New Generation Technology Part 1: Understanding the LoRa SmartHub™ 

Long Range
Long Range

As part of Giatec’s continued efforts to revolutionize the construction industry, one of the newest products released is the new generation SmartHub™ – Long Range (LoRa). In this blog we will discuss the answers to all the questions about LoRa, providing insights and introducing the end-user to the latest technology. You can also read the second part of this LoRa series here. Let us get started. 

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An Introduction to LoRa

LoRa is an advanced, innovative, remote monitoring system that enables you to access your concrete data at any time, from any location. The device automatically connects to up to 100 sensors on the jobsite via LTE. Then, it is synchronized to the SmartRock™ app on your team’s mobile devices. As for the cloud Sync Frequency, the Hub updates the sensor data at a regular interval of 15-min.  

The operating temperature of the LoRa is tested at an impressive range. It goes as low as 40℉ and high as 140℉ (-40℃ to 60℃). With the LoRa-compatible sensors connected to the Long-Range Smart Hub, data collection can be performed effectively and safely even at hard-to-reach places.  

How is LoRa different from previous generations of SmartHub?

This is a common question that every user comes across. With the SmartRock sensor and SmartHub still on the market, what is new about LoRa?  

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Giatec customers would know that the SmartHub and the SmartRock sensors are making their rounds around the clock. We are always looking for ways to improve our existing products to better suit the customers’ needs and address their concerns. As a result, we now have the LoRa. 

One of the significant characteristics of LoRa sensors is their impressive wireless range. The previous generation of SmartHub has a wireless signal range of up to 60 feet (or 18 meters). However, LoRa hubs are significantly more powerful as they have an effective wireless signal range of up to 1,000 feet (300 meters). This ensures the safety of workers and better-quality control of concrete located in hard-to-reach or hazardous locations. 

Another great feature is that the LoRa SmartHub collects data entirely based on remote monitoring. The concrete data recorded by the sensor is collected by the Hub 24/7 and pushed to the cloud platform Giatec 360. Then, the synced data becomes available to the end-users on the SmartRock app on their mobile devices.  

In addition to that, users will still have the option to collect data with their smartphones at any time, independently of whether the SmartRock is connected to a LoRa SmartHub or not.  

How does LoRa work?

LoRa Installation

  • The LoRa SmartHub can be easily activated and installed in 3 simple steps. 
  • Once the Hub is turned on, the internet connection gets established in about 5-10 mins. Internet access can be set in two ways. Either by an Ethernet connection requiring access through a dedicated RJ45 cable or by a 3G/4G cellular connection requiring a SIM Card and a data subscription. The latter is included at the time of purchase and can be renewed. 
  • It is important to install the LoRa hub in an unobstructed location with reliable and continuous access to a power supply. This will ensure a stable and smooth connection with the sensors and allow 24/7 remote monitoring and real-time alerts.

External Power Supply

  • Unlike the previous SmartHub, the LoRa requires a continuous external power supply for the uninterrupted functioning of the device. This allows LoRa to collect data continuously. This is made possible through the Ker link Hub-like setup which can be seen in the image attached below. 

Sensor Compatibility

  • The new technology LoRa SmartHub is only compatible with the SmartRock Long-Range sensors and cannot establish a connection with the SmartRock 3 or SmartRock 2 sensors. This is because the SmartRock Long-Range sensors are designed specifically to meet up with the LoRa Smart Hub’s functionalities.  
  • The Long-Range sensors that are within the range of the LoRa Hub will get connected in about 30 – 45 mins. 

Data Transmission

  • In case a power outage or interruption takes place, the LoRa Smart Hub will transmit all the missed data as soon as the connection is re-established.  

SmartRock Long-Range vs. other SmartRock sensors 

The SmartRock and SmartRock – LoRa sensors are similar in hardware. However, the LoRa sensors are capable of a higher wireless range when connected to the SmartHub – Long Range. For their installation, the sensors must be installed at no more than 2 inches deep below the concrete surface.

With a higher installation depth, the sensor’s wireless range could be reduced. SmartRock Long-Range sensors have a wireless range of up to 60 ft (18 m) when embedded at 2 inches depth and about 1000 ft (300 m) when the black box is placed outside. This means that the sensor installation depth affects the wireless range. Despite this, installing the SmartRock Long-Range at a higher depth is advantageous compared to the SmartRock 3. 

Read part 2 of our Long Range blog series here.

Giatec’s SmartHub – Long Range is now available in the North American market exclusively. Visit Giatec’s Knowledge Center for more information.

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