Raspberry Pi 3G-4G/LTE Base Shield V2
This is a handy interface bridge between Mini PCIe 3G/4G/LTE modules and Raspberry Pi. You can easily insert a Mini PCIe module in this shield then start using high-speed cellular internet with your Raspberry Pi. You also need to get a UC20 Mini PCle 3G Module or EC25 Mini PCle 4G/LTE Module and Antennas to make this product works.
Notice: There is an updated version available: Sixfab Base HAT
Replacement: Sixfab Base HAT. The new version of this board has better circuitry with the “HAT features” and includes programmable user LED and button.
Adding ultra-fast cellular internet communication features to your Raspberry Pi has never been easier until you get this shield. This is a handy interface bridge between Mini PCIe 3G/4G/LTE modules and Raspberry Pi. You can easily insert a Mini PCIe module in this shield then start using cellular internet with your Raspberry Pi. Both UART and USB communication with modules is available.
It can be used as an LTE modem or dongle. If you’re looking for a Raspberry Pi LTE HAT for applications like Raspberry Pi video streaming or high-speed data transferring, this Sixfab Base Shield is here to help. Making a remote controllable LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, high-speed GPS tracking, VoIP, more and more use case is possible with his add-on board.
Depends on your region and data rate need, you can choose an LTE module from a variety of options are available in the market from different cellular module vendors. The full list of the compatible modules mentioned below. For global 3G coverage, we suggest Quectel UC20 3G Module, and for high-speed LTE connection, we suggest Quectel EC25 LTE Module, are available at Sixfab right now.
- Fully compatible with Raspberry Pi models that have the 40-pin GPIO header (4, 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero)
- Easy-to-use, simple setup, plug-and-play
- Clip-in Mini PCIe socket compatible with worldwide LTE, UMTS/HSPA+ and GSM/GPRS/EDGE coverage with regional or global modules which work with different frequencies&carriers
- With the 4G/LTE Module(e.g Quectel EC25) you can reach 150Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink data rates. And the 3G Module( e.g Quectel UC20) delivers the maximum data rate of 14.4Mbps downlink and 5.76Mbps uplink.
- Micro SIM Card socket can easily reachable on the upside of the shield.
- Can be used standalone with PC/Laptop over micro USB, without stacking with Raspberry Pi.
- The shield can be powered from an external 5V source by exposed power pins, directly from Raspberry Pi 5V GPIO headers or over micro USB. A specially designed 90-degree right angle micro USB cable is included to package as a gift by default.
- Efficient and low quiescent current regulator circuit can hold up to 3.6A
- Optional Send/Receive commands over Raspberry Pi UART port is available
- Taking the module into the Airplane Mode, resetting module or RI and DTR functions can be done over GPIO pins.
- The modules(EC25&UC20) have built-in GNSS(GPS/GLONASS) receiver for your location-based applications.
- Working temperature range: -40°C ~ 80°C
- Video/Music Streaming
- Large Data Downloads and Uploads
- LTE Dongle/Router
- Mobile Internet Hotspot
- High-speed GPS Tracking
- Real-time Environmental Monitoring
- Smart City & Agriculture Applications
- Smart Parking
- Security & Asset tracking
- Long Header: If you plan to attach another Raspberry Pi HAT or add-on board on top of the Base Shield, you will definitely need this variation. Also, using GPIOs with jumper cables is possible with these male headers.
- Short Header: Are you going to use Base Shield only, will not add another Raspberry Pi HAT or shield on top of it? Or you’ve already attached a board with a long header on Raspberry Pi and you’re planning to plug the Base Shield on top? This header option is suitable for you.
- Without Header: If just the plugging Base Shield via micro USB cable to Raspberry Pi is enough for you, or you’ve already attached a bulky shield on Pi, doesn’t need UART communication, this slim, headerless shield works greatly. For knowing what you missing without headers, take a look at the Pinout Diagram of the shield, these pins will be unconnected.
