Posts with «gsm» label

GPS Tracker Gets SMS Upgrade

In May of 2000, then-President Bill Clinton signed a directive that would improve the accuracy of GPS for anyone. Before this switch was flipped, this ability was only available to the military. What followed was an onslaught of GPS devices most noticeable in everyday navigation systems. The large amount of new devices on the market also drove the price down to the point where almost anyone can build their own GPS tracking device from scratch.

The GPS tracker that [Vadim] created makes use not just of GPS, but of the GSM network as well. He uses a Neoway M590 GSM module for access to the cellular network and a NEO-6 GPS module. The cell network is used to send SMS messages that detail the location of the unit itself. Everything is controlled with an ATmega328P, and a lithium-ion battery and some capacitors round out the fully integrated build.

[Vadim] goes into great detail about how all of the modules operate, and has step-by-step instructions on their use that go beyond what one would typically find in a mundane datasheet. The pairing of the GSM and GPS modules seems to go match up well together, much like we have seen GPS and APRS pair for a similar purpose: tracking weather balloons.


Filed under: gps hacks
Hack a Day 07 Jul 06:00
arduino  atmega328  atmega328p  cell  gps  gps hacks  gsm  sms  tracker  

Hackaday Prize Entry: USB GSM GPS 9DOF SD TinyTracker Has All the Acronyms

[Paul] has put together an insanely small yet powerful tracker for monitoring all the things. The USB TinyTracker is a device that packages a 48MHz processor, 2G modem, GPS receiver, 9DOF motion sensor, barometer, microphone, and micro-SD slot for data storage. He managed to get it all to fit into a USB thumb drive enclosure, meaning that you can program it however you want in the Arduino IDE, then plug it into any USB port and let it run. This enables things like remote monitoring, asset tracking, and all kinds of spy-like activity.

One of the most unusual aspects of his project, though, is this line: “Everything came together very nicely and the height of parts and PCBs is exactly as I planned.” [Paul] had picked out an enclosure that was only supposed to fit a single PCB, but with some careful calculations, and picky component selection, he managed to fit everything onto two 2-layer boards that snap together with a connector and fit inside the enclosure.

We’ve followed [Paul’s] progress on this project with an earlier iteration of his GSM GPS Tracker, which used a Teensy and fit snugly into a handlebar, but this one is much more versatile.


Filed under: The Hackaday Prize

Rotary Cell Phone: Blast from a Past that Never Was

The 1970s called and they want their rotary dial cell phone back.

Looking for all the world like something assembled from the Radio Shack parts department – remember when Radio Shack sold parts? – [Mr_Volt]’s build is a celebration of the look and feel of a hobbyist build from way back when. Looking a little like a homebrew DynaTAC 8000X, the brushed aluminum and 3D-printed ABS case sports an unusual front panel feature – a working rotary dial. Smaller than even the Trimline phone’s rotating finger stop dial and best operated with a stylus, the dial translates rotary action to DTMF tones for the Feather FONA board inside. Far from a one-trick pony, the phone sports memory dialing, SMS messaging, and even an FM receiver. But most impressive and mysterious is the dial mechanism, visible through a window in the wood-grain back. Did [Mr_Volt] fabricate those gears and the governor? We’d love to hear the backstory on that.

This isn’t the first rotary cell phone hybrid we’ve featured, of course. There was this GSM addition to an old rotary phone and this cell phone that lets you slam the receiver down. But for our money a rotary dial cell phone built from the ground up wins the retro cool prize of the bunch.

[via r/Arduino]


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, classic hacks

Hacking a rotary phone with an Arduino and a GSM shield

While cleaning out his closet, Instructables user “Acmecorporation”  discovered an old rotary telephone. Instead of tossing it away, the Maker decided to give the old-school device some modern-day technology using an Arduino Pro Mini and a SIM900 GSM shield.

Acmecorporation is able to use the aptly named TOWA Phone (There Once Was A Telephone) to make and receive calls, send single DMTF tones, and even program numbers on speed dial. Aside from its classic bell ringer, there’s an RGB LED that indicates GSM status: red for offline, green for online, and blue for an incoming call.

The Maker briefly explains how it works:

To make a phone call you have to pick up the handset and dial the number, that’s all. Terminate call hanging up the handset.

When phone is ringing, pick up the handset to answer. Terminate it hanging up.

If you call to a support center or an office, usually you have to dial numbers to connect a specific department. You can do this because TOWA sends single DMTF tones.

Inside the Arduino script, you can add your favorite telephone numbers and combine it with a specific integer number. For example, I’ve stored my favorites combined with numbers from 1 to 8. So when I pick up the handset and dial 1, it starts a call to my wife. When I dial 2 or 3, it calls one of my sons, and so on.

