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Hardware Components

To get started with the Semtech Network Server you need an end device and a compatible gateway. This section explains options for getting these.

End Device

The end device could be a node you build yourself. For example,  this paper shows how to build an end device using Arduino. You can also buy end devices directly from manufacturers. The LoRa® Developer Catalog lists a range of end devices with LoRa chipsets that are available for purchase.

Note

We recommend you choose Over-the-Air-Activation (OTAA) rather than Activation-by-Personalization (ABP) if you are offered a choice from a manufacturer or when building your own device. OTAA is easier to set up in the network server and is more secure than ABP.

Gateway

The Semtech Network Server supports gateways running one of the following:

  • any operating system running the LoRa Basics™ Station software
  • the ChirpStack Gateway OS (operating system)

You can either purchase a gateway from a manufacturer or create your own using a Raspberry Pi and concentrator shield. The LoRa Developer Catalog lists a range of gateways available for purchase. Additionally, the ChirpStack Raspberry Pi page lists a range of shields and Raspberry Pi models for purchase that are supported by the ChirpStack Gateway OS.

Options for Gateways Supporting the Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder

If you have a gateway that supports the Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder you have a few options for connecting to the Semtech Network Server.

You can use a Raspberry Pi, or any device that can run Debian or Ubuntu that you can leave turned on, and that is on the same network as your gateway. If your gateway permits custom software installation, you can install ChirpStack Gateway Bridge directly onto the gateway. Install ChirpStack Gateway Bridge on your chosen hardware following the ChirpStack Gateway Bridge documentation and obtain a fixed local IP address for the hardware. Point the gateway running the Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder to the ChirpStack Gateway Bridge.

You can locate a cloud server or virtual machine, such as an AWS EC2 instance. Install ChirpStack Gateway Bridge on this server and obtain a fixed address for it. Point the gateway running the Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder to the ChirpStack Gateway Bridge.