Join us online on Thursday 24th March to discover innovative LoRaWAN® deployments and explore the most advanced smart solutions at The Things Conference Devices virtual event.
Boost your IoT skillset, and learn how to get started with the best devices for your use cases while networking with leading global LoRaWAN® experts. This is the greatest way to learn the latest advice and techniques to accelerate your IoT projects.
Register today to learn the ins and outs of working with top-notch LoRa devices and implementing LoRaWAN® to your applications.
When it comes to selecting your preferred IoT connectivity there are a number of things you may want to consider. To help simplify this process, we’ve compiled a short guide to outline the options available and our top tips to think about when selecting the best option for your solutions.
There are numerous ways to connect your IoT devices, some will require a SIM card whereas others will require a gateway, or even connect to a satellite! The type of IoT connectivity you select is critical to the success of your IoT project and each option comes with its own range of benefits. The key here is to really understand what your requirements are and if your chosen connectivity will support your objectives.
What options are out there?
Here at Alliot we specialise in two key technologies: LoRaWAN® and NB-IoT/LTE-M (cellular IoT connectivity). But there are other options out there, these include:
Wired connections were among the first methods of connectivity used in the early days of IoT. This tends to work well for items that will remain in a fixed position, but there’s little flexibility and there are much more efficient options now available.
We’ve all become well accustomed to connecting our devices via WiFi and it often works well for simple home applications. WiFi however is notorious for its limitations with regards to range. Using WiFi for your IoT connectivity would require lots of access points to ensure its reach and it will also eat up a lot of battery power. Battery life is incredibly important when it comes to IoT sensors, especially if you’re installing solutions across multiple sites – replacing all those batteries would prove very time consuming!
If you’re looking to monitor parameters in the middle of the ocean, satellite connectivity is the best option. There are geostationary satellites in orbit connecting devices around the world. It’s also reported that low earth orbit satellites are on the cards for companies such as SpaceX.
What options do Alliot Offer when it comes to IoT Connectivity?
Now this is our bread and butter! Low power Wide Area Networks were specifically designed for IoT use. LoRaWAN® devices offer long battery life by periodically transmitting small packets of data to a connected gateway. These gateways then connect to a LoRaWAN® network which offer a long range of up to 10km (depending on location) and don’t interfere with any existing networks or infrastructure.
Cellular IoT such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and LTE-M offer a great alternative to LoRaWAN®. NB-IoT is the newest kid on the block when it comes to IoT connectivity. Like LoRaWAN®, it offers an excellent coverage range and supports a long battery life.
However, unlike WiFi or LPWAN solutions using ethernet powered gateways, cellular doesn’t require an ethernet connection. Connectivity is instead supported by piggybacking on mobile networks. These devices require the use of a cellular IoT SIM card.
The main difference between NB-IoT and LTE-M is the support of mobility on the network. If you’re looking to track assets across multiple locations for example, LTE-M is likely to be the best option for you as it is better suited to faster moving assets that you need more frequent messages from as it supports handover.
Things to Consider…
There are a few things we’d recommend you take into consideration when selecting the type of IoT connectivity for your solutions.
We’ve all experienced the loss of phone signal in remote locations. Sometimes cellular coverage can be weaker or unavailable in certain areas. Before going full steam ahead with a cellular IoT solution, it’s important to check the coverage available; we can help you with this.
In some areas, LoRaWAN® could well be the better option for you as you have the ability to create your own network therefore enabling you to ensure a relatively stable coverage across all types of locations. With LoRaWAN® you have the flexibility to create your own coverage by installing gateways, there are no licensing costs for the radio, and you can install them anywhere you want!
Cost & Scalability
Both LoRaWAN® and cellular IoT are future-proof in terms of scalability. With NB-IoT and LTE-M you have the ongoing cost of your SIM cards. The cost of SIM connectivity is low and given the size of your solution can be very cost-effective when compared to the costs involved with setting up a LoRaWAN® solution. Cellular IoT is great option where you only want a very small number of sensors per site, since you don’t need anything other than the sensor and a SIM contract which costs pence per month, per device. In these instances, installing gateways would be prohibitively expensive for a small number of sensors. Plus, you have the added benefit that the network is the responsibility of the mobile network provider!
If, however your solution is going to have thousands of connected devices, LoRaWAN® could prove to be more cost-effective for you as it operates on free (unlicensed) frequencies which you manage yourself so there are no upfront licensing costs to use the technology and you can potentially connect thousands of sensors to one gateway.
Both NB-IoT and LoRaWAN® solutions are simple to install. We can even ship devices to you ready to plug & play! LoRaWAN® gateways offer coverage between 10km and 2km based on the installation environment. This is ideal for monitoring sensors deployed within this distance. However, if you’re looking to track assets throughout the country for example, LTE-M may offer a better alternative.
