Raspberry Pi Cellular IoT Application Shield – LTE-M & NB-IoT & eGPRS
This is a add-on for Raspberry Pi that has combined LTE technologies Cat.M1, Cat.NB1 (NB-IoT) and eGPRS for Raspberry Pi, based on Quectel’s BG96 module. The shield has the power of new IoT phenomenon LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) with Cat.M1 and NB-IoT connection functionalities. Besides, it also provides the function of eGPRS that be enhanced version of classical GPRS.
The module on shield has GNSS (GPS, GLONASS etc.) functionality for the need of location, navigation, tracking, mapping and timing applications.
The design has a built-in temperature, humidity, light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, and relay. If you do not need these built-in features, you should take a look at Raspberry Pi Cellular IoT HAT.
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The ancient 2G cellular network is now dying. New and better LTE technologies are being used instead. LTE Cat M1/Cat NB1(NB-IoT) is the latest way of the machine to machine communication. This LTE shield for your Raspberry Pi lets you connect the Raspberry to this new cellular networks thanks to Quectel BG96 LTE module on it. It also provides the connection to eGPRS that is the enhanced version of classical GPRS.
Quectel BG96 is a series of LTE Cat M1/Cat NB1/EGPRS module offering a maximum data rate of 375Kbps downlink and 375Kbps uplink with worldwide coverage. The shield has built-in temperature, humidity, light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, a relay and more. This LTE add-on for Raspberry Pi also supports GNSS(GPS, GLONASS etc) for the need of getting location, navigation, tracking, mapping and timing applications.
- Fully compatible with Raspberry Pi models that have the 40-pin GPIO header (3, 2, B+, A+, Zero)
- Supported Protocols: PPP/TCP/UDP/SSL/TLS/FTP(S)/HTTP(S)/NITZ/PING/MQTT
- Worldwide coverage with supported bands:
- Cat M1/Cat NB1:
- LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B8/B12/B13/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28
- LTE TDD: B39 (For Cat M1 Only)
- EGPRS: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
- Cat M1/Cat NB1:
- Embedded GNSS Functionality (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo, QZSS)
- 12-Bit 4 Channel ADC
- 3-axis Accelerometer
- Humidity and Temperature Sensors
- Ambient Light Sensor
- Isolated Optocoupler Inputs
- 1-Wire Sensors Interface
- 3GPP E-UTRA Release 13, 3GPP TS27.007, 3GPP TS 27.005 and Quectel Enhanced AT Commands over UART port to Raspberry Pi is available
- Efficient and low quiescent current regulator circuit can hold up to 3.6A
- Can be used standalone with PC/Laptop over micro USB, without stacking with Raspberry Pi
- Micro SIM Card socket can easily reachable on the upside of the shield.
- Working temperature range: -30°C to +80°C
- Smart farming sensor
- Smart cities sensor
- Smart home sensor
- Internet of Things (IoT) sensor
- Smart door lock
- Smart lightning
- Smart metering
- Bike sharing
- Smart parking
- Smart city
- Security and asset tracking
- Home appliances
- Agricultural and environmental monitoring
USB: If you don’t want to occupy UART port on the Raspberry Pi, just plug the shield via micro USB to Raspberry Pi. You can start to send and receive AT commands, transmit data, output GNSS NEMA, debug and upgrade firmware over the USB connection. It supports USB drivers for Windows, Linux, and Android. Details can be found at drivers section.
UART: The UART pins will be available to use, with 3.3V power domain, directly connected the UART port of Raspberry Pi. Can be used for data transmission and AT command communication with 115200bps baud rate. The default data frame format is 8N1 (8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit). This port does not provide GNSS data. The GNSS data can be gathered only over the USB.
Max. 375Kbps (Downlink), Max 375Kbps (Uplink)
Max. 32Kbps (DL), Max. 70Kbps (UL)
Max. 296Kbps (DL), Max. 236.8Kbps (UL)
Max. 107Kbps (DL), Max. 85.6Kbps (UL)
Point-to-point MO and MT
SMS Cell Broadcast
Text and PDU Mode
- GNSS: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo, QZSS
- Firmware Upgrade: via USB interface
- DFOTA: Delta Firmware Upgrade Over the Air
- Audio Record/Play
- Processor: ARM A7 Processor, with 3MB Flash and 3MB RAM Available for Users
- 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 Cellular IoT Application Shield and Raspberry Pi. It causes data and power loss.
