RAK 831 vs German Brand RF Concentrator
We are a South Africa based company called Intelligent IoT Solutions. We are assembling our own LoRa 868MHz Gateways and have developed some of our own LoRa end-devices.
Up and until recently we have been using in our Gateways a known German RF Concentrator and compared it with the RAK 831.
36 Points in a 360° direction around the Gateways were tested. The Gateways were installed on an aluminium pole ±5.8m from the ground. The surroundings were mostly suburban areas.
The RAK Gateway was connected with a RAK 6dBi Antenna and the German one with a 5dBi Antenna.
The RAK in general was doing about 5dBi on average better than the other one, but that might be because of the antenna, I would say leaving nitty gritty Technical things aside that both are equal in terms of the tests, because maybe they make use of the same Semtech Radio Modules.
7 x end devices were tested, 2 x RAK 811 sensors one with a 2dBi antenna and one with a 6dBi antenna. The other 5 end devices were our own developed Microchip module brands, 3 of the end devices had 8.63cm wire antennas, then we had one end device with a 5dBi antenna and the last one with a 3dBi antenna.
One of the wired antenna end devices was inside a steel enclosure. In general, I did not notice a huge gain between the different end devices with the different antenna gains.
The average range of the end devices not installed inside a steel enclosure was around 1400m with the worst being 750m and the best 3800m.
The average range of the end device installed inside the steel enclosure was around 800m with worst being 550m and the best 2700m.
In conclusion the RAK and Other Gateway range wise compared equally in our point of view, both are using the same radio modules and that might be reason why.
The RAK 831 Advantages over the other one:
(1) Radio modules are shielded (2) Plugs into the Raspberry Pi_Less wire connections and safe some space (3) Has its own fibre glass tuned antenna (4) EMF / EMI / Safety tests done and results available (5) After Support Services are excellent (6) Little bit cheaper and with the Converter Board you have GPS as well (7) On-board SMA connector.
The Other Gateway Advantages over the RAK:
(1) Delivery turnaround is around 4 days
nice report, just a detail about the high of the antenna, you must try a higher place around 60mt and i bet you will get better coverage
We do have client sites that are 30m and will be running some tests there as well.
It was important for us to ensure the RAK compares the same or better than what we had currently.
Our biggest challenge is to get good range for end devices inside steel enclosures without installing external antennas and so far we are happy with the results