The SparkFun LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT Shield equips your Arduino or Arduino-compatible microcontroller with access to data networks across the globe. This shield adds wireless, high-bandwidth cellular functionality to your IoT project while maintaining low power consumption and a small footprint. The SparkFun LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT Shield is based off the Arduino R3’s footprint that allows you to easily incorporate it with favorite Arduino-based device.
At the heart of the LTE Cat M1/NB-IoT shield is a u-blox SARA-R410M-02B LTE Cat M1/NB-IoT modem. Cat M1 (Category M1) and NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) are both Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies that are designed to provide cellular communication to small IoT devices. They operate on LTE network bands just like most smartphones, and should be supported by most cellular network carriers. The u-blox SARA-R4 module communicates over a UART via a simple AT command set. We’ve provided a library to help you get started with everything from sending SMS text messages to communicating with servers over a TCP/IP connection. Additionally, both the module and library support an I2C GPS interface via a Qwiic connector, so you can plug in a u-blox GPS module and start remotely tracking your project.
Each SparkFun LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT Shield also includes a ceramic, Molex 1462000001 SMD antenna. The antenna has a gain of 3.8dBi around 1.7GHz to 2.7GHz. However, if you would prefer to use an external antenna, we have provided a U.FL connector that can be utilized by simply slicing through a jumper with a hobby knife.
Please be aware that there are a few extra parts required to get this shield fully functioning, other than an Arduino-based device. First, you'll need to supply your own SIM card, such as this one from Hologram (we do also offer this shield with an included one as well) and your own headers which will need to be soldered on.
Note: Be sure to check the Hardware Overview section in the Hookup Guide for compatible GPS modules. The onboard Qwiic connector is only designed to support u-blox-based GPS modules. It does not support any other GPS modules or sensors. We are continuing to add more modules so be sure to check back every so often to find out more!
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Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 3 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I own 5 of these. Communication works great but there are missing pullup resistors on both sides of the logic converter that causes communication issues when extending wires to the module. Using it with an arduino uno causes no issues. I believe the esd diode for the sim card might not be connected properly since most of my modules are dead from electrostatic shock. Note TX and RX are flipped on the UART module. The datasheet briefly mentions that TX pin from the sara module receives and the RX pin sends data
1 of 2 found this helpful:
easy to use and clear lable to read very good design
at little bit confuse on the the TIME to press and hold on
POWER active on PIN5 wkether over 3 seconds or under 3 seconds (by data sheet)
The examples no longer match the Hologram IoT dashboard. I was able to get the 00_Register_Operator and 01_SMS_Send to work but after that the examples don't match what is now showing in the dashboard.
Sorry about that, it looks like Hologram made changes to their interface without us knowing. We will try to get the tutorial re-written to account for those changes.