GPRS or Edge Howto?

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  • Hello,

    I'm really sorry about this question, may be it is already discussed, but I can't find any answer.

    I want to design a simple tracker hardware that sends location data to server over "http", Location data will be gathered from GPS module ( but I can't find a GPS or EDGE module. Is there a gprs or edge module to connect the device to internet?

    Thanks all.

  • CC3000 module provides this connectivity - see It's on my list. The GPS part I have implemented - see­255759/. If got the CC3300 Wifi board a while ago, but I'm working on some other items right now - last but not least because default connectivity for my display and and are using the same SPI and control pins.

  • Right now I don't have a GPRS/EDGE module that I've tested (or have modules for) I'm afraid. It's on my list of things to get and try out though.

    It seems like a lot of GPRS modules use AT commands to allow you to make TCPIP connections, and they're very similar to the ESP8266 discussed here - there's some code at that link to make an HTTP connection to the module and it should be pretty easy to modify it so you can use it with a GPRS module.

    I'll be adding support for the ESP8266 to Espruino itself quite soon, and I plan to make sure it'll work with a GPRS module too.

    By the way there's also some code here to handle SMS text messages, so you could always send readings via that (although that probably isn't what you want).

  • Hello,

    are there any news regarding the support of a GPRS module? Which module would you suggest?

    We are highly interested in using Espruino in combination with a GPRS module for one of our projects. The idea is to build an Espruino based Sensor device which can be used in an outdoor area. The device shall deliver Sensor data to our Servers in the Cloud via GPRS.



  • Hi net-tobi,

    At the moment there is no built-in GPRS module support (except for some code on the forums for sending text messages)... But as I'm adding ESP8266 WiFi support, and the protocol is similar (but not identical) to many GPRS modules, I'll be adding proper support in maybe 3 months' time.

    The module that I will be getting working is the one that seems to get used a lot with Arduino - the SIM900A.

    Right now you can still use this module with Espruino - you'll just have to write some code to drive it. You wouldn't be able to use Espruino's built-in HTTP client and server, but it would be pretty easy to get enough working to send data to a server in the cloud.

    If you're interested I can give you some pointers?

  • Hi Gordon,

    thank you for your fast response. For the device prototype I start using a WiFi module now.

    The final version will use a GPRS module when it is offically supported.



  • Any news about the implementation of GPRS support?

  • Not really I'm afraid. I've been experimenting with finding a way to create something common to ESP8266 and GPRS, and it looks very promising. I now have a SIM900 module (seems common for Arduino) here that I'll be using to develop with when I get time though.

    Someone else is actually developing support for their own product and seems happy to contribute back, so hopefully they will share some of their code soon too.

    For the next few weeks at least I have to focus on the Pico, but after that I should have more time to get this sorted. Sorry about the delay...

  • I'd be interested in learning what product that is, if you can share that with us? :)

    One alternative for 2G/3G connectivity is SparqEE CELL, it seems pretty easy to work with over UART:­-cell/

    It comes with a SparqeeSIM card, and their plans are actually very cheap if you send very little data. And unlike a few other solutions, it works almost everywhere (with increasing price though):

  • For me GPRS is a must.. Sparqee looks interesting

  • For me it is very important as well

  • @CKnight posted up about his project here:­264103/

    I'm actually working on this now, and have Espruino calling into JS for network access. I'll get it working with the ESP8266 first, and will then tweak it for the SIM900.

  • This one just came out:­ekt/konekt-dash-cellular-dev-kit-free-gl­obal-data-plan/

    Cellular modules are getting cheaper! The Dash is just $49 for early birds, and their global SIM is much cheaper than SparqSIM. $1/1MB/month is pretty nice, or even $0.55/500K/month!

    Incidentally, Konekt is what SparqSIM actually uses behind the scenes. I guess the Konekt guys saw the interest around SparqEE and thought they could do it even cheaper and better.

  • Hm, the Dash has a Cortex M4, 12 analog inputs and 31 GPIOs. Doesn't say which exact chip it has, but "it works like an Arduino". Should be possible to run Espruino directly on the module right..??

  • There's also the conspicuously similar Spark Electron:­rkdevices/spark-electron-cellular-dev-ki­t-with-a-simple-data?ref=users

    But it's not dual 2G/3G, it's monthly rates are 3 times as high as Konekt's, and it's not active in as many countries. No thanks.

  • Hmm, I wonder what the chip is in the Konekt - they talk of Python so it might be running Micro Python... $0.55/mo is really exciting though - if that's actually not just a 'KickStarter special' it'll be the start of a lot more people using it. 500K is absolutely loads for embedded stuff.

    The modules must be able to get cheaper too - the SIM900s modules on eBay are £12 each, and it wouldn't cost much to shove an ARM on one of them.

  • I just noticed some specs for the chip: "Cortex M4 1MB, 16 MHz, 32.768 KHz, Sleep Timer". Does that offer you any clues? They also say:

    It works like an Ardunio and can run Wiring, Python, ARM assembly or whatever code you'd like to use. It's open source, and infinitely hackable, so you can easily adjust and build the Dash into any of your own projects

    You're right about SIM900, but it's only 2G, which is already being phased out in the US and Australia, and possibly other regions to follow soon. So SIM900 isn't really an option for me, at least not if you're creating a product to be used in various countries.

    (Makes you wonder how long 3G has left..)

    Dash uses u-blox Sara which is 2G+3G, but it has variants for either Americas or Europe/Asia and I don't know which one it is (I just asked on Kickstarter). Dash Pro uses u-blox Lisa which is 3.75G and works just about all over the world. One thing is certain, the world of mobile networks is messy.

  • It's not just Konekt hardware it's their whole platform that excites me. I've got some of their SIMs and should be able to test the beta platform next week so will let you know how I get on. BTW I had to draw this diagram to get my head around their platform­nekt-io-architecture it might be of help to others.

  • It looks very cool to have a platform that can take SMS as well as TCP/IP - that's perfect for a lot of us, as you can get pay as you go SIMs with sensible price text messages in every high street shop.

    The think I don't get is that u-blox Lisa is crazy expensive - €150 one-off. They must have a massive volume discount available.

  • Part of the cost issue is carrier approval for the modem/device. In the EU telcos require GCF approval­ of at least the modem and increasingly the device (Dash/Electron etc.) before it's approved.

    With high street PAYG SIMS you don't get any SIM management tools as you do with M2M sims. My M2M provider charges £3.30 a month for 1Mb for a Global SIM. Also most M2M providers don't like talking to me as I'm a one-man-band not some "big corp". For me Konekt/Electron are like citizen band for the IoT.

  • @LawrenceG Thanks for sharing the diagram, Konekt looks like a great platform when you see it all together like that! It's really worth it just to have all that abstracted away for you, and you get to focus on the fun stuff.

    @Gordon Lisa sells for just €43.99 here, and you can get Sara for €10 less. (Nice names for modules, but that sounded a bit odd.)

    Btw, I got an answer from Konekt. They'll let backers pick which variant of Sara they want, meaning which region the Dash should work in. (Dash Pro is worldwide though.)

  • Any news on the official GPRS support (SIM900 module)? I saw a remark in the issue list on GitHub about that, a few weeks ago.

  • @net-tobi - not there yet. It's on my desk but I haven't been able to find the SIM I had kicking around (and my phone's one didn't work for me). I'll get it done during the next month I hope.

    However things have moved on - it's actually at the stage where someone else could easily do it now if I'm taking too long. The ESP8266 driver is all JavaScript, and hopefully isn't too painful to figure out. All the AT command handling is there already.

    So basically all you have to do is take that file and modify it for the SIM900, which is remarkably similar... datasheet here - take a look at Chapter 8 (TCPIP)

  • Is there someone in the community who already implemented a working driver for the SIM900a module based on NetworkJS?

  • I bought a sim card over the weekend and am looking at it this morning.

    It turns out that the SIM900A doesn't work in the UK out of the box and you've got to update the firmware though - which I'm still struggling to do.

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GPRS or Edge Howto?

Posted by Avatar for fobus @fobus