MIT IoTNet

How to set up your own gateway

Come to our lecture Tuesday ... or come to our LoRaWAN lectures at the IoTFestival (updated for IAP 2020) on Jan 15th

Build (or buy) a gateway. There are some great resources for this on the https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/forum/ but since this is our HOWTO, here is the way we did it.


We looked at https://github.com/mirakonta/lora_gateway/wiki and bought the Multitech mCard-LoRa card recommended there. Instead of using RasPi though we used the TI Pandaboard since our kit runs off of mini USB (not micro).

If you want a Pandaboard, ask us. If you want the rest of the kit, you will likely need to buy the radio from http://lora.multitech.com/how-to-buy and the USB dongle from somewhere like https://www.amazon.com/PCI-E-Adapter-Module-Support-connector/dp/B01FCU61TG

Note that you can find the dongles at a lot of locations.

You may need a mini-USB cable for the Pandaboard (we use the 5v barrel connector which is preferable since you will likely need 1 Amp).

We used a 4GB image based on https://larrylisky.com/2015/10/09/installing-ubuntu-14-04-on-pandaboard/ We also have tested an image based on ArchOnARM. The packet forwarder runs on a wide variety of platforms and OSes.

We also tested the app on the NVidia Jetson TK1

We have also tried an 8GB image based on https://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/PandaBoard It is an Ubuntu 16.04 version. You can resize the disk after you have written it but 4GB seems to be enough… This is a full desktop install so if you have USB keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor you can treat it like any other Linux box. Use the HDMI 1080p rather than the DVI-D connection on the Panda if you want GUI access. Be patient; it may take awhile to boot.

If you have the hardware set up correctly, this will “just work” when you turn it on, since we have set up gps_pkt_fwd to autorun from the /etc/rc.local file… however you will want to update your gateway_ID as described at

https://github.com/Lora-net/packet_forwarder/wiki/Use-with-Raspberry-Pi

Register your gateway at http://thethingsnetwork.org/c/boston

If you use our gateways, please acknowledge our sponsors on your site… Mozilla.org donated the Pandaboards (they had a previous existence in the MozPool) and Multitech, who has provided a discount on their LoRa products.

Enjoy the TTN….

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