Everything You Need to Know About the RAK7258 Commercial LoRaWAN Gateway

LoRaWAN is one of the pillars of IoT. It is a technology that allows for automation to reach on a global scale, not just in industrial settings, but smart cities, homes, farms, etc. Commercial Gateways, like the RAK7258, are the key elements that will bridge the gap between the IoT nodes and the network. Such solutions are vital for building a functioning LoRaWAN network, with good coverage and capacity.

A LoRaWAN Gateway forwards the data generated by the nodes to the backend server in a safe and secure manner. There data is organized and analyzed, so the user can have it visualized in the most useful manner.

The RAK7258 provides all of the above, plus there are some extra features that make it even more functional of a solution in a variety of use case scenarios. Commercial LoRaWAN Gateway

Buy RAK7258 Micro Gateway
Image Source: http://bit.ly/RAK7258

Key Features

● It supports up to 8 RX and 1 TX LoRa Channels

● Full LoRaWAN™ Stack support (version 1.0.2)

● 100M Ethernet (PoE) + Wi-Fi (Optional LTE 4G, Nb-IoT, LTE Cat M)

● Can be integrated with both private and public (TTN) Network servers

● OpenWRT Software UI for management and configuration

● Built-in LoRa Server for easy management of end nodes

● Automatic backup and queuing of LoRa Frames in the case of network outage

Now you have an idea what the RAK7258 is and what are its main features are. However, there is one more major selling point — the quick and easy setup. Let us demonstrate how straightforward it really is below:

Setting Up the Gateway in 4 Easy Steps

The RAK7258 is very easy to set up, and with these 4 simple steps, you can begin to enjoy the wonderful features of the device:

Step 1: Attach the antenna

The first thing you want to do is to screw on the antenna to the SMA connector on the front panel of the gateway (it comes disconnected in the box).

Note: Do not power the device if the antenna port has been left open (not connected to the antenna).

Step 2: Power the Gateway on

We recommended that you use the 12V DC adapter that comes with the gateway. As an option, you can use your own PoE cable and injector (the Gateway supports PoE).

Step 3: Connecting to the Gateway and to your Network

There are several options here as you can have different backhauls (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Cellular). We, however, will limit ourselves to explaining how to connect to the RAK7258 via Wi-Fi as this seems to be the quickest and easiest option. We will assume that the Gateway is connected to the Internet via the Ethernet port (DHCP router on the other end). For alternate options please refer to the Quick Start Guide.

By default, the Gateway is configured to work in Access Point (AP) mode. You will see a network with the SSID: RAK7258_xxxx. The “xxxx” stands for the last 4 digits of the device’s MAC address.

No password is required so you are free connect. Once you have done so you can enter the WEB UI via a browser by going to IP address 192.168.230.1. The WEB UI username and password are both “root”.

This should allow you access to the WEB UI, which is the main method of managing and configuring the device. Once you are more advanced you can use alternate methods to access the Gateway.

Step 4: Connecting the Gateway to TTN

There are many options to use for a LoRa Network Server. We are going to make our example with The Things Network (TTN) as it is the most popular, public solution available.

As the Gateway comes with its default settings configured in such a way that it will connect to TTN on the EU868MHz band there is little to configure. However, if you need to operate in another band you can refer to the Custom Setting Setup Guide.

The main thing is to make sure that the Packet forwarder is using the Semtech UDP Protocol and it has the correct EUI (you can check this on the bottom of your RAK7258). Furthermore, the appropriate Server Address (in our case the European TTN one) and Ports need to be configured. Please refer to the example in Figure 1. Once you make sure that the values in the boxes squared in red are correct you should proceed to registering the Gateway with TTN.

RAK7258 Figure 1 | Packet Forwarder Settings
Figure 1 | Packet Forwarder Settings

Go to your TTN console, (you need to register an account first) and register your new gateway.

How to Register the Gateway

● Make sure to select the “I’m using the legacy packet forwarder” option, before entering the Gateway EUI (the one in the image below is just an example).

● Select your Frequency Plan depending on your location (EU868 in this case). This should populate the Router field.

● Optionally you can choose to enter the Gateway coordinates in the map’s upper right corner and select if the gateway is indoor or outdoor via the Antenna placement field below the map.

RAK7258 Figure 2 | TTN Gateway Registration Screen
Figure 2 | TTN Gateway Registration Screen

Refer to Figure 2 above in case you have any doubts

Your Gateway should now be registered with TTN and you should be able to forward LoRa packets.

Rounding Up

As you can see, the RAK7258 is as feature packed as it is easy to configure. In case you need more detailed information on key features and configuration options check out our RAK7258 document repository.

All RAKwireless LoRaWAN Gateway and Node device are available via the RAKWireless online store.

Check out our blog for more RAKwireless news, updates and other interesting topics on LoRa Hardware and Software as well as topics on IoT in general.

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RAKwireless Technology Limited

A pioneer in providing innovated and diverse LPWA connectivity solutions for IoT edge devices. https://www.rakwireless.com/