- Do not apply higher voltages and currents than those specified absolute electrical value for sensor inputs and relay connections.
|Pin Number||BCM Pin||Pin Name||Description|
|2||5V||5V PWR||This pin is connected to the 5V power net.|
|3||GPIO 2||SDA||I2C Serial Data|
|4||5V||5V PWR||This pin is connected to the 5V power net.|
|5||GPIO 3||SCL||I2C Serial Data|
|7||GPIO 4||1-WIRE||Data line for communicate with 1-Wire sensors.|
|8||UART RX||BG96 TX||This pin functions as the serial data input to the module for UART communication.|
|10||UART TX||BG96 RX||This pin functions as the serial data output from the module for UART communication|
|11||GPIO 17||RELAY||Relay control pin. When this pin is HIGH state, relay is operated.(Common and NO are connected.)|
|12||GPIO 18||IN-2||When the voltage in the range 3.3-12V(max 15V!) is applied from the IN-2 input, this pin goes to LOW state. Default state is HIGH(pulled-up).|
|13||GPIO 27||USER LED||Active HIGH, to switch on the USER LED, the pin’s state should be HIGH.|
|18||GPIO 24||USER BUTTON||This pin is pulled-up by default. When button is pressed, pin switches to LOW.|
|19||GPIO 10||IN-1||When the voltage in the range 3.3-12V(max 15V!) is applied from the IN-1 input, this pin goes to LOW state. Default state is HIGH(pulled-up).|
|23||GPIO 11||BG96 PWRKEY||The module can be turned on by driving the pin BG96 PWRKEY to a HIGH-level voltage more than 500ms then pulling it down. You can apply the same process to power down to the module if it already powered up.|
|31||GPIO 6||BG96 APREADY||AP_READY will detect the sleep state of the host (can be configured to HIGH level or LOW level detection). Please refer to AT+QCFG=“apready” command for details.|
|33||GPIO 13||BG96 RI||When BG96 has URC to report, RI signal will wake up the host. Please refer to Chapter 3.14 for details about RI behavior from BG96 Datasheet.|
|37||GPIO 26||BG96 POWER ENABLE||BG96 3.8V Power regulator control. Normally pulled-up, when this pin drove to LOW, BG96’s power will cut off.|
|38||GPIO 20||BG96 STATUS||The STATUS pin is used to indicate the operation status of BG96 module. It will output HIGH level when the module is powered on.|
|6,9,14,25,30,34,39||GND||GND||This pins are connected to ground.|
|Pin Number||BCM Pin||Pin Name||Description||Min||Typ.||Max.||Unit|
|2||5V||5V PWR||Power Supply||4.8||5||5.25||V|
|3||GPIO 2||SDA||I2C Data||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|4||5V||5V PWR||Power Supply||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|5||GPIO 3||SCL||I2C Clock||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|7||GPIO 4||1-WIRE||1-Wire data||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|8||UART RX||BG96 TX||UART||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|10||UART TX||BG96 RX||UART||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|13||GPIO 27||USER LED||Output||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|18||GPIO 24||USER BUTTON||Input||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|23||GPIO 11||BG96 PWRKEY||Output||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|31||GPIO 6||BG96 APREADY||Input||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|33||GPIO 13||BG96 RI||Input||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|37||GPIO 26||BG96 POWER ENABLE||Output||3||3.3||3.6||V|
|38||GPIO 20||BG96 STATUS||Input||3||3.3||3.6||V|
You can download the schematic of Raspberry Pi Cellular IoT Application Shield from this Github repository.
- POWER (PWR): When the shield is powered up, this RED led turns on.
- STATUS (STAT): While the module is powered up by driving PWRKEY(GPIO 11) to HIGH state or pushing the PWRKEY button, this RED led turns on.
- USER (USER): The GREEN user led can be controlled by driving the GPIO 27 pin.
- ENABLE(EN): This GREEN led shows the status of the power regulator of module is switched on or off. By default, the GPIO 26(ENABLE) pin is pulled up by hardware and the regulator juices the module. To shut down the regulator, this pin needs to be driven to LOW state.
- NETLIGHT (NETL) : This BLUE led indicates the status of the module. When the connection is established and data is being transmitted/received, this led will blink at special intervals. Please find the following chart for details:
|Flicker slowly (200ms ON/1800ms OFF)||Network searching|
|Flicker slowly (1800ms ON/200ms OFF)||Idle|
|Flicker quickly (125ms ON/125ms OFF)||Data transfer is ongoing|
|Always high||Voice calling|
- USER: This push button connected to GPIO24 and pulled up HIGH state by default. When you push the button, you will read LOW state from GPIO24.
- PWRKEY: When BG96 is in power off mode, it can be turned on to normal mode by pushing the PWRKEY button for at least 500ms.
- BOOT: Pushing this button can force the module to boot from USB port for firmware upgrade.
- The MMA8452Q is a smart, low-power, three-axis, capacitive, micromachine accelerometer with 12 bits of resolution. It has user selectable full scales of ±2 g/±4 g/±8 g with high-pass filtered data as well as non-filtered data available real-time.
- The accelerometer connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x1C.
- MMA8452Q’s interrupt pins are not connected.
12-Bit 4-Channel Analog-to-digital Converter | ADS1015
- The ADS1015 is precision, low-power, 12-bit, analog-to-digital converter.
- Raspberry Pi can not measure analog inputs because it does not have internal ADC. However, with this external ADC, the ADS1015, you can read analog values with your Raspberry Pi.
- The ADC connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x49.
- It’s a phototransistor close responsively to the human eye spectrum, light to current.
- It’s connected to ADC (ADS1015), because of it has analog output and Raspberry Pi can not read it directly.
