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Posts Tagged ‘2g’

Wio GPS is a $40 Grove & Arduino Compatible Bluetooth 3.0 + GSM/GPRS + GPS Tracker Board

April 21st, 2017 No comments

After Wio Link and Wio Node boards, Seeed Studio has added a new board to their Wio (Wireless Input Output) family with Wio GPS board based on Microchip SAMD21 Cortex M0+ MCU for Arduino compatibility, and Mediatek MT2503 ARM7 processor for GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, and 2G (GPRS) connectivity.

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Wio GPS board specifications:

  • MCU – Microchip ATSAMD21G18A-MU ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM
  • Wireless SoC – Mediatek MT2503 ARM7EJ-S processor @ 260 MHz
  • Storage – micro SD slot (shared with nano SIM slot)
  • Connectivity (built-in MT2503 in Quectel MC20 module)
    • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 3.0 with SPP Profile and HFP-AG Profile; u.FL connector for external antenna
    • Quad band 2G GSM/GPRS  with u.FL connector for external antenna and nano SIM card slot
    • GNSS – GPS + BeiDou + QZSS with u.FL connector for external antenna
  • Audio – Speaker footprint (+/-), 3.5mm AUX jack with mic and stereo audio
  • Expansion – 6x Grove Connectors (2x Digital, 2x Analog, 1x UART, 1x I2C)
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and firmware update
  • Misc – RGB LED, GSM power button, reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, 2-pin JST 1.0 header for battery
  • Dimensions – 54.7mm x 48.2mm
  • Weight – 45 grams; antennas add 9 grams

While you can already do much of the things achieved with Wio GPS using an Arduino board, and corresponding GPRS/GPS shields, Seeed Studio’s board offers a more compact solution, and access to over 180 modules via the grove connectors. The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE, and in due time a Wiki will be setup showing how to get started with the board.

Wio GPS Board with tis three antennas (GPS, Bt, GSM) is available for pre-order for $39.90 on Seeed Studiofor pre-order for $39.90 on Seeed Studio, and shipping is scheduled for June 1st. The company also plans to released an 4G /LTE version in Q3 2017.

RDA Micro RDA8810 Android SDK with Linux & U-boot Source Code for Orange Pi 2G IoT Board Released

April 18th, 2017 22 comments

Orange Pi 2G IoT board was released a couple of weeks ago, shortly followed by Android and Ubuntu images, but since it was not based on Allwinner, but an RDA Micro  8810PL processor, we did not have any source code so far, which can be a real problem for a development board… Shenzhen Xunlong has now managed to upload a 6.7GB Android SDK to MEGA, with the link published via Orange Pi Resources page.

MEGA has a download limit which depends on how much traffic they get at the time, and after 5.3 GB download,  I was asked to register for a PRO account, or wait for four hours before resuming the download. If you want to avoid this limit for any large MEGA download, you can run megadl instead. That’s what I did in Ubuntu 16.04 (remember to escape any special characters with \):

Once the download is done, none of the files have extension, but the first file is a gzip compressed files, while others are just raw data, so I concatenated all 6 files into a gzip file before uncompressing it, at which point I realized it was a tar file too:

The company has made it unnecessary difficult for that part, but I was finally successful, and that’s what the content of the SDK looks like.

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The Android SDK  relies on Linux 3.10.62, and I’ve been told while the Android part is quite poor, the Linux part looks better, even though the version is not quite the latest. U-boot source code is also included, and part of the 2G modem code can be found in the modem directory.

I got the news through ParrotGeek1 who plans to rebase the code to Linux 3.10.105, and release a Debian image. He has setup a RDA8810 github account with the Linux kernel. So you’ll have to be patient, or join the fun to get a better Linux image. There’s no clear roadmap for Orange Pi 3G-IoT or 4G-IoT based on other RDA Micro processors, but that would certainly help motivating a few more people if such boards were planned.

Particle Asset Tracker Kit v2 2G/3G GPS Location Tracker Supports Grove Modules

April 13th, 2017 No comments

Particle, the maker of IoT boards such as Electron 2G/3G module, has launched it second Asset Tracker Kit – based on Electron – with a smaller case, improved GPS performance, satellite support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo & BeiDou, and compatibility with Seeed Studio Grove modules.

