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.
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
- 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
- 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.