GSM repeater & signal booster extends 2G/3G/4G cellular coverage in your house or building

If your WiFi router range does not cover some of your rooms what do you do? You install a WiFi repeater or some of the more recent WiFi mesh networking solutions. What I did not know is that you can do something similar for cellular connectivity if you don’t quite get a reliable signal from your telco’s base station. Specifically, I’ve just come across a 900 MHz GSM repeater & signal booster that claims to be able to extend the 2G, 3G, and 4G cellular signal in a 100 to 300 m2 area, and sold for $59 on Banggood. Here are the specifications listed for the GSM repeater: Operating Frequency Band – GSM Uplink: 890-915Mhz Downlink: 935-960Mhz Gain: 70dbm Outdoor Directional Antenna Gain – 8dB Compatible with 2G / 3G / 4G cell phone signal Power Supply – 12V DC via 110-240V DC adapter Dimensions – 135 x 105 x 23 mm (Aluminum Alloy) Temperature Range – -10 to 60°C […]

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Monarch Go Pi HAT Adds LTE Cat M1 Connectivity to Raspberry Pi Board

After introducing Renesas ZMOD4410 Indoor Air Quality HAT for Raspberry Pi earlier this month, Avnet is back with another Raspberry Pi HAT namely Monarch Go Pi HAT that adds LTE Cat M1 connectivity to Raspberry Pi boards and other compatible SBC’s with a 40-pin GPIO header. The expansion board gets its name from Sequans Monarch Go LTE-M modem itself based on the Sequans Monarch GM01Q LTE IoT module that supposed to support both LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) and NB-IoT. The solution is certified by various operators in North America, Europe, and Asia, and ships with a Verizon ThingsSpace IoT SIM. Monarch Go Pi HAT specifications: LTE IoT Connectivity Sequans Monarch Go LTE modem with  Cat-M1 (& NB-IoT?) connectivity Pre-installed Verizon ThingsSpace IoT SIM USB – Micro USB port for debugging and programming Expansion MikroElektronika shuttle click site with 3.3V I/O:  I2C, SPI, GPIO, UART Voltage I/O translator – 1.8V to 3.3V Dimensions – Raspberry Pi HAT Compatible The kit includes […]

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nRF9160 Feather LTE IoT and GPS Board Launched for $99

Nordic Semi nRF9160 is a system-in-package part of nRF91 series offering NB-IoT and eMTC (LTE-M) IoT connectivity, as well as assisted GPS. The package is now accessible on a board following Adafruit Feather form factor. Made by Circuit Dojo (Jared Wolff), nRF9160 Feather board supports both CAT M1 LTE and NB-IoT, can be powered by a USB power adapter or a LiPo battery and runs Zephyr OS via the nRF Connect SDK. nRF9160 Feather specifications: SiP – Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160-SICA LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS SIP with Arm Cortex-M33 MCU, 1024 KB flash, 256 KB SRAM Storage – Onboard 4MB NOR flash (note: upgraded from initial 2MB) Cellular Connectivity – LTE Cat-M1 (eMTC) and LTE NB1/NB2 (NB-IoT) plus 4FF SIM card slot, and u.FL connector for an external antenna GNSS – Built-in assisted GPS support plus u.FL connector for an external antenna Expansion – Feather I/Os (12+16 through holes) with digital and analog I/Os, I2C, UART, SPI, RST, 3.3V, VBAT, GND Debugging & Programmer […]

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Particle Takes Pre-orders for its Cellular Tracking SoM, Evaluation Kit, and Tracker One Asset Tracker

Earlier this year, Particle announced its Tracking System turnkey solution comprised of Tracker SoM LTE IoT module, Tracker One asset tracker with enclosure, as well as Particle Tracking Services software suite with geolocation services, fleet management, and an open device firmware application framework to integrate with off-the-shelf IoT sensors and enable OTA firmware updates. The hardware devices were expected for June/July 2020, and the company has now started to take pre-orders for Tracker SoM, its evaluation kit, and Tracker One for respectively $79.99, $99.99, and $127.99. Shipping is expected to start in August 2020. We already covered Tracker SoM in our initial article with the full specifications, but basically, it’s a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 powered module with 8MB flash, ESP32 for WiFI (including support for indoor location),  U-blox Neo-M8U GNSS module, and a choice of Quectel BG96 LTE CAT M1 module for the US or Quectel EG91-X CAT 1 module with 2G/3G fallback for EMEA region. We did not have […]

