Time synchronization setup of a MeteoHelix LoRaWAN weather station on TTN

QUESTION: Is remote time synchronization possible with the MeteoHelix LoRaWAN weather stations on TTN so that they can send data in 10 minute intervals on the hour?

ANSWER: MeteoHelix weather stations provide the ability to change settings and time synchronization remotely via a LoRaWAN down link connection from The Things Network (TTN) and other LoRa server providers. The below instructions and screenshots will guide you through the setup process.

LoRaWAN & Sigfox remote time synch icon.png

Time Synch on TTN

Log into your The Things Network Console at the following link: https://console.thethingsnetwork.org/

TTN Console quick downlink instructions

  1. In the top horizontal menu, click Applications.

  2. Select the application which contains your device as shown in the screenshots.

  3. In the lower horizontal menu, select Devices.

  4. Next, select the device requiring time synchronization.

  5. In the new lower horizontal menu, select Overview.

  6. Scroll way down to find the Downlink section.

  7. To send the time synchronization, fill out the Downlink section as follows:

    • Scheduling = “replace” or “first

    • FPort = 1

    • Payload = 01 5B E7 03 D0 00 00 00

    • Confirmed = checked or unchecked

Detailed downlink format explanation

Scheduling is set by default to “replace”, thus replacing all currently scheduled downlinks, if any, so that any other previously scheduled downlinks will not be sent. Setting the downlink scheduling to “first” or “last” will put this manually added downlink message in the downlink queue ahead of or after the already scheduled downlinks.

FPort for 99% of use cases will remain set to 1.

Payload format is 8 bytes long. Each pair of symbols is a byte in hexadecimal format as follows:

  • 01 5B E7 03 D0 00 00 00
    The first byte (first pair) identifies the type of message being sent. For time-synch command, the first pair must be 01. (In hexadecimal syntax 0x01)

  • 01 5B E7 03 D0 00 00 00
    The next four bytes (four pairs) contain the Unix Epoch time stamp in hex number format, 5DE703D0, which converts to 1575420880 in our familiar decimal system and in Unix Epoch time to: GMT: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 00:54:40

  • 01 5B E7 03 D0 00 00 00
    The last three bytes ( 3 pairs) are empty (zeros).

Confirmed may be left unchecked for MeteoHelix weather stations.

1. SELECT the application to which the device is connected

2. SELECT YOUR DEVICE for time synch from the list of available devices (make sure the dot indicating connection status is green next to the device address)

3. under device info, scroll down and fill out the downlink section and click send


Preparing time-synch downlink payload

If the last received data arrives at 20:19:47, 13 seconds too early, the internal time of the weather station is 13 seconds ahead of official GMT time. Since data is set by default to 10 minute intervals, we will send the weather station the last received time plus 10:00 minutes, since the downlink data on LoRa devices can only be received in a short window of time right after the device uploads its sensor data.

Converting date and time to downling message hexadecimal format

Your input:
(Date & time of last recieved data +
10 minutes)
Converted to Unix epoch
decimal date and time
20190412 20:19:47 1555100387
Decimal epoch date and timeConverted to hex epoch date and time
1555100387 5CB0F2E3
  1. Add 10 minutes to the last recived data time stamp 20:19:47 + 10 minutes = 20:29:47

  2. Convert time “YYYYMMDD 20:29:47” to Unix Epoch time stamp to Unix ten digit decimal format: Date & time to Unix Epoch decimal format converter

  3. Convert the decimal time stamp to four byte hexadecimal format for insertion into the time-sych message: Decimal-to-hex converter

Creating the downling message hexadecimal format

  1. Time-synch command is 0x01 in hex format: 01

  2. Append the four byte hex date and time after the 01 command: 01 5C B0 F2 E3

  3. Append three empty bytes (00 00 00) so the total message length is 8 bytes: 01 5C B0 F2 E3 00 00 00


Advanced downlink scheduling on TTN

Advanced information on how to setup automatic downlinks using your application as connected to the TTN LoRa server can be found here: https://www.thethingsnetwork.org/docs/applications/mqtt/api.html#downlink-messages


How does the MeteoHelix automatically handle time synchronization?

