Arduino GSM Board For Cellular IoT Projects – Arduino MKR GSM 1400

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Arduino board is my all time favourite board for most of my DIY electronics development. It offers great flexibility and community support which is most important for any board. One can easily extend Arduino’s capability with the help of shields, extension boards and breakout boards. With recent trends in IoT development, everyone is sensing data and pushing it to cloud for monitoring and analysis. It is becoming a common pattern now. If you are using an Arduino Uno or Arduino Mega or similar board, you need an GSM/GPRS shield to achieve that.

In recent past years, companies like Particle and Pycom have released great support for IoT development by providing kits with inbuilt cellular module for ease of development. Arduino is not left behind. In my previous articles, I discussed about new development boards released by Arduino, to help developers build IoT projects without much hassle. Here, I am going to discuss more about Arduino MKR GSM 1400 IoT development board.

ARDUINO MKR GSM 1400

arduino-mkr-gsm

Arduino MKR GSM 1400 is all you need to build an IoT project quickly. It is loaded with u-box SARA-U2 series GSM modem which provides global connectivity support. The SARA-U2 series modules are a 3.75G UMTS/HSPA solution with GSM/(E)GPRS fall-back. The SARA-U2 series includes variants supporting band combinations for worldwide operation, for operation in North America, Europe, Asia and other countries. The great thing about this board is you also get a LiPo charging circuit and a RTC inbuilt which solves most of the needs of any IoT project. All you have to do is – just have to connect your sensors and push data to cloud.

Below is the technical specs of the board –

Microcontroller SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ 32bit low power ARM MCU
Board Power Supply (USB/VIN) 5V
Supported Battery(*) 3.7V LiPo
Circuit Operating Voltage 3.3V
Digital I/O Pins 8
PWM Pins 12 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19)
UART 1
SPI 1
I2C 1
Analog Input Pins 7 (ADC 8/10/12 bit)
Analog Output Pins 1 (DAC 10 bit)
External Interrupts 8 (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17)
DC Current per I/O Pin 7 mA
Flash Memory 256 KB
SRAM 32 KB
EEPROM no
Clock Speed 32.768 kHz (RTC), 48 MHz
LED_BUILTIN 6
Full-Speed USB Device and embedded Host
Antenna power 2dB
Carrier frequency 433/868/915 MHz
Working region Global
Length 67.64 mm
Width 25 mm
Weight 32 gr.

Enough digital, analog pins and support for I2C and SPI, makes Arduino MKR 1400 perfect for sensors or actuator integration. You can power the board using any 3.7V LiPo battery and while using GSM module make sure you supply it with more than 1500 mAh current. The board doesn’t include the sim card and ufl antenna. So while making an order make sure you get a local sim card or a Hologram world wide sim card and an antenna that can accept frequencies in the GSM’s range (880/915 MHz).

There are many shields available for this board to extend its functionality like the MKR mem shield to include SD card feature, MKR proto shield for prototyping, MKR groove shield for grove compatible sensors interfacing etc.

mkr shield mkr shield mkr shield

Arduino has already published a series of guide and tutorials to get started with MKR 1400 IoT development board. You will find many practical and DIY tutorials on Hackster.io as well. I must recommend all my reader who are interested in building a cellular IoT project like weather station, temperature monitoring for perishable food etc. to get your kit today itself. I am going to publish a series of DIYs based on MKR 1400 board.


Also, read –

MyoWare – Arduino Compatible Wearable Muscle Sensor Platform

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