FONA - mini module GSM - µFl
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[T] - FONA 800L - mini module GSM - µFl

SIM800L GSM/GPRS board for mobile networks 

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Dring, Dring! Hey... who's calling me? However... it's my project! 
Here is a nice introduction for the FONA of Adafruit, an affordable MiniGSM, all-in-one cellular module that allows you to add voice, text, SMS in your projects with a reasonable size board and especially without opening you the veins. 

The module measures only 4.45 x 4x45 x 3.18 cm but nevertheless embeds a rather surprising amount of technology. The heart of the module is built around a GSM module (Adafruit opted for the latest SIM800) the size of a postage stamp. This module is able to do almost anything.

  • Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz - connects to GSM networks with SIM 2G cards (here we are talking about the size of the SIM card)
  • Allows you to send and receive voice calls using a hand-free kit OR an external 8Ω speaker + electret microphone.
  • Sending and receiving SMS messages
  • Sending and receiving GPRS data (TCP/IP, HTTP, etc.)
  • FM radio scan and reception (yes, you read that right. We don't really know why this is included but according to Adafruit, it works really well)
  • Vibration motor control/ PWM Buzzer
  • AT control interface with "automatic flow detection"

It's attractive, isn't it? Adafruit has used this module to make a small breakout board with the extra needed to make your next project shine:

  • A charging circuit for LiPoly battery. Your project can become completely autonomous. Use any LiPoly or Lilon battery of 500mAh+ and recharge it via the MicroUSB connector when necessary. 
    There are two LEDs that indicate when the battery charges and when it's recharged.
  • A standard 4-pole Jack plug (TRRS) for hands-free kit.
    Use a hands-free kit compatible 'Android' or 'iPhone' with microphone.
  • Breakout for an 8Ω external speaker and an electret microphone (if you don't want to use a hands-free kit) 
  • A circuitry "Level shifting" which allows to use this breakout with logic of 2.8V to 5V. 
  • Vibration motor driver (buzzer) which allows for notifications without noise.
  • µFL connector for external antenna.
  • Indicator LEDs for power supply and network connectivity.
  • Standard SIM card tray on the back of the board.

Here is the product proposed by AdaFruit for advanced hackers and makers. AdaFruit continues to enhance its library to support the different features that FONA supports. More FONA will be used all over the world and more these features will be extended. 

This module requires the use of a micro controller/computer system to control it! AdaFruit recommends the use of an Arduino but any 3-5V micro controller with a UART can send/receive commands via the RX/TX pins. 
Otherwise, AdaFruit has already had the opportunity to write tutorials using the Fona with Raspberry-Pi (to establish an Internet connection via GSM, see tutorial section below).  

You'll need accessories to operate your FONA. These accessories are not included!

There are also other accessories that we recommend. However, there are not recommended accessories but you may already have them!

  • TRRS 4-pole hands-free kit - any compatible 'iPhone' or 'Android' kit (but not the Original iPhone kit) should work. Adafruit tried a tens models: it appears that the most expensive models are also more comfortable and that the sound is also better. On the other hand, the microphone of the official iPhone hands-free kit didn't work.     
  • Microphone and external speaker - If you want to talk with your Fona, an electret microphone and a mini speaker 8 Ohms will do just fine. 
  • Vibrating motor - The Fona can directly drive a mini vibrating motor!
  • USB console cable - the microUSB connector is only used for charging, but you can connect a console cable to make a direct connection to the module... convenient for sending test commands from a terminal (great for testing and setup). 

Technical data

  • Dimensions with components: 45mm x 34mm x 8mm
  • Dimensions of the board: 45mm x 32mm x 2mm
  • Weight: 9.0g
  • Technical data sheets, AT command and official documents are included at the end of the product sheet


Other information

Some references on AT commands from the SIM900 module but could be very useful with the FONA SIM800L module :-) 

Data sheets, FFC documents, R&TTE, etc

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