSS functionality.

This module is an exceptional, complete, and cost-efficient gateway solution offering up to 10 programmable parallel demodulation paths, an 8 x 8 channel LoRa® packet detector, 8 x SF5-SF12 LoRa® demodulators and 8 x SF5-SF10 LoRa® demodulators. It is capable of detecting an uninterrupted combination of packets at 8 different spreading factors and 10 channels with continuous demodulation of up to 16 packets. The module is well suited for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, that require node density of up to 500 nodes per km² in an environment with moderate interference.

Source: https://www.semtech.com/company/press/semtech-releases-a-new-portfolio-of-solutions-lora-edge-to-simplify-and-accelerate-iot-applications
LoRaWAN RAK2287 concentrator module

LoRa RAK2287 features

RAK2287 key features and specifications:

  • LoRa Connectivity:
    • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver with 2x SX1250 Tx/Rx front-end
    • Tx power – up to 27dBm
    • Rx sensitivity – down to -139dBm @ SF12, BW 125 kHz
    • LoRaWAN® 1.0.2 compatible.
    • LoRa band coverage – RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923
    • 1x iPEX antenna connector for LoRa
  • GNSS – GPS / QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo, and GLONASS via U-blox ZOE-M8Q GPS SiP; 1x iPEX antenna connect for GPS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/08/06/rak2287-mini-pcie-lorawan-concentrator-module-supports-up-to-500-nodes-per-km2/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as LoRa Gateway industrial device from TECHBASE.

Espressif Systems and Amazon recently announced the ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO Alexa Connect Kit (ACK) module, which provides support for features such as out-of-the-box connectivity to the cloud service ACK, Alexa control, „seamless setup”, and Amazon Dash completion for connected devices.

This new module is as much as 50% lower in cost.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset
ESP32-PICO-V3-ZERO

How Alexa Connect Kit Works

With Alexa Connect Kit, you can make nearly any device with power into an Alexa-compatible smart device your customers will love, all at a fixed per-device cost. You simply integrate an Amazon-managed ACK module into your device, connect it to your device’s microcontroller (MCU) over a serial interface, and add interface code to your device’s firmware to interpret control messages from the ACK module. The ACK module adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, and all the software needed for Alexa control, Frustration Free Setup, security, and log and metric collection – managed and updated by Amazon. For your customers, products built with ACK include Alexa control through voice and the Alexa app, and the option to support Amazon Dash Replenishment. For developers, ACK enables you to connect your devices to Alexa without the need to operate a cloud, create and maintain an Alexa skill, develop a companion app, or deal with IoT firmware integration. With an ACK module on your device, you can focus on building great hardware.

Source: https://developer.amazon.com/en-US/blogs/alexa/device-makers/2020/07/Introducing-the-New-Alexa-Connect-Kit-Module-with-Espressif-Chipset

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32
ESP32-based LoRa / LoRaWAN wireless network

One way of long-range and low-power data transmission is LoRa wireless technology. Since the Internet of Things market (with ESP32 – based solutions) is mainly covered with short-range Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and long-range with 3G / NarrowBand-IoT technologies, LoRa oftens is omitted or simply unknown by IoT users. Below you will find a short representation of what LoRa is and how can it be used.

What is LoRa / LoRAWAN network?

LoRaWAN® network architecture is deployed in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server. The gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections and act as a transparent bridge, simply converting RF packets to IP packets and vice versa. The wireless communication takes advantage of the Long Range characteristics of the LoRa physical layer, allowing a single-hop link between the end-device and one or many gateways. All modes are capable of bi-directional communication, and there is support for multicast addressing groups to make efficient use of spectrum during tasks such as Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) upgrades or other mass distribution messages.

Source: https://lora-alliance.org/about-lorawan

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32
ESP32-based LoRa / LoRaWAN wireless network

One way of long-range and low-power data transmission is LoRa wireless technology. Since the Internet of Things market (with ESP32 – based solutions) is mainly covered with short-range Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and long-range with 3G / NarrowBand-IoT technologies, LoRa oftens is omitted or simply unknown by IoT users. Below you will find a short representation of what LoRa is and how can it be used.

What is LoRa / LoRAWAN network?

LoRaWAN® network architecture is deployed in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server. The gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections and act as a transparent bridge, simply converting RF packets to IP packets and vice versa. The wireless communication takes advantage of the Long Range characteristics of the LoRa physical layer, allowing a single-hop link between the end-device and one or many gateways. All modes are capable of bi-directional communication, and there is support for multicast addressing groups to make efficient use of spectrum during tasks such as Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) upgrades or other mass distribution messages.

