Is antenna connection essential just to configure

Issue: Antenna connection necessary

Setup: RAK7240

LoRa® Server: TTN

Details: Hi, just wondering if it’s ok to configure gateway with antennas not connected. It’s a bit of a pain having to unpack antennas, connect just to repack and send to customer. Thanks in advance!

You run the risk of burning out the output stage of the transmitters.

Which is why RAK have “connect the antenna” all over its documentation.

You could buy some antenna’s just for testing, then you don’t haver to unpack / repack them.

Yeah thanks Nick, I assumed this was the case, but in a previous post I asked about the gps antenna, and it seemed it wasn’t essential, so thought it would be worth asking the question. Thanks for the reply.

GPS is receiver only …

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A LoRaWAN gateway shouldn’t transmit unless commanded to do so by a network server.

Typically this would happen because:

  • It received a node transmission to which the network server wanted to reply
  • The network server is configured to use the gateway as part of a network operated in a mode with unsolicited beacons
  • The network server sends gateway-to-gateway “pings” for mapping or diagnostic purposes


  • The gateway software itself has some non-standard diagnostic transmission

Operating a gateway in transmit mode without an antenna connected is outside of stress limits; that said, it’s typically not instantly fatal. Having the u.fl connector pop off the card is naturally something that happens to people, it should be avoided, but…

Something you could consider would be buying a low power dummy load with the appropriate connector to keep in your workspace (basically just a resistor packaged in a way that’s geometrically clean to a GHz; an inline attenuator >10dB will come suitably close, too, even with the other port improperly left open). That’s not really a bad idea for close in setup anyway; you’ll leak enough power to talk to nodes sitting on the bench, and you might avoid overloading things in the way that tends to happen if you have things so close with actual antennas. Or just get a basic antenna to use… or put an antenna on the roof and run the cable to your bench…

Thanks Chris, it’s not a biggie, but there are four antenna that will need to be attached. 2 lora, wifi and cellular. I was just trying to avoid having to hook these up. I think I’ll play it safe, wont take long. Thanks for the assistance!