Home > Atmel SAM D20, Hardware > Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

Arduino MKRFOX1200 Board Combines Microchip SAM D21 MCU with Sigfox Module in MKRZero Form Factor

Arduino MKRFOX1200 is the first official Arduino board to feature LPWAN technology thanks to a Microchip ATA8520 Sigfox module combined with a Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ micro-controller, all that in the same form factor as MKRZero or MKR1000 boards.

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Arduino MKRFOX1200 specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+  MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • Connectivity – Microchip AT8520 Sigfox module operating @ 868 MHz with 2dB “GSM” antenna connected to u.FL connector
  • 2x 14-pin headers for I/Os:
    • 8x digital I/O
    • 8x external interrupts (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17)
    • 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC)
    • 1x analog out (10-bit DAC)
    • 12x PWM pins ((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19)
    • 1x UART, 1x SPI, 1x I2C
    • 3.3V operating voltage
    • DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA
  • USB – 1x full speed micro USB device and embedded host
  • Misc – Reset button, LED
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via USB or VIN pin
    • 2x AA or AAA batteries good for up to 6 months (connected via green screw terminals)
  • Dimensions – 67.64 x 25 mm
  • Weight – 32 grams

Since the Sigfox module is limited to 868 MHz, the board can only be used in Europe, Africa, and Middle East. You’ll get 2-year free subscription to Sigfox network with the board (for up to 140 messages per day), as well as free access to Spot’it geolocation service that allows you to track the board without GPS or any extra hardware. How well that works will depend on the coverage in your area, and I could not find no accuracy information allowing us to compare it to GPS. Just like other Arduino board, MKRFOX1200 is fully open source hardware, and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE. You’ll find the full documentation in the Getting Started Guide.

Official Arduino boards are usually fairly expensive compared to the competition, but I find Arduino MKRFOX1200 to be pretty good value at 35 Euros (Select European website) considering you also get 2-year of Sigfox network access, and geolocation tracking.

  1. Anis
    April 19th, 2017 at 18:04 | #1

    that the board I’ve been waiting for, when you see a Breakout TD1208R + 1 year connectivity cost about 55โ‚ฌ
    there you got an arduino + a sigfox module +2 year connectivity that a big deal

  2. Paul
    April 20th, 2017 at 00:00 | #2

    Interesting it can take power from any of 3 inputs. Does anyone know if a) it can work with 3.7V LiPo input to either the 2xAA connector or to the ‘VIN’ pin, and b) autoselect/recharge the LiPo as and when the 5V supply is present ?
    (like some other IoT type boards on cnx)

    Also, as the spec sheet only mentions ‘6 months’, no mention of actual current consumption of batteries, does anyone know the actual consumption from batteries ?

  3. Jonathan
    April 20th, 2017 at 06:53 | #3

    @Paul
    See the schematic, page two. There are two pairs of switches that pass current from the higher of two voltages and block current from or to the lower one, with a 3.3v LDO regulator between the pair. Arduino.cc would make more noise about it, as recharging is a very desirable feature that would justify the Arduino.cc premium. It is also a potentially unsafe feature if configured incorrectly, to charge non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. A user would want to be aware of that rather than set their remote livestock aflame ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe you’re looking for one of these little modules from AliExpress. If a user has a charging power source available, they probably wouldn’t need super low idle power consumption.

    At the high end, 3000mAh is available from an alkaline AA battery. Divide by (~750 * 6 = ~4500 hours) = about 670ยตA average. Of course, everything hinges on what they consider “running” ๐Ÿ™‚

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