Arduino-compatible LoRa board senses it all under the sun

April 18, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Dutch startup SODAQ (short for solar data acquisition) has launched what the company believes will truly boost LoRa's adoption by makers and hobbyists of all horizons.

Measuring only 40x25mm, the sensor-laden and GPS-equipped LoRaONE board was designed to give easy programming access to all of its on-board features, including a 3-axis accelerometer and magnetometer and plenty of I/Os for extensions.

Founded in 2012, the company which defines itself as an IoT solution provider has already had some success launching several Arduino-compatible boards for data acquisition projects. These include the solar powered Autonomo (based on the ATSAMD21G18 Atmel Cortex M0+ 32bit MCU) and the SODAQ Mbili (Atmega1284P 8-bit RISC-based MCU), both all-purpose data acquisition modules with built-in sockets ready to receive any of the company's Bee wireless connectivity modules.

Now, the startup steps up its game with an all-inclusive LoRa-connected sensor board featuring a built-in u-blox Eva GPS module for fast and precise positioning.

When asked which market void such a product would fill, the designer of the LoRaONE board, hardware developer Nick Leijenhorst shared his views with EETimes Europe.

"There is a lot of LoRa going around these days. Just in the Netherlands, national telecom operator KPN is planning to deploy between 1000 and 2000 LoRa gateways nationwide. But what we saw is that there weren't many LoRa development boards. Often, you have to use C-programming tools to program the ARM microcontroller. Also, if you want to build an application using LoRa, you need to connect external sensor boards, maybe a GPS, and all this becomes bulky and draws more power than it should" Leijenhorst commented.

"Our main selling point is that we make LoRa Arduino-compatible, and for every feature on-board, users can download code libraries and demos for easy setup. Your typical hobbyist doesn't want to go into the datasheets of separate parts to get them running"