Free LoRa IoT Service from Clouden

Clouden now offers a free 868 MHz LoRa gateway service in the central Helsinki area. If you have registered an IoT device on The Things Network, it will automatically use our gateway when it’s the closest one available. Our physical location is in Taka-Töölö, Helsinki. The gateway is installed indoors.

If you are interested in LoRa, you can get a The Things Network Node from Kiwi Electronics for a reasonable price. The device includes temperature, light and acceleration sensors as well as a programmable button. It runs for several months using three AAA batteries. The range from the gateway can theoretically be several kilometers.

If you’d like to give us feedback or let us know about your LoRa experiments, you can find Clouden on Twitter as @cloudeninc.

Technical details

The Things Network provides an Arduino library for programming LoRa-based IoT devices. You need to configure your Application EUI and Key and choose what data bytes the device will transmit. Once programmed and turned on, the device sends data to the LoRa network when the button is pressed, when movement is detected and periodically every minute. These options can be customized in the Arduino code.

On the Internet side, you must register your device on The Things Network and connect it to an Application. You’ll then be able to connect to The Things Network’s central MQTT broker using any MQTT client and read the data bytes your device transmits. The amount of data you can transfer is very limited, but the transmission range is several kilometers and battery usage is minimal.

We recommend you to use the Cayenne LPP data format included in The Things Network’s Arduino library. When you do so, the network automatically decodes your data into JSON messages. You can then use a tool like Mosquitto MQTT client to subscribe to your device topics and view the JSON messages.

Tip: Be sure to use the Application ID (not App EUI) and Access Key (not App Key) when connecting to the MQTT broker. You’ll find them all in the Application Console.

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