During this Particle Mesh Deprecation announcement from almost a year ago https://blog.particle.io/mesh-deprecation/ as well as during Spectra 2020 there was quite a bit of Chatter regarding LoRa. I personally was hoping the new product introduced at Spectra 2020 was for LoRa integration rather than Tracker One but I can see the benefit of that too.
“…most customers would be better off using Bluetooth Low Energy (which we will continue to invest in) or a sub-GHz radio like LoRa (which can be added to Particle through third-party accessories).”
“Use LoRa or another sub-GHz radio to connect wireless sensors that are further apart or are separated by obstacles and barriers (walls, floors, etc).”
“…But in practice what we found is that our customers would be better served by BLE or LoRa”
“…2.4GHz radios just don’t have the necessary range and LoRa would be a better fit.”
How many others out there are integrating LoRa with a Particle Boron? I’ve been playing and testing with quite a bit of success and hopes of being able to continue to build upon it. It seems like a great fit for many applications (as outlined even by Particle). I.e. locate a single Partible Boron in the region of interest at a particular location that has good power or Solar as well as good cellular signal strength. It can then act as a Pseudo gateway to individual LoRa nodes. The individual LoRa nodes are less power hungry and can be in locations that don’t have cellular signal strength and even 1/2 mile - 1 mile away from the Boron pseudo gateway. I’d have to think others out there are doing something similar or have very similar strong use cases given the frequent mentioning it in that mesh deprecation announcement as well as Spectra.
So my question… is anything “In the Works” at Particle for accommodating built in LoRa? Yes, it can be fairly easy to add with third party accessories, but my understanding is once you introduce another radio to a device it invalidates the FCC listing. This introduces a big barrier if a person wanted to sell a product with Boron + LoRa. In addition, Particle does such a fantastic job integrating things into their platform to make it so easy to do without having to learn the entire stack in detail. I know if Particle had something in the works here, I’d be the first on the list as a beta tester.
Otherwise, I wonder if others have a similar need and going down this road of Boron + LoRa and if so, has anyone taken this or anything like this as far as FCC listed product? I wonder if others in the community could benefit from a LoRa carrier board for the Boron or B-Series that was also FCC listed?
I’m torn between going down the LoRaWAN route with The Things Network or maintaining a Particle Boron. In my initial investigation into LoRaWAN, this requires a more expensive gateway, power hungry (always on) gateway, as well as a much higher monthly cost for the Cellular data backhaul. I assume this would also be more complexity for a user to setup without support.
Would love to learn what others are doing with LoRa + Boron/B-Series. Feel free to post here or if you prefer send me a private message. Thanks!