10$ Single Channel Gateway vs. 50 times more expensive professional Gateway (Lorix One)

A range comparison on an single channel and spreading factor. Can an expensive multi-channel gateway also receive better for this case?

A DIY gateway with Wemos D1 (ESP8266) and RFM95W for about $10 works surprisingly well.
I’ve fixed it to channel 1 and SF9 since I find SF9 is a good compromise between duty cycle and range. For me alone, this gateway is quite sufficient.
It’s a pity that you have to program the nodes on ABP with fixed SF9.

At work we have a multichannel gateway. The Lorix One.
Now I want to find out whether the range is higher under the same conditions. After all, the gateway costs almost 50 times as much as the DIY one (almost $500).

I fixed both gateways at the same place. I take the same node on CH1 and SF9 so that my single channel gateway can receive the messages as well.
Now I drove with an E-Scooter through the neighbourhood and measured with the TTN Mapper.

on the left the cheap one, on the right temporarily the expensive one


Lorix One
Single Channel Gateway

That looks very similar. The RSSI with the Lorix One looks sometimes a little bit better. BTW. maximum range was 1km/0.6miles.

The upper gateway is the Single Channel, the lower one is the Lorix One

RSSI -109 to -107 and SNR 7 to 9 is a difference, but not such big one.
But I’m not a radio expert. I’ve heard that at least with Wifi you can say that 3 dBm more can double the range.
I can’t tell if that’s true…
What I know is that I couldn’t measure twice the range.
The range of both gateways is very similar. However, the Lorix One is much more stable. If I hold the node very high, both receive relatively well. If I hold the node close to the ground, the RSSI of the Single Channel Gateway will break in much more than with the Lorix One. So it seems that it is much more sensitive and stable.

In short, I can say that a much better gateway does not necessarily increase the range, but covers the area much better.

Of course, a real gateway has a number of more advantages. But this is not part of my attempt.
If you want to know more, read here:

Finally I will mount the Lorix One on our roof. This will make it 2 meters or 6 feet higher. I think each meter brings some hundred meters or more range.
I hope it will be 3km. 🙂

See you soon, Mario

2 thoughts on “10$ Single Channel Gateway vs. 50 times more expensive professional Gateway (Lorix One)”

  1. Apart that the title seems wrongly indicate a comparison on many aspects, looking at the color coding of packets, the Single Channel gateway is constantly worst than the other.

    1. Absolutely right. The single channel is worse. That’s what I was going for.
      Nevertheless a SCG is very powerful.

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