Thats basically what I did.
I was hoping to connect my Ublox LEA 6H GPS module to a BluePill and walk around the neighbour sending the position, and leaving a receiving node running at home, printing out the packets to the serial terminal on the PC.
So I could plot some sort if range map.
But It took hours to get the GPS to output NMEA on its UART port, because by default it sends UBX format which none of the decoder libraries I found, seemed to be able to understand.
In the end I found that I had to connect the GPS via its USB connection to the PC and run the Ublox PC software, and go into multiple config screens to enable each individual NMEA message type on the UART port ( talk about over complicated ...)
So I ran out if time to do any range testing
I have some contacts about 50km away, on the other side of Port Philip bay, who are also testing LoRa, so I am going to buy a $5 kids kite from KMart today, so that I can experiment with putting a LoRa beacon at 300ft agl.
I have some small 300mAH lipo cells from a quad copter, which should supply enough power for testing with a BluePill, but I think an ESP8266 etc would be too power hungry.
I was intending to possibly make a repeater using either 1 or 2 LoRa modules, e.g. listen on one freq and resend any data heard, on a different frequency.
Initially I will just use the same module, and will not be listening while retransmitting the data, but using a platform like a kite etc and using one module on 915mhz and another on 433Mhz, plus physical separation on the kite of about 1m, hopefully the transmitter will not desensitise the receiver too much.
I note, that the SX1278 does not operate on 915MHz, so I am likely to use 433MHz and 144Mhz as I have a Ham Radio licence and can use 144 to 148Mhz as well as a wider range on 430MHz