LoRa Radio for 3rd party systems

I have asked this before but hopefully will get some visibility with other users to chime in.

I want to use a RS2 as a base and attach a matching LoRa radio to a 3rd party system (Trimble, Ag Leader or whatever) to receive RTCM corrections. It can be a very simple radio preconfigured to 38,400 baud and whatever other settings you determine. Set the predetermined setting in the RS2 and go. It would need a RS232 output to connect to most other systems and easiest power supply would be a USB.

Also, I am not sure if the LoRa radios “pair” with each other like 3DR radios do or not. Can you run multiple rovers off one base radio?

Almost all of my work is in farm fields no bigger than 100 acres with no line of site issues.

I know there are different ways to send the corrections but radio is the easiest solution.

I also know I can attach an external radio to the RS2 and a matching to the 3rd party system but, I like the clean easy to setup feature of the RS2 without the headaches of 3rd party radios.

I really feel there is a large market for your product if you did so. Right now the big Ag precision companies (Trimble, Ag Leader and John Deere) cannot get any product out to there dealers and demand hasn’t diminished.

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Hi @jp-drain-sol,

Emlid LoRa can work only with Reach devices. So, if you have a second receiver from another manufacturer, you need a couple of external LoRa for both base and rover. You can use RS-232 or a USB port on Reach RS2 to connect the radio.

A feature of the LoRa protocol is that radios from different manufacturers may be incompatible. That’s why you won’t be able to use 3rd-party radios with ours. You can use either a pair of Reach’s LoRa radio or a pair of 3rd-party external radios.

Yes, you can transmit corrections to multiple receivers. There’s no limit on the number of rovers that can be connected to the same base.

I noticed that you often answer on the forum :slight_smile: So maybe you could have met our article describing an external UHF radio integration with a Reach RS+ earlier (it should work the same for Reach RS2). I believe it can be useful.

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Thanks for the reply.

I have already done RFD900 and 3DR radios successfully. I just do not like having to add another piece of hardware when the RS2 has the built in LoRa.

For “tinkerers” like myself it is no problem. For average people that want plug and play, it is. That is why I am asking for a 3rd party external radio that can be used with your internal LoRa.

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This is what I am asking for is an Emlid external radio so it can communicate with the RS2 internal radio. Like I said in the initial post, make it either a preset permanent configuration or connect to an Emlid device to setup/save config then just apply power and the settings are in the radio with all configurations applied.

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Just checking, but have you tried the M+/M2 external radio? I never tried to interface with a third party receiver though.

I have one but, no way to configure it if it isn’t connected to a M2.

I haven’t tried applying power after it is configured but, since the settings are in the App which sets up the M2 where the configuration is stored, I think if you just apply power to it, it will not be configured properly. I need to try this once just to confirm.

I think what @jp-drain-sol is asking for is an emlid Lora with a RS232 output with RTCM3.0

RS2--------->(the new emlid lora product)------------>RTCM3.X RS232---------------->Non Emlid Rover

I would really love this as well, the emlid loras work great they just don’t have an output to anything else I am using.

You could call it “Emlid Lora Bridge”

If a guy could Y the tx when its connected to the M2 to see the corrections. But i have a feeling the legacy corrections would not cross or do they?

But I agree JP lora bridge needs to happen somehow… winter is coming.

I could tinker with splitting the the LoRa TX line. That Should work. I am not sure about the legacy but, I would think so. Only issue there is it becomes the price. A M2 + Lora is $617 for basically a radio. M+ is only $265 vs $499 for the M2 but I do not know if it is legacy capable or if it would matter as long as it receives the RTCM corrections

I have already T’ed the TX from the M2 to the LoRa and connected it to a 3DR radio set to 38000 baud and have sent corrections via LoRa and 3DR. Should work the same way but opposite direction.

I know Emlid’s cost to produce what we are talking would be more than just a radio as it would have to have the “brains” to do the radio settings. I would think it could be done and sold for $200-$250 range. This is no worse than two RFD900 radios cost range and I think it would be easier to setup/program. I think if it is/was produced it would sell. I know a lot of farmers that would use/incorporate it into their current system (Ag Leader/Trimble/Outback)

If powered by the USB port, this could be the programming port as well. Otherwise, Bluetooth is cheap and could be done via an App on Android or built into the RV App.

On the receiving end all you need to “set up” is air rate and frequency, and 232 output baud rate.
So if Bluetooth phone app was to much to swing, it could have dip switches?

