RAK833 LoRaWAN Concentrator

This board is a Raspberry PI Hat for the RAK833 LoRa Concentrator Gateway Module.

It is smaller version of the popular RAK831. The RAK831 is larger, about the same footprint than a Raspberry PI and requires a breakout board to convert the RAK831’s 24 pin connector to the Raspberry PI’s 40 pin connector. The RAK833 is a more elegant industry standard PCI Express Mini Card form factor (Type F2).

The RAK833 module consists of a Semtech SX1301 Digital Baseband chip for outdoor LoRaWAN Macro Gateways and two Semtech SX1257 Transceivers. The USB interface is provided by an FTDI FT2232H.

It supports both a USB and SPI interface selectable via the SPDT_SEL pin. This makes the module ideal for Raspberry PI and other Embedded Linux platforms that do no expose USB on the expansion connector.

Variants of the module are available for four different frequency ranges, 433MHz, 470MHz (China), 868MHz (Europe) & 915MHz (North America) and with or without the USB interface (FT2232H).

The RAK833-SPI/USB-xxx Mini PCie Module can be purchased from AliExpress for US$119. The non-USB version, the RAK833-SPI-xxx is US$99

Pinout

The following table provides details of the allocated I/O.

Pin No. PI Name PI I/O Type Net Name Function

8

GPIO14/TXD0 OUTPUT UART_TX GPS Receive (For configuration)

10

GPIO15/RXD0 INPUT UART_RX GPS Transmit

19

GPIO10/SPI_MOSI OUTPUT PCIe_MOSI SX1301 SPI Slave Input

21

GPIO09/SPI_MISO INPUT PCIe_MISO SX1301 SPI Slave Output

22

GPIO25 OUTPUT PCIe_RESET SX1301 Reset

23

GPIO11/SPI_SCK OUTPUT PCIe_SCK SX1301 SPI Clock

24

GPIO08/SPI_CE0_N OUTPUT PCIe_CSN SX1301 Chip Select

Software

Instructions for installing the software can be found at https://github.com/Lora-net/packet_forwarder/wiki/Use-with-Raspberry-Pi

The packet forwarder is configured via a global_conf.json file. Pre-prepared configuration files for different frequency plans/countries on The Things Network can be obtained from https://github.com/TheThingsNetwork/gateway-conf/

Design Files

Design files can be downloaded from the Circuit Maker website. Circuit Maker is a free EDA tool from Altium.

The PCB for this design was fabricated by JLCPCB.com. An earlier prototype was fabricated by pcbway.com.

3 Comments

  1. Jens,

    Yes, the PCB was designed in CircuitMaker and it requires designs to be made publicly available. Feel free to fork the design and modify it to suit your needs:
    https://circuitmaker.com/Projects/Details/Craig-Peacock-4/RAK833-LoRaWAN-Concentrator-Hat

    I have just added links on the above page to the Gerbers, Schematic and Bill of Materials for version 1.A.4. If you want to get boards make, you can submit these Gerbers to your preferred board house.

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