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The Semtech Network Server

This Semtech Network Server leverages the open LoRaWAN® protocol. It is intended to help you develop and prototype Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that are compatible with the LoRaWAN protocol, so that you can get your IoT ideas off of the ground quickly and easily. With this offering, you can connect up to ten devices and three gateways, giving you a hosted environment for building and testing your solutions before you go into production.

In this guide we explain how to get an end device and gateway to communicate with the Semtech Network Server, and explore debugging, application integrations, and user management.

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 direct 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 Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder connected to an instance of the ChirpStack Gateway Bridge, installed on the gateway directly or somewhere accessible to the gateway (see Options for Gateways Supporting Semtech UDP Packet Forwarder)
  • 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 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 try to install ChirpStack Gateway Bridge onto the same gateway. Your gateway instructions may contain a section on installing custom software that you can follow.

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. Install ChirpStack Gateway Bridge on this device and obtain a fixed local IP address for it. 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.