How can MachineQ Help You Convert Your Sensor Design to LoRaWAN?

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July 5, 2018

Chrissy Bullock

Get started with Comcast’s IoT network today: MachineQ offers a variety of resources to assist in migrating your sensor design to LoRaWAN.

Get started with Comcast’s IoT network today: MachineQ offers a variety of resources to assist in migrating your sensor design to LoRaWAN. We highlighted the main steps to help you get started with your conversion process:

  1. Choose from our development tools to see if LoRa is right for you
  2. Evaluate your hardware and software design requirements
  3. Analyze and optimize your payload size for LoRaWAN
  4. Connect with MachineQ to access MQcentral and APIs

Development Tools
MachineQ has customized development tools to help you get started with LoRa.

  • mQSpark is a plug-and-play development kit for the rapid prototyping of IoT solutions – just plug your development board into your laptop to configure and power your application. With over 75 compatible sensors available, you can enable almost any IoT use case, from noise detection to motion sensing.
  • mQFlex is a multi-usage sensor capable of monitoring temperature, pressure, and humidity with a magnetometer and accelerometer to meet your IoT needs.

Hardware Design
When converting your sensor design to LoRaWAN, you will need to evaluate the hardware components of your device. Consider using an external or internal power supply to meet the extended battery life of typical LoRaWAN solutions. The antenna is a key component for achieving the maximum distance between your IoT device and the gateway. Its type, design, orientation, and positioning can make or break your RF link. For a detailed comparison of antenna types and other hardware components, please read our full MachineQ LoRaWAN Sensor Design Conversion Guide.

Module Evaluation
MachineQ has teamed up Murata, the leading manufacturer of electronic components, to deliver best-in-class LoRaWAN modules. The low-cost, pre-certified modules can rapidly accelerate your time to market — no more waiting for approvals. Beyond its stand-alone design, the ultra-compact module hardware is already integrated with MachineQ’s software stack to help you get started right away. The Murata module helps customers like Pansofik bring their IoT solutions to market.

“Pansofik will be able to leverage the Murata module to lower our device cost while insuring industry leading performance and reliability. This translates into increased ROI and lower risk for our customers.”

Tony Bowden, Co-Founder and CTO of Pansofik

Software Design 
The standard software architecture for an IoT device is comprised by 3 layers:

  1. Hardware Layer: assortment of lower level device drivers to connect to a USB, a UART, analog or digital interfaces;
  2. Middleware Layer: implements any communication protocol type function;
  3. Application Layer: contains the code that implements the device functionality and behavior.
    HW-independent open source code solutions are available for the LoRaWAN protocol stack are on either Stackforce or Github.

Payload Requirements
Another key consideration when migration your design is to carefully analyze your message payload requirements and transmission periodicity. Assuming you have a battery operated device, an optimized LoRaWAN device can ideally fit all its data into an 11-byte payload (or multiple 11-byte payloads) with an average radio message transmit periodicity measured in minutes, hours or days. Regardless of your payload size, the MachineQ network ensures the end-to-end security of your data.

Application Server and APIs

Depending on your needs, MachineQ APIs are available to flow data to an app server of your choice or directly to MachineQ’s easy-to-use application server: MQcentral. MQcentral is MachineQ’s user-friendly application platform that enables you to:

  • Manage end-devices and gateways
  • Monitor data traffic in real-time
  • Get device statistics
  • Create dashboards to visualize sensor data

Which steps of your conversion process do you need the most assistance with? How can MachineQ assist further? MachineQ has a diverse set of resources available, including our dedicated team of engineering experts, to help you achieve your goals and bring your IoT solution to market.

For more information on how to take the next step on getting started, contact us. Connect to a network built for IoT today.