Whatever your requirements we’re here to help. Both cellular IoT and LoRaWAN® offer excellent options when it comes to connecting your IoT solutions. Get in touch today to discuss your IoT connectivity.
Our experts are on hand to help you every step of the way Lets talk
You’re invited to join our exclusive live event! Discover plug & play indoor air quality monitoring in the Alliot powered by myDevices live event with Synetica.
Air quality has become increasingly important in areas such as schools, offices, buildings and other high-risk environments. Join us on 22nd February at 4 pm GMT | 8 am PT to discover how our plug & play solutions enable you to monitor and report on the critical air quality parameters such as temperature, humidity, particulate matters and VOCs.
Once logged into the AWS IoT platform, go to the Manage section and click on the Things tab. Then click on Create things and select Create single thing. Press next.
In the ‘Things’ properties section give your ‘Thing’ (no pun intended!) a name. Then expand the Thing Type tab and click on Create thing type.
You will then need to give a name to your Thing type and expand the Searchable attributes section. Add 3 attributes by clicking the Add attribute button. Name it as per the picture below, then click Create.
You should see the green ribbon on top of your screen saying that you successfully created a thing type. Wait for a second and under the thing type section you should see 3 boxes called Searchable attribute and Value – optional next to them. Fill in the values as per the picture below.
Now expand the Non-searchable thing attributes tab. Create 2 more attributes called app_eui and app_key and type the app_eui and app_key of your device. For example:
Once this is complete, scroll down and click Next. You can select Auto-generate a new certificate tab and click Create thing.
Creating the MQTT Shadow and Manage Certificates
Go to the thing you have created – Manage section > Things tab and click on the Thing name. Go to the Interact tab and click on view settings. Copy the Endpoint and save it in a safe place as you will need it to create a push config at a later stage.
Go back to your thing and click on the Device Shadows tab. Click Create shadow, give it a name and click Create. Now you can go to the shadow you’ve created and copy the MQTT topic prefix. Save it somewhere as it will be needed to configure Push config at a later stage.
Now, go back to your Thing and go to the Certificates tab. Click Create Certificate button.
In the pop-up window click Activate certificate then Download the following: Device Certificate, Public key file, Private key file and RSA 2048 bit key: Amazon Root CA 1
Once you have that downloaded, click done.
Now from the left-hand side list, select the Secure section and choose the Policies tab.
Create a policy by clicking the button in the top right corner. Give it a name, and then make sure to sign up to all of the Policy actions starting with words iot: The Policy effect should be set to Allow and the Policy resource should be a * symbol.
Once you have all of that, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.
Now, go back to the Things tab, your thing, Certificates tab, click on your certificate. On the top of the page, click the Actions button and select Attach Policy from the drop-down menu. A pop up will appear where you need to select your newly created policy and click Attach policies.
Creating a Push-Configuration on Wanesy Management Centre
Now is a good moment to add the device on to Wanesy. If you already have a device added to a different cluster and want to use it to push data to AWS, create a new cluster and move the device into it. Let’s now create a push configuration.
Go to Clusters under the Administration section. At the top of the screen choose the Push configurations tab and then click the + icon in the bottom right corner.
In the pop-up window, give your push config a name, select MQTT type of push and Payload detail level. Then click Next. In the Host box, paste the previously copied Endpoint link.
*If you can’t find it in the AWS go to the following path and copy the Endpoint: Things > Your thing > Interact > View Settings > Endpoint
In the Port box type 8883 The Client ID is the name of the thing on AWS. You can change Keep alive to 60 seconds. Tick Enable box under TLS section. Then click Next
On the next page titled Security don’t type anything, just click Next. On the following page title SSL, you need to add the Certificate, Private Key and Certificate Authorities store. All of that you have previously downloaded from AWS. Just click Choose File and select the Certificate. Repeat the process for the Private Key and Certificate Authorities store (CA). Then click Next.
On the next page called Topics you need to type the Data Up topic. You can find it on AWS, copy and paste it here.
* To find the Data Up topic on AWS, go to the following path: Things > Your thing > Device Shadows > Your device shadow > and copy the MQTT topic prefix
Paste it in a Data Up topic box on Wanesy and click Next.
On the next page titled Messages don’t fill any boxes, just click Validate.
Once you have completed all the steps, go to Clusters under the Administration section and find your cluster. Click on the pencil icon to edit it.
In the pop-up window, enable push and select the push config from the dropdown list. Then click Validate.
Now you can go to the Push configurations tab on the top of the screen and find your push configuration. You can click on the heart icon; this will test that the push config is configured properly. Once you click that, you should get a pop-up message on a green background saying that the push config is correctly configured.
