Starting Out

A project log for ESP32 LoRa GPS Bike Thing

ESP32-based tracker, LoRa beacon and road-quality monitor

usedbytesusedbytes 04/30/2020 at 20:090 Comments

This project started out from the intersection of a couple of threads:

Towards the end of 2019, I went to a talk about LoRaWAN by @rwhb2:, and (relatedly) at around the same time some LoRa gateways started getting set up around Cambridge where I live. This sounded like a pretty cool technology which I was keen to have a play with.

Then a little later I heard from Digitspace, who were interested in sponsoring a project with products from their store. They have a pretty good selection of kit in a variety of categories - one of which is an array of different LoRa boards.

I found the T-Beam board, which has LoRa and GPS, making it a good candidate for a self-contained LoRaWAN mapper, which isn't very original but seems like a reasonable first LoRa project. I've also been interested for a while in trying to track road quality while cycling, and this board looks like a reasonable fit for that too - an 18650 battery gives a good amount of capacity, the GPS means it can track the position without needing an external source of location data, and an accelerometer can be easily added.

Digitspace were kind enough to send me a free voucher for the two main parts of this project:

In return, I agreed to write up the project here. It looks like makers are free to submit their own requests for sponsorship via their website.

The Digitspace store seems pretty good. They have plenty of selection, and from what I can tell it's almost all maker-friendly open-source gear. At the moment, the product pages don't have a whole lot of information on them, but because the designs are open you can find it via your favourite search engine.