The Helium Hotspot is the combination LoRaWAN router and Helium blockchain miner. If you don’t have one, you can buy one here. And if you want to build your own, you absolutely should.

The ability to mine HNT with a 3rd party gateway is currently under development following the conclusion of the DIY Alpha program. Please join the Helium Discord Server and the #hotspot-diy-hardware channel for the latest updates on the roadmap here.

Main Components of DIY Hotspot:

  • Computing with Raspberry Pi4 (Linux)
  • 2GB on-board RAM
    32GB SD card
  • Based on the LoRa Concentrator Engine: Semtech® SX1302
  • Built-in Ublox ZOE-M8Q GPS Module
    Built-in Heat Sink for thermal heat dissipation management
  • Supports 5V/ 3A power supply
  • IP30 housing
  • TX power up to 27dBm, RX sensitivity down to -139 dBm @SF12, BW 125 KHz
  • LoRa® Frequency band support: RU864, IN865, EU868, US915, AU915, KR920, AS923
  • Includes Pi ready ‘ID EE PROM’, GPIO setup, and device tree can be automatically configuredfrom vendor information
  • Supports a fully open source LoRaWAN server

The figure below summarizes the basic building blocks of the RAK Hotspot Miner. The RAK2287 is an essential part of it as it provides all LoRaWAN connectivity. It receives and transmits LoRa Frames and takes care of modulating/demodulating the signals among others. The processing of the LoRa Frames as well as higher-level protocol related tasks are done by the embedded host system (Raspberry Pi). Received and processed LoRa Frames are being sent to a LoRaWAN Server.

You can also use following equipment to build your DIY Hotspot

Raspberry and SD card are needed to run the miner and packet forwarder, while LPS8 as LoRa Gateway.

The set up for LPS8 as hotspot you can find on Discord Channel thanks to clendaniel

I hadn’t written anything up on the config of the LPS8 but it’s pretty easy, here are some loose steps:
1. Get it on the network and make sure to update the firmware, I had issues with the one shipped…currently running 5.4.1593702855
2. It’s running openwrt so is setup as a router for IP traffic, not just LoRa, so you’ll want to disable it as a WAP (System->Network->Enable WiFi Access Point).
3. If you want to use a wifi connection you can enable and config the client on that same page.
4. Go to the LoRa->LoRa config page and ensure the appropriate frequency band is selected. You can also adjust the keepalive to 30sec to more closely match a RAK-based gw as well as bumping the log level if desired.
5. Go to the LoRaWAN->LoRaWAN to setup the miner connection. Select ‘Custom’ for LoRaWAN Service Provider. Spec the IP of your miner instance under Server Address. Set the port you’re using for the miner (typically 1680 if only running one) for both the Upstream and Downstream server ports. Additionally you can spec Lat/Long and an email however neither are used in the default config.

At this point the box should be sending traffic to your miner instance. You can verify by checking console.log as with a local gw instance, with tcpdump or other packet capture tool, and/or through the logs on the Dragino (LogRead->LoRa Log)

NOTE: there are a ton of other configs and modules you can setup with openwrt but this should get the basic functionality. For remote management you’re either going to need webui access or can setup reverse ssh to a remote host (your miner instance is likely most appropriate). Once it’s up you’ll likely rarely need access but it could come in handy.

Dragino LPS8 Manual available here

When you get all of your hardware ready then you can start setting miner and packet forwarder.

You can do it by following the guidance from Helium Development website

You can also find many links to the build tutorials on Helium Awesome thanks to dansku: