Long Range Burglar Alarm Relies On LoRa Modules

[Elite Worm] had a problem; there had been two minor burglaries from a storage unit. The unit had thick concrete walls, cellular signal was poor down there, and permanent wiring wasn’t possible. He thus set about working on a burglar alarm that would fit his unique requirements.

An ESP32 is the heart of the operation, paired with a long-range LoRa radio module running at 868 MHz. This lower frequency has much better penetration when it comes to thick walls compared to higher-frequency technologies like 4G, 5G or WiFi. With a little coil antenna sticking out the top of the 3D-printed enclosure, the device was readily able to communicate back to [Elite Worm] when the storage unit was accessed illegitimately.

With an eye to security, the device doesn’t just warn of door open events. If signal is lost from the remote transmitter in the storage unit, perhaps due to an advanced adversary cutting the power, the alarm will also be raised. There’s still some work to be done on the transmitter side, though, as [Elite Worm] needs to make sure the door sensor is reliable under all conditions.

Many put their hardware skills to work in service of security, and we regularly see proprietary alarm systems modified by enterprising hackers. Video after the break.

15 thoughts on “Long Range Burglar Alarm Relies On LoRa Modules

  1. Very cool project, LolRa seems a great fit for distant low power sensors.

    Anyone familiar with hacking proprietary LoRa widgets? I got a Yolink lora gateway and the company has been promising MQTT to allow for a cloud-less use of their sensors. The community seems to be increasingly unhappy with them. How hard would it to get a LORA hat for a PI and talk to their sensors?

    1. I would recommend YoLink to my friends cause it’s nice hardware. But I’m returning mine. I need cloudless. I have a remote location which is some times has no WiFi. I have experimented with long range Lora to link to that location, 2.5 miles away. I was able to get a few packets. With the right antenna I can link with all my sensors there. Going custom an building my own Lora devices!

  2. If you could use a radio in the 400MHz range the penetration would be even better. I used to work in an R&D setting and once we hired Georgia Tech Research Institute to do a building penetration study of commonly used public sector radio frequencies. This in the 400MHz band penetrated the best into modern office buildings. Try 450MHz.

  3. 4G/LTE Narrowband penetrates very well (there’s a typical 20dB gain over normal 4G) and also there are LTE bands as low as ~700MHz. But all of that does depend on your local network operator playing ball. It also has the disadvantage of maintaining an active SIM.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.