This time I’m going to connect to our Raspberry Pi a GSM module. Why? Internet of Things, in short IoT, as it was noted at Krakow’s PLNOG17 by Marcin Aronowski involves and depends on the network which should be easily accessible, and the very essence of IoT is the energy efficiency. Perhaps, he said, 3G will go away but 2G but will still remain. And we do not huge pipes – just enough bandwidth. 2G connection is still the cheapest in the implementation (also due to the cost of the module and a SIM card).
Therefore, I will try to show you how easy it is to connect very cheap GSM module Neoway M590 . It is a simple device that is a GSM modem (2G).
We will learn how to send an SMS and how to connect to the Internet.
- software: picocom, gammu, ppp (accessible via standard Raspbian’s repository)
- turning off the console redirection to serial port on Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi – 1B, 1A, 2B, 3B, Zero – any model with installed Raspbian (mini version is enough)
- Neoway M590 GSM module – preferably without extra letters at the end – get a version with everything soldered and 2×7 pins
- Multimer for voltage and power supply check for GSM module
- Optional: DC-DC step down converter – at least rated 2A, usually allows using 5-24V on input and keeping stable 3,9V at output – used to power the GSM module
I chose the Neoway M590 GSM modem module, because it is a bit underestimated – and one of the most important things is to have proper and stable power supply. Module is not as popular as SIM800/SIM900, but – it’s very, very cheap, and after few months of trails on two modules I can say it’s stable.
Please remember, in most cases the correct voltage is 3,7-3,9V, and power rating needs to be minimum 2A.
Connecting to Raspberry Pi
Neoway GSM module has a serial port – this is the standard way to talk – via connections TX, RX. However, the default serial port on Raspberry Pi is occupied by the system console – so if you connect our module to Raspberry’s serial port you will get overflow of text data. Edit the Raspberry Pi file /boot/cmdline.txt and remove the part console=/dev/ttyAMA0,115000. Yo can us it after reboot.
Connect the DC-DC step down power converter – you can also use a battery from an unused smartphone or battery type 18650 – provided that it has a rating of 3.7V – Li Poly or Li Ion battery. If you use are using smilar DC-DC converter as on the picture – with adjustable resistor – use a screwdriver when powered with no load, connect a multimeter and turn as long as the voltage suddenly begin to fall – the set 3,9V. Now connect the GSM module and verify the voltage – sometimes cheap module does not provide stable power supply under load – as a result we have a voltage drop that must be corrected. Do the final adjustment VERY carefully – do not damage the GSM module. Here is the power scheme and the connection to the Raspberry Pi. Diagram shows the version with 2×7 pin connector plates on Neoway M590 facing the SIM card:
As you can see this is not hard to wire, please remember the GND connections. Neoway M590 needs GND connected to BOOT to start, hence the “extra” connection to the GND of the system. Again the connections from the view of the SIM card slot:
After inserting the SIM card powering the module – the first LED should lit red, and the second should bling to indicate the GSM network connections. Here’s the final view:
Sending first SMS
To get to now the module – you will need to install this:
sudo apt-get install picocom
then issue on the console:
pi@rpi ~ $ picocom --baud 115200 /dev/ttyAMA0 picocom v1.7 port is : /dev/ttyAMA0 flowcontrol : none baudrate is : 115200 parity is : none databits are : 8 escape is : C-a local echo is : no noinit is : no noreset is : no nolock is : no send_cmd is : sz -vv receive_cmd is : rz -vv imap is : omap is : emap is : crcrlf,delbs, Terminal ready AT OK
You can exit picocom by CTR+A then Q.
At the very end, in line 21, I’ve entered the command “AT” and M590 answered “OK”. This means that we have properly (proper TX and RX) connected console. The AT commands with parameters are the natural language of modems – the old “analog” and the new GSM modems. If you’re getting “weird” characters – it’s the bad speed, and if we see what you write – it means that you haven’t deactivated the system console redirection to a serial port yet (in that case – please see above). Let’s see those commands in detail..
Let’s send the first SMS, first by picocom, and later “automatically” via gammu:
pi@rpi ~ $ picocom --baud 115200 /dev/ttyAMA0 picocom v1.7 port is : /dev/ttyAMA0 flowcontrol : none baudrate is : 115200 parity is : none databits are : 8 escape is : C-a local echo is : no noinit is : no noreset is : no nolock is : no send_cmd is : sz -vv receive_cmd is : rz -vv imap is : omap is : emap is : crcrlf,delbs, Terminal ready AT+CMGF=1 OK AT+CSMS=1 +CSMS: 1,1,1 OK AT+CSCS="GSM" OK AT+CMGS="601xxx555" > "To is TESTING. A SMS that is!" > +CMGS: 46 OK
What happened here ? First we setup the modem to send SMS via GSM, then you need to change the “601xxx555” to a proper number for the recipient of the SMS. Next we will get the > sign – this is where you enter your SMS. To send it – press CTRL+Z. After 3-4 seconds you should get: “+CMGS: 46” and “OK’. Check your phone!
