“LabNotes” OpenMQTTgateway with LoRa32 V2.1.6

Here are my notes and observations as a newbie to this hardware and package.

The inspiration for this activity came from Andreas Spiess Youtube video entitled OpenMQTTGateway Connects Many Things at your Home Automation at https://youtu.be/_gdXR1uklaY For me, this became a new, third way of interacting with 433MHz devices, the other two being the discrete Tx and Rx RF modules, and the Sonoff RFbridge especially after flashing it with Tasmota.

Concerning mi configuration

  • masOS BigSur on iMac15,1
  • OpenMQTTGateway 1.4.0 from https://docs.openmqttgateway.com running on Chrome
  • MQTT Mosquitto broker running as a service on Orange pi PC2
  • NodeRed V3 running on Orange pi PC2
  • HomeAssistant dockerized running on Raspberrypi4

Concerning the hardware

I ordered from aliexpress 2 units of LILYGO®TTGO LoRa32 V2.1 _ 1,6 versión 433/868/915Mhz ESP32 LoRa OLED 0,96  from the official Lilygo store. Cost to Spain was 47 USD including shipping. Whenever testing a new device I tend to buy at least 2 units.

First issue was an apparent confusion about the product naming and wondering whether I was sent the correct version.

Question 1: On the order and invoice it shows clearly “LILYGO TTGO LoRa32 V2.1_1.6 ” version, but the markings on the board are: T3_V1.6.1 20210104

Answer 1: LoRa32 V2.1.6 and LoRa32 V1.6.1 are the same product. The full name of his version is V2.1.6.1. V2.1.6 is defined from the perspective of product series, and V1.6.1 is defined from the perspective of hardware. Different names just omit part of the name, as replied by Henry from the LILYGO TEAM

Question 2: I bought 2 boards. One is already running OpenMQTTGateway and *SPOILER* works ok. The other has factory firmware.  It loads with PAXCOUNTER V3.2.1 and seems to count wifi and ble, with the green LED flashing fast. However I did not find any documentation on how to interact with this factory loaded firmware.

Answer 2: ESP32-Paxcounter is at https://github.com/cyberman54/ESP32-Paxcounter

Concerning the upload to T3_V1.6.1 aka LoRa32 V2.1.6

  • First attempt with iMac, OMG 1.4.0 / Option 1 upload from web / lilygo-rtl_433 / erase flash: loaded ok. Reboot dev board and never shows welcome OMG screen and no WiFi AP
  • Reboot, reload and repeat: no progress
  • Try again but this time select esp32de-rtl_433 and multiple errors result.
  • Check community board and DigiH recommends reviewing the GitHub post at https://github.com/1technophile/OpenMQTTGateway/issues/1482#issuecomment-1445158358
  • Given the expected workload, I quickly seek to borrow a WIN machine.
  • Using a windows machine and Edge, the first upload attempt is a success
  • Now opening MQTT Explorer, I see a plethora of RF sensors. Here is one of them seen on MQTT explorer at the topic OpenMQTT/….
  • I changed the top level topic from home/ to OpenMQTT/ by publishing an MQTT command to $SYS
    • $ mosquitto_pub -t "home/OpenMQTTGateway_lilygo_rtl_433_ESP/commands/MQTTtoSYS/config" -m '{ "mqtt_topic":"OpenMQTT/"}'

Comparing the sensor messages from LoRa32 and SonOff RF Bridge

While the same sensors were captured on both hardware with similar latency (of a second or so), I noticed that the decoding of the data field from a remote example are presented slightly differently. For example: (TBD)

Other feedback

From DigiH at OMG, I got the reminder to check that proper drivers are loaded, and link to this GitHub article: https://github.com/WCHSoftGroup/ch34xser_macos At this time I have not checked the status, so TBD.


Since the dev board is based on a ESP32, it would be rather beneficial to get a firmware that not only includes the 433 MHz functionalities but also the BLE functionalities.

And why not dream big: an integrated firmware that incorporates 433, BLE and also IR so that from a single board we can operate a supergateway in a multimodal way for incorporation with NodeRed, HA and so on.


On a MacBookAirM1 that needed complete setup, after loading the drivers for the CH9102 serial port chip, the OpenMQTTGateway web installer worked perfectly fine. Hmmm, so I went back to the iMac15,1 running BigSur, downloaded the ch34xser_macos and installed. Voila! OMG Web install also worked perfectly on the configuration. So it was a group7 failure (“equipment not a fault”).


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