Source: https://lora-alliance.org/about-lorawan

Industrial use of LoRa & ESP32-based solutions

One of industrial IoT devices, supporting LoRa wireless technology is ESP32 based eModGATE from TECHBASE. Economical, ESP32-based solution can serve as an end-point in any installation or works well as a gateway, gathering data from scattered sensor mesh across the installation. For more information and also Raspberry Pi based solutions check Industrial IoT Shop with all the configuration options for eModGATE.

eModGATE with ESP32

The RAK2287 is a mini-PCIe LPWAN hub module based on the Semtech SX1302 that can be easily integrated with existing routers and other networking equipment with LPWAN gateway capabilities. It can be used on embedded platforms that offer a free mini PCIe slot with SPI connector. In addition to LPWAN functionality, the module is equipped with a ZOE-M8Q GPS chip that provides GNSS functionality.

This module is an exceptional, complete, and cost-efficient gateway solution offering up to 10 programmable parallel demodulation paths, an 8 x 8 channel LoRa® packet detector, 8 x SF5-SF12 LoRa® demodulators and 8 x SF5-SF10 LoRa® demodulators. It is capable of detecting an uninterrupted combination of packets at 8 different spreading factors and 10 channels with continuous demodulation of up to 16 packets. The module is well suited for Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications, that require node density of up to 500 nodes per km² in an environment with moderate interference.

Source: https://www.semtech.com/company/press/semtech-releases-a-new-portfolio-of-solutions-lora-edge-to-simplify-and-accelerate-iot-applications
LoRaWAN RAK2287 concentrator module

LoRa RAK2287 features

RAK2287 key features and specifications:

  • LoRa Connectivity:
    • Semtech SX1302 LoRa Transceiver with 2x SX1250 Tx/Rx front-end
    • Tx power – up to 27dBm
    • Rx sensitivity – down to -139dBm @ SF12, BW 125 kHz
    • LoRaWAN® 1.0.2 compatible.
    • LoRa band coverage – RU864, IN865, EU868, AU915, US915, KR920, AS923
    • 1x iPEX antenna connector for LoRa
  • GNSS – GPS / QZSS, BeiDou, Galileo, and GLONASS via U-blox ZOE-M8Q GPS SiP; 1x iPEX antenna connect for GPS

Source: https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/08/06/rak2287-mini-pcie-lorawan-concentrator-module-supports-up-to-500-nodes-per-km2/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as LoRa Gateway industrial device from TECHBASE.

Is LoRa a 'must be' for Industrial IoT?

As the remote application market is growing rapidly, technology also needs to progress, ensuring greater range and transmission speed while reducing energy consumption. Technological progress makes it possible to create innovative standards for new, sophisticated applications that facilitate our life and work. One of wireless connection choices can be LoRa technogoly.

What exactly is LoRaWAN?

LoRa (Long Range Radio) technology with low data throughput allows IoT and M2M applications to communicate wirelessly over 15 kilometers, with a battery life of more than 10 years. LoRa allows you to connect millions of wireless nodes with compatible gateways and has several key advantages over other wireless solutions. For example, it uses spectrum spreading modulation with the ability to demodulate a signal 20 dB below the noise level.

LoRa uses license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (Australia and North America). LoRa enables long-range transmissions (more than 10 km in rural areas) with low power consumption.[4] The technology is presented in two parts: LoRa, the physical layer and LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), the upper layers.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa

Compared to 3G and 4G cellular networks, LoRa technology is also better scalable and more cost-effective for embedded applications. It has a much greater range than other popular wireless protocols, which allows devices to operate without amplifiers, reducing the total cost of the application.

Thanks to scalability, reliable communication, mobility and ability to work in difficult external conditions, the LoRa module is perfectly suited for use in a wide range of wireless monitoring and control applications that do not require high transmission speeds. Examples of applications may include smart city (street lighting sensors, motion sensors), energy (intelligent measurement of electricity / water / gas consumption) and industrial / commercial / home applications, among others HVAC, intelligent devices, security systems and lighting.

LoRa Coverage
LoRa coverage. Source: https://lora-alliance.org/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as LoRa Gateway from TECHBASE.

Is LoRa a 'must be' for Industrial IoT?

As the remote application market is growing rapidly, technology also needs to progress, ensuring greater range and transmission speed while reducing energy consumption. Technological progress makes it possible to create innovative standards for new, sophisticated applications that facilitate our life and work. One of wireless connection choices can be LoRa technogoly.

What exactly is LoRaWAN?

LoRa (Long Range Radio) technology with low data throughput allows IoT and M2M applications to communicate wirelessly over 15 kilometers, with a battery life of more than 10 years. LoRa allows you to connect millions of wireless nodes with compatible gateways and has several key advantages over other wireless solutions. For example, it uses spectrum spreading modulation with the ability to demodulate a signal 20 dB below the noise level.

LoRa uses license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (Australia and North America). LoRa enables long-range transmissions (more than 10 km in rural areas) with low power consumption.[4] The technology is presented in two parts: LoRa, the physical layer and LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), the upper layers.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa

Compared to 3G and 4G cellular networks, LoRa technology is also better scalable and more cost-effective for embedded applications. It has a much greater range than other popular wireless protocols, which allows devices to operate without amplifiers, reducing the total cost of the application.