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Asset Tracker Kit v2 hardware specifications:

  • MCU – STMciro STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 micro-controller @ @ 120 MHz with  1MB Flash, 128K RAM
  • Cellular Connectivity – U-Blox SARA U-series (3G) or G-series (2G) modem + NanoSIM card slot + u.FL connector for Antenna
  • Location
    • 72-channel u-bloxM8 engine with support for GPS/QZSS L1 C/A, GLONASS L10F, BeiDou B1I, Galileo E1B/C, SBAS L1 C/A: WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS, GAGAN
    • Update rates: Single GNSS: up to 18 Hz, 2 Concurrent GNSS: up to 10 Hz
    • Position accuracy of 2.5 m, sensitivity of -167 dBm
    • Acquisition times: Cold starts: 26s, Aided starts: 2s, Reacquisition: 1s
    • On board ceramic GPS antenna with LNA and bandpass filter with ability to switch to external active antenna
  • Expansion
    • 2x 18-pin header with  28 GPIOs (D0-D13, A0-A13), TX/RX, 2 GNDs, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3, RST
    • 2x quick connect grove sensor ports
  • Sensor – Built in 3 axis IMU
  • Battery – 2,000 mAh LiPo battery
  • Dimensions –  board: 10.3 cm x 3.6 cm x 0.76 cm (1.27 cm including headers)
  • Operating temperature of –40° C to 85° C

Particle Asset Tracker Kit v2 comes with Electron board with either 2G or 3G connectivity, the “Asset Tracker Shield” PCB with GPS, the battery, antennas for GPS and cellular, a weatherproof case, a USB cable, a breadboard, a pinout reference card, and a Particle SIM card with 3 months of Particle’s 1MB monthly data plan. After three months, the plan cost $2.99 per month for up to 1MB data (equivalent to thousands of message), and $0.99 for each extra MegaBytes. There’s no contract and the plan can be stopped anytime.  The company also provides an Arduino Library for the asset tracker with examples for GPS, accelerometer, and wakonmove, as well as access to Particle Cloud to store and analyze the data.

There are three models of the kit for sale, Asset Tracker 2G for $109, as well as Asset Tracker 3G (America/Australia) and Asset Tracker 3G (Europe/Asia/Africa) both going for $129. Particles kits will provide much more flexibility than the 3G + GPS tracker kits available on Aliexpress for $70 and up, and should be much easier to get started with then rolling your own with Orange Pi-2G IoT board, a cheap GPS modules such as NavSpark mini, plus battery and case.

Orange Pi 2G-IoT ARM Linux Development Board with 2G/GSM Support is Up for Sale for $9.90

March 30th, 2017 57 comments

Orange Pi 2G-IoT was unveiled at the start of the year as an ultra cheap ($10) Linux development board with 2G cellular connectivity. The board has just launched for $9.90 + shipping on Aliexpress.

Orange Pi 2G-IoT specifications have changed a little since the initial announced as WiFi is confirmed to be supported:

  • SoC – RDA Micro 8810PL ARM Cortex A5 processor @ up to 1.0 GHz with 2Gbit (256 MB) on-chip LPDDR2 RAM, 4Gbit (512 MB) on-chip SLC NAND flash , 256KB L2 cache, Vivante GC860 3D GPU, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE Modem (Download datasheet)
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Display I/F – LCD connector up to qHD resolution
  • Video – Decoding up to 1080p30, encoding up to 1080p30 H.264
  • Audio I/F – 3.5mm audio +FM jack, built-in microphone?
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 2.1/EDR module (RDA5991), and 2G GSM/GPRS/EDGE module with SIM card slot
  • Camera – MIPI CSI-2 connector for camera sensor up to 2MP
  • USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion – 40-pin GPIO header with SPI, I2C, ADC, GPIOs, PWM, etc…
  • Debugging – 3x pin UART for serial console
  • Misc – 8 selection jumpers, power button, boot selection header
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; optional battery
  • Dimensions – 68 x 42 mm
  • Certifications – CE and FCC (if we can believe the markings on the PCB silkscreen)

Linaro showcased Ubuntu on the similar Orange Pi i96 board at Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 last month, but I have not been able to find an image, nor source code yet. Needless to say, beginners better wait before buying this board, as everything is new, and software support is unclear at this stage. You’ll also have to check 2G sunset status in your countries, as some have stopped supporting 2G already, while others plan on keeping 2G networks for many more years.

Thanks to OvCa77 for the tip.

$99 Ping is a Tiny GPS Tracker that Works with Bluetooth and Cellular Connectivity (Crowdfunding)

February 6th, 2017 6 comments

Ping GPS Tracker is really small, last several months on a charge, and works with GPS, Bluetooth, and Cellular (GSM/EDGE or HSPA/UMTS) connectivity. It helps you track kids, pets, bags, keys, bicycles, cars or anything that may be lost or stolen using your iOS or Android smartphone.

Ping GPS Tracker Potential Use Cases

Ping GPS tracker specifications:

  • Connectivity
    • HSPA/GSM module + embedded 3G module
    • Bluetooth Low Energy module
    • GPS + GLONASS module
  • Sensor – 3-axis accelerometer
  • Misc – Inset tactile button for check-in & SOS, LED activity indicator
  • Battery – 300 mAh custom lithium ion battery good for about 3 months
  • Dimensions – 34 x 34 x 12 mm (PMMA silicone & elastomer materials)
  • Weight – About 30 grams
  • Waterproof – Up to 10 meters

You’d use GPS + cellular connectivity when you are far from the tracked asset, and Bluetooth to locate it when it’s close. A button allows for your kid to send a signal (short press) when they’ve reached destination, or an SOS message (long press) in case of issue.

The app will list all your tracked assets with estimated remaining battery life, you can click on the one you want to check out, and it should show on the map a short time later. One feature that appears to be missing is geofencing, which can be useful if a kid or an older person, for example suffering of Alzheimer, go beyond the limit you  defined on the map. The project is popular so maybe they’ll add it if people request it.

Ping GPS tracker has recently been launched on Indiegogo, and the project has raised over $300,000 so far. A $99 pledge should get you the tracker with a clip attachment, a charging cable, and one year free service with Cellular connectivity included for the US, Canada, and Mexico. If you want coverage outside of North America, you’ll need to add $10 extra at activation time for coverage in 157 countries for one year. After the first year, you’ll need to spend $3 per month to pay for cellular connectivity. Shipping is free to the US, but adds $20 to $30 to the rest of the world, and delivery is scheduled for July 2017.

There are also such tiny GPS trackers with SIM card support on Aliexpress for $30 and up, such as TKSTAR LK106, but the ones I found don’t work with an app, lack Bluetooth, and battery life is limited to 5 to 10 days.

Categories: Android, Hardware, Video Tags: 2g, 3G, ble, cellular, gps, indiegogo

OpenCellular is Facebook’s (soon to be) Open Source Wireless Access Platform

July 7th, 2016 4 comments

A few months after Canonical and Lime Micro LimeSDR open source software defined radio aiming to be used as a development platform, but also as the base for low cost cellular or other wireless base stations, Facebook has announced their own open source wireless access platform with OpenCellular project whose goal is to lower the cost of Internet connectivity in remote areas where the infrastructure does not exist.

OpenCellularThis is how Marc Zuckerberg summarizes the project:

We designed OpenCellular as an open system so anyone — from telecom operators to researchers to entrepreneurs — can build and operate wireless networks in remote places. It’s about the size of a shoe box and can support up to 1,500 people from as far as 10 kilometers away.

Along with our solar-powered aircraft Aquila and high-bandwidth laser beams, OpenCellular is the next step on our journey to provide better, more affordable connectivity to bring the world closer together.

But we can get some more details via another post by Kashif Ali, Engineer at Facebook including the following key points:

  • OpenCellular will supporting everything from 2G to LTE.
  • The system is composed of two main subsystems: general-purpose and base-band computing (GBC) with integrated power and housekeeping system, and radio frequency (RF) with integrated analog front-end.
  • The project will become open source over time, with hardware design, firmware and control software source code released publicly.
  • Facebook will collaborate with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) members, whose aim is to “reimagine the traditional approach to building and deploying telecom network infrastructure”.

OpenCellular_GBC_Radio The current GBC system supports four power sources: PoE (power-over-ethernet), solar, DC, and external (lead acid) or internal (lithium ion) batteries, and also includes sensors to monitor temperature, voltage, current, etc.. Two versions of the radio system are available on based on either one SoC (fixed functionality), or one FPGA (software defined radio). The radio can be used a full network-in-a-box when connected to the GBC, or an access point in standalone mode.

The systems have also been designed to allow a single person to install and operate them, and the enclosures are rugged to withstand all kinds of weather. The company has been testing it using 2G connectivity within their office, and expect to release the first reference design this summer.

Thank you Nanik!

Categories: Hardware Tags: 2g, 3G, facebook, fpga, lte, sdr, sensor, solar