While it would be very useful, the thought of putting my Arduino projects on the GSM wireless network intimidates me a bit. Luckily, John Boxall of tronixstuff walks us through the process in part one of his Sparkfun GSM Shield tutorial. He breaks down how to dial a number and send a text message by sending AT commands via serial to the GSM module. It actually looks fairly straightforward. But knowing how often I’ve had my Arduino projects go off the rails, I’ll definitely be taking his advice:
Telephone calls and text messages (SMS) can cost real money, so if your sketch goes bonkers and blasts out a few hundred text messages while you’re in the kitchen having tea, you will have to pay for them. It may be prudent to use a prepaid cellular account for testing purposes.
In part two of his GSM shield tutorial, John plans on integrating a GPS receiver and showing us how to interact with our projects via SMS to get sensor data. In the meantime, I’m upgrading my texting plan.