Four Ways to Determine the Quality of Your Outdoor Gateway

Companies and organizations around the world desire a great boost in their connectivity to speed up their day-to-day business operations. With a faster connection, businesses like yours can experience more efficient operations, resulting in faster and bigger returns of investment. This great demand then has greatly encouraged the growing supply of outdoor LoRaWAN gateways in the market. You can find and purchase these gateways on the internet from various brands of IoT solutions providers. All of these brands promise high-quality performance, great durability, and steadfast connectivity.

In some cases, however, when these devices arrive at your front step, you can discover that these brands do not follow up on their promises. You can find the gateways faulty after hours of use and exposure to harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, it is still in the hands of users like you to determine the quality of your outdoor gateway and prevent significant financial losses from your end. Listed here below are some techniques that you can use with your purchased device:

Leaving the gateway outside for a long time

Even with the exposure to changing temperatures ranging from -30 °C to +55 °C, outdoor gateways should continuously give your organization fast connectivity that does not stop at any moment. Once this connectivity stops, your business operations will have to halt as well – losing possible gains by the minute. Have your gateway tested by leaving it outside and using it for a long time (e.g. 12 hours). If at any moment your connection falters, you can prevent mass connection disruptions in the future by reporting and troubleshooting this problem right away. Using a network management system from IoT brands like the WisDM of RAKwireless can greatly assist you with troubleshooting as it sends you an alert for technical issues in your network.

Connecting to the gateway from a faraway spot

When your organization works on a site that incorporates buildings that are far from each other, you need to test the coverage of your gateway. The easiest way to execute this test is for you to find the farthest spot from the gateway’s location on your site and connect to it. From this set-up, you can determine the extent of distance in which your gateway connection is still seamless. Since outdoor LoRaWAN gateways are expected to work for long-range connections that extend in miles, experiencing a connection disruption at a short distance can mean trouble for your organization.

Exposing the gateway in harsh elements

Each day, the condition of our environment fluctuates hence, outdoor gateways should be equipped to withstand the instability of the outside world. Temperature and humidity levels can rapidly change from hot to cold, and high to low. Winds can move at a bolstering speed. Like the RAK7240 LoRaWAN Gateway of RAKwireless that is enclosed by an industrial-grade aluminum IP65 case, LoRaWAN gateways are equipped to be waterproof, dustproof, weatherproof and shockproof. You can test the resistance of your gateway by exposing the device to little water and placing it on a soiled location. Should your device stop working after, the outdoor gateway on your hand may not be that long-lasting after all.

RAK7240 Outdoor LoRaWAN Gateway
RAK7240 Outdoor LoRaWAN Gateway

The RAK7240 Outdoor LoRaWAN Gateway is an ideal product for large scale LoRaWAN deployment where cost is essential, however there is no compromises to be made on quality.

Maximizing the supporting capacity of your gateway

Industrial outdoor gateways are the typical choice for large-scale projects that include thousands of LoRaWAN nodes. These nodes gather data from the changes in your environment, supporting the efficiency of your organization’s operations and efforts towards automation. To lessen the number of nodes you have to purchase and prevent unnecessary costs, you will need to check the maximum capacity of your gateway. For example, RAK7240 uses Semtech’s SX1301 concentrator chip so you can surely connect a thousand of networking devices to it. You may try to refer to a guide provided by online documents of your gateway’s brand. If not available, you can also connect a lot of devices to one gateway and identify when the connection finally starts to waver.

The impact of outdoor gateways especially in improving business operations has never been more sought out. Statistical data gathered through the years have proven the financial gains that organizations obtain after using LoRaWAN gateways. Connections have been stronger and business transactions have been more cost-efficient. The market has seen a steadily growing demand and there has been no obstacle that stopped this growth.

In response, IoT brands continue to emerge and offer highly-acclaimed gateways for every business to use. The quality that these brands claim can sometimes be too good to be true. The responsibility to personally check the quality of the gateways must then be executed by companies in order to prevent future losses. Although time-consuming, a meticulous inspection is always better before a mass failure in deployment happens.

RAKwireless foresaw this possible failure, hence the company has continuously put great effort into achieving certifications and performing tests for its products. For RAK7240, the company’s efforts achieved an ingress protection certification of IP65. The said gateway also complied with the FCC certification, among others. Not only does RAKwireless prove the quality of its products, but it also publicly publishes the results of the certifications and tests online in its documentation website. Just like the other efforts of RAKwireless, its initiatives do not only stop here and will continue to be better over time.

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