USB: Most of Mini PCIe modules have USB driver for Android, Linux, and Windows operating systems. The Base Shield that loaded with a module like Quectel EC25 LTE, can be attached to a minicomputer(especially Raspberry Pi), mobile phone or laptop with USB then works as a 3G/4G USB Dongle Modem. Drivers for modules, please visit the module product pages.
UART: If you insert one of the Quectel Mini PCIe modules, the UART pins will be available to use, with 3.3V power domain, directly connected the UART port of Raspberry Pi. But the maximum data rate will be lower than USB. It’ll be around 900 Kbit/s Downlink and Uplink (UART)
Compatible Mini PCIe Modules
- AirPrime MC Series
- LM960, LE910V2, HE910, LE910Cx, and more
- ME909s-120, ME909s-821, and more
- SIM7100, SIM7230, and more
- ZM8620, and more
- MPCI-L2 Series
Important Note(*): Please check the following Quectel Mini PCIe pinout(EC20,EC21,EC25,UC20) diagram and the Base Shield connected pin table for full compatibility. The other Mini PCIe modules from different vendors can be used with the Base shield. Generally, these modules’ USB, power supply, status led and SIM Card pins match with Base Shield Pinout, they can be used via USB connection without struggling but it does not mean full compatibility, some features may not work. The AT Command Interface cannot be used without UART connection. Please, consider USB connection needs special drivers for each operating system.
|Sixfab Base Shield Mini PCIe Pinout||Quectel EC20,EC21,EC25,UC20||Quectel LTE-EP06||Sierra Telit Huawei Simcom ZTE U-Blox|
|Pin USIM VDD||OK||OK||OK|
|Pin UART_RX||OK||NOT CONNECTED||NOT CONNECTED|
|Pin UART_TX||OK||NOT CONNECTED||NOT CONNECTED|
|Pin RI||OK||NOT CONNECTED||NOT CONNECTED|
|Pin DTR||OK||NOT CONNECTED||NOT CONNECTED|
- Raspberry Pi 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero
- Asus Tinker Board
- Rock 64*
- Orange Pi*
- Samsung ARTIK’s Eagleye board*
- Latte Panda
Note 1: The modules’ default drivers may not work with all these mini computers. There may need some Kernel work to implement the drivers. We’re working on Quectel Modules’ drivers to make them ready for each mini computer in the list. Please take a look at our support section for details.
Note 2: These compatibility list created by assuming you’ve connected the Base Shield to the device via USB. UART communication can be work with every device in the list easily which have 3.3V level UART port.
- For the best working condition, power the Raspberry Pi with a minimum 2 Amps 5V adapter while using the Base Shield attached.
- We don’t recommend the usage of long and low-quality micro USB cables between Base Shield and Raspberry Pi. It causes data and power loss. Thus, the cable included the package works greatly.
|Pin Number||Pin Name||Description|
|2||5V PWR||This pin is connected to the 5V power net.|
|4||5V PWR||This pin is connected to the 5V power net.|
|8||PCI RX||This pin functions as the serial data input to the module
for UART communication.
|10||PCI TX||This pin functions as the serial data output from the
module for UART communication
|31||RI||This pin is Ring indicator functions as the indication for
receiving call or SMS, can be calibrated to HIGH or LOW
using the AT commands.
|33||DTR||When the module is in sleep mode, DTR pin allows to
wake up the module up by pulling it to LOW.
|35||W_DISABLE||This pin is used to turn Airplane Mode on the module, by
pulling it HIGH.
|37||PERST||The pin is used to hardware reset the module, by pulling
|6,9,14,25,30,34,39||GND||These pins are connected to ground.|
Electrical Characteristics of Pins
|5V PWR||Power Supply||4.8||5.0||5.25||V|
|PCI RX, PCI TX||IO||3.0||3.3||3.6||V|
You can download the schematic of Base Shield from this Github repository.
- PWR LED: When the module is powered up, this RED led turns on.
- SGNL LED: This BLUE led indicates the status of the connection. When the connection is established and data is being transmitted/received, this led will blink at special intervals. Otherwise, if there is no connection, the led will remain off.
