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Author Topic: Which GSM/GPRS module: SM5100B cellular shield vs. SIM900 IComSat shield?  (Read 3282 times)
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Hi folks,

I'm trying to decide what cellular shield to get for my Arduino Uno, and whenever I search for information about any of the options, all I get are forum posts about people having problems with them. I'm fairly new to electronics so I'm finding it hard to judge them. Here are links to the two I'm considering:

SM5100B: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9607
SIM900 IComSat: http://iteadstudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=413

The latter is much cheaper than the former, but seems to have more forum posts from people having problems. Also, this post (http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,80645.msg706190.html#msg706190) says that the SIM900 requires a 12V 1A power supply. Is that possible to do using an Arduino Uno and USB power or a 9V battery?

Any general thoughts about which is likely to be easier to use, and what I would get for the SM5100B shield being twice the price, would be very appreciated. Thanks a bunch!
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London
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Bump please! I at least want to know if the fact that the SIM900 needing 12V 1A power supply precludes it being used on an Arduino Uno. But I'm all ears on any thoughts on the two shields in general. Thanks.
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Quote
I at least want to know if the fact that the SIM900 needing 12V 1A power supply precludes it being used on an Arduino Uno.
No, it doesn't. It does need a separate power supply. The Arduino can not supply anywhere near that much current. The grounds need to be connected.
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I at least want to know if the fact that the SIM900 needing 12V 1A power supply precludes it being used on an Arduino Uno.
No, it doesn't. It does need a separate power supply. The Arduino can not supply anywhere near that much current. The grounds need to be connected.
Ah, well, assuming OpenElectronics is correct about this, that rules the SIM900 out. Seems like the SM5100B expects 3.3-4.2V and up to 2A, which seems more feasible. That about makes the decision for me - cheers.
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The datasheet for the iteadstudio SIM900 shield you linked says it wants between 9V to 20V supplying at least 2amps.  From the schematic you can see it expects this to be supplied on the VIN pin from the Arduino. http://iteadstudio.com/store/images/produce/Shield/IComSat/icomsat_DS1.2.pdf, http://iteadstudio.com/store/images/produce/Shield/Module/GPRSmodule/GPRS_module_SCH.pdf.

The datasheet for the SIM900 module says it operates on a single supply voltage between 3.1V and 4.8V and that the peak current during transmit bursts is 2.0 Amps.  The shield takes care of converting the VIN supply to a voltage within the range required by the module.

So you will need at least a 9V 2amp supply for the Arduino with this shield attached.
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If you're into a bit of hardware hacking, this is probably the lowest-cost (US$25) option for adding GSM support to an Arduino: http://finch.am/projects/arduinogsm/.

The datasheet for the GPRS module is here: http://www.sure-electronics.net/rf,audio/GP-GC006-pdf.pdf. It can peak at 1.8 amps, although I wonder if the USB module solves that demand with a capacitor since it can only source up to 500mA from a typical USB port.

edit: Added datasheet link for the GPRS module and correction for max current.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 09:04:06 pm by dhunt » Logged


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Thanks a lot for your thoughts, dhunt. I think I will go for the shield with the SM5100B, as I'm not much of a hardware hacker yet, and the fellow using the SKU12057 modem in that link seems to have had a hard time fitting a library for it into RAM. The SM5100B is somewhat affordable and I mainly want to get it up and running, so I think I'll follow the path of least resistance...
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I have gotten a SM5100B shield to upload data to pachube with GPRS ( after setting it up with our local network settings)
havnt worked with th eSIM900 module yet ( th eopenelectronics one)

I am also working on a u-blox G100/G200 module shield, I have also used it to connect to a server and send some data.

( there was a cool TCP/IP tutorial for using the SM5100B somewhere)
and the Sim900 module can be used with the openelectronic library ( same with my u-blox version with an slightly adapted library)

all of them require some "light" reading of the application notes and datasheets so you know what to tell them to connect and send data to where you want it..
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In my project I want to put the data to the Pachube site wirelesly using SIM900A GSM/GPRS module. Is there a pachube library for arduino with GSM/GPRS module ? if so please let me know..
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Go to this site and search for 'Send2Pachube'
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Beginners guide to using the Seeedstudio SIM900 GPRS/GSM Shield

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