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Anyone used the Adafruit 3G FONA or other 3G cellular modem?

Home Forums Infrastructure and Equipment Anyone used the Adafruit 3G FONA or other 3G cellular modem?

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    • #12303


        This past May I finally deployed 4 of 6 sensor nodes as part of an Arduino-based wireless sensor network collecting hydrogeochemical data at my research site in the remote coal fields of eastern KY. Historically (like 12-18 months ago?), we’ve been able get a connection up on the ridge at the site with the Adafruit 2G FONA (SIM808) paired with a Ting SIM card (they use T-Mobile). Last month I discovered Ting could no longer connect to the 2G network up there, and contacted Ting. Apparently the nearby cell tower is being upgraded by T-Mobile and will no longer support 2G (we knew this was coming), only LTE, so we’ve got to go 3G to upload data to the internet. We recently purchased the Adafruit American band 3G FONA (SIM5320A; https://www.adafruit.com/product/2687) but are having great difficulties getting it to connect, much less upload, here in Athens, GA. The protocols and library are quite different from the 3G FONA, and supposedly they only work with AT&T because they support the dual-band UMTS/HSDPA 850/1900MHz WCDMA + HSDPA employed by the SIM5320A.

        I’ve noticed that Stroud folks have been using the GPRSBee rev. 6, which is no longer available. I checked and there’s a rev. 7 now but it’s still 2G.

        Has anyone used and had luck with uploading data to the internet using the 3G FONA? Does anyone know of any other 3G devices out there than can be used with Arduino-compatible microprocessors without needing a large body of technical knowledge to get them running? Today I found the Sodaq has the 3Gbee SARA-U201 (https://shop.sodaq.com/3gbee-u201.html) which uses uBlox SARA technology about which I know nothing, and for which there is very little information available.

        I’m getting pretty desperate to get my data live-streaming (that was one of the promised grant work products) and am running out of time to finish my dissertation! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

      • #12307

          Hello, I also recently purchased a SIM5320A dev board, albeit a Chinese one: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/MINI-V2-0-3G-HSDPA-SIM5320A-module-with-GPS-evaluation-kit-evaluation-board/605000_622098456.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.2.7a171054vW58eu

          After a lot of scraping through their AT command documentation: http://simcom.ee/documents/SIM5320/SIMCOM_SIM5320_ATC_EN_V2.05.pdf
          I learned that you set the apn profile by passing: AT+CGSOCKCONT=1,”IP”,”YOUR_APN”,”″,0,0
          for ting: YOUR_APN = wholesale (I think)
          then make sure that specific apn profile is selected with: AT+CSOCKSETPN=1
          then try pinging google with: AT+CPING=”www.google.com”,1,4,64,1000,10000,255
          If you get a result then YAAAY! you’re on the internet!
          I also encourage you to dig through the SIM5320 documentation at http://simcom.ee/documents/?dir=SIM5320
          Happy hunting!

        • #12330

            Hey Pat,

            Thanks for your help…we’ve now been able to successfully register the FONA and ping the internet. We’re still not able to post to the internet though. I’m going to going to make anohter separate post for this question in the hope that others will also see it since it’s a new question.

            Thanks again…perhaps you can shed some light on this issue also?


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