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LTE/GPS tracker board offers Grove, Arduino, and Espruino compatibility

Sep 6, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 1,285 views
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Seeed launched an LTE version of its Wio Tracker board that runs Arduino on a faster STM32 MCU, and offers GPS, 6x Grove links, and Espruino compatibility.

Earlier this year, Seeed Studios released a GPS-enabled, $24.95 Wio Tracker tracking board that was limited to 2G/GPRS communications. The new, $97.50 Wio Tracker LTE has the same 54.7 x 48.2mm footprint, 6x Grove connectors, and Arduino IDE compatibility, but offers much faster and more widely supported 4G LTE and UMTS/HSPA+ communications. The open source board also supports a wider range of location services, and has a faster MCU and more flash and RAM.



Wio Tracker LTE, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the original Wio Tracker, the 18-gram LTE version is designed for mobile IoT sensor gateway and tracking applications including bicycle sharing or tracking vehicles, pets, livestock, and people. While the 2G version is limited to GPS/GNSS, Beidou, and QZSS, the new version adds GLONASS and Galileo locations services, all with < 2.5m CEP precision.

The new board features a Quectel EC21-A LTE module that supports up to 10Mbps down/5Mbps up LTE Cat. 1 data, as well as audio and SMS support. The Wio Tracker LTE is equipped with dual LTE u.FL antennas and a Nano-SIM slot that is integrated in the board’s 2-in-1 microSD slot.



Wio Tracker LTE (left) and Wio Tracker 2G with Grove modules
(click images to enlarge)

Whereas the Wio Tracker 2G runs on an Atmel SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ MCU, the new LTE version advances to a 168MHz Cortex-M4F based STM32 MCU (STMicro’s STM32F405RG) that is claimed to be five times faster. The new MCU also brings you an upgrade to 1MB flash and 192+4KB SRAM. Unlike the 2G version, the STM32 upgrade enables the LTE board to mimic an Espruino board, letting you program it with the JavaScript based, open source Espruino IDE.

Otherwise, the two Wio Trackers are very similar. The boards offer 6x Grove expansion connectors for adding various sensor and I/O modules, including 2x digital, 2x analog, and UART and I2C connectors.



Wio Tracker LTE detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Wio Tracker boards are further equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack with mic and stereo, plus a micro-USB port for power input or firmware uploads. The 3.3V LTE board supplies 7mA DC current per I/O pin. There’s also a JST 1.0 batttery connector, power and reset buttons, a user LED, and a PMIC with “ultra-low deep-sleep current consumption,” says Seeed.

The two Wio Trackers share the same ”transplantable and expansible” AT command library compatible with Arduino IDE and Grove libraries. The GPS library is also accessible to C/C++ developers.

Although the Wio Tracker LTE is said to be well suited for outdoor projects, there are no listed ruggedization features, and there does not yet appear to be any case options or other accessories. We’d also be interested to see how long this board would last on supported batteries.

 
Further information

The new Wio Tracker LTE is available for $97.50, and the Wio Tracker 2G is available for $24.95. Volume discounts are available. More information may be found at Seeed’s Wio Tracker LTE shopping page, Wio Tracker LTE wiki, and GitHub page, as well as the Wio Tracker 2G shopping page.
 

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One response to “LTE/GPS tracker board offers Grove, Arduino, and Espruino compatibility”

  1. Bonzadog says:

    7.9.2017

    No Raspberry Pi Version?
    Is the device compatible to EU standards?

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