The fundamental purpose of the organization is to promote and support deployment of gateways throughout New York City. To that end, group members take every opportunity to spread the word about The Things Network and the benefits of joining an open IoT network.
Outreach includes participating in hackathon and workshop events, presenting in various technology fora, and meeting with commercial, non-profit, and government organizations that might benefit from using TTN. In addition, the group will recommend hardware and offer direct on-site support to people who want to deploy a gateway.
A system supporting the deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of a fleet of Multitech Conduit and Conduit AP gateways. As part of deploying hundreds of gateways to cover NYC and Ithaca regions of New York State, the group plans to offer management of those gateways as a service to gateway owners. The system uses the Ansible Configuration Management tool to drive gateway configuration, an SSH jumphost to enable secure remote access and a monitoring tool to send alerts on gateway status changes.
TTN-NY as an organization needs legal structure, accounting, and governance. It also needs to be present on the Web and social media in order to be found by people looking for LoraWAN support in NYC. We recently completed official registration as a 501(c)3, meaning that now we can accept tax deductable donations.
The LMiC (LoRa-Mac in C) library came from IBM and is hosted here: https://github.com/matthijskooijman/arduino-lmic. When the team at TTN-NY first started building Arduino nodes, they discovered many missing features related to operating within the US band plan. Frank made an effort to submit merge requests back upstream but Matthijs has been slow to respond. Recent changes have not been converted to PRs. Terry forked the things-nyc repo and made even more extensive changes to support his Catena boards, including adding all global band plans. His repo is now our recommended LMiC library.
The Manhattan Borough President, Gale Brewer, is a vocal advocate for building Smart City infrastructure in an open way that encourages innovation. TTN-NY is building LoRa node with GPS that will be installed in Gale’s primary vehicle. The Manhattan Borough President will thereby be actively participating in the development of a TTN coverage map as she conducts her business around the city.
As part of the Harlem Heat Project, Brian has deployed a number of off-the-shelf sensors to measure indoor temperatures in the city. He would like to collect data from the sensors via TTN. However, he would like to avoid having to visit the sensors to replace batteries every two weeks.
Terry provided Brian with a set of Catena-based sensors as a first stage of the project. They work well communicating with a gateway high on the CUNY campus, but they still consume power at a higher rate than Brian would like.
Frank and Forrest figured out the protocol for communicating with existing long-running off-the-shelf temperature sensors. Now Frank is putting together a communications board that will be able to transmit readings via LoRa while conserving power by going into deep sleep while inactive.
ISeeChange uses off-the-shelf high quality environmental sensors. The sensor manufacturer offers a cellular-based remote logging solution, but it is expensive.
TTN-NY offered to build a LoRa based communications board for the sensor in order to test whether such a system would work for ISeeChange. In contrast to the HarlemHeat project, ISeeChange uses the next generation of sensor which has replaced serial communication with a USB-wrapped-serial system. The main challenge of this project is to build a low power board that acts as a USB host and then fit the entire communications board into the new enclosure.
TTN Mapper https://ttnmapper.org/ is the standard mapping service used by more than 1500 TTN users globally. It contains more than 3 million transmission data points.
Frank created the MapTheThings https://map.thethings.nyc service as a fully open source alternative with scalability as a primary goal. The service summarizes successful and attempted transmissions into a multi-scale geo-hashed grid so that displaying data for any region on the globe requires a (roughly) constant and relatively small volume of data downloaded. The server is deployed on Heroku with SQS buffering and summary data is served directly from S3.
On the node side, MapTheThings pairs a bluetooth and LoRa enabled node with an iOS app that tracks location and drives transmission of packets. A GPS-equipped LoRa node can also send location packets, but in this use case there is no tracking of attempted transmissions.
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