NB IoT 2 Click is a compact add-on board that contains a compact LTE Cat NB2 module with ultra-low power consumption. This board features the BC66-NA, a high-performance, multi-band LTE Cat NB2 module with extremely low power consumption from Quectel Wireless Solutions. It provides a flexible and scalable platform for migrating from GSM/GPRS to NB-IoT network and supports band 71 and band 85 to accommodate more operators. It also offers external interfaces, protocol stacks (providing great convenience for your applications), and a complete range of SMS and data transmission services to meet client-side demands. This Click board™ is suitable for a wide range of IoT applications, such as smart metering, intelligent wearables, security and asset tracking, home appliances, environmental monitoring, and many more.
NB IoT 2 Click is supported by a mikroSDK compliant library, which includes functions that simplify software development.
NB IoT 2 Click as its foundation uses the BC66-NA, a high-performance NB-IoT module with extremely low power consumption from Quectel Wireless Solutions. It is designed to communicate with the infrastructures of mobile network operators through NB-IoT radio protocols (3GPP Rel.13 and 3GPP Rel.14). It supports a broad range of frequency bands such as B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B17/B18/B19/B20/B25/B28/B66/B71/B85. It also provides several interfaces, UART and SPI, and protocol stacks such as UDP/TCP, MQTT, LwM2M, and others. These protocols that allow data and SMS transmission using NB technology, make this module the perfect choice for building IoT applications such as smart gas and water meters, even without the need for an external MCU unit.
In order to turn ON this Click board™, the user has to press the onboard push-button labeled as PWRKEY down for a period longer at least 500ms, which represents the Ignition (Power-On) button. PWRKEY button cannot be pulled down all the time; otherwise, the module will not be able to enter into power-save mode. This feature is shown by the yellow diode labeled as CONNECT to indicate the device's Operational Status.
NB IoT 2 Click communicates with MCU using the UART interface as its default communication protocol with the option for the users to use another interface such as SPI if they want to configure the module and write the library by themselves. It supports automatic baud rate detection, operates at 115200 bps by default configuration, and is used for data transmission and exchanging AT commands with the host MCU.
In addition to these features, the BC66-NA also uses two GPIO pins connected to the mikroBUS™ socket. The WUP pin routed on the INT pin of the mikroBUS™ represents the external interrupt pin used for waking up the device from a power-saving mode, while the RST pin on the mikroBUS™ socket can perform Hardware Reset function by putting this pin in a logic low state. This Click board™ also has the micro USB connector allowing the module to be powered and configured by a personal computer. Also, it has an additional header labeled as ADC IN because the BC66-NA provides a 10-bit ADC input channel to read the voltage value. The interface is available in Active mode and has to be woken up first to ensure availability in Sleep modes.
NB IoT 2 Click possesses the SMA antenna connector with an impedance of 50Ω. This Click board™ can use it to connect the appropriate antenna. Besides the SMA connector, it also has a SIM card slot that provides multiple connections and interface options.
This Click board™ can be operated only with a 3.3V logic voltage level and comes with a proper logic voltage level conversion performed by the appropriate voltage level translator TXB0106. The board must complete the proper logic voltage level conversion before use with MCUs with different logic levels. However, the Click board™ comes equipped with a library containing functions and an example code that can be used, as a reference, for further development.
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