Lower Cost Arduino Cell Shield

People love putting their Arduinos in interesting and remote places. while it may be possible, it may not be practical to run out and collect data from the devices. That is where this GSM / GPRS shield comes in handy.

Based around the SIMCom SIM900 that puts this device on the lower end of the price scale, (49 Euro for the module, ~60 Euro for the module mounted on a breakout board, or around 85 greenbacks) makes this module an interesting target for anyone wanting to add cell phone connectivity to a project.

To take this a step further [Boris] whipped up a nice shield PCB for the Arduino and Arduino like footprint users to make connections between the 900’s breakout board and the Arduino layout a snap. Electrically its just wires, and a LM317.

Comments

  1. CptAJ says:

    How come these are still so damn expensive? In this day and age of cheap, 20 dollar cellphones, you’d think a raw module without human interface features would be cheap as hell.

  2. Bill D Williams says:

    Jimmy-Christmas. Stop it with the cell modules.

    Someone needs to hack a pay-as-you-go cell phone. Simple, cheap, done. What’s the plan cost to work with one of these? $50 a month? Plus the $85? Plus a contract? Good grief!

    I can go to walmart and get a cell phone with plan for about $30-40. Maybe hacking a cell phone by it’s USB connection might be too hard. Maybe someone should find one with a decent keyboard/connector that can be soldered to and “bit bang” the buttons to take control of it.

  3. @CptAJ – I often wonder the same thing!

    I was about to get into a rant about the definition of low but then I saw it said ‘Lower’, not ‘Low’.

    So far the only actual Low cost ways to get a cellular modem for a DYI project I have ever seen are to either use an actual old cellphone with an RS232 port or this: http://finch.am/projects/arduinogsm/. I don’t remember where I found that, it might have even been Hackaday but I bookmarked the actual article, not the blog.

  4. John says:

    @CptAJ
    It’s the same reason a lot of other specialty hobbyist items are more expensive than they should be. Because they can’t sell them by the hundred-thousands. Also, they know hobbyists are pretty much over a barrel.

  5. biozz says:

    make a CDMA one and im all over it

  6. rob says:

    @Bill D Williams go get a sim card and activate it on a pay as you go plan cost you 30 bucks here pay as you go phones still cost a 100 or so

    @biozz cdma means you have to have a carrier that will support a device that they didn’t sell good luck with that telus and bell here were both cdma last year and well even shared towers and networks
    but you couldn’t put a telus phone on a bells network they didn’t have the iemi in their database they didn’t have to give you service

  7. rbroich says:

    SIMCom SIM900 modules available on ebay for less than $30

  8. MrBishop says:

    @rob thats not really a issue, if you know what your doing flashing a IEMI is really easy, not to mention the PRL. All and all it takes me 4-6 minutes for the phone I know I am doing, new phones take longer. Although the FCC does have certain.. issues with such acts but hell I own the devices I got the codes off of.

  9. mike says:

    @BillWilliams
    Plenty of work has been done with pay as you go phones. If all you want to do is dial a number, or send a text, such devices might be suitable. For anything else they’re more trouble than they’re worth. I’d much rather make a modest initial investment on a dev board than deal with the constraints of a cheap phone.

  10. Kyle says:

    What the hell is with the need for a “shield”?? Are people too incompetent to just wire their MCU dev board to it? I don’t get it.

  11. Boris says:

    Hi Kyle,
    the shield is like all shield for arduino. It’s for an easy and speedy develop.
    The cost is higher than a commercial phone, for the same reason that a bluetooth key cost about 2 Euros http://www.miniinthebox.com/mini-bluetooth-2-0-adapter-dongle-vista-compatible_p79211.html and the cheaper module in sparkfun 35.55 Euros http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8771

  12. Oleg Mazurov says:
  13. Boris says:

    Now the GSM shield works in GPRS. http://code.google.com/p/gsm-shield-arduino/

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