Thanks to scalability, reliable communication, mobility and ability to work in difficult external conditions, the LoRa module is perfectly suited for use in a wide range of wireless monitoring and control applications that do not require high transmission speeds. Examples of applications may include smart city (street lighting sensors, motion sensors), energy (intelligent measurement of electricity / water / gas consumption) and industrial / commercial / home applications, among others HVAC, intelligent devices, security systems and lighting.

LoRa Coverage
LoRa coverage. Source: https://lora-alliance.org/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as ModBerry industrial device from TECHBASE.

LoRa vs NarrowBand-IoT. What is better for Industrial IoT?

Low-power wide-area (LPWA) technology meets the needs of multiple IoT markets for low-cost devices that maintain long battery life and low-cost, large-area networks that support large numbers of connections. However, LoRa (LoRaWAN) and NarrowBand-IoT have the most momentum and will gain the largest share in the LPWA market in the next few years.

Many technology articles compare LoRa and NB-IoT technologies as if they were battling it out for dominance in the IoT market. In reality, these technologies are two branches within an emerging technology ecosystem. Similar to WiFi and Bluetooth, they will most likely to diverge into different niches, rather than directly compete with each other. This article will dive deeper into the capabilities, costs, longevity, maturity, and other differentiators of NB-IoT and LoRa-based technology.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nb-iot-vs-lora-its-ecosystem-race-art-reed

Sigfox/LoRa and NB-IoT in direct comparison

As a result of the research, performed by Tauron, it was found that SigFox and LoRaWAN technologies have limited applications due to the use of the unlicensed ISM band (868 MHz). In addition, each of the three technologies tested has a limit on the transmission channel speed. LoRaWAN, unlike others, allows the construction of an autonomous, separate network dedicated to the needs of the owner.

LTE NarrowBand-IoT technology, as a 3GPP standard, is being increasingly implemented by subsequent mobile operators in the world and in European countries like Poland. For example, polish main frequencies of NB-IoT implementation are 800 MHz and 900 MHz, which allows achieving high coverage of the country.

Research carried out by Tauron has shown that, considering the security of the solution, the availability of telecommunications infrastructure, or the speed of data transmission (important for meter reading), LTE NB IoT technology is closest to use in the energy sector.

Source: https://www.telko.in/tauron-lepiej-ocenia-nb-iot-niz-lora-i-sigfox

Both LoRa and NB-IoT standards were developed to improve security, power efficiency, and interoperability for IoT devices. Each features bidirectional communication (meaning the network can send data to the IoT device, and the IoT device can send data back), and both are designed to scale well, from a few devices to millions of devices.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/nb-iot-vs-lora-its-ecosystem-race-art-reed

Use of LoRa/NB-IoT in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa / NarrowBand-IoT wireless solutions. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened.

ModBerry 500 / ModBerry 9500

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as ModBerry industrial device from TECHBASE. Such solutions offer also NarrowBand-IoT and full 4G/LTE support.

In the toughest annual race of this kind, Tor des Géants participants run over 300 kilometers and overcome altitude changes at 24 kilometers in less than 150 hours. The Everynet solution based on LoRa monitored runner locations during the event for the fourth year in a row to ensure the safety and health of participants. Each runner is equipped with a LoRa based sensor that sends geolocation data in real time to the Everynet gateway, which is implemented during the race.

The race organizer chose the LoRa Everynet app because the race location in the Italian mountain range is obviously not covered by the mobile network. In addition, the long range capability and low power consumption of the LoRa device ensure consistent and reliable runner position data during the week of the race. Most devices consume less than 30% of the total battery capacity as a result of an incident. After the introduction of the Every des application on Tor des Géants, race employees could often intervene directly to ensure the safety of the runner.

With LoRaWAN-based connectivity, Everynet was able to simply and efficiently provide coverage to the entirety of Tor des Géants, including difficult terrain, without requiring additional network infrastructure,” said Antonio Terlizzi, Sr. Vice President of Global Sales for Everynet. “Combining the strong network coverage of LoRaWAN with reliable tracking sensors provides race organizers with the accurate, consistent and real-time data necessary to keep runners safe and help ensure a successful event

LoRa Coverage
LoRa coverage. Source: https://lora-alliance.org/

Use of LoRa in industrial automation

Use of wireless connection makes life and work easier for us every day – from radio stations and GSM to Wi-Fi wireless networks, Zigbee, short-range Bluetooth connectivity and LoRa. With the spread of internet access, the possibility of using wireless connectivity for a new type of service and application has opened. Terminology such as M2M (Machine to Machine) – remote communication between devices and IoT – a network of applications and devices communicating with the Internet have been created.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4 on-board

Device equipped with LoRa module is delivered with a LoRaWAN protocol stack, so it can be easily connected to the existing, fast-growing LoRa Alliance infrastructure – both in privately managed local area networks (LAN) and public telecommunications networks to create wide area low power WAN (LPWAN) on a national scale. LoRaWAN stack integration also allows connection to any microcontroller, such as ModBerry industrial device from TECHBASE.