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.
Adding ultra-fast cellular internet communication feature 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 a 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 (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, use at least a 2A adapter or power source.
- We don’t recommend 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 Twitter Bot with Sixfab GPRS/3G/LTE Shield
- 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 Hi. Can I ask you the reference of the mini PCIe connector? (The part that clips on) I have bough... answer now
Q Hi, we need to update the firmware of the quectel mini EC-25 AU, can we use this module for it? answer nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered by the admin
You can use the Shield via USB(recommended).
UART is not recommended. It will be conflicting in your case too.
Answered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered by the admin
The PPP installer is updated. Please make sure you put the right APN, Username and Password.
Answered by the admin
You can use Quectel EC25-A Mini PCIe for North America.
Answered by the admin The shield doesn't support Voice call.
Answered 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 nowAnswered 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.
Answered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered by the admin
Yes, it is possible to stack more than one shield.
Answered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered 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 nowAnswered by the admin
What data are you going to send/receive?
Could you please explain more?
You can check tutorials for the shield.