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3G and GPS Shield for Arduino or Standalone Operation via USB US$54.00

3G and GPS Shield for Arduino or Standalone Operation via USB

The 3G shield for Arduino enables connection to high-speed WCDMA and HSPA cellular networks making possible possible the creation of the next level of worldwide interactivity projects in the new "Internet of Things" era.

The module also features an internal GPS that enables indoor and outdoor geolocation, combining standard NMEA frames with mobile cell ID triangulation using both assisted-mobile (A-GPS) and mobile-based (S-GPS) modes.

You can also use this board as a standard 3G modem at full speed (~7.2Mbps download, ~5.5Mbps upload) by connecting it via its mini-USB socket to your laptop (Linux, Windows, MacOS).

Note: Antennas are not included. The SIM5218 device on this shield has three U.FL connectors two for 3G mobile (one is just for a backup antenna), and one for GPS. Antennas and adapters can be selected from the options at the bottom of this page.

Important! Make sure the ARD/RPi jumper is in the ARD position. Connecting this shield to your Arduino with the jumper in the wrong position will damage your Arduino!

The module is designed to work with Internet servers directly (without having to go through the Arduino), internally implementing several application layer protocols which make it easier to send the information to the cloud. This means you will control the action from the main program running on the Arduino, though the data may flow from the 3G module to the SD card, or from a video camera to the 3G module, without a UART bottleneck. You can make HTTP and HTTPS (secure mode) navigation, downloading and uploading content to a web server. Likewise, FTP and FTPS (secure mode) protocols are available, which is useful when your application requires handling files. You can even send and receive email directly from Arduino using the SMTP and POP3 clients implemented internally.

With the microSD Card socket, you can handle a complete FAT16 file system and store up to 32GB of information. This is especially useful as the 3G module can work at full speed (~7.2Mbps download, ~5.5Mbps upload) when working with the SD files directly without need of the Arduino for data or file management. A microSD card is not included.

3G/GPS Arduino Shield Features

Electrical Features

The 3G module used is the SIM5218E from SIMCOM. The power supply of SIM5218 is from a single voltage source of VBAT=3.4V-4.2V. In some cases, the ripple in a transmit burst may cause voltage drops when current consumption rises to typical peaks of 2A. Therefore, the power supply must be able to provide sufficient current up to 2A. The maximum ratings are VBAT=4.4V and 3A peak. The maximum value of voltage for digital or analog pins is 2.8V.

Radio Features

The SIM5218E is a quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSPA engine that works on frequencies of GSM 850 MHz, EGSM 900 MHz, DCS 1800 MHz, PCS 1900 MHz, and WCDMA 2100/1900/900 MHz.

Output power:

  • UMTS 900/1900/2100: 0.25W
  • GSM850/GSM900: 2W
  • DCS1800/PCS1900: 1W
NOTE: When flight mode is activated, RF functions are disabled. The mode can be changed by moving a jumper.

In the U.S., this shield has been tested only on the AT&T network, which supports GSM and 3G protocols. Other carriers may work too; they just have not been tested.

Other Features

  • Compatible with WCDMA and HSPA 3G networks
  • USIM interface: support SIM cards: 3V & 1.8V
  • High-speed USB interface for modem
  • Three audio channels include two microphone inputs and three audio outputs
  • Camera interface is provided in FPC connector and 2mm-pitch holes
  • I2C interface is provided
  • 8-bit ADC input with an input voltage range between 2.65V and GND
  • 2.8V LDO power output
  • 4-bit microSD card interface (file system up to 32GB)
  • Three modes of GPS (standalone, S-GPS and A-GPS)
  • Talk directly to web servers via HTTP/HTTPS
  • TCP and UDP sockets
  • FTP and FTPS for managing files
  • POP3 and SMTP for e-mail

This module will not work without antennas. Unless you already have matching GPS and GSM antennas, be sure to add suitable antennas and SMA-to-U.FL connector adapter cable from the Optional Recommended Products list at the bottom of this page.

This shield also is available with an A/V kit containing a video camera, microphone, speaker, and headphones.

3G/GPS Arduino Shield Resources

Optional Recommended Products for this Item
GSM UMTS Antenna with SMA connector & U.FL adapter+ US$8.00
SMA-to-U.FL Adapter Cable, 102mm+ US$3.00
Quad-band Cellular Duck Antenna, SMA+ US$4.95
Quad-band Cellular 9+ US$6.95
Quad-band Wired Cellular Antenna, SMA Connector+ US$6.00
USB 2.0 Cable, 6ft. A-Male / Mini-USB (5-pin) B-Male+ US$6.00

This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 14 June, 2012.


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