You can now go to your device data up section and see if the data is being pushed. To check this, click End-Devices under Management, then click on the DevEui and Data Up tab. Wait for the next message to arrive and you should see the state Yes in the Pushed column.
Receiving Data on AWS
Once you have the push configuration set up correctly and you can see the data being pushed from Wanesy, to AWS.
To do view this, in AWS, go to the Things tab, Your thing, Activity tab. Then click MQTT test client.
Once you click that, a new tab should open in your browser and you should see the test client. You should already be subscribing to all IoT topics. In case that is not happening, go back to the previous AWS tab and go to the following path:
Things > Your thing > Device Shadows > Your device shadow and copy the MQTT topic prefix
Now go back to the tab where you have the MQTT test client opened and click to Subscribe to a topic. In the empty field below paste the MQTT topic prefix and click Subscribe.
Now wait until the next message arrives from Wanesy to AWS and it will sync and show up the current information and all previous messages.
You can compare messages between Wanesy and AWS to check if they are the same.
“How To” Integrate Kerlink Wanesy with Amazon AWS Video
To summarise this article up to this point you can watch the above video.
The sunlight is a great source of power, and it can be used to charge various kinds of batteries. Parametric offers a solution that uses solar panels to charge batteries in their People and Traffic Counters. However, while the solution works great, it is important to remember that the choice of the IoT Solar panel in the right size matters.
The main criterium that determines if the solar solution will even be possible is the place of use. Additionally, things like fog, dust and even cloudy weather may affect the performance of the IoT solar panel system.
Parametric has in their portfolio a wide range of products suitable for various use cases. They have a range of solar panels with integrated charges and batteries for solar panels from 5V up to 20V.
As mentioned before, it is critical to properly select the correct solar solution. This article may help with that choice a little.
PVGIS – Photovoltaic Geographical Information System
The PVGIS is a great tool that can be used for the simulation of the solar power system. It uses meteorological data at the desired location. This is a free online tool and can be accessed at the link below.
The first step for the simulation is to type the address or select the desired place by clicking on the map. Once the place is selected, you need to enter the technical data of the solar panel.
Go to the Off-Grid tab and type the correct details of the solar system. For example, parametric offers the 17W solar panel with a 40° mounting bracket. In this case, settings should look like this:
Parameters and values
Once all values are entered, it is time to run the simulation. Click on the Visualise results button.
The most important output from the simulation is thePercentage days with empty battery.
In this example, at the chosen location, the value is 1.8%.
If the value is 0, there is a very good chance the solar powered system will work in the desired place. If it is not, like in this case, a more powerful system should be chosen.
To simulate if the solution would work with the bigger IoT solar panel in this location, we need to go back to the table with details of the solar system and change the Peak power to a higher value. Let’s try a 60W panel instead of 17W.
And simulate the results again…
Now, the value of percentage days with an empty battery is 0, which means the 60W solar system should work fine for this location.
The PVGIS simulation is based on a meteorological data model (PVGIS-NSRDB solar radiation database). There can always be unpredictable weather situations where too little solar energy is stored and the system will switch off. Alliot nor Parametric can be responsible for any miscalculations or mis-purchases that may result from using this tool.
Contact us today for assistance in assessing your IoT Solar Panel requirements or to discuss your IoT projects in more detail.
The second part to our educational video series is now live, giving you a glimpse into what is possible with LoRaWAN sensor types and the things that can be done with them.
At Alliot we strive to bring you the very best in IoT LoRaWAN sensors to give you the options to build you perfect solution. All of our team members have expert knowledge on all our stocked devices through advanced and rigorous testing. With Alliot you can rest assured know that your devices will work with whatever it is you have planned.Our team are available to answer any query you may have about these devices as well as suggest the best products for your project.
The possibilities LoRaWAN sensors present is virtually endless. Using LoRaWAN, sensors can be configured to send recorded data at specific intervals to your LoRaWAN network. Enabling you to monitor and analyse your environment to better improve your efficiencies and productivity.
So what are some of the things you can do with LoRaWAN sensors?
How about tracking the many assets in your warehouse? Such as a forklift, that Dave has left at the back of the warehouse again or maybe?
Amara accidentally left the heating on over the weekend and its costing the company money?
Or how about so Farmer Ted knows when his crops need more water or even more fertilizer.
Maybe even the local council who would like to monitor traffic through the city centre.
LoRaWAN sensors are able to monitor all of these and more, providing you with informative data which you can act on.
Sitting on their own network, LoRaWAN sensors can be quickly installed with little disruption your existing infrastructure – saving you time and money. We can even provision them for you so they’re ready to install straight out of the box!
LoRaWAN sensors have many uses and can help solve all kinds of challenges you might face day to day within your business. Contact our expert team today to find out more about our range of LoRaWAN sensors and beginning your IoT journey.