Although Acmecorporation didn’t design TOWA for everyday use, it has become a permanent fixture on his desk. Do you have a rotary phone lying around? Time to brush off the dust and rig your own!

APRS Tracking System Flies Your Balloons

Looking for a way to track your high-altitude balloons but don’t want to mess with sending data over a cellular network? [Zack Clobes] and the others at Project Traveler may have just the thing for you: a position-reporting board that uses the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) network to report location data and easily fits on an Arduino in the form of a shield.

The project is based on an Atmel 328P and all it needs to report position data is a small antenna and a battery. For those unfamiliar with APRS, it uses amateur radio frequencies to send data packets instead of something like the GSM network. APRS is very robust, and devices that use it can send GPS information as well as text messages, emails, weather reports, radio telemetry data, and radio direction finding information in case GPS is not available.

If this location reporting ability isn’t enough for you, the project can function as a shield as well, which means that more data lines are available for other things like monitoring sensors and driving servos. All in a small, lightweight package that doesn’t rely on a cell network. All of the schematics and other information are available on the project site if you want to give this a shot, but if you DO need the cell network, this may be more your style. Be sure to check out the video after the break, too!


Filed under: radio hacks

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence

« Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness » is a sentence from Samuel Beckett but also the title of Eugenio Ampudia’s last artwork created and installed with the support of Ultra-lab  and running on Arduino Mega and GSM Shield:

The exhibition room has in its center a rectangular mirror made of water that reflects the room and the visitors. The perfect still water, metaphor of silence, is broken by the irruption of sporadic waves. These movements, the stain on silence, are provoked by the visitors’ interactions. In the heart of the water tank, a dispositive is able to receive calls and to open a valve. To each visitor’s call, so a series of movements is generated and break the calm.

Ultra-lab realized the technical part of the artwork thanks to an Arduino Mega, the Arduino GSM shield and various valves open and close by the Arduino Mega when a call is received by the shield. The dispositive is particularly interesting for its adaptation in a water context and for connecting valves.

Thanks to it, the artwork succeed to express beautifully the paradox between a destructive attraction for words and communication to which it’s hard to resist in order to prefer a finally inaccessible contemplation.

The work can be visited in the exhibition room Abierto X Obras in in the Spanish art center Matadero Madrid until the 17th of May 2015 and below you can watch a video interview with the artist:

Arduino Blog 09 Mar 20:01

GSM Controlled Star Light: A xmas tutorial for Intel Galileo

We recently posted on Intel Makers Community the first of a series of educational tutorial focused on Intel Galileo Gen 2. Our team worked on  a smart Christmas star able to receive sms and change pattern according to it. The bill of materials contains also an Arduino GSM Shield, a Proto Shield and some flexible  LED  strips:

To kick off a festive mood, we decided to adapt a typical Scandinavian tradition. In December, many people will decorate their homes by hanging large paper stars inside their windows. The stars usually have a single bulb inside that casts a warm, welcoming glow.

We thought we’d try to make this tradition a bit more merry by making it interactive. By sending text messages, we will change the blink pattern and color of the star.

This project is a fun and easy introduction on how to use the Intel Galileo Gen 2 board and the Arduino GSM shield. After making this tutorial, try modifying the code to change the patterns or taking the functions to insert GSM connectivity into your own projects.

Happy Holidays!

Follow the link and make it as well!

 

Arduino Blog 19 Dec 19:08

Over-engineering Ding Dong Ditch

One day, [Samy]’s best friend [Matt] mentioned he had a wireless doorbell. Astonishing. Even more amazing is the fact that anyone can buy a software defined radio for $20, a small radio module from eBay for $4, and a GSM breakout board for $40. Connect these pieces together, and you have a device that can ring [Matt]’s doorbell from anywhere on the planet. Yes, it’s the ultimate over-engineered ding dong ditch, and a great example of how far you can take practical jokes if you know which end of a soldering iron to pick up.

Simply knowing [Matt] has a wireless doorbell is not enough; [Samy] needed to know the frequency, the modulation scheme, and what the doorbell was sending. Some of this information can be found by looking up the FCC ID, but [Samy] found a better way. When [Matt] was out of his house, [Samy] simply rang the doorbell a bunch of times while looking at the waterfall plot with an RTL-SDR TV tuner. There are a few common frequencies tiny, cheap remote controls will commonly use – 315 MHz, 433 MHz, and 900 MHz. Eventually, [Samy] found the frequency the doorbell was transmitting at – 433.8 MHz.

