Selecting a Gateway

written by hek

The gateway acts as the glue between your controller and radio network. It translates radio messages to a protocol which can be understood by a controller. You can build the gateway yourself using the same components as for the sensors. We offer a selection of options described here.

Before building a gateway you should check out which option is supported by the controller.

Sensebender Gateway - All in one board, that can be used as either a serial gateway, or an ethernet gateway, depending on software configuration. This is the no hassle (almost) plug'n'play option to get a gateway running.

SerialGateway - The gateway connects directly to your Controller using one of the available USB ports. Because the SerialGateway relies upon an available USB port, you will need to locate your gateway close to the controller.

EthernetGateway - The gateway connects to the Ethernet network that your Controller also uses offering more placement flexibility than the SerialGateway allowing you to install the gateway in a location that is central to the radio network.

MQTTGateway - This gateway also connects to the Ethernet network and exposes an MQTT broker which can be used for controllers offering MQTT support like OpenHAB.

RFM69/RFM95 Special considerations

For gateways using the radio transport RFM69 or RFM95, when MY_GATEWAY_FEATURE is defined, the ATC mode of the gateway is disabled which makes perfectly sense since every node will report a different RSSI and there is no need to change the tx level at every transmission.

However, the default tx power will then be used by the gateway (MY_RFM69_TX_POWER_DBM which is 5 and MY_RFM95_TX_POWER_DBM which is 13) and whereas ATC will increase that value if needed, this is not happening on the gateway which will stay at 5 for RFM69 (or 13 for RFM95) forever despite not running on battery and so without any need to save power.

So if you are having range problems with your gateway, set the define MY_RFMxx_TX_POWER_DBM to a higher level. Be aware that setting this power setting to a higher level, will cause your node or gateway to 'screaming louder'. For nodes very close to the gateway, things could go even worse. So test with little steps.

Finally, pay attention to the hardware version of your radio. For example for RFM69, even though 20dBm may be specified, RFM69 is limited to +13dBm, only RFM69HW can reach real +20dBm. The opposite is also true, only RFM69 can use power values lower than -2dBm, RFM69HW is capped lower than that.


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