WINEXT SX1278 LoRa Module

showcase.jpg

A first look at the WINEXT SX1278 LoRa Module available from banggood.com.

I bought this as it will be easier to solder connections to than the bare Ra-02 boards. This is the product I bought:  https://www.banggood.com/10000M-SX1278-Wireless-Transceiver-Module-LoRa-Long-Range-RF-Data-Transmission-p-1181808.html. The information is lacking or inaccurate in the listing and I couldn’t find any information about these on the web but it appears to function the same as the RA-02 module. In my brief testing so far the signal strength is better – possibly due to the aerial it comes with.

Wire it up using SPI (https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/SPI). If you are using an UNO you can follow the diagram below.

IMPORTANT: Plug in the aerial before connecting the module to power.

WINEXT SX1278 LoRa Wiring Diagram

Install the LoRa library https://github.com/sandeepmistry/arduino-LoRa which is available in the Arduino IDE via Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries. Search for and then install LoRa by Sandeep Mistry as below.

Lora Library Screen Capture

You can test it using the example LoRa sketch LoRaSender but change the line  if (!LoRa.begin(915E6)) {  to   if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) {  so you are using the correct frequency.

#include <SPI.h>
#include <LoRa.h>

int counter = 0;

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
  while (!Serial);

  Serial.println("LoRa Sender");

  if (!LoRa.begin(433E6)) {
    Serial.println("Starting LoRa failed!");
    while (1);
  }
}

void loop() {
  Serial.print("Sending packet: ");
  Serial.println(counter);

  // send packet
  LoRa.beginPacket();
  LoRa.print("hello ");
  LoRa.print(counter);
  LoRa.endPacket();

  counter++;

  delay(5000);
}

Uno Wiring

Wiring on the UNO

WINEXT Wiring

Wiring on the module. Just for testing!

The UNO I have is pretty neat. It has two sets of pins – male and female – so you can use whichever leads you have to hand. I’ve only seen it on the Spanish Ebay site: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201664353033 I couldn’t find it on international sites.

Range

Using the following settings:

LoRa.setSignalBandwidth(10.4E3); // Supported values are 7.8E3, 10.4E3, 15.6E3, 20.8E3, 31.25E3, 41.7E3, 62.5E3, 125E3, and 250E3.
LoRa.setSpreadingFactor(7); // Supported values are between 6 and 12
LoRa.setCodingRate4(8); // Supported values are between 5 and 8
LoRa.setTxPower(18); // Supported values are between 2 and 17

I could send a message from this device to the Heltec Lora device on a nearby hill with line of site at 3km away.

17 Replies to “WINEXT SX1278 LoRa Module”

  1. mohamad says:

    Hi. I just want to ask. Did you test tak maximum range that the device can go?

    many thanks

    1. WordBot says:

      Not yet. So far it’s worked to 3km but I’ve not tested it any further.

  2. Jared says:

    I also would love to know the max range?

    1. WordBot says:

      The max range really depends on your use case. Small packets sent line of sight will be more successful sent long distances than large packets through trees for example.
      If you can use the 433 band where you are, just buy a couple and see if they work for your use case.

  3. Daniele says:

    I’m trying to use it with arduino nano…it seems to work but rssi is -124 so i can get only few cm of distance.
    I also tried to external power supply the radio and the result is the same. Could you help me?

    1. WordBot says:

      Hi,
      Do you have two of these both connected to two different Nanos?

  4. Daniele says:

    Yes, i had 2 sx1278 wininet connected to nano. With original antenna got -124 rssi and few cm connection, if i connect a 1/4 antenna to both ant out i got something about -30 rssi but if i move in anoter room it become -70 or more…its something wrong?!with another e32 lora module i got over 3km with alot wall and buildings between rx and tx…maybe because nano cannot give all power needed from tx?! i also connected tx to the nano with a 3.0v external input but o change…

    1. WordBot says:

      I’m not sure. -30 in the same room is what I’ve seen with other boards with the sx1278 and -70 in another room I would expect. There are so many variables – settings, antenna type, room construction it’s hard to say what is normal. I’m surprised you got 3km with walls and buildings in the way. Normally you would need line of sight at those sort of distances. I have another Winext module. I might test it with a Nano this week.

      1. Daniele says:

        Ah ok thanks alot! So probably the problem is that i tested another radio… a e32 ttl 1w lora…but i also seen that another radio of 100mw like this wininext got same result cdebyte e32 1w. I m talking of appcon rf1276.If you search for this you can see 2 example from official site. A guy make 10km through building and ostacle, another 56km but in open space, so i thinked was the same…

        1. WordBot says:

          I’m not sure how many mw of power you are allowed to use in the frequency bands that are available for Lora. The spec for this item from Banggood isn’t accurate but it’s possible it’s 100mw I suppose. The really long ranges that have been achieved are line of sight but it does work at shorter distances in built up areas.

          For your dog tracking project a mobile phone network based system might be better unless you live in a remote area.

          1. Daniele says:

            Thanks alot!I’ll pay you a coffee man!thanks for your info, anyway gsm tracker is not ok for me…i ll use the other e32 radio module…i was interested in your radio because was really low current expensive.Have a nice day!
            Daniele

          2. WordBot says:

            Thanks for the coffee! Made my day!

  5. Daniele says:

    Anyway, my project is to make i dog tracker. I read all info of most common sold products.It uses from 100mw to max 500mw radio, also for this products is needed line of sight?!Unfurtnately i hadnt oke to test, but i think is common rf…should have the same rules exact?!

  6. louis says:

    i have do it as here ,with 2 arduino uno but i have a rssi of -124 .
    can you explain me if you know what can be wrong .

  7. louis says:

    (at 3 inch)

    1. WordBot says:

      So you have two Arduinos with two sx1278s set up as in the tutorial above? What happens when you try longer distances? Have you tried a range test?

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