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  #1  
Old April 11th, 2016, 09:17 AM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Super cheap SMS solution and simple !

Hi Folks

After getting back into HS after a few year hiatus, I pulled out my old Wavcom modem (RS232) and got it working with a serial/USB dongle. After a few weeks I started having issues with it disconnecting and I just couldn't get to the bottom of it. I looked around for alternatives, this is where I stumbled across the Arduino compatible SIM900 gsm modem. This is a very simple device, runs off 5V and has a TTL connection for communications. I paired it with a pl2303hx USB/TTL dongle, together I think it cost me $18AUD excluding the 5v usb power supply.

The wiring is EXTREMELY simple and intuitive, the USB/TTL device has TX and RX and you connect them to the corresponding pin on the arduino. It only needs +5v from the "wall wart" and you are up and running.

It is just so simple to get a working GSM/SMS sollution going with Gavin's plugin.

I was using a USB/TTL device with a clone FTDI chip and I had all sorts of issues, this pl2303HX device is just rock solid.

Hope this motrivates others to give it a go..

Cheers..Pete
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  #2  
Old April 11th, 2016, 02:41 PM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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Hi Pete,

Thanks for posting this. Can you let me know where you found the GSM module for so cheap? I only see prices for it in the $25-50 range.

Cheers
Al
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  #3  
Old April 11th, 2016, 02:47 PM
brientim brientim is online now
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Pete,

I would also appreciate if you could identify the suppliers. That make it very cheap module
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  #4  
Old April 11th, 2016, 07:28 PM
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TomTom TomTom is offline
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Nice work! Thanks for posting.


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  #5  
Old April 11th, 2016, 07:31 PM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Guys, something like this:

http://goo.gl/2JdzVg for the SIM900 unit

http://goo.gl/WQVSBw for the pl2303HX

A few points to note:

1) The SIM900 unit may require a "soft start" on one of the PINS to enable it. The unit I have has a button to press however you can over ride it, I've still got to work it out for the unit I have. This unit may just fire up, very easy to work it out once its on the bench.

2) All you need is tx/rv/gnd for the communication. The board has jumpers for hardware/software comms. You will need to use hardware to use the pins that show rx/tx silk screened on the board. Software will use different pins, this is due to the arduino libraries...I found this by trial/error, not hard to sort.

3) I use a mobile phone 5v USB charger to power the unit. I tried using the 5v from the pl2303HX but there isnt enough grunt to properly power the unit.

With the wavcom modem I had comms failures within 48 hours. With this setup its worked well over a week with no issues so I'm confident i sorted out the issues, they seemed to stem from the fake FTDI chips....

Have fun, it works very well :-)

Pete
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  #6  
Old April 11th, 2016, 09:29 PM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petez69 View Post
Guys, something like this:

http://goo.gl/2JdzVg for the SIM900 unit

http://goo.gl/WQVSBw for the pl2303HX

A few points to note:

1) The SIM900 unit may require a "soft start" on one of the PINS to enable it. The unit I have has a button to press however you can over ride it, I've still got to work it out for the unit I have. This unit may just fire up, very easy to work it out once its on the bench.

2) All you need is tx/rv/gnd for the communication. The board has jumpers for hardware/software comms. You will need to use hardware to use the pins that show rx/tx silk screened on the board. Software will use different pins, this is due to the arduino libraries...I found this by trial/error, not hard to sort.

3) I use a mobile phone 5v USB charger to power the unit. I tried using the 5v from the pl2303HX but there isnt enough grunt to properly power the unit.

With the wavcom modem I had comms failures within 48 hours. With this setup its worked well over a week with no issues so I'm confident i sorted out the issues, they seemed to stem from the fake FTDI chips....

Have fun, it works very well :-)

Pete
Great, thanks Pete!

Cheers
Al
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  #7  
Old April 13th, 2016, 04:44 AM
brientim brientim is online now
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Pete,

Thanks for the links and info which does make a very cheap option especially as compared to AU...
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  #8  
Old April 14th, 2016, 04:38 AM
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beerygaz beerygaz is online now
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Pete I'm a bit wary of rx/rx/gnd only and no flow control. The plugin relies on flow control so you may experience erratic behaviour if the device gets busy or tries so send and receive and SMS at the same time. Unlikely on home use, but something to be aware of.



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  #9  
Old April 14th, 2016, 06:44 AM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerygaz View Post
Pete I'm a bit wary of rx/rx/gnd only and no flow control. The plugin relies on flow control so you may experience erratic behaviour if the device gets busy or tries so send and receive and SMS at the same time. Unlikely on home use, but something to be aware of.



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Gavin

Understand....Baudrate is set at 19200, if I run into issues I'll drop the speed...however these USB/TTL devices are used to program Arduino via IDE and the code upload runs a lot faster than 19200 :-)

Must say its been running perfectly since we spoke..

Cheers..Pete
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  #10  
Old April 20th, 2016, 08:21 AM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Gavin, FYI

The SIM900 with pl2303HX USB device has been solid for a few weeks and not dropped offline. Got to say its a simple low cost SMS sollution.. :-)

Pete
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  #11  
Old April 29th, 2016, 05:05 PM
brientim brientim is online now
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Pete.

You're down a very good job on the sourcing and integration. Thanks for the work mate.
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  #12  
Old April 30th, 2016, 08:58 AM
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ferraf ferraf is offline
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SIM card

Quote:
Originally Posted by petez69 View Post
Gavin, FYI

The SIM900 with pl2303HX USB device has been solid for a few weeks and not dropped offline. Got to say its a simple low cost SMS sollution.. :-)

Pete
Hi Pete, love to try the solution and thank you for posting. What do we do for the SIM? Is it one from my provider plan like a $10/month, or throw away phone on a pre-paid plan?

What did you use?
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  #13  
Old April 30th, 2016, 09:20 AM
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TomTom TomTom is offline
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This was my question as well and didn't ask as I believe Pete is in Australia. I had looked at into mobile phones - the two solutions I came to were the add a line for $10 some carriers have( probably not need with infrequent sms) and mobile phone "top up" cards. I think the cheapest I saw at one time was $100 which last 1 year or you exhaust the funds. Would be great if the plugin could sense the loss of Ethernet connection and then sent messages through sms instead.


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  #14  
Old April 30th, 2016, 11:27 AM
tommyd75 tommyd75 is offline
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Does anyone know if the SIM900 gsm modem is only 2G capable?
I'm thinking of future issues when US carriers abandon the 2G networks.
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  #15  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 03:17 AM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Tom, you are right I am in Australia. My plan is $15 for 365 days upfront and 12c per SMS deducted from the $15 till it runs out. My recharge is $15 or $30

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  #16  
Old May 2nd, 2016, 03:19 AM
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petez69 petez69 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyd75 View Post
Does anyone know if the SIM900 gsm modem is only 2G capable?
I'm thinking of future issues when US carriers abandon the 2G networks.
Tommy

Not sure mate.. The sim900 is just so cheap, toss it in the bin if it no longer works.

I've seem some wavecom modems that are quad band so I suggest it will only be time till we see the next generation of devices.

Cheers Pete

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