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Thread: Options for cellular connectivity 3G or 4G/LTE

  1. #1
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    Options for cellular connectivity 3G or 4G/LTE

    Hi,

    for my project I need cellular connectivity with a 3G or 4G/LTE connection, does anyone has some experience with it what hardware is required and how it works?
    A few years ago I did some test using the SIM900 (2G) on an Arduino and hacking around with these AT-commands drove me crazy as it worked fine when network was stable, but once the signal was lost it was like flipping a coin to get it back up and running.

    Is there any readymade shield/board or similar which works with Teensy 3.6 and also has a library to easily send e.g. UDP data? A price of max. 100 or $ would be ok.
    I did not get much into the USB port the Teensy has and what it can do, but would there be a possibility to connect a 4G/LTE stick to it?

    The current problem I have with all the Arduino-like boards, that you always get BT or Wifi, but options for cellular connectivity (more than 2G) is somehow missing for all of them. So I get tiny little device I can power via battery and put it in a car or pocket; but I always need a cell-phone with an active Hotspot it can connect to...that's so 2010 ;-)

    Any hint's or ideas appreciated :-)

  2. #2
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    why not have a 3g/lte mini router (standalone) with simcard in it, then have teensy connect to it via wifi/ethernet?

    if its just for internet purposes it should work well, and the standalone router should take care of your connnection issues

    not sure how you could use AT commands tho, but for interbet only you should be okay

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonton81 View Post
    why not have a 3g/lte mini router (standalone) with simcard in it, then have teensy connect to it via wifi/ethernet?

    if its just for internet purposes it should work well, and the standalone router should take care of your connnection issues

    not sure how you could use AT commands tho, but for interbet only you should be okay
    Many reasons:
    - You have to buy a Ethernet/Wifi board just to connect to an LTE hotspot (which you have to buy also). So instead of having one you have to(!) buy two...from my point of view inefficient.
    - You build something nice, maybe build a case for it, spent time making it work smooth and look good and now you strap a LTE hotspot to it using rubberband, tape or velcro ...no sorry
    - You have to power two devices, your board and the LTE hotspot. Also ugly.
    - There is no way to make sure the LTE hotspot is powered on when you power your board. On most LTE hotspots you have to press a button to power on.

    So, yes you can do it that way, but my question is more like, why do I have to in 2017...and isn't there any solution...

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    thats a pretty shady comment of not knowing a hotspot is on or not, if you drive its led to an input you would know "its on"

    i rigged an mcp23017 to a 750W inverter that uses a toggle type push button, how do i know its on? signal goes to 5v and toggles the gpio

    many ways to make things work together, nobody said you need to strap them together with a rubber band, you could possible find one at a decent size for your project as well. that, however, would be the most reliable, if you want to depend on your code itself, its only as good as you make it out to be, including the recovery...

    in the next decade (aka NOT 2017), when wireless charging arrives, maybe you wont complain as much for powering 2 devices, even though youd still be powering your sim900 with flaky connection (WHICH, by the way you wouldnt be powering off the teensy direct anyways...). 2017 doesnt mean we all have high tech equipment ready, most of it is garbage addon boards with limited functionality, but for reliability purposes, it helps to mix commercial products with your own, especially for critical projects where its important....
    Last edited by tonton81; 08-13-2017 at 01:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonton81 View Post
    thats a pretty shady comment of not knowing a hotspot is on or not, if you drive its led to an input you would know "its on"
    IMO, may be not shady.
    For a variety of reasons, I'm forced to use a 3g router for my internet. this router is on a 'good' but not optimal place. nearly once every couple of days, my internet connection becomes slow and non-responsive. OK, by now I learned that I have to go to the router and toggle power, to get internet back. When the Sim card was still in the tablet, I could see that connection is bad and react immediately by moving or power toggle.
    OK, I should move home and country to have better internet, but the view here is ....

    Anyhow, I was always wondering why there are so few g3/lte boards for Arduino. maybe you have to pay for connection by design and with all the free hotspots you don't?

    @nhebling: have a look at https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/27914...ll=1#post66374 for a possible solution

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonton81
    thats a pretty shady comment of not knowing a hotspot is on or not, if you drive its led to an input you would know "its on"

    i rigged an mcp23017 to a 750W inverter that uses a toggle type push button, how do i know its on? signal goes to 5v and toggles the gpio
    Shady? For me your approach sounds more "shady" and hacky. What's your solution to provide a PIN after a restart...interested in the not so "shady" solution.


    Quote Originally Posted by tonton81
    2017 doesnt mean we all have high tech equipment ready, most of it is garbage addon boards with limited functionality, but for reliability purposes, it helps to mix commercial products with your own, especially for critical projects where its important....
    Yes, but 2017 also means, that we get a ton of things from all around the world, built by someone who had an idea and the passion to do it and build a business out of it or provides it for free. Honestly I would do it on my own if I would have the knowledge and the experience about designing a board which does the job...but even if I would "learn" it now I think I'm missing the experience to do it correctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by WMXZ View Post
    @nhebling: have a look at https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/27914...ll=1#post66374 for a possible solution
    Thanks for the hint, I also saw that one, but the author does not reply on the question what the update rate of the GPS is (I need minimum 5Hz, better 10Hz). In addition it's using GPRS which is quite slow and as 2G is going to be shutdown in some countries (or already is, as I read for the US and AT&T), I don't want to buy something which is being outdated already.
    But thanks for your comment, maybe helps someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theremingenieur
    That one indeed looks quite interesting, different configurations and the price is also in an acceptable range.
    I think I will have a look at that. Thanks!!

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    If you can do with a bit less performance than Teensy 3.6, particle.io boards are interesting.

    My daughter is in Real Estate and needs to monitor vacant homes. I used Particle Photons for homes that had WiFi and Electron boards for homes with no internet. The Electron board has 3G and you can connect a LiPo and solar panel to the Electron.

    I have temp/humidity, motion, light, smoke/gas detector, water for sump pump failure and any thing else that's needed. You can also turn things on.

    I have the monitors talking to a Raspberry PI which send a text message to a list of phones if attention is needed. I did an Android app to talk to the Particle boards to watch the sensors or turn on GPIO pins.

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    Senior Member Epyon's Avatar
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    I use Simcom modems for cellular. You can buy them for just a couple of dollars/euros for the 2G variants and a little bit more for the 3G/4G versions. They're pretty capable chips. Software support has drastically improved with the Adafruit Fona library. I've developed a modified, non-blocking library based on it for use with my companies IoT devices. You can also just hook them up to a RasPi (or clone) and use cellular PPP internet.

  10. #10
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    The Xbee people ("Digi") have nice LTE based serial communication modules.
    Assuming you can live with their serial communications speeds, it should work.

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