All that is required is for the MeteoHelix IoT Pro to recieve a Unix time stamp of the last received data in the form of the above specified 0x01 hex command. It then performs time synchronization according to an internal algorithm which also prevents the duplicate sending of messages after time synchronization has been performed.

The internal real time clock is very accurate and only drifts a few seconds per week. Thus, time synchronization should only be required every few weeks to maintain accurate data uplink intervals, unless environmental temperatures are highly variable.

If time time on device is sent forward and skips over the 10min sending internal time ( 29:36 -> 30:05) than the data from the last 9:36 will be averaged together with the next 10min interval data and be sent at 40:00 time.

Recieve window 1 length

Receive window 2 length

Acknowledge (Ack) timeout is set to 2 seconds. Modem resets if Ack timeout (message 2D) is received.

MeteoHelix IoT Pro LoRaWAN micro weather station in agriculture

MeteoHelix IoT Pro LoRaWAN micro weather station in agriculture

Sigfox Country Frequencies (RC1, RC2, RC3, RC4)

Sigfox Logo.jpg

QUESTION: What Sigfox wireless frequency plan do I require for my country?

Answer: Sigfox wireless is available in a select set of countries. If your country is on the following list (valid as of April 2019) Sigfox wireless is available in your country through a single operator. Throughout the world, Sigfox is available in four frequency bands which are named RC1, RC2, RC3 and RC4. For a Sigfox device to operate in your country, it is important to choose the correct frequency band from the list below:


RC1

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Hungary, Iran , Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mayotte, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom

Radio Configuration 1: 868-878.6 MHz with EIRP* = 16 dBm. 

RC2

Brazil, Canada, Mexico, United States

Radio Configuration 2: 902.1375-904.6625 MHz with EIRP* = 24 dBm.


RC3

Japan

Radio Configuration 3: 922.3-923.5MHz with an EIRP* = 16 dBm and conducted power is <= 13 dBm.

RC4

Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guam, Honduras, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Uruguay

Radio Configuration 4: 920.1375-922.6625 MHz with EIRP* = 24 dBm.


RC5

South Korea

Radio Configuration 5: 922-923.4 MHz with EIRP* = 14 dBm.

RC6

India

Radio Configuration 6: 865-867 MHz with EIRP* = 16 dBm.


More detailed information about Sigfox wireless coverage and a link to your local Sigfox operator can be found on the Sigfox worldwide website: https://www.sigfox.com/en/coverage

More information about Sigfox wireless weather station solutions can be found here: https://partners.sigfox.com/companies/barani-design-technologies-s.r.o.

* EIRP = Effective Isotropic Radiated Power

Time synchronization setup of the MeteoHelix Sigfox weather station

QUESTION: Is remote time synchronization possible with the MeteoHelix weather stations so that they can send data in 10 minute intervals on the hour?

ANSWER: MeteoHelix weather stations provide the ability to change settings and time synchronization remotely via a Sigfox down link connection. The below instructions and screenshots will guide you through the simple setup process.

LoRaWAN & Sigfox remote time synch icon.png

Time Synch setup for Sigfox

Login to your Sigfox backend: backend.sigfox.com

  1. Click on Device Type in the horizontal menu.

  2. Navigate to the List in the left menu under Device Type: backend.sigfox.com/devicetype/list

  3. Under the Name column, select a device type as shown in the pictures.

  4. The left menu will change and select the menu item called Information.

  5. In the upper right click the Edit button as shown in the pictures.

  6. Next screen finally display the Downlink Data setup section where you will need to configure the following:

    1. For Downlink mode, select Direct.

    2. For Downlink data in hexa, enter the this text: 01{time}000000

  7. Click OK at the bottom of the page to save the changes.

1. Select your device type in the name column

2. click edit in the upper right of the device type information

3. Enter the downlink time data format in the downlink section

MeteoHelix IoT Pro Sigfox agricultural weather station

MeteoHelix IoT Pro Sigfox agricultural weather station