Vinduino stations use LoRaWAN radio technology, which is a new open standard (not proprietary to Vinduino) operating in the 915 MHz license-free band. LoRaWAN is designed to support hundreds of battery operated sensor nodes per gateway. The range can be more than 10 miles, depending on conditions.
LoRaWAN is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless battery operated devices. LoRaWAN targets key requirements of Internet of Things (IoT) such as secure bi-directional communication, mobility and localization services. The LoRaWAN specification provides seamless interoperability among smart devices without the need of complex local installations and gives back the freedom to the user enabling the roll out of Internet of Things.
Using a standardized network specification ensures that IoT wireless devices from different brands can seamlessly communicate, all using the same infrastructure.
With LoRaWAN, all sensor stations talk directly to a gateway. Having more gateways with overlapping range will improve the reliability of a LoRa network.
For small farms, using an indoor gateway can be sufficient. When more range is required, an external antenna at a high location should be considered.
LoRa gateways are available from low cost indoor types to sophisticated carrier-grade outdoor rated units.
The LoRa network is maintained and operated by network providers. We have agreements with multiple providers such as "The Things Network", "Comcast/MachineQ", and "IoT America".
For all suppliers we can offer managed and supported networks with a service level agreement.
The Things Network offers a free-to-use community network, where the network infrastructure is owned and operated by the users. In Temecula Wine Country we operate a community network to monitor soil moisture, weather data, water use and operate irrigation valves. The TEDx talk by Reinier van der Lee explains in more detail
In a LoRa network, each gateway can support thousands of nodes operating within radio range. Each station is allowed to have 30 seconds of airtime per day to avoid crowding of the radio channels. In practice this means that a station can transmit at 15-minute, or longer, intervals.
Range for LoRa networks can be 10 miles when unobstructed and line-of-sight. The current distance world record is 476 miles (June 13, 2019), using a weather balloon.
For more information about the LoRa standard, please visit: https://lora-alliance.org/about-lorawan