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Understanding MQTT Gateway Basics: Configuration

Understanding MQTT Gateway Basics: Configuration
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    How MQTT Bridge works

    The Internet of things is evolving rapidly. This has led to the introduction of various smart devices, making the connection with remote locations easy. One of the latest technological advancements in IoT is the MQTT gateway, which acts as a mediator between the cloud and IoT platforms.

    MQTT stands for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport. It’s among the key communication protocols for the internet of things devices and local networks. It’s an ideal protocol for communication between smart devices or machine-to-machine communication. It works under two conditions;

    • High latency environments
    • Low bandwidth

    MQTT makes it easy to transmit extremely lightweight messaging between the server and the client. It uses Internet Protocol (IP) as its path to send messages.

    What Is MQTT Gateway?

    Generally, the MQTT gateway can be defined as an intermediary between any internet of things platform and sensors. It works by getting data from these sensors or smart devices and translating it into MQTT. It then transmits that data to either the internet of things platform or to the MQTT broker.

    MQTT gateway can also be defined as an Ethernet gateway that functions as the MQTT client due to the inbuilt modified software.

    Advantages of Bluetooth MQTT Gateway

    • The messages are lightweight, and this makes MQTT efficient.
    • It allows bi-directional messaging. This means that it enables communication to take place from cloud to device or from device to cloud.
    • MQTT is reliable and efficient in message delivery.
    • It is secure as it enables encryption of messages using TLS.

    How Does Bluetooth MQTT Gateway Work?

    Bluetooth MQTT gateway works by scanning and detecting all the devices or sensors within the gateway range. It allows all the devices it detects to communicate and manages their communication from a central internet of things platform.

    All MQTT clients get notifications when they are around the gateway; hence they c

    trace that gateway easily. The following diagram illustrates how the MQTT Ble gateway works.

    How Bluetooth MQTT gateway works

    How to Setup MQTT Gateway and Test

    MQTT gateway is like an Ethernet gateway, and the setup is almost similar.

    1. Begin by structuring a physical gateway.

    To build this gateway, start by wiring things up or connecting the electrical system. When connecting the wires, note that the standard sensor connections are different from radio module connections. The reason is that most Ethernet modules don’t share SPI with a radio module.

    The next thing when building a gateway is to do the configuration. Ensure you choose the port, MAC, and a fixed IP address that you would prefer to use for your gateway in this stage. This MAC address that you select MUST be unique and not used in other networks.

    1. Setup MQTT gateway

    Once you build the gateway, you can decide on the module to run your MQTT. The two modules you can use are;

    • Arduino+W5100Ethernet module
    • ESP8266 module

    You can then connect the Ethernet module you choose and a radio. In this phase, ensure you define your topic and publish the prefix in the sketch provided. For instance;
            MY_MQTT_PUBLISH_TOPIC_PREFIX / FROM_NODE_ID/SENSOR_ID

    Then you’ll receive your topic from the gateway depending on the data you sent. From the above example, you’ll receive the following;

    mygateway1-out/2/1/1/0/49

    In case you decide to share the data with your sensors, use the following topic as it is in your sketch;

    MY_MQTT_SUBSCRIBE_TOPIC_PREFIX

    The feedback will be as follows;

    mygateway1-in/2/1/1/0/49

    Once you set up the MQTT gateway, it’s advisable to test it using a broker to be sure it’s working. IoT professionals recommend using a mosquito as the best broker. Mosquito is a licensed message broker that helps in implementing MQTT protocols.

    MQTT Broker

    MQTT broker

    A broker helps in handling clients in MQTT technology. It can manage hundreds, thousands, or millions of connected MQTT clients at once, depending on the implementation. Its main functions are;

    • Receiving information
    • Decoding and filtering the messages received
    • Determining which client will be interested in which message
    • Transmitting these messages to clients depending on their interests

    MQTT Gateway as a Bridge

    MQTT gateway acts as a bridge for all MQTT devices and sensors or the internet of things. Also, Cloud IoT core can communicate with devices using MQTT as a bridge. When you distribute the MQTT devices in many different places, some data is required for analysis. This data should be on a shared server.

    In this case, you can deploy the gateway in each location where your MQTT devices are. The MQTT gateway can act as a bridge by consolidating data in a central location. The figure below shows how the MQTT gateway functions as a bridge.

    MQTT gateway bridge

    Secure Behind MQTT Gateway

    You can secure the sensors, IoT edge, and devices in your building behind the MQTT gateway, as shown below.

