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I am currently working on a project that is dealing with LoRaWAN and I got everything working with the LoRa is sending information to each of the devices, but I was wondering if this device has a built in GPS or would I need to buy a separate GPS module for the LoRa Node? My goal is too have a LoRa device that can track an object and use a web app to show the user where the LoRa node is. Any suggestions? I would really appreciate it!
Hi Matt,

The LoRa Gateway 1-Channel does not have a built-in GPS module. You would need to use a separate GPS module or board connected to the LoRa via I2C, serial UART or SPI to send GPS data via the LoRa Gateway. The LoRa Gateway has a Qwiic connector for an easy I2C connection with one of our various Qwiic GPS breakouts. You can view those as well as our other GPS modules, boards, and antennas in our GPS category here.
The XA1110 Breakout would be a good option for this. Especially since it has a Qwiic connector on it, making it easy to connect directly to the LoRa board with a Qwiic cable like this. The XA1110 does not necessarily need an external antenna but for the best results, you will want to use an external antenna. Something like this GPS/GNSS Magnetic Mount Antenna will work great. You will need a u.Fl adapter cable like this u.Fl to SMA adapter to go from the u.Fl connector on the XA1110 Breakout to the SMA connector on the antenna.

For some example code and to learn more about the XA1110 GPS Breakout, I would recommend reading through our Hookup Guide for this board.
Sounds good, I ordered the XA1110. Another thing is that we want to display the coordinates onto a LCD/OLED and do you know if you can code that from the LoRa device? Or would I have to connect the LCD/OLED to an Arduino? The LCD that we have connect to a breadboard currently, but was wondering if we just should connect the LoRa device to a breadboard to display the coordinates or not. Any suggestions?
The ESP32 WROOM module on the LoRa Gateway can definitely handle sending data to an LCD/OLED attached to the board. It has 14 GPIO pins broken out for use with external devices like an LCD or OLED. To keep things simple, you may want to use something like our Micro OLED Breakout (Qwiic). That will connect to the I2C bus via Qwiic just like the XA1110 Breakout. Another fairly easy option would be to use one of the SparkFun SerLCDs. Those can be set up to communicate via serial, SPI or I2C so you can choose your preferred method to send data to the display.

One note about the code for the Qwiic OLED Breakout as well as the XA1110 is you will most likely need to declare your I2C pins in the Wire.begin() function in the setup of your code since the ESP32 does not have a hardware I2C bus that is defined by the Wire library. Instead, the SDA and SCL pins are defined by the board definitions. The default pins for I2C on the ESP32 LoRa Gateway are set to 21 for SDA and 22 for SCL so just set those pins in the Wire.begin(); function.
I am currently trying to use the GPS module and I am trying to follow the SparkFun example to make sure the module works. I am trying to hook it up directly to the LoRa device and I am trying to use the code. The code runs, it just says that the location is not yet valid and I am unsure if it is because I am using the LoRa module. All that comes up on serial monitor is "Location not yet valid". I was unsure in the walk through when it talks about if the satellite has a fix or not. I was pretty confused about that and I think that might be what's wrong with it.
Hi Matt,

If you're seeing "Location Not Yet Valid" printing in the serial monitor, that just means the GPS has not gotten a lock yet. If you are not using an external antenna on the XA1110 Breakout, make sure the module has a clear view of the sky and keep testing. The cold start should take 15 seconds if the module has a clear view of the sky but if there are large buildings or something else to cause interference, it can take longer. Try moving the XA1110 into a position with a better view and you should be able to get a lock and the longitude/latitude data should start printing.
Thank you, and another thing is that I am trying to figure out how to send the data from the LoRa node to the LoRa gateway. I see the data but im trying to relay messages from one lora to another lora. Not sure if I need to use a decoder to decode the messages. I was trying to go through the code that sparkfun uses and go off of that but I don't really think I want to use the internet to use these devices. I fairly new to the coding aspect of this kind of stuff.