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There is a new Arduino GSM Shield that connects an Arduino Uno, Mega, or Leonardo to the GSM cellular network, enabling you to make and receive phone calls and SMS. I can’t wait to see all the cool projects that come out of this technology!

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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  1. miroslava von schlockbaum says:

    love to read a story about getting (voice/data) service for this in the horribly locked-down states. maybe it’s trivial for wise-ones, but i’ve had little luck. (prepaid with a crap handset and then swap out the SIM?)

  2. dZed says:

    I was just looking into a GPS tracking project using old Motorola phones that you can communicate with using AT commands and a microcontroller. I found that the AT&T GoPhone plans were pretty flexible and available in most places. For instance, they had a plan that charged you $2 a day on any day that the phone was used, which would be useful for the project I was envisioning (a lo jack type tool that would sit dormant in a vehicle until it received a text message to do X, Y, Z).

    So this seems really neat for a variety of reasons…

    1. dZed says:

      I did some reading up on the subject.

      First off, this page has quite a bit of information on the topic.

      http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoGSMShield

      Related to miroslava’s post about the SIM, especially, is the section “Notes on the Telefonica/Bluevia SIM included with the shield,” where it says “It is not necessary to use this specific card with the shield. You may use any SIM that works on a network in your area.” Since this board uses GSM/GPRS that works on GSM850MHz, GSM900MHz, DCS1800MHz and PCS1900MHz, I believe the AT&T GoPhones I mentioned above would work with this device (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_wireless_communications_service_providers). I know AT&T sells a SIM card for $6 or so on their website, and you can do some prepaid plans with that card.

      The only thing I don’t understand is when you try to buy that SIM card from AT&T, it asks for an IMEI. Not sure if this Arduino board would have an IMEI or what…Every phone has one near their battery, near as I can tell, but does this thing?

      I’m not an expert by a million miles on the topic, so caveat emptor.

      I do hate the fact that in order to use cell networks you need this bulky phone and this incredible contract, compared to wireless networks which can interact with a broader range of “more free” devices. So hurrah for this…

      1. Johan says:

        The IMEI is on the sticker on the GSM chip.

    2. Naveen says:

      Hi DZED,i am doing the same project ,can you say the progress so far you have been achieved.
      Thanks

  3. Dan says:

    Why not just use the guts from a $30 GSM watch phone, it would be more compact and a lot cheaper. Plus you’d get a screen and power thrown in for free.

  4. jaden says:

    dang this is so cool. i want one right now. the great thing about arduino is that you feel good inside to be able to read and write the code yet they make it so simple and easy to bend it to make it do what you want it to do. plus there is just something so cool about the look of seeing mutiple shields stacked on each other. arduino will always have a special place in my heart.

  5. Aha!, schematics are available. That means that you can design a wearable one and pair it with a Lilypad.

    Wish list: a 3G shield.

    1. Dan says:

      You can get an entire 3G/4G battery powered WiFi & LAN router that runs Linux on the Ralink APSoC, RT5350F chipset for a similar price. size is only 9.5 cm x 5.5 cm x 1.5 cm

      It has a USB port your project can plug directly into!

      Search for “L10 Portable Multimode 3G” or SKU: 194739 on dx dot com or similar sites.

      1. Or you could get a cheap Android phone for half that price on eBay. But you won’t get the schematic and easy access to the i/o.

        1. Dan says:

          The aim is *not to replace the Arduino* in your project, the aim is to have a very cheap and complete networking solution that you can just plug the Arduino into via USB. I also doubt you can get a rootable 3G/4G Android phone with the right sort of usb port for less than the RT5350F based routers ($70). But I would be very happy to be proven wrong about that!

          Also, there is a lot of hacking work going into these RT5350F based routers right now, by the OpenWRT and similar groups.