Communication range too low!

I have two LoRa WiFi 32 v2. With full power and PABOOST I can only reach up to 100m p2p communication between these two in open field. This is nothing in comparison to the nominal 20 km LoRa standard claims.
Do I need the gateway to reach closer to the nominal range? If so how much improvement should I expect to see?

What sort of antenna are you using? How high off the ground are the devices?

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This is the default antenna that came with the device. Devices were between 0.5 (a big dog’s neck) and 1.0m height. Line of sight.

What frequency are you using they look like 433 MHz.These sort of antennas are helical antennas and have no ground plane and will have a poor radiation pattern how are you supporting them? At least keep vertical at both ends if not and one end laying down you will be in a null.I would not expect a good range with these antennas you need ones that work to a defined ground plane.These typically at best have a loss of -3dB compared to a isotropic radiator. I would a better aerial either one designed for use with or with out ground plane. Then you will get A few km non line of site.Antenna are key in radio systems. Simon

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There will also be a challenge with the fresnel zone - think of a thin ellipse stretched between transmitter & receiver, anything that is in the oval (like the ground in this case) will reflect the signal which can add or subtract to the final signal that arrives at the antenna.

Get the receiver end up high and use a ~$20 whip (mag-mount) antenna - this will do a lot to eliminate the fresnel effects. With a more sensitive antenna you should be able to compensate for the random orientation of the dog’s collar transmitter.

What spreading factor / bandwidth / coding rate are you set to? - If you are only sending a few bytes, finding a middle ground like SF9 or 10 with a lower bandwidth should let the signal get through. SF’s of 11 or 12 don’t work so well with moving transmitters. There’s plenty of combinations to try out if you have time for the different SF, bandwidth & coding rates. Google will fill you in on the details.

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Thank you for your comprehensive answers! As you exactly said, these antennas are very bad. I’m in Europe so I’m using the 868 band, but the antennae seem to be made for 433 MHz.
This video analyzed their impedance.

So I guess the next step is either get better antennae or try another board. Thanks!

The board is good the issues are normally the antenna and how that is placed.Be aware that a lot of antennas often sold for 868 MHz are in fact not just for that band but for GSM and need to be altered.If you look at site forum and look at big and small antennas.This is a great source of knowledge and shows examples as well of how to make them. Simon

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