After capturing the radio signal from the doorbell, [Samy] looked at the audio waveform in Audacity. It looked like this doorbell used On-Off Keying, or just turning the radio on for a binary ‘1’ and off for a binary ‘0’. In Audacity, everything the doorbell transmits becomes crystal clear, and with a $4 434 MHz transmitter from SparkFun, [Samy] can replicate the output of the doorbell.

For the rest of the build, [Samy] is using a mini GSM cellular breakout board from Adafruit. This module listens for any text message containing the word ‘doorbell’ and sends a signal to an Arduino. The Arduino then sends out the doorbell code with the transmitter. It’s evil, and extraordinarily over-engineered.

Right now, the ding dong ditch project is set up somewhere across the street from [Matt]’s house. The device reportedly works great, and hopefully hasn’t been abused too much. Video below.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, radio hacks
Hack a Day 11 Dec 21:00

Arduino-Powered Alarm System Has All The Bells And Whistles

Put aside all of the projects that use an Arduino to blink a few LEDs or drive one servo motor. [IngGaro]‘s latest project uses the full range of features available in this versatile microcontroller and has turned an Arduino Mega into a fully-functional home alarm system.

The alarm can read RFID cards for activation and control of the device. It communicates with the front panel via an I2C bus, and it can control the opening and closing of windows or blinds. There is also an integrated GSM antenna for communicating any emergencies over the cell network. The device also keeps track of temperature and humidity.

The entire system can be controlled via a web interface. The Arduino serves a web page that allows the user full control over the alarm. With all of that, it’s hard to think of any more functionality to get out of this tiny microcontroller, unless you wanted to add a frickin’ laser to REALLY trip up the burglars!


Filed under: security hacks
Hack a Day 03 Sep 06:00

Easily test and experiment with GSM modules using AT Command Tester

Introduction

Working with GSM modules and by extension Arduino GSM shields can either be a lot of fun or bring on a migraine. This is usually due to the quality of module, conditions placed on the end user by the network, reception, power supply and more.

Furthermore we have learned after several years that even after following our detailed and tested tutorials, people are having trouble understanding why their GSM shield isn’t behaving. With this in mind we’re very happy to have learned about a free online tool that can be used to test almost every parameter of a GSM module with ease – AT Command Tester. This software is a Java application that runs in a web browser, and communicates with a GSM module via an available serial port.

Initial Setup

It’s simple, just visit http://m2msupport.net/m2msupport/module-tester/ with any web browser that can run Java. You may need to alter the Java security settings down to medium. Windows users can find this in Control Panel> All Control Panel Items  > Java – for example:

Once the security settings have been changed, just visit the URL, click ‘accept’ and ‘run’ in the next dialogue box that will appear, for example:

And after a moment, the software will appear:

Once you’re able to run the AT Command Tester software, the next step is to physically connect the hardware. If you’re just using a bare GSM module, a USB-serial adaptor can be used for easy connection to the PC. For Arduino GSM shield users, you can use the Arduino as a bridge between the shield and PC, however if your GSM shield uses pins other than D0/D1 for serial data transmission (such as our SIM900 shield) then you’ll need to upload a small sketch to bridge the software and hardware serial ports, for example:

//Serial Relay – Arduino will patch a serial link between the computer and the GPRS Shield
//at 19200 bps 8-N-1 Computer is connected to Hardware UART
//GPRS Shield is connected to the Software UART

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

SoftwareSerial mySerial(7,8); // change these paramters depending on your Arduino GSM Shield

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(19200);
  //Serial.println(“Begin”);
  mySerial.begin(19200);

}

void loop()
{
  if (mySerial.available())
    Serial.write(mySerial.read());
  if (Serial.available())
    mySerial.write(Serial.read());
}

Using the software

Once you have the hardware connected and the Arduino running the required sketch, run the software – then click “Find ports” to select the requried COM: port, set the correct data speed and click “Connect”. After a moment the software will interrogate the GSM module and report its findings in the yellow log area:

 As you can see on the left of the image above, there is a plethora of options and functions you can run on the module. By selecting the manufacturer of your GSM module form the list, a more appropriate set of functions for your module is displayed.

When you click a function, the AT command sent to the module and its response is shown in the log window – and thus the magic of this software. You can simply throw any command at the module and await the response, much easier than looking up the commands and fighting with terminal software. You can also send AT commands in batches, experiment with GPRS data, FTP, and the GPS if your module has one.

To give you a quick overview of what is possible, we’ve made this video which captures us running a few commands on a SIM900-based Arduino shield. If possible, view it in 720p.

Conclusion

Kudos to the people from the M2Msupport website for bringing us this great (and free) tool. It works – so we’re happy to recommend it. And if you enjoyed this article, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop”.

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