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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Docker Pi IoT Node(A) Adds LoRa, GPRS and GPS to Raspberry Pi Board

The Docker Pi IoT Node(A) is the latest addition to the Docker Pi series of modules meant to enhance IoT capability and expand on the Raspberry Pi family of SBCs. Although it is mountable on the Raspberry Pi SBC, the HAT form factor allows it to be used with other similar single board computers such as Rock64 board. The Docker Pi IoT Node(A) supports GPS/BDS (Beidou), GSM, and LoRa. The add-on board interfaces to the host over I2C, in order to control LoRa & GSM connectivity, as well as the GPS/BDS module through SC16IS752 chip. There are a number of code examples and instructions that can be found on the Wiki. The unit can also be controlled directly without programming, and all the GPIO pins are extended so the board can stack on other HAT compatible boards, in appropriate layers. Specifications GPRS section Low power consumption, standby sleep current <1mA Support GSM/GPRS, four frequency bands, including 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHZ …

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$15 TTGO T-Call Board Combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth SoC with SIM800 GPRS Module

TTGO T-call Pinout Diagram

LilyGo has launched several TTGO boards usually based on Espressif ESP8266 or ESP32 over the years. Here’s another that could be useful if 2G cellular networks have not sunset in your country: TTGO T-Call. The new board combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth WiSoC with SIMCom SIM800L GPRS module, and also happens to rely on a USB-C port for power and programming instead of the more common micro USB port on this type of hardware. TTGO T-Call board (BLINK_V1.3) specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B based on ESP32 dual core Xtensa processor @ 240MHz with 520kB SRAM on-chip, 4MB QSPI flash, 8MB PSRAM Connectivity – WiFi 4 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) up to 150 Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 Classic + LE Cellular  – 2G GSM/GPRS via SIMcom SIM800L module + Nano SIM card slot USB – 1x USB-C for power and programming (via CP2104) Expansion – 2x 21-pin headers with UART, SPI, SDIO, I2C, PWM, I2S, IRGPIO, capacitor touch sensor, ADC, DAC Misc …

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S+ Camera Basic Combines Raspberry Pi 3 Board and LTE Shield for Edge Applications

S+ Camera Raspberry Pi 4G-LTE-IoT

Soracom is a company that provides global IoT network cellular connectivity for businesses in smart IoT agriculture, energy, consumer, manufacturing, transportation, and medical industries, and even provides free IoT SIM cards for evaluation (US/Canada only). The company has just announced the S+ Camera on its Japanese blog. The camera looks to features several off-the-shelf components including a Raspberry Pi 3 board and SixFab Raspberry Pi 3G-4G/LTE Base Shield V2 connecting to Soramcom network. It’s a little confusing as to why a cellular IoT company would develop an LTE camera since streaming video requires bitrates not normally associated with IoT. The blog post does provide a few more details however, as S + Camera is said to run SORACOM Mosaic software which enables “algorithms for edge processing cameras and management and operation of cameras”. That means it’s quite possible the video will not be streamed, but edge processing/computing usually means AI is involved, and it may report events such as a person’s …

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Onion Omega2 LTE Board Combines WiFi, 4G LTE and GNSS Connectivity (Crowdfunding)

Onion Omega2 LTE

Onion has launched several compact OpenWrt WiFi boards for IoT projects over the years starting with their Onion Omega board in 2015, and the latest so far being Onion Omega2 Pro with a massive 8GB storage. The company has now launched a new model with 4G LTE connectivity called Onion Omega2 LTE, based on Omega2S+ module, and also featuring GNSS global satellite positioning capability. Onion Omega2 LTE specifications: WiFi Module – Onion Omega2S+ IoT computer module with MediaTek MT7688 MIPS CPU @ 580 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 32 MB storage Cellular and GNS Module – Quectel EC25 LTE Cat 4 modem that delivers 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink data rates, provided either for North America or global markets External Storage – MicroSD card slot up to 2 TB (once such cards become available…) Connectivity 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 + onboard 2 dBi direction chip antenna & U.FL connector for external antenna Cellular North America (Note: not …

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Arduino SIM for Arduino IoT Cloud Includes 10 MB of Free Data

Arduino SIM Card Arduino MKR GSM 1400 board

I’ve been using Hologram developer SIM card for cellular IoT hardware reviews since it’s really great for evaluation as the company offers 1MB of data for free monthly. It’s supposed to work worldwide, but recently I discovered that while 3G worked fine in Thailand, the card would not support NB-IoT just yet. More companies are now offering this type of global cellular IoT SIM cards such as Twilio or SORACOM, and Arduino is now joining the fray by offering the Arduino SIM card specifically designed to connect to Arduino IoT cloud. The Arduino SIM card currently works with Arduino MKR GSM 1400 board only, and Arm Pelion Connectivity Management provides the cellular service with a global roaming profile than enables connectivity in over 100 countries at a low cost. The first 90 days are actually free if you use less than 10MB of data, after which the price is 5MB per month for $1.50. What’s mind blogging is that while …

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