3D Design Files
You can download the 3D design files(STEP, IGES) of Base Shield from this Github repository.
|Header Type||Without Mini PCIe Module||With Mini PCIe Module||Unit|
|With Short Header||21.6||31.7||gr|
|With Long Header||25.1||35.2||gr|
- 1x Sixfab 3G/4G-LTE Base Shield for Raspberry Pi
- 1x 90-degree Right Angle Micro USB Cable
!NOTE: The 3G/4G-LTE Mini PCIe modules are not included.
- Make a PPP internet connection with 3G, 4G/LTE Shields on Raspberry Pi
- Using Sixfab 3G or 4G Raspberry Pi shield as a Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Raspberry Pi Youtube/Facebook Live Video Streamer with Sixfab 3G/LTE Shields
- Raspberry Pi Security System with Sixfab 3G/LTE Shields
- GPS Tracker with 3G, 4G/LTE shield
The Sixfab Github Repository for Raspberry Pi Shield contains the libraries and codes are used in tutorials, hardware files and more.
Questions and answers of the customers
Q Can I Make and receive calls and message with simcard? answer nowAsked by 19 November 2019 5:18 PMonAnswered by the admin
The shield doesn't support Voice call but you can send and receive messages with AT command.
Q If I buy this module, would there be enough space to fit a camera on the CSI slots? (Seems like t... answer nowAsked by 11 November 2019 11:55 PMonAnswered by the admin
No problem. There is enough space.
Q I want to use this with RockPro64 with Armbian. So far my efforts are not successful. I tried thi... answer nowAsked by 2 November 2019 4:26 PMonAnswered by the admin
- No, you can't but you can do hotspot.
- No, we have no reference.
Q what raspi 4 cases, either indoor or outdoor, case I use with this shield? answer nowAsked by 31 October 2019 10:38 AMonAnswered by the admin Hi. We have such a product. https://sixfab.com/product/raspberry-pi-ip65-weatherproof-iot-project-enclosure/
Q Does this work on the Android Things Pico i.MX7Dual development board ? answer nowAsked by 30 October 2019 2:21 PMonAnswered by the admin We are developing with Raspbian. We didn't use it with Android Things OS.
Q Why this does not include the posts and fixing screws to connect with RP firmly? How to procure s... answer nowAsked by 28 October 2019 7:57 PMonAnswered by the admin
Thanks for your feedback. We will evaluate.
Q Hello, I have been experiencing a reboot hang problem when using this HAT with Raspberry Pi 4B... answer nowAsked by 23 October 2019 1:14 PMonAnswered by the admin
With the Raspberry Pi 4B, HAT is running smoothly. We tested.
Q How can I get the intensity of the LTE/4G/3G signal? Can I get the throughput? answer nowAsked by 22 October 2019 11:55 PMonAnswered by the admin Hi. AT+CSQ AT command returns the signal strength of the device. Possible values are, 0 113 dBm or less 1 111 dBm 2...30 109... 53 dBm 31 51 dBm or greater 99 not known or not detectable
Q The product description states "This pin is Ring indicator functions as the indication for recei... answer nowAsked by 2 September 2019 10:47 AMonAnswered by the admin See "User Manuals" here. https://sixfab.com/product/quectel-ec25-mini-pcle-4glte-module/
Q Hi can you use other mini-pcie USB protocol devices in the header, I have a DVB-T test card that ... answer nowAsked by 2 September 2019 3:26 AMonAnswered by the admin We have not tried such cards.
Q Which Header Type should I select? if I will use the Base Shield with EC25 module, and connect to... answer nowAsked by 25 August 2019 6:10 PMonAnswered by the admin
Long Header and Short Header are suitable for you.
Q I am using a Pi zero w, the sixfab mPCI-E base shield for 3G,4G/LTE modules and the quectel EC25-... answer nowAsked by 23 August 2019 2:56 PMonA Yes I soldered 0 ohm resistors in place to use the UART. The strange thing is that the system works perfectly using the Quectel eval board for the EC25-E. The sixfab board does not work if it is plugged directly into the RPI but if I link the Pi and sixfab board together using a small ribbon cable then it works but sends a photograph every two minutes. I am linking the first 20 wires together ie. pins 1,3,5,7,9,2,4,6,8,10so clearly it is one of the other pins making it fail. I am tempted to remove the unused connections that are currently in place.
