Thursday 9 May 2019

Using the Laird RG191 LoRaWAN Gateway in Singapore (and other countries)

The Laird Connectivity RG191 (and the sister model RG186) is a LoRaWAN gateway in a nicely packaged form factor. You might have had held off getting one thinking that it could not support frequency plans such as AS923 or AU915-928, despite sharing the same frequency band as the officially supported US902-928.

Here in Singapore, we allocate the same 868 MHz ISM band as EU countries. We could in theory, use the RG186 with the EU863-870 frequency plan legally. However, this goes against the LoRaWAN 1.0.2 Regional Parameters document, which state that devices here should use the AS923 (specifically the AS 920-923MHz) frequency plan.

A look at the configuration page of the RG191 confirms the firmware only supports the US-style frequency plan. AS923 is not supported, as it does not use the 500kHz channels mandated by the firmware:

We are a community member of The Things Network (TTN), and fortunately, the gateway has support for the TTN Packet Forwarder built-in. One advantage of the TTN Packet Forwarder in this case is that the frequency plan to be used is selected in the TTN console, and not on the gateway itself.

The following describes the procedure to configure a RG191 to use the TTN Packet Forwarder with frequency plans centred around 915MHz other than what is officially supported, such as AU915-928, AS923 or KR920-923. It should work on a RG186 for the INDIA 865-867 frequency plan, though we have not tested this.

The first step is to register a new gateway in the TTN Console, setting the frequency plan and router according to your own locality. Since the set up is for the TTN Packet Forwarder, not the Semtech Packet Forwarder, make sure the check-box remains unchecked:

Then grab the gateway key from the gateway overview page:

Set up the forwarder in the RG191 configuration page, dumping the gateway key into the appropriate text boxes:

Also, set the LoRaWAN forwarder in the LoRa/Advanced tab, taken from the gateway registration step above:
Your gateway should be connected to The Things Network and operating on the frequency plan selected on the TTN Console once the above configuration steps are completed:
The firmware in use on our RG191 at the time of this post is version At the time of posting, the TTN Packet Forwarder is not being actively developed. However, it continues to be supported by The Things Network, and remains a valid workaround to support other frequency plans on the Laird RG191 LoRaWAN gateway.

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