    You start by connecting the devices and sensors in your facility to the available Internet of Things platform using a gateway. This helps in ensuring a secure Internet of Things solution.

    The next step is to combine all the sensor data and transmit it to a central Internet of Things platform. This data is secure as the gateway supports its encryption. You can also decide to craft your certificate to secure a communiqué between the IoT devices. The importance of the MQTT gateway is self-evident, so it is inevitable to choose a good supplier. MOKOBlue is an excellent MQTT gateway supplier.

    Connect to Open MQTT Gateway Via Wireless and Bluetooth

    The transmission of messages between the Internet of Things devices can only be through Bluetooth or wireless technology. The two technologies can sustain MQTT-SN sensors. It’s, therefore, easy and quick to connect your IoT devices to Bluetooth and other wireless technologies.

    For those using the WebSocket, communication between the IoT devices can either be long-range wireless or wired.

    Supports any MQTT Server

    Industrial internet of things MQTT gateway can work flawlessly with most internet of things platforms. These platforms include;

    • Azure IoT
    • Google Cloud IoT
    • AWS IoT
    • IBM Watson

    This gateway interprets the data it receives from devices and sensors and then transmits it to the IoT platform. The information it sends is in the MQTT protocol format. Users can view this data anytime they subscribe to the MQTT topic.

    Additionally, you can add other protocol interfaces to the gateway, depending on the requirements. You can modify the gateway in a way that it can store information locally. It’s also easy to tailor the user interface to help in managing local devices.

    Cases of where MQTT Bluetooth Gateway Is Used 

    a) In Industries

    MQTT gateway is widely used in industrial settings globally to help in improving all business operations. These industries include;

    • Oil and gas companies
    • Food and beverage firms
    • Agribusiness companies
    • Mining industries
    • Manufacturing  firm

    They all install several sensors in their organizations that help in transmitting critical telemetry data. This information is then analyzed to know whether there are any inconsistencies in their day-to-day business operations.

    These industries can also use the data to know the trends in their businesses. With this information, they can find loopholes, strengths, and needs to improve their business operations.

    b) In Businesses Using Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN)

    MQTT gateway has various features that are vital to transmitting data in environments using LPWAN. It efficiently transmits lightweight messages designed for;

    • High latency
    • Low bandwidth
    • Unreliable networks

    These features make MQTT suitable for relaying high volumes of messages at once. Therefore, businesses using LPWAN can rely on MQTT to send their sensor messages to cloud solutions and analytic platforms.

    c) In Facebook

    Facebook relies on MQTT as the primary communication protocol. It helps in sending bulk sensor messages to the users. Facebook messages are also transmitted to Instagram platforms using MQTT.

    d) In Smart Homes

    MQTT gateway is among the most preferred protocols to automate smart homes in the world. You can use it alongside other cloud platforms like Azure and IBM Watson. The technology can help people detect and monitor how they are using energy in their smart homes. It also helps in monitoring the temperature of a place in real-time and the quality of air. Bluetooth gateway is designed for smart homes.

    e) Automotive sector

    One of the significant priorities in the automotive industry is digital transformation. MQTT is vital in these sectors as it acts as a reliable messaging between the cloud and the vehicle.

    f) Transport and Logistics

    The transportation sector relies on MQTT technology as it helps during the movement of goods and logistics. With the messaging function, MQTT helps to track cargo and fleets. This makes the transportation sector more reliable and efficient.

    Functions of MQTT Gateway

    1. It transmits information between the server and the client efficiently.
    2. It helps in the integration of Modbus TCP and MQTT networks.
    3. It helps in the management of groups of devices through its remote web access panel.
    4. It’s also designed as a protocol and interface converter.
    5. It acts as a mediator between any IoT platform and server.
    6. It also acts as an intermediary between the MQTT broker and the sensors.

    MQTT Gateway Price

    The MQTT gateway price depends on factors like;

    • Deployment area
    • The specifications of the MQTT
    • The number of features the MQTT has
    • Whether it’s a starter or advanced

    Conclusion

    MQTT Ble gateway is a communication protocol that acts as an intermediary between any IoT platform and sensors. It works by getting data from these sensors or smart devices and translating it into MQTT. It then transmits that data to either the internet of things platform or to the MQTT broker.

    This gateway acts as a bridge for all the MQTT devices and sensors or the internet of things. The MQTT is essential in industries, social media platforms, automotive, and transport sectors.

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