Custom Wireless Sensor Design
Many sensor applications require customization, particularly those intended for high volume use
Aside from the RF and other wireless considerations discussed in the next section, development of LoRaWAN devices and other LoRaWAN design services requires extensive industry experience. There are freely available code bases and reference designs for LoRaWAN end devices, however, new users find that there are many subtleties of this protocol that will cause reliability issues in the field if they are not addressed up front.
These considerations are numerous, and Radio Bridge has worked through all of these over the years. By being early adopters of LoRaWAN technology and obtaining field testing time across all major gateway vendors, network servers, regional frequency bands, and other variables, we can ensure that the core IP of Radio Bridge sensors will be rugged and reliable.
Radio Frequency (RF) circuit design for wireless sensors requires knowledge and experience in the wireless domain. Many engineers mistakenly believe that they can simply follow a reference design and then later find that their RF circuit performs very poorly or not at all. Understanding the physical characteristics of the medium or materials that the circuit is design on, the environment, the enclosure, ground planes, antennas, etc all factor into the efficiency of the radio and subsequent certification of the product. Knowledge of FCC and other certification standards is critical as is the equipment needed to properly tune and test your circuit prior to entering a certification lab.
For a combined device (multiple sensor types in one), we typically recommend using multiple devices from our standard product portfolio for initial testing, and then a commitment on MOQ (minimum order quantity) will often be sufficient for us to move forward with the combined device design.
Minor changes to the firmware are often fairly simple, and again, a small commitment for a minimum order quantity is often all that is required. This may include custom payload structures, custom data conversions, custom reporting requirements, or countless other tweaks necessary for seamless integration into the end customer’s system.
Modifying the PCB hardware can also be a straightforward task, however there may be additional costs for prototyping, test fixture development, FCC certification, etc. In this case there will usually be a small NRE (non-recurring engineering cost) to cover these expenses.