When we first saw the Notecard from Blues Wireless we were intrigued. Unlike most embedded cellular modems, the price of the Blues Wireless card includes a 10 year subscription and 500MB of data. A global cellular module with a built in SIM card with no monthly fee? That sounds enticing. After all, the last thing we need is a hot water heater monitor with a monthly cell phone bill!
The power of Qwiic just keeps expanding! Simply plug the Qwiic Cellular Notecarrier onto any enabled SparkFun Qwiic platforms (currently over 30) and you’ll be able to transmit data anywhere there is cell connectivity with a few lines of Python, Arduino, or JSON. The Blues documentation is superb. All API calls come with extensive C, Python, and JSON examples. While the Qwiic Cellular focuses on using the I2C bus for communication, USB and Serial can also be used to communicate with the Notecard. We found the USB was handy for immediate gratification and command debugging.
The Notecard module comes with integrated cellular, SIM, onboard GPS, accelerometer, and temperature sensor. The Qwiic Cellular product has everything you need: a carrier board (Blues calls them Notepads), the globally enabled NB-IoT & LTE-M M.2 based module (Blues calls them Notecards), and two U.FL cables all assembled and ready to go.
Currently 139 countries are covered with another 33 countries covered by installing a user-supplied external SIM socket and card. See the Covered Countries table for more information. Two RF cables connect the Notecard to external SMA connectors for cellular and GPS antennas (sold separately in related items below).
We do not plan to regularly produce SparkX products so get them while they’re hot!
Experimental Product: SparkX
products are rapidly produced to bring you the most cutting edge technology as it becomes available. These products are tested but come with no guarantees. Live technical support is not available for SparkX products. Head on over to our forum
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- Notecard carrier board with built-in USB and Qwiic connectors for I2C communication
- 10-year data plan with 500MB (used over the life of the device) included with price of hardware
- Transmission Current: ~250mA or 2A (where GSM is required)
- Idle Current: 8uA (Power LED disabled)
- Built in LiPo connection and charging
- Empty SIM socket footprint available for use in countries where required (139 countries do not need this installed)