- The sensor connected to AIN3 pin of ADS1015.
- The HDC1080 is a digital humidity sensor with integrated temperature sensor that provides excellent measurement accuracy at very low power.
- Relative Humidity Accuracy ±2% (typical)
- Temperature Accuracy ±0.2°C (typical)
- The HDC1080 connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x40.
- The heat that produced by when R.Pi heats up may cause the sensor to display a few higher degrees than the ambient temperature.
- The relay for controlling high voltage and current.
- Relay control pin is GPIO17. When this pin is HIGH, relay is switched and connected C and NO pins. When GPIO17 is LOW state or unused, it connects C and NC pins.
WARNING! : This small form factor relay and traces can handle up to 60W or 3.5 Amps. Pushing the limits will produce heat and definately harm the circuits and shield. Recommended maximum contact ratings:
- 12V DC – 3.5A
- 24V DC – 2.5A
- 120V AC – 0.5A
- 220V AC – 0.25A
- Two isolated by optocouplers inputs available on the shield. Recommended max. GPIO voltage level of Raspberry Pi is 3.3V. Reading higher than 3.3V voltage inputs are harmful for your Pi and will definitely destroy the circuits.
- Upper limit of this inputs is 15V, between 3.3V and 15V is readable. GPIO pins are normally pulled up, when a voltage applied to isolated inputs, GPIO pins goes LOW state.
- The input’s (sensor, switch etc) ground must be connected to optocoupler’s G input to complete isolated circuit.
GNSS: This header pins directly connected to BG96 GNSS output. They are not connected to UART port of Raspberry Pi. You should connect to BG96 via USB to receive GNSS data. Thinking that these pins might be needed somehow, so we’ve taken them out as headers.
Debug (DBG): This DEBUG UART port belongs BG96 and used for embedded firmware debugging of module and log output.
When you need to add an external I2C thing, you can use these I2C connectors. 3.3V VCC and GND pins provided too. It has pull-up resistors.
There are lots of sensors which have 1-Wire connection standard (DS18B20 etc.) in the market. 1-Wire connector has VCC, DATA and GND pins. With this pins you can connect easily a 1-wire sensor. Data pin directly connected to GPIO4 and has a 4.7K pull-up resistor.
You can download the 3D design files(STEP, IGES) of the Sixfab Cellular IoT Application Shield for Raspberry Pi from this Github repository.
- 1x Sixfab Cellular IoT Application Shield for Raspberry Pi
- 1x LTE – GNSS Dual u.FL Antenna – 100mm
- 1x Mini Flat Head Screwdriver for Connection Terminals
- Download Quectel LTE Windows USB Driver v2.0.13
- Download Quectel WCDMA<E Linux USB R01A01
- Download Quectel Android RIL Driver v1.41.36
- Download Quectel BG96 AT Commands Manual v2.2
- Download Quectel BG96 GNSS AT Commands Manual v1.1
- Download Quectel BG96 TCP(IP) AT Commands Manual v1.0
- Download Quectel BG96 HTTP(s)AT Commands Manual v1.0
- Download Quectel BG96 MQTT Application Note v1.0
- Download Quectel BG96 PPP Application Note v1.0
- Download HDC1080 Temperature&Humidity Sensor Datasheet
- Download MMA8452Q 3-Axis Accelerometer Datasheet
- Download ADS1015 12-Bit 4-Ch ADC Datasheet
- Download ALS-PT19 Light Sensor Datasheet
The Raspberry Pi Cellular IoT Application Shield Github Repository contains the libraries and codes are used in tutorials, hardware files and more.
Questions and answers of the customers
Q How to receive data from network, for example if the module works as UDP/TCP server MQTT subscrib... answer nowAnswered by the admin
In order to receive MQTT you will need sim with static IP.
You can use MQTT guide. (LINK)
Q Do you have the coding tutorials to get the implementation of sending SMS alert? If so, please do... answer nowAnswered by the admin
The script is available in the GitHub repository.
Q Hi, I am trying to connect "Raspberry Pi Cellular IoT Application Shield" as CAT-M1. I am foll... answer nowAnswered by the admin
Which network provider are you using to connect to Cat M1?
Make sure your network provider supports Cat M1 in your location.
Answered by the admin
Since both devices uses a UART interface for communication, you cannot stack them.
Q Over the USB connection to the board can i execute directly the AT commands? Also how i will get ... answer nowAnswered by the admin Yes, you can use directly USB for AT commands. Drivers are available in the product description. For Ubuntu you won't need to install, it recognizes the device. (/dev/ttyUSB3 115200 can be used)
Answered by the admin
It is possible to make a connection over USB, but you will still need to attach the Shield on the RPi using the 40-pins. This is because Power up and observing sensor data is not possible via USB.
Q Does this not require additional antennas to be connected for a) Cellular internet and b) GNSS? answer nowAnswered by the admin
Yes, you will need antennas,
For cellular, you can use any LTE antenna.
For GNSS, you can use an active or passive antenna according to your requirement.