433Mhz LoRa Icasa regulations

Klaasvakie

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May 19, 2014
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I'm working on a project where we would like to create a 433MHZ network using DRF1278F LoRa modules. We will be transporting these modules for use at different locations and will only be used every second week or so for a few hours every day for three days. We are considering to sell a few of these devices. I tried reading the ICASA regulations but I can't figure out how it applies to LoRa modulation.

The reason I would like to use the LoRa modulation is because the devices might sometimes be located up to 500 meters away from each other with a lot of obstacles (walls etc.) in the way.

Will I need to apply for a license and will I be able to sell the devices I make with the LoRa modules?
 

Mr.Jax

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Sep 22, 2009
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I believe the 433MHz frequency falls inside the ISM (free for all) band, so no licensing required.
 

Klaasvakie

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May 19, 2014
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I believe the 433MHz frequency falls inside the ISM (free for all) band, so no licensing required.

I know the 433MHz frequency falls inside the ISM, but I would assume that since LoRa allows communication up to several kilometers that there would be some regulations prohibiting it. Maybe if you use more than a certain Wattage or so.
 

AntennaMan

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Apr 17, 2014
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Transmitters in the ISM band is exempt from licensing if transmitting power (EIRP) is lower than 0.5 W.

If going over 0.5 W, then you will need a license from ICASA.

A quick google search of the DRF1278F brought up a datasheet that states max output power is +20dBm. This is 100mW. This will be the power on the output of the board. Your antenna will have some gain, while the coax connecting your antenna to the board will have some losses.

You will need to make sure you stay under 27 dBm.

To calculate this, you can say
Pout - LOSScoax + GAINantenna = Transmitted Power


Example. If your antenna has 3dB gain and you have around 1 dB loss through the coax, your transmitted power will be:
Transmitted power = 20 dBm - 1dB + 3 dB = 22 dBm
 

Klaasvakie

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Joined
May 19, 2014
Messages
5
Transmitters in the ISM band is exempt from licensing if transmitting power (EIRP) is lower than 0.5 W.

If going over 0.5 W, then you will need a license from ICASA.

A quick google search of the DRF1278F brought up a datasheet that states max output power is +20dBm. This is 100mW. This will be the power on the output of the board. Your antenna will have some gain, while the coax connecting your antenna to the board will have some losses.

You will need to make sure you stay under 27 dBm.

To calculate this, you can say
Pout - LOSScoax + GAINantenna = Transmitted Power


Example. If your antenna has 3dB gain and you have around 1 dB loss through the coax, your transmitted power will be:
Transmitted power = 20 dBm - 1dB + 3 dB = 22 dBm

So basically if I don't attach an antenna with too much gain I don't need to apply for a license with ICASA?

I'll be scaling down the transmission power to 3dBm anyway to save on battery life and even that is overkill for my application on LoRa modulation.
 

AntennaMan

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Apr 17, 2014
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2,006
So basically if I don't attach an antenna with too much gain I don't need to apply for a license with ICASA?

I'll be scaling down the transmission power to 3dBm anyway to save on battery life and even that is overkill for my application on LoRa modulation.

Take that 3dBm and add the gain of the antenna. If that is less than 27 dBm, you should be fine.
 
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