Q Hi, can multiple modules be stacked ? If so, how many ? Thanks. answer nowAsked by 22 August 2019 5:49 PMonAnswered by the admin You can multiply with USB.
Q Hi, Can I use this shield and the in-built Ethernet port simultaneously? I want to read some sens... answer nowAsked by 7 August 2019 5:38 AMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, you can use it.
Q How do you connect this to a cellular network? Like do I call my provider and give them some numb... answer nowAsked by 31 July 2019 5:31 PMon
Q Can the shield be used with Raspberry Pi 3B? I see 3B+ but not 3B in the description... answer nowAsked by 31 July 2019 12:44 AMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, the shield is compatible with Rpi 3B too.
Q Can you use other mPCIe devices like GPU adapters or SSDs with this? answer nowAsked by 19 July 2019 2:48 AMonAnswered by the admin
We have not tested. Please compare the pinout of the other device with the pinout of the shield.
Q Hi, Can I use this module connected with ARM mbed LPC1768 microcontroller for GSM based universi... answer nowAsked by 14 June 2019 4:07 PMonAnswered by the admin It can use (AT can send commands) but we do not have support.
Q Hi. Can I ask you the reference of the mini PCIe connector? (The part that clips on) I have bough... answer nowAsked by 12 June 2019 5:20 AMon
Q Hi, will this board cause interference with a Stratux Vk-162 GPS answer nowAsked by 10 June 2019 7:48 PMonAnswered by the admin
We have not tested it. compare the pinout, please.
Q Hi, we need to update the firmware of the quectel mini EC-25 AU, can we use this module for it? answer nowAsked by 7 June 2019 4:43 PMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, you can use it.
Q Is it possible to use these Shield with IoT Core and if yes are there any descriptions? answer nowAsked by 7 June 2019 7:37 AMonAnswered by the admin
This is just a Base Shield, which bridges the module to be used with the Raspberry Pi.
So, it will depend on the module you will be using with this Base Shield.
Q Hi, when the module is plugged on a raspberry pi and communicating via usb rather than the GPIO u... answer nowAsked by 6 June 2019 5:45 AMonAnswered by the admin
By default, the UART of the Shield is disconnected. So you may use them for other purposes while the Shield is stacked.
Q I'm sending and receive a lot of data using UART also I'm using on RPi3 nrf24l01 so here is my qu... answer nowAsked by 5 June 2019 12:03 PMonAnswered by the admin
You can use the Shield via USB(recommended).
UART is not recommended. It will be conflicting in your case too.
Q Hi, what is the maximum current, this module needs? answer nowAsked by 17 May 2019 4:25 PMonAnswered by the admin
The current consumption depends on the module you will be using with the Base Shield.
Please check the datasheet of the respected module that will be used, for power consumption details.
Q Hi I would like to know if I could be able to use this shield with a 4G network in order to uploa... answer nowAsked by 3 May 2019 11:45 AMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, You can use this to upload images, videos and sounds.
You can use AT commands to make call (Audio codec is not present so you can't send or receive voice.). The call is possible to trigger an event but cannot listen to anything,
Q I connected this base shield with Quectel UC20 miniPCIe to Raspberry Pi 3 model B but via USB. Th... answer nowAsked by 1 May 2019 4:27 PMonAnswered by the admin
The PPP installer is updated. Please make sure you put the right APN, Username and Password.
Q What module/modules works for LTE broadband in Canada answer nowAsked by 18 April 2019 4:15 PMonAnswered by the admin
You can use Quectel EC25-A Mini PCIe for North America.
Q Can you make voip calls with this model? Also what module works in Canada? answer nowAsked by 18 April 2019 3:19 PMonAnswered by the admin The shield doesn't support Voice call.
Q Will this board work with Raspberry pi compute module 3+ IO board. answer nowAsked by 16 April 2019 8:31 PMonAnswered by the admin You can make it work through USB only.
