Up^2 Edge Computer: problem with LoRa on a 10 meters distance

Hello,

We are running open-source LoRaServer on the Up^2 Edge Computer with LoRa. We are able to send and receive LoRa frames but only when the end device is in close proximity to the Edge Computer, e.g. 1-3 meters. If the distance is larger, it either takes several hours to connect (via OTAA) or is not able to get all the messages sent to it. This is the behavior with all the antennas attached. When we detach them, the effect is the same, so we suspect that either a) antennas are not attached to correct outputs and this is impossible to figure out with the datasheets which we found in the internet and with no documentation shipped with the product, or b) there is some additional hardware setting required to activate the use of antennas.

Is it possible to get the documentation on the insides of the edge computer that clearly specifies which of 4 antennas ports corresponds to LoRa and which to 3G/4G?

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Comments

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,212 admin

    Hi @vpodolskiy

    Is this the product you have?
    https://up-shop.org/up-systems/292-up-squared-lora-edge-computing.html

    Can you please provide pictures of your system with the antennas connected?

    The one marked in red is for LoRa (on the side of the ethernet ports)

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    Hi @DCleri ,

    Thanks for providing the information, yes, that is the product.
    I've connected the antenna as you've suggested (photo attached), but it did not help. I first tested it in my office with the Adafruit board and edge device near each other (10-20 cm) - it worked well. Then, when the devices are separated and there is ~10-20 m between them and a couple of walls, this does not work anymore (no connection); also, if there are no walls, but just 5-10 m space it also does not work - the students have tried. I'm using OTAA.

    Any further suggestions are much appreciated.

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    Hi @DCleri ,

    It still does not work, so we're planning to send the device back. If you have any ideas before we do so, please, let us know.

    A bit more background on our investigation:
    Switching to ABP did not help - again, it only works in my office and not at a long distance, whereas TTN gateway is able to cope with it.

    I also made another experiment on edge computer in my office without any antenna attached. I was still able to connect and transfer the data via LoRa! It seems like there is either 1) antenna printed on the board inside the computer or 2) the LoRa chip is connected to the antenna's output with some sort of cable that itself acts as antenna. In the first case, the installation should still work if switching between antennas is done correctly. In the second case, it would be evident that connecting an external antenna does not work - we don't know the real length of the antenna since part of it is inside the device (https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/forum/t/antenna-length-for-868-and-433-mhz/5378).

    In any of this case it does not seem like we can do anything on our side since it's a hardware problem.

    Best regards,
    Vladimir

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,212 admin

    Hi @vpodolskiy

    Thanks for your feedback.

    It seems very strange but I will ask our hardware team to investigate it further.

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    Thanks @DCleri . Any news from them?

  • Aling
    Aling Guest Posts: 561 admin

    @vpodolskiy will you be able to open the chassis? I would like to see if all antenna inside connect correctly?

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    @Aling it is possible, but would it break the warranty then?

  • Aling
    Aling Guest Posts: 561 admin

    @vpodolskiy your warranty will be alright. This is for verification to prevent from RMA.

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    @Aling here are the photos then. I've tried to capture the gray wire that connects the board with the contact for external LoRa antenna; I've identified it based on what @DCleri posted above. I believe, the second hypothesis is correct? Antenna should have been connected directly to the board without intermediate wire which acts as antenna itself.




  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,212 admin

    hello @vpodolskiy

    The wiring seems fine to me

    We have tried in our Lab, with a LoRa node from Watteco and we can connect to it at 10-20 metres distance with 3 walls in between.

    Can you please check that the node you are using is actually transmitting properly?

    Do you have a way to try connecting to a different sensor?

  • vpodolskiy
    vpodolskiy New Member Posts: 13

    Hi @DCleri , I have a limited availability since I went for a research stay abroad for several weeks.

    Regarding your questions:
    I've told above that we've checked that LoRa nodes work well with TTN gateway through like 10 walls. Also, we don't have other sensor nodes to check - we have checked like 5 Adafruits with it, neither worked.

    Are insides of your edge the same in terms of wiring? What about antennas that you've used at the end nodes?

  • DCleri
    DCleri Administrator, AAEON Posts: 1,212 admin

    The nodes we have used to test have integrated antenna.

    I haven't seen any mention of tests you have done with other gateways, but only the failed results with our gateway.
    You have mentioned that our gateway does not work when a device is 10-20 metres apart and with walls.
    We have tested with some commercial/industrial sensors (not just boards) our gateway works well with devices 10-20 metres apart and with walls.

    If it is not your case, I would suggest to return the unit so we can check if any defect is present, please apply for RMA.