If you’re developing and testing LoRaWAN devices, consider adding the RedwoodComm RWC5021P to your testing toolkit. This compact device tester includes a special LoRaWAN network server designed for testing devices. The network server supports LoRaWAN 1.0.2, V1.0.3, V1.0.4 and V1.1.0, and supports Class A, Class B and Class C operation. You can test OTAA or ABP devices, and change many network server parameters, including receive-window timing, subband, ADR, and join behavior. If your device includes compliance mode support (LoRaWAN port 200), the network server can automatically put your device in compliance mode when starting tests.
In conjunction with a controlling PC, the RWC5021P can be used in engineering to test all aspects of the LoRaWAN protocol implementation in a device, as well as testing RF performance, and it can run full device pre-certification tests for a variety of regions. With MCCI’s Python API, it can be used for continuous integration (CI) testing and software design verification.
How it works
The RWC5021P connects to the control computer (a PC running Windows 10 or Windows 11) via Ethernet or USB Type-C®. If using Ethernet, a separate USB charger is required. If connecting via USB, the RWC5021P gets its power from the USB host. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is supported with a separate PoE splitter (purchased separately).
It connects to your device-under-test via a coax cable (SMA). (You can connect wirelessly, but the front-end sensitivity is tuned for coax connection, and so the wireless range is very limited.)
The RWC5021P has a sophisticated programmable RF front end that can operate over a wide range of frequencies, from 400 MHz to 510 MHz, or 862 MHz to 928 MHz (selected at time of purchase), and a microprocessor running LoRaWAN gateway software and a specialized Network Server. It can operate in several modes.
- It can simulate a gateway and the LoRaWAN network server. This means that devices under test can join the RWC5021P’s built-in network as if they were joining the real network; and the RWC5021P can simulate networks that are not otherwise available in your engineering lab. Uplink and downlink packets are captured and displayed by the PC application. This mode is basically automatic; you start the network server, and enter any desired downlink commands via the application.
- Through the application, you can vary network parameters such as packet preamble (public or private), RX1 window timing, subband, ADR settings, link-status responses, and so forth. This mode is more manual than the pure network server.
- It can run test procedures that closely track the LoRa Alliance test procedures used by test labs for certification.
While performing testing, the RWC5021P can vary the RF parameters, to ensure that the device is tested in a variety of situations.
Supported Device Classes and LoRaWAN releases
The RWC5021P supports testing LoRaWAN Class A, Class B, and Class C operation, and supports LoRaWAN 1.0.2, 1.0.3, 1.0.4, and 1.1 protocols.
A very important use case of the RWC5021P is preparing for LoRaWAN certification at a test lab. The RWC5020M has comprehensive pre-compliance test procedures for LoRaWAN spec version 1.0.3 and 1.0.4.
Pre 1.0.4 region-specific procedures are available for the following regions.
- EU 863-870 MHz (requirement spec V1.6)
- US 902-928 MHz (requirement spec V1.5.1)
- Asia AS 923 MHz (requirement spec V1.1.1)
- South Korea 920-923 MHz (requirement spec V1.2.1)
- India 865 MHz (requirement spec V1.1.1)
With version 1.0.4 of the LoRaWAN spec, certification tests are no longer region-specific. The RWC5021P includes support for V1.0.4 requirement specification V1.1.
All operation of the RWC5021P can be controlled by a remote PC, using either Ethernet or USB control. An open-source Python test library is available from MCCI to simplify test development. The library has been tested both on PCs and on Raspberry Pi systems, allowing for cost-effective deployment in a lab environment.
The RWC502x family has three members, the RWC5021P, the RWC5020M, and the RWC5020B.
The RWC5020M expands the RWC5021P’s capabilities to add gateway test support. It offers a full range of RF tests for both device and gateway, and also adds manufacturing test capabilities. Like the RWC5021P, it’s computer-controlled, and requires a separate test computer. It can be ordered either for low band (400 MHz to 510MHz) or high band (862 MHz to 960 MHz).
The RWC5020B stand-alone tester has the most features. It combines dual-band support (400 MHz to 510 MHz and 862 MHz to 960 MHz) with extensive front-panel control and an LCD display. The RWC5020B and RWC5020M have the same RF and test capabilities.
RedwoodComm also offers a cost-effective, high-performance RF shielding enclosure, the RWC7001A.
|Frequency||Range: 400 MHz to 510 MHz or 852 MHz to 960 MHz (determined at time of order)|
|Resolution: 100 Hz|
|Output Level||Range: 0 dBm to -30 dBm|
|Resolution: 0.1 dB|
|Accuracy: ±2 dB|
|Impedance: 50 Ω|
|Input Level||+30 dBm to -80 dBm for Power Measurement|
|Measurement Accuracy||±3 dB for Power|
|VSWR||Better than 1:1.5|
|Remote Programming Ports||RJ45 (Ethernet, 100BT)|
|USB-C® (virtual COMM port using FTDI USB to serial adapter)|
|Miscellaneous||Dimensions: 100 mm x 30 mm x 140 mm (W x H x D)|
|RF Interface: SMA-F|
|Power Input: USB 5 V, 0.5 A|
|Weight: 0.5 kg|
|Included Accessories:||USB cable (STD A to Type C)|
|SMA RF cable (SMA-M to SMA-M)|
|Ethernet cable (RJ45 to RJ45)|
|User-Supplied Accessories:||USB charger (if needed)|
|Windows host computer (Windows 10 or Windows 11)|
Lots more information is available from RedwoodComm’s site: check the RWC5021P home page.
Why buy from MCCI?
For over 25 years, MCCI has been offering tools and software to engineers around the world. We’ve been doing LoRaWAN since 2016, and we are very actively involved in LoRaWAN deployments in New York City, Ithaca, NY, and in India. Our engineers have a deep practical understanding of LoRaWAN and the importance of good test equipment when solving real-world problems. We can arrange a demo via the web, or hands-on in person.