GSM Module Does More Than Advertised

For many projects, a WiFi connection is overkill, too complicated, or too far away to work properly. Even though it’s relatively ubiquitous, sometimes the best choice for getting data to or from the real world is a connection to the cellular network, which can be done with the M590 module for about a dollar each. For that price, lots of people have had the opportunity to explore the module itself, and [marcrbarker] shows some of the extra, unadvertised, features it has.

Acting as a GSM module that can send and receive SMS messages is just the tip of the iceberg for this tiny device which we saw once before for a DIY GPS tracker. With a USB TTL serial data module, a lot more is on the table including answering voice calls and responding with DTMF tones, operate as a dial-up modem, connect with TCP, and even has some FTP capabilities. [marcrbarker] also suggests that it could do “call pranking” where it can send signals without being charged for a call.

There are a lot of details on the project site about all of this newfound functionality, and it reminds us of a time when it was discovered that not only was the ESP8266 a cheap WiFi module, but it could also run custom programs on its own. While the M590 probably can’t do all of that, it does seem to have a lot more locked away than most of us had thought before.

Raid Your Network File Shares


[Motoma] sent in his take on the virtual RAID 5 post. He didn’t like the layered system requirements, so he put together a proof of concept that only requires a Linux box. For his proof, he used a NFS share, a SMB share and did everything from the command line. He didn’t cover FTP, but the Gentoo wiki has a nice cheat sheet for mounting FTP and folders over SSH if you want some alternatives. He uses some very interesting partition tricks to make things happen. If you need some help to get things rolling, the Ubuntu forums software raid how-to is a good place to start.