LoRa vs Zigbee?

Okay wireless experts and wireless hackers, I have an application question. I need 6 remote nodes and 1 gateway. The remote nodes will be controlled by something like an ARM M0 or M4, maybe a G120. The gateway probably a Beagle Bone. (Octavo?)

I need long range, pretty much non-line of site, rural location with some trees. Speed is not the most important. In relation to the main gateway device the 6 radios will be in a line out one direction. Not directly in a line but generally out one direction. The furthest will be about 2 miles out, each one after that gets progressively closer.

So LoRa radios are getting some buzz. The range seems to be pretty darn good when using good antennas. However there is no meshing or packet relaying built into the radio. (from what I understand anyway.)

Zigbee (or flavors of it), I am thinking 900Mhz, has meshing capabilities. Range, I am not sure but I assume pretty close to LoRa.

Since this application has the radios generally in a line I am thinking the meshing would be ideal. Having not worked much with either technology can anyone with experience give me some pointers?

EDIT: New information came available. Max distance is 2 miles.

Now I’m not a wireless expert but mesh networks are far more complex than a star network. Although with the proper skills that should not matter much but in the 2 miles range you may have a go for the stars …

Maybe this article helps: [url]http://ftm.futureelectronics.com/2014/02/how-to-achieve-multi-kilometer-range-with-a-simple-ism-band-star-network/[/url]

1 Like

I can second the Synapse modules. They are longer range than standard Zigbee and have the advantage that you can always add another node to bridge a difficult link. With LoRa if it cant make the link you need to start building towers with high gain antennas etc.

Programming is OTA using a stripped down python. Childs play.

@ cyberh0me - Thanks for the pointer to Synapse. From what I see initially it looks like a good fit. I will get a dev kit next week and give it a try.

The more I researched LoRa I don’t think it will be a good fit since my target update rate is about 1 sec. LoRa doesn’t seem suited for fast update, especially at longer ranges.

@ skeller - Yeah for that update rate Synapse is definately better.

You need to choose between 915MHz and 2.4GHz. The former has better building penetration, but the latter has more cheap antenna options. So far I have only tried the 2.4 variety.