LoRa stand for Long Rang, in this post i will show you what i m up to with LoRa Sensors, Zone Controller and ESP8266 Gateway. PiHome infrastructure i.e. battery powered temperature sensors, zone controller, boiler controller and esp8266 smart home gateway is built with nRF24L01 wireless which operate at 2.4Gh. nRF24L01 is cheap solution but it has range limitation and unable to penetrate through the solid walls and you need repeaters installed around the place to get full coverage. Its best to invest some time to discover alternate to nRF24L01 2.4GHz wireless that could penetrate walls and can work on low power and easy to implement, i think LoRa tick all the boxes. lets get started on this investigation.

LoRa Sensors, Zone Controller and ESP8266 Gateway

LoRa Sensors, Zone Controller and ESP8266 Gateway

LoRa modules comes in three different wireless ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) frequency bands 433Mhz, 868Mhz 915MHz, These frequency bands were set aside for RF use for purposes other than telecommunications.

First designed pcb for LoRa module which has footprint for RFM69CHW, RFM69CW, RFM69HW and RFM69W with smd antenna for these modules, PCBs in image are for 1-Wire DS18b20 temperature sensors powered by 3xAAA batteries, Smart home gateway and Zone/Boiler controller.All these PCBs have Atmega328 with 8MHz boot-loader with onboard MIC5205-3.3 voltage regulator to step down power for radio and Atmega328.


On first attempt i have plan to use default mysensor sketches without any modification to prove no hardware issue/error. once i have successful communication i can customize these sketches to improve things. important to note i m using 433Mhz version of LoRa module.

1-Wire DS18b20 Temperature Sensor

Following sketch for 1-Wire DS18b20 digital temperature sensor powered by 3 x AAA batteries, upon successful connection to gateway led blink once and second time blink for number of attached sensors. LoRa RFM69 module feed from LG33 regulator with 10uF and 100nF cap for smoothing out power to radio.

ESP8266 Smart Home Gateway

ESP module used for this test  have micro usb and onboard 3.3v voltage regulator. ESP powered from 5v power supple through micro USB and RFM69 module powered through AMS1117-3.3v regulator with 10uF and 100nF cap for smoothing out power to radio.

For your knowledge for LoRa on WiKi page, nRF24L01 temperature sensors powered by 18650 battery link