Q Does it support AT+ CSIM command? https://m2msupport.net/m2msupport/atcsim-generic-sim-access/ answer nowAsked by 15 April 2019 11:56 AMonAnswered by the admin The AT commands are for the module attached to the Shield. Please follow the AT command manual of the respected module. For example, Quectel EC25 supports the command.
Q Hi, would this work on the Raspberry Pi 3 B (not B+) ? answer nowAsked by 14 April 2019 7:34 PMonAnswered by the admin Yes, It will work
Q What is the real world max speed for browsing web or speedtest.net on LTE of this when connected ... answer nowAsked by 9 April 2019 6:06 PMonAnswered by the admin Real world speed depends on various factors e.g. signal strength, distance from network station etc. So it will vary from place to place. The theoretical value will be the value provided by the module manufacturer you will be using with the Base Shield.
Q Can you suggest short USB cables that would allow 3 shields to be connected to a Pi that also has... answer nowAsked by 28 March 2019 4:43 PMonAnswered by the admin You can use any USB short cables. Just avoid using too long cables.
Q In my particular build, I can not use the USB cable that is provided. Can you recommend another o... answer nowAsked by 21 March 2019 11:45 PMonAnswered by the admin
How is it causing a problem to your case? Are you using Ethernet cable too? Try using any short USB cable.
Q When 2 or more base shield/modems are connected to one Raspberry Pi 3B+ to provide 2 or more GSM ... answer nowAsked by 21 March 2019 4:46 PMonAnswered by the admin
Since the module for each connection is different there is no interference issue.
Q Is there any difference of performance (other than speed of data communication between the Pi and... answer nowAsked by 21 March 2019 4:44 PMonAnswered by the admin
With the performance, we refer to the speed of the connection. With a higher gained antenna, power consumption will be lower.
Q I bought a HAT and inserted a voice + data sim card. It doesn't create a session with the PGW, co... answer nowAsked by 20 March 2019 12:59 PMonAnswered by the admin
Which module are you using with the Base Shield?
Q Can 2 or more base shield/modems be connected to one Raspberry Pi 3B+ to provide 2 or more GSM co... answer nowAsked by 20 March 2019 3:05 AMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, it is possible to stack more than one shield.
Q What standoffs do you recommend to use when attached to the Pi? answer nowAsked by 20 March 2019 2:37 AMonAnswered by the admin 11mm M2.5 Standoff
Q Is there any difference of performance whether the board is powered from USB, +5V contacts, and/o... answer nowAsked by 20 March 2019 2:35 AMonAnswered by the admin
The speed is limited when connected over UART. USB is recommended.
Answered by the admin
This is a development device which is actually a bridge between Mini PCIe 3G/4G/LTE modules and Raspberry Pi. The module that is being used with the shield is certified. So it doesn't need any certification.
If someone is making it an end product then you will need to get certification for the whole setup.
Q Is the Raspberry Pi 3G-4G/LTE Base Shield V2 and the Raspberry Pi XBee Shield V2 compatible? Can ... answer nowAsked by 10 March 2019 11:57 PMonAnswered by the admin
Yes, Raspberry Pi 3G-4G/LTE Base Shield v2 and Raspberry Pi XBee Shield v2 can be used together.
Communication for Base shield should be via USB(recommended).
XBee Shield can be connected via USB or UART.
Q Will this work for other mini pcie cards? Such as SSDs, or other wireless cards? I suppose my que... answer nowAsked by 9 March 2019 5:59 AMonAnswered by the admin
For compatibility, you will need to compare the pinout of the mini PCIe with the Quectel Mini PCIe pinout(EC20, EC21, EC25, UC20) (Pinout is available in the product description).
Q I have one of these shields. Can I get the 5V power to the shield via the 40 pin connector on my ... answer nowAsked by 28 February 2019 7:50 PMonAnswered by the admin
Attaching the Shield over the Raspberry Pi provides 5V power supply.
Q Hi, I'm monel from France. I would know if your dongle can support data from SFR a french tel... answer nowAsked by 28 February 2019 11:15 AMonAnswered by the admin
What data are you going to send/receive?
Could you please explain more?
You can check tutorials for the shield.