View Full Version : GSM / GPRS Modem (where is it ?)

Areal Person
11-14-2006, 04:05 AM
Ok, Does anyone know of a good GSM/GPRS modem
(Cheap low cost solution) I can use with the Prop ?

Can I hack a PCMCIA GSM Modem somehow (nice slim package it would be ;) ) ?
I don't want to hack a cell phone, I need to use a modem unit only.

Also, FYI for some of you. MultTek makes a real nice GSM/GPRS Socket modem
for embeded solutions.

There's also a Zilog spinoffs·from the ez80's L92 chipset
thats using the modem. It'a a company called MTSI (lynx.mitsi.com), there
LvnxNet-OEM board can use it. Not sure what else does.

I think OnStar uses Wavecom. (not sure) But they have a very cool and very $ wireless CPU
Ua... Did I just answer my own question http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/yeah.gif

Well, it does cost around $118.00 us

I would like to use somthing for around $40.00us

Any Ideas ?

If, not. I will post the specs if I'm able to get it completed
I MUST use a GSM or GPRS modem with the prop if possiable. So any advise/help would be nice !

-Areal Person


11-14-2006, 04:18 AM
I like Sparkfun.com, but the cheapest they have is $87, and it's out of stock.

Areal Person
11-14-2006, 10:49 PM
I just checked prices for the development kit. It's a whopping $299.00
plus you still need to buy a modem for around $118.00,
Thats $420.00 ! Then I would still need to have a cell account /w SIM
module to have network access ! Figure $19.00 per month.

Does anyone know of a better GSM and/or GPRS solution ?
This one is already certifyed, but whew.. thats too much doe for me.

Can't I just take a PCMCIA card appart and solder somthing to it ?

Does anyone know and/or is interested in cellular communications with the Prop chip ?

Ken Gracey
11-14-2006, 11:29 PM
Prop Fans,

Sometimes the only way to find out about these products is to go to China, which is what·we did last week. One of the parts I came back with is a small GSM/GPRS module. From the datasheet, it says the part is ideally suited for data, fax, voice, SMS, and fixed cullular terminals, handheld devices, etc. It includes an embedded TCP/IP protocol stack.

The design issues are not known, but it's pretty clear that·interfacing this device could have a·lengthy·list of firmware and some support component design from a microcontroller, unless it is fully configurable using its internal processor. The amount of documentation and firmware development closely relates to the feature set. I haven't looked at the datasheet in any detail, nor have I given it to any of our engineers for·translation to layman·terminology for me. But that's something I'll do today.

Based on everything I know about the cost of this part to Parallax,·it could be put into a Parallax product and sold for less than a hundred dollars retail.·It's too early to talk about price of something that doesn't even exist, but early cost factors often go into the decision-making process when we consider·whether or not to make a particular product. On the other hand, R&D costs sometimes don't factor into the product's retail price (such as the Propeller).·How would you go about trying to put eight years of R&D costs into the product price? Charge a hundred bucks per chip? Sometimes we just want to make a product at any costs, so we do! I'm·not sure which "model" this fits into yet.

Back to this GSM/GPRS module. Please don't ask for specifics on the manufacturer. We're open with information, but·giving away sources to competitors·would save them a trip to China and cost us the loss of a potentially unique product (probably already did that!). Therefore, we'll do our investigation of this part starting today. If we decide to use it, we'll provide the complete datasheet shortly when our design is underway; if we decide not to pursue it, we'll provide sources and datashseets for our customers. You win either way! You could probably Google around and find it anyway based on the photo I provided. For products like this one, finding the source doesn't mean you can buy it - even Parallax has to do a lot of convincing that we'll be a worthy customer with our itsy bitsy volumes compared to what they expect.

Ken Gracey
Parallax, Inc.

10-29-2008, 04:36 AM
Hi Ken,

Almost 2 years later and I wonder if you can provide any updates on Parallax product that implements this (or other) GSM/GPRS modem?


10-29-2008, 04:41 AM
iT should be quite easy to interface a Propeller to one of the Telit modules or the new Sagem HiLo unit. I have a Telit GE863 (GPRS/GPS) controlled by a small PIC.


Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
Suzuki SV1000S motorcycle

Post Edited (Leon) : 10/28/2008 9:58:28 PM GMT

Jay Kickliter
10-29-2008, 07:08 AM
What capabilities do you need? I've been using a Motorola c168i cell phone as a SMS/Email interface with the prop. They're only $15.

Ken Gracey
10-29-2008, 10:04 PM
Hey john_s,

Received the PM. I try to read most threads but it's difficult as you noted.

The update is that we've made no progress on this one. We see heaps of these devices in the Chinese component markets, but documentation is always lacking and if it is available then it is in Chinese. If we proceed with this at some point in the future we'll likely find a licensed western supplier to help us forward to a product design.


Ken Gracey

10-29-2008, 10:13 PM
Thank you Jay and Leon - it's lovely that we can nowadays have options to interface·of the shelf SMS-capable phone devices... or european designed·GSM modules

My question however was directly addressed to Ken and Parallax' product capable of doing the same; as he mentioned in his post 11/14/2006 was in their plans some time ago...·:-)

p.s. just read Ken's reply and it answers my question.

Post Edited (john_s) : 10/29/2008 3:20:02 PM GMT

Paul Baker
10-31-2008, 02:17 AM
Here is a page which lists a good protion of cell modules availible today: http://www.novotech.com/components.html
The Motorola G24 is a well documented module, and I think it's the same one used in the Motorola c168i.

Paul Baker (mailto:pbaker@parallax.com)
Propeller Applications Engineer
[/url][url=http://www.parallax.com] (http://www.parallax.com)
Parallax, Inc. (http://www.parallax.com)

10-31-2008, 02:33 AM
Leon is right... looked at the volumes of info available on the telit gm962... all freely available in my favorite language...

What makes telit such an opportunity... is that all kinds of open development has already been done... mostly in python. So, it is just a matter of translating what is already available into Spin/Pasm.

Hoping to have my propFone (aka SMS/GPS) tracker working soon:)

It looks like a 5 minute job... with 3 minutes used for unpacking.


11-02-2008, 01:07 AM
Somehow related I guess :-)


http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/1790·- dated Dec.2002 :-)

Post Edited (john_s) : 11/3/2008 2:52:50 AM GMT

11-02-2008, 01:21 AM
hi friend,
I am also interested in GSM/GPRS modem if you got any idea or resourse please inform me too.
Thanks in advance.