How We Tested the Long-Range Communication of Seeed’s Industrial IoT Product SenseCAP LoRaWAN Series

LoRa products are known for long-range communication, and we’ve put our products into field tests to make sure they meet the standards. Learn how we tested the long-range features of our industrial IoT products – SenseCAP LoRaWAN series.

#Special Updates: Here at Seeed, we’ve been working on developing industrial IoT products. And in this new series of blog posts, we will show you some behind-the-stage scenes of how these products are tested to meet the industry standards. In the previous weeks, we shared about how we tested the dustproof and waterproof functions of Seeed SenseCAP LoRaWAN series products; and high-low temperature testing of SenseCAP Industrial IoT Products to make sure the waterproof functions still work after sharp temperature differences. And this blog will focus on the testing for long-distance transmission.

SenseCAP LoRaWAN version is equipped with a high-performance processor and telecom-operator-level LR chip (SX1301 for the gateways, and SX1276 for the sensors). It ensures stable and high performance in the large-scale network: A gateway can support up to 1000 Sensor nodes within 2km (Non-Line of Sight) and 10km (Line of Sight).

To ensure SenseCAP’s communication distance and stability, we’ve brought the products to three different environments for testing and got very positive results.

  • Products & accessories
    • SenseCAP LoRaWAN Gateway CN470
    • SenseCAP LoRaWAN Sensor Nodes CN470
    • Normal LR Antenna
    • Fiberglass High-gain LR Antenna 30cm
    • Fiberglass High-gain LR Antenna 60cm
    • Power Adaptors
    • Step-up Transformers
    • Power Banks
  • Testing Parameters:
    • Network Connection
    • Delivery Rate
  • Testing Procedures
    • Set up Gateways
    • Set up the Sensor Nodes at specific locations and check the communication status
    • Confirm the maximum distance in each environment
    • Evaluate the surrounding environment and analyze the possible interfering factors.
  • Testing Environments
    • Line of Sight
    • Non-Line of Sight
    • Urban Scene

Testing in Line of Sight Environment

  • Location: A1: Wedding Theme Park in Shekou Bay Area, Nanshan District (Sensor Nodes)
  • Location B1: Mangrove Wetland Park, Futian District (Gateways)
  • Testing Results:
    • 5.9km (with 30cm fiberglass high-gain LR antenna)
    • 9.3km (with 60cm fiberglass high-gain LR antenna). Since we were going along the coast while testing and reached the longest Line-of-Sight distance at 9.3km, hence the result was 9.3km. According to the evaluation, the actual data transmission distance can be up to 10km.
(Testing distance: 9.3km in Line of Sight Scene)

Testing in Non-Line of Sight: Forest Area

  • Location A2: near Meiyu Pavillion at Meilin Mountain Park (Tanglangshan Park)
  • Location B2: at the bottom of Meilin Mountain Park (Tanglangshan Park)
  • Testing Result: 1.6km (normal LR antenna)
(Testing distance: 1.6km in the forestry area)

Testing in the Urban Scene

  • Location A3: Seeed office (F3, Building G3 in TCL International E City in Nanshan District),
  • Location B3: on the street near Bao’an Environment Monitoring Mansion in Bao’an District
  • Testing Result:
    • 1.64km (normal LR antenna)
    • 2km (fiberglass high-gain LR antenna. )

We started from Seeed office walked along Liuxian 2nd Road while testing the products. The longest distance with the expected delivery rate was at Location B3. When evaluating and analyzing the environment, we noticed there are a church and a base station near location B3, which has some influence on the performance.

And we replaced the normal antenna with a fiberglass high-gain LR antenna, then walked along Shangchuan road which was connected to Liuxian 2nd Road, the transmission distance reached 2km (as shown at location B3-1 at the map below, and there were tall buildings around).

(testing distance in the urban scene: 1.6km with normal antenna)
(testing distance in the urban scene: 2km with fiberglass high-gain antenna)

Besides the above testing in Shenzhen China, our partners have also tested SenseCAP on their own farms. One partner in Serbia tested the SenseCAP LoRaWAN EU868 version (with normal LR antenna) in the Serbian capital Belgrade at the urban environment as well as the rural areas, with the following feedback.

1km in the extremely urban zone, the LR range is amazing.

The longest distance we achieved is 4.8 km. But gateway was inside the building, so we expect an even better range when the gateway is installed outside and on proper height.

With the above-mentioned testings in different environments, feedback from our partners and customers, as well as with further analysis and evaluation, we are positive that SenseCAP LoRaWAN series products have excellent performance in ultra-long-distance communication, with the distances as follows:

  • Line of Sight: 5~10km
  • Non-Line of Sight (Urban Scene): 2km
  • Non-Line of Sight (Forestry Area): 2km

To meet the optimal combination of battery life and delivery rate, we’ve taken the following mechanism in processing the data: 2 confirmed send + 1 non-confirmed send. Under the best testing environments, the delivery rate can reach 99.9%.

That’s all for this week’s update on the testing of Seeed industrial IoT products. Stay tuned for our next updates!

About SenseCAP

SenseCAP is a series of industrial IoT products. Its LoRaWAN version is based on LoRaWAN protocol and deployable worldwide with multiple ISM bands. SenseCAP is encapsulated in an IP66 enclosure, making it applicable in outdoor remote sensing scenarios such as Smart Farming, Smart City, and other IoT applications that need low-power, long-distance, and long-term data collection.

SenseCAP LoRaWAN version is now released, and you can see more details here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here, email us (iot[at]seeed[dot].cc), or join the discussion at Seeed Forum.

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May 2020