To use it with other software and use it wisely – we can use the gammu, that allows single line SMS:
sudo apt-get install gammu
Then edit the gammu’s config:
sudo pico /etc/gammurc
insert just this:
[gammu] device = /dev/ttyAMA0 connection = at115200
And now send your SMS like that:
pi@rpi ~ $ gammu sendsms TEXT 601xxx555 -text "To is TESTING. A SMS that is!"
Easy, ain’t it ?
Connecting to the Internet
Our module enables data transmission in GPRS mode. Combining that with the fact that we are @ 115kbps serial link, allows us to use the GPRS. Don’t forget – this is suited the task of running IoT solution, and not to use the browser in graphics mode (yet lynx, links or elinks do work without problem)
Let’s install the program to connect to the Internet. The ‘ppp’ will negotiate connection using a GSM modem, set ppp0 and append DNS entries, as well as the default route:
sudo apt-get install ppp
Create a file:
sudo pico /etc/ppp/peers/m590-gsm-internet
# the script - standard to use connect "/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/chatscripts/gprs -T ****" # Our serial port /dev/ttyAMA0 # The speed of the serial port. 115200 # Get the IP address from ISP. noipdefault # Also get DNS entries usepeerdns # Set the route as default to the Internet defaultroute # pppd will reconnect after disconnection persist # Don't auth the remote site noauth # No need to check hardware flow on serial port nocrtscts # No need to send control lines for modem local
Checkout the gprs file from chatscripts – it should be exactly like this:
# You can use this script unmodified to connect to cellular networks. # The APN is specified in the peers file as the argument of the -T command # line option of chat(8). # For details about the AT commands involved please consult the relevant # standard: 3GPP TS 27.007 - AT command set for User Equipment (UE). # (http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/27007.htm) ABORT BUSY ABORT VOICE ABORT "NO CARRIER" ABORT "NO DIALTONE" ABORT "NO DIAL TONE" ABORT "NO ANSWER" ABORT "DELAYED" ABORT "ERROR" # cease if the modem is not attached to the network yet ABORT "+CGATT: 0" "" AT TIMEOUT 12 OK ATH OK ATE1 # +CPIN provides the SIM card PIN #OK "AT+CPIN=1234" # +CFUN may allow to configure the handset to limit operations to # GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/etc to save power, but the arguments are not standard # except for 1 which means "full functionality". #OK AT+CFUN=1 OK AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","\T","",0,0 OK ATD*99# TIMEOUT 22 CONNECT ""
That’s it. Connect to the internet using:
sudo pon m590-gsm-internet
Check the logs in separate console (i.e.: tail -f /var/log/syslog)
Oct 8 23:23:13 rpi pppd: Connect: ppp0 /dev/ttyAMA0 Oct 8 23:23:13 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): ifplugd 0.28 initializing. Oct 8 23:23:13 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): Using interface ppp0/00:00:00:00:00:00 Oct 8 23:23:13 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): Using detection mode: IFF_RUNNING Oct 8 23:23:13 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): Initialization complete, link beat detected. Oct 8 23:23:14 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): Executing '/etc/ifplugd/ifplugd.action ppp0 up'. Oct 8 23:23:14 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): client: Ignoring unknown interface ppp0=ppp0. Oct 8 23:23:14 rpi ifplugd(ppp0): Program executed successfully. Oct 8 23:23:14 rpi kernel: [701282.272157] PPP BSD Compression module registered Oct 8 23:23:14 rpi kernel: [701282.284205] PPP Deflate Compression module registered Oct 8 23:23:16 rpi pppd: local IP address 10.75.12.27 Oct 8 23:23:16 rpi pppd: remote IP address 10.75.12.27 Oct 8 23:23:16 rpi pppd: primary DNS address 126.96.36.199 Oct 8 23:23:16 rpi pppd: secondary DNS address 188.8.131.52 Oct 8 23:23:17 rpi ntpd: Listen normally on 11 ppp0 10.75.52.17 UDP 123 Oct 8 23:23:17 rpi ntpd: peers refreshed Oct 8 23:23:18 rpi dnsmasq: reading /var/run/dnsmasq/resolv.conf Oct 8 23:23:18 rpi dnsmasq: using name server 184.108.40.206#53 Oct 8 23:23:18 rpi dnsmasq: using name server 220.127.116.11#53 Oct 8 23:23:18 rpi dnsmasq: using name server 18.104.22.168#53 Oct 8 23:23:18 rpi dnsmasq: using name server 22.214.171.124#53
It works Check the ifconfig output:
ppp0 Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol inet addr:10.75.12.27 P-t-P:10.75.12.27 Mask:255.255.255.255 UP POINTOPOINT RUNNING NOARP MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:8 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:9 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:3 RX bytes:116 (116.0 B) TX bytes:191 (191.0 B)
Turning off is also easy:
sudo poff m590-gsm-internet
Logs will show:
Oct 8 23:26:40 rpi avahi-daemon: Withdrawing workstation service for ppp0. Oct 8 23:26:41 rpi ntpd: Deleting interface #11 ppp0, 10.75.12.37#123, interface stats: received=0, sent=0, dropped=0, active_time=204 secs Oct 8 23:26:41 rpi ntpd: peers refreshed
That’s it – please remember that data plan can be costly. Check your data plan!