How far will LoRa go?

Hi Fellow Makers

I have been playing around with the LoRa shields suitable for Arduino. Great bit of gear for sending data.

I now need to extend the length of distance that these devices speak to each other - over 700 metres.

Does anyone know how far the full ave and half wave antennas can send data?

Thanks in advance


Hi Terrance,

LoRa is good for around 10+KM line of sight. 700 meters would be no worries, even if it were two LoPy4 devices operating directly together (LoRa, not LoRaWAN).

Thanks Graham. I might be able to get these two Arduino/Lora Shield devices speaking together by using a 3rd device as a repeater. We are talking about a farm situation and I am heading there today. I will give it a go this weekend. Otherwise I will invest in a couple of half wave antennas and make sure the job works right. Thanks again for your help!

LoRa doesn’t work with repeaters as-such. But good luck!

Hi Graham, what I mean is that I am going to use an Arduino UNO with a LoRa shield to receive a message from one another Arduino UNO (+LoRa shield) and send the message onto a 3rd Arduino UNO (+LoRa shield). I have tested this and it works nicely in an urban environment. Just not sure how far I can get the signal to go in a more open rural environment and therefore if one midway (repeater) Uno+LoRa shield will do.

Terrance, I am currently working on a project that has four repeaters in a string so it is definitely possible.
We have sensor to gateway distances of 3 to 5 kM with RSSI -90 to -115. Its a farm which is hilly and lots of trees so positioning is critical. If possible put the antenna more than 2M off the ground and if possible 5 - 10.
If you have fading issues lookup RF Fresnel zones. Heaps of stuff on the net.
We are using the LoPy4 and it is a dog. LoRa works well but the chip freezes for no reason and I have compatibility issues. No support from Pycom at all.
I would stick with the Arduino, not my favorite but I am warming to it.

Thanks for the tips John. I didn’t have time to test my LoRa’s this w/e, but will in a few weeks and post updates for those interested.

I am going to use an Arduino UNO with a LoRa shield to receive a message from one another Arduino UNO (+LoRa shield) and send the message onto a 3rd Arduino UNO (+LoRa shield)

Ok nice, that’s something LoRaWAN can’t do, though Fyi, LoRa Mesh (supported by Pycom) would do that just fine (Pycom’s merge of OpenThread + LoRa)

For LoRa/LoRaWAN/LoRaMesh, I’m on the other side of the fence, though if you’ve been unable to solve an issue then that’s going to be a road block. I’ve always been able to find my way around a niggle.

Hi @Terrance_J,

How did things go - what was the terrain like and what setup did you end up with?

In Nov/Dec our MidNth Coast community in the hills was isolated when fires took out the power lines, and a few hours after that, the phone exchange and mobile phone tower batteries fail. Reduced to driving around (wasting precious fuel) and limited uhf cb (hills - yes, a repeater will help). It went on for weeks. Still is for many.

I’m keen to find, or help create a system of local WiFi spots, solar powered and connected by LoRaMesh, to keep the community connected to one or more LAMP servers (probably maintaining selected updates by 3/4G or satellite from the ‘outside world’ - Bom, RFS, hotspots, etc.)

There are quite a few hopeful-looking projects out there, but alas, they are either dead-ends, proprietary, or inadequately documented.

The Pycom implementation of over LaRa looks to me the most fruitful lead to follow at present.

I’d welcome contact from other makers who see such a system as a priority project and are keen to help design it.

Greg Hall
Newcastle & Elands