After many expermints with LoRa we came up with the idea to design our own PCB. This is the first proto version of the board.
We use the Arduino Pro-mini 3.3v and the HopeRF RFM95 LoRa module. The Arduino regulates the power to 3.3v for the RFM95 (The RFM95 cannot handle 5v). The necessary connections from the Arduino to the RFM95 are made by the PCB so no hassle with wires. For the power suply we use a standard 5v USB powerbank to the RAW pin of the Arduino. The sketch we use is can be found here https://github.com/matthijskooijman/arduino-lmic
The MISO, MOSI and SCK are standard pins on the Arduino we only needed to change the DIO and the NSS pins in the Pin Mapping section of the sketch.
We connected the node to TheThingsNetwork.org by changing the Networksession key, application session key and the device address at the top of the sketch uploaded the sketch to the Arduino and its alive it sends a Hello World message to the things network.
Beacause there are not so many gateways around us we took the node to a watchtower we use the TTN-Mapper app to see if we have connection and to measure the distance to the gateway the antenna we used is a simple 8.2cm copperwire. And yes we got connection about 15KM to 2 gateways
See the full report on the website of TTN mapper.