Friday, June 4, 2021

LORA APRS Tracker using T-Beam ESP32 with GPS

 Setting up a  LoRa APRS Tracker on 433Mhz.

I need to build a Tracker for LORA on 433Mhz and I hate two options to consider.

Using the same TTGO-T-Beam ESP32 with GPS and Lora 433Mhz module that will be the same as my Lora Igate board.

Setting up a Lora APRS tracker using the ESP32 Lora32 TTGO-T T-Beam 433/470Mhz Module.

 Here is picture of how the Lora signal looks like


I was looking for a low power battery backup APRS Lora system to track Balloons and cars.

I then got the TTGO-T T-Beam witch has ESP32 with WIFI and Bluetooth.
It also has a GPS Ublock and a Lora32 TTGO 433/470Mhz and USB port.

This module is available from Giga Technology here



I found a project on Github
It seems to be strate foreword replacing the default firmware in the SP32

So lets get Started

Lets download the project from github here

On your pc run the following

git clone

cd LoRa_APRS_Tracker/

I Recommend installing Visual Studio Code with PlatformIO plugin.

PlatformIO can be downloaded directly from the PlatformIO website. There you just have to press the green button with “Install PlatformIO now”. Then just install it. If you have already installed Visual Studio Code, the PlatformIO Module can also be installed via the Plugin Manager. Now the source code can be opened in Visual Studio Code.

Start your Code editor
First we have to make some adjustments to the  data/is-code.json file
We now need to edit the is-code.json settings as follows

The callsign must be changed (line 3) 
The SSID and password must be filled in of you WIFI.
Latitude and Longitude must always be filled in.  
If you don't have your coordinates in your head, simply open Google Maps, right-click on the desired location and click on ‘What's there?’  
These settings have to be changed if you want to use an iGate: the active in wifi and aprs must be set from false to true.
These settings have to be changed to get a Digi: the active in digi must be set from false to true.
It is not recommended to run an iGate and a Digi at the same time. This will be checked in a later version and only the settings of the iGate will run (presumably the Digi Mode will be active when no WiFi connection can be established - let's see). May board dont have the display but I dont think you have to change any of the setting.

Choosing the right board in Platformio plug in Code

Now the right board has to be selected, because each board is wired a little differently (the GPIOs are used differently) or has additional components. This can be changed in the status bar, which is currently still in Default.  
 Here is example of platformio.ini file. Select TTGO_T_Beam_V1_0 as in picture below

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