RAK5860 for MQTT/Internet connectivity?

I’m wondering if the RAK5860 NB-IoT module on a wisblock with a RAK4630 is something to go for in terms of linking out the LoRa signal from a remote location to the internet/ MQTT and if there may be support for this in the future?
I very much like the RAK hardware, quality wise it’s very good and small form factor. I’m also very surprised at how low power these things are. I have had two 4630’s running for weeks now in router mode in the tiny solar panel enclosure they sell. At my northern latitude the sun is up almost permanently now but nevertheless it’s impressive that they can run permanently off of such a small panel, they’re just on a 2650 mAh battery each.

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@mc-hamster, I am “reviving” this topic as I am wondering if some non-wifi way of connecting to the internet is something that will be considered for the 1.3 or 2.0 versions of meshtastic? I was interested in the RAK5860 mainly for the low power consumption and small size of the overall solution.

I am trying to connect a small mesh network in a remote location to my home via a 4G / NB IoT enabled node on a mountaintop with 4G signal.

As far as I understand the only way to do this at the moment is via a mobile phone as a hotspot connected to a node with MQTT enabled, is that correct?

Currently the only way to do this is using an esp32 based device connected to some sort of wifi (like a phone hotspot.

Internet connection and low power don’t really go together all that well, even if you had a RAK with very low power consumption, adding a cellular modem of some sort will greatly increase the power consumption anyway.

There aren’t any projects underway to add another internet connection, I think we’d need a board with Lora and cell modem together to make that work

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Thanks for your reply @joshpirihi.
That’s why I thought the RAK 5860 might be a possible solution as it could be added to the existing RAK4630 LORA boards we are using and e.g could just be turned on when there is an incoming message to relay, or even just turned on once or twice a day through the store and forward functionality.
My expectation was that this NRF52 based NB IoT connection would of course use more power than just LORA on its own, but significantly less than an esp32 sending WiFi to a mobile (which is running a fair amount of extraneous overhead) and then out to the net.

I guess this isn’t the main concept for meshtastic, but it would be useful. Maybe in version 3.0 or 4.0 :slight_smile:

I’m not aware of anyone building support for the RAK 5860 but if someone would like to, we’ll gladly accept the contribution! Having direct support for LTE would be totally rad!

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I looked at if I could do it myself, but from my extremely limited experience of programming it did look a bit daunting. I got some help here 4G NB-IoT for daily low power link to internet and found some sample code from RAK I thought I could integrate (read copy paste and assign some pins), but after opening the project in VS code I realised this was a bit more than some Arduino blinkenlights stuff :slight_smile:

This is the example code I found for the 5860

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Yea there is more and more people building sensor networks where cellular backhaul would be useful. I guess right now there is a balance between putting in some development effort to make cellular work (which there is no effort I know of) vs just buying a 20 watt solar panel instead of 1 watt, then running a hotspot setup instead

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This feature request is the plumbing necessary to add secondary AT devices to a meshtastic node. Feature Request: MeshAPI over UART · Issue #1204 · meshtastic/Meshtastic-device · GitHub

It is probably a lot of code to write when portable hotspots exist, AT commands are not super fun.

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I am revisiting this as I am wondering if Mesh API over UART or some other support for the RAK5860 is planned for 1.3, or 2.0?

The GitHub issue remains open, no work has been done

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