Adding phone numbers for SMS in Node Red

I am working on a project that monitors remote nodes over Loran and uses Node-Red as a gateway.
I want to be able to send/receive MS text messages from the system but not sure how to add a form of some sort for users to add up to 10 mobile phone numbers Node Red can use for sending alarms.

Many of my users will not have Internet available so I will be looking at using something like the FiPy for a Huawei 3G dongle plugged into the Raspberry Pi (which is running Node Red).

Ideally we have a LoraWan network of remote nodes, the FiPy and Rasperry pi running Node Red as the controller with internet access and SMS TX/RX functionality direct.

I will take a look at using forms in Node-Red for creating a “phone Book” for users that can be stored in memory and used to obtain numbers to send alarm Text messages.

I was also looking at Domoticz as possible controller as this has a nice GUI but not sure how easy to integrate with the LoraWan and SMS?

Hi David,

I’m not too sure about this one, check out this tutorial I found that might help you out:

I’ve used SMS Global for a few projects. You basically send an email to (from an approved email) and the content of the message body is sent to 0412345678 as an SMS.

If someone replies, it comes through as an email to the approved SMS Global account (or as configured).

It’s not free, but nothing is with cellular services. For a price, you can have a dedicated “from” phone number, otherwise SMS Global will use a range of seemingly-random mobile numbers (which will make it hard to update a single contact on your phone).

This means all you need is a Gmail account, connected to Node Red, allowing you to do Email->SMS and receive replies as SMS->Email. Either way, all interactions in Node Red begin and end as an email, which is very easy to deal with using Node Email

If you end up experimenting with SMS Global and/or Node Email, then please do report back with what you found!


The method needs to be simple for clients to implement.

My interest in in commercial applications that get delivered to end users. I know IFFT and SendGrid apps etc are great for experimenting and for hobbyist projects but are they user friendly for farmers etc?

There’s no out of box experience that does this:

remote device>lorawan>ttn>cloud service>node red>email>sms>client

While it’s easy enough, the word “easy” is loaded with context. You could build an application that front-faces SMS Global and provides much of those services as a transparent interface, you could also develop a Node package for use in Node Red to provide simple methods to use the newly created service.

Easy enough :wink:

Though it’s likely not needed. Speaking from experience, farmers really want these sorts of solutions, though seldom have the time to learn Node Red let alone setting up LoRaWAN stuff. Some do, though most would rather pay (and not pay much). It’s perhaps more important for consultants know how to craft these solutions and value-add the product with a service for setup/maintenance.

Exactly, I want to provide a solution for them that they do not have to program or subscribe to other third party apps.

We will write the Node-Red application. I might look at setting up a web page using the Raspberry Pi and they can fill in the mobile numbers that gets saved to the pi. When Node red needs to send alarm then maybe just run a python script on the pi that opens the phone book file and sends to numbers in the list.

Being able to create the phone book is for my use and not the users, they will only interact with a dialog/form. In the past I used GSM modem and had clients physically plug into the serial port and run a windows app that allowed them to configure phone numbers etc.

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So, I have been following through the tutorial for connecting the LoPy4 today and sending data to the Adafruit dashboard. Then thought I could modify the code to send data to the ThingsBoard server I have installed on a Digital Ocean Account for fun. Next, I started looking into LoraWan and TTH and realise I should scrap the ideas I had and pursue the LoraWan and TTN methodology instead.

I have booked into the next workshop and look forward to learning more and hooking up with others with similar interest.

BTW: Does the FiPy run ok on Optus 3G or 4G?

Hi David,

Great! See you there!

The FiPy needs LTE Cat M1. Currently, this is only offered by Telstra on B28.

I was going to ask this LoraWan question on the meetup discussion but text size was too small to get it all in.
How do remote LoraWan (say LoPy4) connect to new gateways if it is mobile and falls out of range? Can it automatically reconnect to another gateway when it finds one?

If so, are the gateways all transparent and the TTN server does the authentication and then node can join that gateway?
Otherwise, do the nodes have to be explicitly attached to a gateway in code?


Did you figure out a method for adding numbers to a phone book? We used gammu on a RPI as an SMS rx/tx tool. We were able to set it up so that a pre approved number could send an SMS to the device with a new number as the boddy of the text so something like:

“add 0123456789”

The device would write that number to the phonebook and respond

“0123456789 added to phonebook”

Something similar for removing.

The great thing about TTN is that once you connect your node, it will automatically connect to the best available gateway within range. You could carry it from Brisbane to Sydney and it would automatically connect to whatever gateway had the best reception along the way. That’s one of the best things about LoRaWAN!

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Thanks for your comments Steve,
I think I’ll try the RAK 7249-3x-14x, it has integrated LTE/4G, backup battery, 16 chan and IP6X for outdoor use.
This will give me one gateway to start with that should be robust for my testing and then look later at bulk discounts or build-yourself options for roll out to bigger application

Hi David,

Seems like a big item to get just to start out… a standard 8-channel gateway can service over 100,000 nodes simultaneously. I’ve got no idea why you would need 16 channels.

i thought there were data rate limits to 1% per node and 8 channel could support 800 nodes?

the main parameters for the gatewsy is ip rated for outdoor use, battery backup and lte net connection.
i wanted at least 8 channels

Can you point me to specs on gateway, I cannot see how each channel can handle 1250 nodes simultaneous, that would take a huge amount of bandwidth for extremely high data rates.

Hi David,

There is a limitation for LoRaWAN use in regard to airtime. Each node is only allowed 30 seconds of upload messages in 24 hours, and 10 downlink messages every 24 hours. The payloads are limited to 52 bytes (if I remember correctly). With a small payload and good reception you will be able to send a little over 400 messages in 24 hours. I think TTN’s official calculations say 1,000 per channel if each node is transmitting at the maximum allowable rate. I got the 100,000 from somewhere else, where they chose a typical level of transmission, maybe one payload per hour or per day.

How many nodes are you planning to connect to?

Thanks for your response
Are we talking about number of transmissions per day?
I thought we were talking about simultaneous connections to the gateway?
Do the Lora nodes have data collision detection and retry built in?

If you have 8 channels with 1000 nodes on each then these 8000 nodes will all be attempting to connect throughout the day and clashes will occur, limiting throughput.

If we have double the number of channels, wont this be more reliable?

Initially I would only be looking at 100-200 nodes for existing clients needing to monitor equipment.

My interest is in commercialisation of a LoraWan network with a combination of having clients use some of our gateways and some smaller self contained applications where we supply the user their own gateway and set it up and manage it for them. As we are new to the technology, initially I will offer the existing clients a free time-limited trial (so they don’t get as agro when something falls over and we gather experience with the technology.

I am also interested in the power consumption and looking at feasibility or placing some remote gateways powered by Solar and connecting via 4G to internet.

Hi David,

I’m not too sure about collision detection and yes I suppose more channels is more reliable. It just seems unusual to need that many. I think the the node software can be written in a way to work within the restrictions that the system creates.

Good luck with your project!