This hardware builds itself.

Okay if they happened to send the config for the radio, lets say as a hex string hypothetically on one of the wires. It would be the only thing sent if no corrections were available to the receiver.

Then a guy who is a really good guesser with a serial terminal recorder could copy it and send it by Arduino Nano instead? Activating an existing M2 lora, so you could get the corrections off its tx… but is it ttl, i2c, SPI (it has three gpio wires probably ttl)?

Still busy combining. But that is a to do list item.

I haven’t tried any of the recorder stuff. But, it sounds interesting to try. I will have to research LoRa radios. I know 3DR are setup via standard ATI commands, my guess is so are LoRa.

I know the TX line is TTL that is why I stated RS232 output, otherwise i would still have to do a TTL to RS232 converter. Ag still heavily uses RS232. Not sure on the other wires. Might have to T them, feed the output to a TTL to RS232 connected to my laptop and a terminal program to see.

You have started combining? We are a week out still at least. Next weeks high 80 to low 90’s will speed it up a bit. One of my busy seasons (tiling starts here after winter wheat) is slowing till corn and beans come off which is my busiest season with delivery/setup/instruction on the drainage equipment until it is too wet or too cold.

Did a quick search on LoRa radio baud rate and found the some of the common AT commands for different brand LoRa radios. I will have to power it up on a separate power supply and see if I can talk to it in terminal. If so and the normal AT commands configure it, then I will have to write a script on a Nano sending those commands to the radio and I think that might get it.

Thanks for the suggestion PF! Hope harvest is going well with huge yields!

If I can get the settings from the nano, I can make a “radio” box like i did for my 3DR which is a buck converter/TTL to RS232 converter and my 3DR radio. Just replace the 3DR with an Emlid LoRa and add a Nano to control it. Would even fit in the same style box

@jp-drain-sol We had a quite the drought this year the crops aborted early so we are just about done harvest. Just a half of oats, and a couple quarters of canola left, yields are kind of spotty. But anyone with marginal poorly drained land is laughing this year they were the only ones with water.

But there are some random spots that make me want to investigate soil science, they seem to produce regardless of what is going on. Water fixing bacteria? Water pipeline break?

But I think this will be a fun challenge to get the Emlid M2 Lora to wake up. The ability to pop down an RS2 and send corrections locally within minutes to the tractor or anything for that matter is a worthwhile goal. We have already done this twice, shown the business case for legacy corrections, and NMEA selection.

Emlid is not tone deaf its just you have to show the absolute need to get the changes made and allocate resources. They are very much survey centered business strategy wise, but machine control is so much more fun. I am sure if we get this done the “Emlid Lora Bridge” will appear.

I currently have contacts with the development team of www.agra-gps.com they can make almost any brand AG electronics bridge and talk together. They also have the manufacturing capacity capable of making any converter happen quickly.

Just like the 1008 injector. I/we get it working and voila, they enable legacy messages not even a month later. I am sure if we get this working Emlid will have a 3rd party LoRa radio available shortly after.

I wish they wouldn’t have used proprietary stuff in their radio so that any LoRa 900 Mhz radio could receive. That would also be an easy fix. Buy any brand LoRa 900 and make my radio box.

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BTW, tiled ground normally does better than no tile in drought years. People think tile “drains” the soil. It is actually managing the water table. Most drought years start with a wet spring, if you have no tile the roots grow down to the water table 6" to 1’ below the surface then fan out N/S/E/W as roots do not grow in water. If you are drained, at the proper depth 2-3 ft. deep, when you have the spring rains it drains down to that level and the roots chase it down there. Then when it dries out in JUL/AUG, the roots are still down where they can draw moisture.

If they tiled at farther spacing and deep (say 4’ for instance) then they pulled the water table too low for the plant to draw moisture.

Also, I can’t find your email address. Mine is my username here.

Hi everyone,

We use a specific protocol to make our radios, including Reach M+/M2 Lora, compatible with Emlid devices. So, external 3rd-party radios should be able to work with it to transmit or receive corrections. We can’t use some other protocol since, in this case, our external LoRa radio will not work with our receivers. And that’s why we can’t develop a common external radio or “adapter” for our and 3rd-party devices.

We are aware of this, and have a plan to work with it. I figured out how to convert UBX to TSIP so the “Emlid Lora Bridge” may be doable as well.

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