I hope you found this video informative, please like and subscribe to our channel to stay up to date with all our future videos.
With the new year comes many new opportunities, you may be looking to upgrade your business into a smart business using LoRaWAN sensors to aid in your decision making.
If you have ever wondered what LoRaWAN is then look no further. We here at Alliot are aware that in the modern world, time is precious. Information needs to be delivered fast and be responsive, much like a LoRaWAN network. That’s why we have created a short informative video to explain LoRaWAN just for you. So watch out for our next installments in our video series on youtube as well as our social media.
What is LoRaWAN? LoRaWAN stands for Long Range Wide Area Network and is a communication protocol designed to operate over LoRa radio. Which is essentially a Long-range modulation to get information through the air over long ranges whilst using very little power.
What makes up a LoRaWAN network? Typically a LoRaWAN Network consists of lots of devices or sensors, a number of radio gateways and a Network Server that enables all components to communicate. These connected devices gather small packets of data which are then transmitted via the cloud and presented in a user-friendly way, most commonly by a dashboard.
So why choose to use LoRaWAN? Working with a LoRaWAN network offers many benefits with improved range of sensors with distances up to 10+ Kilometers. As well as being a wireless system with little set up which can remotely be done via a dashboard. LoRaWAN networks also integrate seamlessly into existing network infrastructure with plug and play features.#
What’s more LoRaWAN sensors are powered by internal batteries allowing for reduced maintenance as data is transmitted periodically, helping to save battery life. With batteries typically lasting multiple years, some lasting 5+ years!
And as you know lower maintenance means cheaper costs and less headaches for you. LoRaWAN & Alliot help you with all of this & more!
I hope you found this video informative and please like and subscribe to our channel to stay up to date with all of our future videos.
We’re thrilled to announce that we are now an official distributor of MultiTech LoRaWAN gateways! Available for shipping throughout the UK and Europe, we’ve summed up MultiTech’s range and how they can help you to bring your IoT projects to life.
Who are MultiTech?
2020 marks MultiTech’s 50th Anniversary, so they’ve been around a while! Formed in 1970, MultiTech originally developed and sold acoustic couplers. Since then they’ve developed micro computers, modems and embedded products to name just a few. In 2008, they began to develop a new class of machine-to-machine applications which leads us to today where MultiTech have developed a wide range of industrial IoT devices.
As fellow members of the LoRa Alliance, it’s also great to know that MultiTech played a fundamental role in the development of the technology itself! For anyone looking to brush up on their LoRaWAN knowledge, check out MultiTech’s Resources.
Meet the MultiTech LoRaWAN Gateway Range
Available in multiple variants, MultiTech’s LoRaWAN gateway act as edge-computing devices. Many gateways in the range can be configured to your needs with the connection of MultiTech mCards.
Compatible with Multitech’s DeviceHQ platform, you can remotely configure and manage your gateways for simple deployment and scalability.
Featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low energy (BT, BLE) and GNSS, the Conduit modular gateways have 2 accessory card slots for the connection of MultiTech’s mCards.
An outdoor gateway range to support applications in even the harshest environments. Personalise your gateway functionality with the addition of MultiTech mCards.
Indoor connectivity for your IoT assets. The AP range can be purchased with an internal or external LoRa antenna and provides Ethernet IP backhaul or optional cellular backhaul via 4G/LTE.
Featuring everything you need to demonstrate your solutions. You can then add any LoRa sensor from our sensor range to bring your projects to life!
Bring your projects to life….
Many items are available for fast delivery throughout the UK and Europe. For expert advice on selecting the MultiTech LoRaWAN gateway for your project please get in touch today.
We’re excited to be heading to Amsterdam later this month for our first event of 2020. As the World’s largest LoRaWAN® Conference, The Things Conference brings together over 2000 IoT leaders from around the world.
Designed to equip visitors with a rich insight into the latest and greatest innovations in LoRaWAN®, visitors can expect to:
Meet with LoRaWAN® industry experts
Learn from industry leaders and boost their IoT skillset
Do business with key players in the LoRaWAN® space
Throughout the two-day event (30th – 31st January 2020) there will be a host of seminars held by guest speakers along with product showcases and plenty of networking opportunities!
We have no doubt there will be a great vibe at the show, there’s lots of exciting things happening in IoT and LoRaWAN®. With an impeccable speaker line up, we’re sure there will be plenty of inspiration for your projects!
Connect at The Things Conference
In an industry where we rely on electronic communication it can be great to have some physical interaction too!
Alliot will be showcasing a range of industry-leading products in the main exhibition hall, to the right of the entrance. If you’re attending the show be sure to drop by and say hello to our team – we’ve got lots of new products and information to share!
We’re also arranging meetings at the show, if you’d like to arrange a time to meet with us and discuss your projects, please feel free to get in touch.