Author Topic: Is there any significant range difference between Moteino and Arduino Uno?  (Read 123 times)

Huber

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I'm currently looking into replacing a 3G/LTE system with LoRa. We have two "sub-stations" that sends sensor data to a "main-station". Our problem is that there is a small ridge between the locations. I did a walk yesterday and tested reception with an Arduino Uno w/Dragiono LoRa, and it did not seem to have any problems reaching the top of the ridge, but lost reception as soon as I started the decent on the other side, so I'm thinking a battery-powered MESH or repeater system over/around the ridge might be our solution.

Then I came across Nootropic Designs LoRa Mesh solution, and it lead me to Moteino.

So my question is this. If I have reception with my Arduino setup, does that mean I should have reception with a Moteino setup? The distance needed to be covered depends on how many MESH-nodes we put up, but from the sub-station to the "top" of the ridge there is about 350-450 meters.

I'm completely new to radio-communication, so excuse my ignorance. I can see that there are some differences between the Moteino and Arduino Uno, but I have no idea how much this effects the range.

Felix

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The ArduinoUNO is a 5V device, development friendly, large, and NOT low power :)
The Moteino range of products are all 3.3V, development and deployment friendly, super compact including the belly mounted radio, and very low power.
Those are the fundamental differences.

So the answer about range is "it depends on a lot of factors". It has been asked a million times, but let me try to tailor it to your situation.

What gives you your range is not the Arduino/Moteino itself (not really) but the radio, the antenna and the protocol/settings used.
Anything in the 433/915/2.4ghz or above is not good at traveling up/down around hills and mountains, even with LoRa. So yes depending on your situation you might need a repeater that is in LOS (line of sight for both end node and actual gateway).

People regularly report very long ranges with Moteino and simple monopole wire antenna - even with RFM69HCW radios, so with RFM95/LoRa should give you even better results.
The use of dipoles should also help (vs just the basic monopole, especially on the receiver).
Proper use of antenna is pretty important. For monopole - keep it straight up from the GND plane of the board. For dipole it does not matter so much but if you use coax, cut it to proper length to avoid too much reflection in the coax - there are some other threads in the forum on that topic if you choose that route.

Huber

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Ok thank you, so purely theoretical the differences between the boards themselves, 5V vs 3.3V and 20mA vs 10mA IO pins does not make any substantial difference?

Felix

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Substantial difference ... I guess not. But that can mean anything, so again depends what your end goals are and how you use the board.