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Intel Atom P5900 “Snow Ridge” Processor to Power 5G Base Stations

Intel may have given up on developing 5G modems for mobile devices, but the company will still be participating in the ramping up of 5G technology by focusing on 5G infrastructure instead. So the company has just introduced the Atom P5900 “Snow Rigde” processor family designed for 5G wireless base stations requiring “high throughput, low latency processing for high-density network edge and security solutions”. The 10nm chips are offered with 8 to 24 cores based on the Tremont micro-architecture. There are four Atom P5900 “Snow Ridge” processors so far: Intel Atom P5921B 8-core processor @ 2.20 GHz with 9MB cache Intel Atom P5931B 12-core processor @ 2.20 GHz with 13.5MB cache Intel Atom P5942B  16-core processor @ 2.20 GHz with 18MB cache Intel Atom P5962B 24-core processor @ 2.20 GHz with 27MB cache P5912B supports up to 64GB ECC DDR4 memory, and other parts can handle up to 128GB RAM. The rest of the features are identical for all four […]

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Giveaway Week – WisCellular NB-IoT & eMTC GPS Tracker

WisCellular NB-IoT Board with Antennas

Rak Wireless WisCellular is an NB-IoT & eMTC Arduino shield based on Quectel BG96 module with 2G fallback that is similar to the company’s previous-generation WisLTE board, except it is certified for the global markets. I received a beta sample last year and went through the instructions to use it with a Hologram SIM card, but sadly I never managed to make it work, and eventually learned the Hologram SIM card did not support NB-IoT in Thailand. So I would have had to buy a local SIM card, but at the time, they didn’t sell those, and the only way to get an NB-IoT SIM card was to buy a development kit. Before going ahead with the purchase, I asked about coverage in my area but never managed to get a definitive answer so I gave up. So instead of keeping it in a drawer at home, I’d better just give it to somebody else who should make better use […]

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Nordic Thingy:91 Cellular IoT Prototyping Platform Comes with 16 Sensors

Nordic Thingy:91

Nordic Semiconductor launched the Nordic Thingy:52 back in mid-2017 in the hopes of bringing app and web developers into the hardware ecosystem as fast and easy as possible.  The Nordic Thingy:52 was a Bluetooth 5 IoT sensor development kit based on the company’s nRF52832 WiSoC. Although the Nordic Thingy:52 kit is still very much available for purchase and support always available, Nordic Semiconductor has gone further launching a new development kit called the Nordic Thingy:91 targeting cellular IoT applications. The Nordic Thingy:91 is a cellular IoT prototyping platform with support for LTE-M, NB-IoT plus GPS option. Even though IoT connectivity standards like LoRaWAN, BLE, WiFi, ZigBee, and others are very much growing and expanding, Nordic Semi is fully backing cellular technology, something that has very much been available and most likely will still keep been available, and the adoption of 5G is another testimony to that. Cellular is here, and it is not going away anytime soon. The Nordic Thingy:91 […]

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hIoTron Launches Smart Cold Chain Management PaaS & Hi-Gate Tracker

The hIoTron monitoring system is designed to be middleware for smart cold chain systems, which can be found in food transport, pharmaceutical transport and even some chemical transport systems. We previously covered any product from the company in April of 2018 with the hIoTron modular and enterprise development kit that helps with prototyping of IoT devices. Cold Chain Systems The company has now developed a commercial product designed for one of the most sensitive platforms in supply chain management: the cold chain. A cold chain system is a distribution process that requires constant monitoring of a product’s surrounding environment while in transit or storage before or after transit. The actions and equipment in low-temperature ranges would be maintained at a constant between 2 and 8 ℃ (36 to 46 ℉) to maintain the integrity of the product, food, drug, or chemical, from harvest/production through to consumption. These complex systems can be monitored by hIoTron cold chain system, and if necessary […]

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