Working with the RN2903The Microchip RN2903 is an attractive LoRa transceiver package for a couple of reasons, such as its FCC-friendly certs and a simple UART interface. There are other options on the market but this has been my go-to.
The first step in working with a new chipset, typically, is to get comfortable with the manufacturers development board. In this case the Microchip RN2903 Mote. Unless you are an RF wizard, it is a good idea to have a couple Motes as reference implementations for testing and comparison to your own build.
When you get your Mote, it likely will need to be upgraded to the latest firmware. This process is more complicated than it should be, so I've written a quick guide. It is highly recommended that you upgrade the firmware before trying to use the Mote (or the chips in your project).
Once you have the firmware upgraded on the Mote, the next step is very basic testing. This is easily accomplished from your laptop via USB serial. I wrote a basic python wrapper library that will help with basic configuration and testing of class A messages.