Calgary Amateur Radio Association

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TheThingsNetwork - chance to help out the open source maker community?

  • 26 Mar 2023 3:27 PM
    Message # 13145735

    Hello everyone. There's a neat project I've been interested in lately, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. I think there's an opportunity here to lend a hand to the maker / electronics hobby community and maybe create some interest among them in our hobby as well.

    The Things Network ( is an open source project to build a LoRaWAN network that anyone can use for free. LoRaWAN is a packet radio protocol, which is kind of like a different take on APRS, but designed for small sensors on tiny batteries that can last for years. It's become a popular way for electronics hobbyists who need to relay infrequent sensor readings to the internet. A neat example I've seen involves small sensors placed in beehives, to monitor and report the temperature inside. 

    In order for that network to be useful, it needs gateways (which work like our APRS i-gates) in geographically favourable locations with high elevations. There are a handful in Calgary already, but they tend to be placed inside peoples homes where they don't have enough range to be that useful. This is somewhere that our skills could really shine.

    I want to leave a few of these gateways at our repeater sites and use them to advocate for ham radio and the cool things that it can do. My feeling is that someone involved in radio for sensors and hardware may be inclined to get their ham license once they see the other projects we work on. 

    I have a handful of these gateways and am happy to donate them to CARA if the club thinks we can use them.

    I'd appreciate any of your thoughts.

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