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Getting Started With The NWK030

The NWK030 is a Mini PCIe card powered by the u-blox SARA-R410M module, and is an available option within OnLogic’s full range of industrial PCs. It allows for long-range cellular network connectivity and small-bit data transfers using Cat M1 / NB-IoT networks. Additionally, it provides a single RF interface for connecting an external antenna.

The NWK030 is intended to use applications developed by the user to interface with the modem and do data transfers. It is equipped with a SIM card slot for connectivity and development. The following steps will provide resources and instructions on how to initialize your NWK030 once you’ve received it.

Note: The NWK030 can be developed in either the Windows or Ubuntu operating systems (OS).

NWK030 Known Limitations

Currently, OnLogic supports only Verizon as a carrier for the NWK030, however, NWK030 is not limited to only Verizon. Please contact your carrier representative to inquire about NWK030 support.

The NWK030 will not have a cellular network connection that the OS’s network managing application can use. This means that you can not select the “Cellular” network option from the system tray and then open a browser and begin browsing the web. An application must be developed by the customer to interface with the modem and do data transfers.

Additionally, the NWK030 requires SIM cards specific to Cat M1 and NB-IoT networks. Standard 4G/LTE SIM cards, even if in the same form factor, may not function in this cellular modem. Read more about connectivity.

OnLogic uses the FTP network protocol for Cat M1 development, however the NWK030 is not limited to this protocol.

Activating Your NWK030 Card

When you first receive your NWK030, it will come equipped with an already inserted SIM card and an in-box NWK030 Manual. To activate your NWK030, follow these steps:

  1. Locate your IMEI and SIM card (ICCID) numbers by checking the sticker located on the front of the manual or on the bottom of your system.
  2. Record the IMEI and ICCID numbers for future use. The front of the NWK030 manual provides a space to do this.
  3. Have your cellular account info and the IMEI and ICCID numbers ready. Contact your cellular carrier account representative to activate the card.

AT Commands

Before checking your internet connectivity and developing your NWK030, it will be necessary to connect to the modem to use AT commands. Follow these steps for your OS to initialize:

Connecting to Modem via Minicom for Linux OS

  1. Open up Terminal for Ubuntu (press CTRL + Alt + T).
  2. If minicom is not already installed on your system, in Terminal, type:
    sudo apt-get minicom
  3. After installing minicom, go into by typing:
    sudo minicom -s
  4. Use the arrow keys to select Serial Port Setup and press enter
  5. In Serial port Setup:
    • Press a – change name to ‘/dev/ttyUSB1’. Press Enter when done.
    • Press g to change software flow control to YES. Press Enter when done.
    • Use the arrow keys to select Exit on the minicom main menu (this will drop you to a new shell).
  6. Make the modem “echo” back the commands. In the terminal window, type:
    ATE1
  7. You can now send any AT commands necessary.

    Check Internet Connectivity (TCP)

    After setting up your modem, you will use AT commands to check if your NWK030 is connected to the internet. To do this, you will create and send a TCP packet to u-blox’s test server and then open and read the return to determine if there is internet connectivity.

    In Windows PuTTY or Ubuntu’s Minicom, type:

    1. AT+USOCR=6
    2. AT+USOCO=0,"195.34.89.241",7
    3. AT+USORD=0,32
    4. AT+USOCL=0

    After setting up and checking your internet connection, you can now start using AT commands to modify your NWK030 to suit your application. Below you will find a few of the AT commands that you can use. For a full list of AT commands and functionality of the SARA-R410M modem, visit u-blox’s AT commands manual.

    AT+CGDCONT?
    Check Class, APN, and IP information

    AT+CGDCONT=<1-6>,<IP,IPV4V6,IPV6>,<APN>
    Set Class, IP format, and APN

    AT+CFUN?
    Check power function

    AT+CFUN=0
    Set modem into airplane mode (off)

    AT+CFUN=1
    Turn modem on

    AT+CFUN=15
    Power cycle the modem

    AT+CNUM
    Verify phone number

    AT+CSQ
    Signal quality (99,99 means no signal)

    AT+XSIMSWITCH
    Switch Sim Slot in use, 0-1 (default is 0)

    AT+USOCR=?
    Creates a socket and associates it with the specified protocol (TCP or UDP), and returns a number identifying the socket. Such command corresponds to the BSD socket routine. Up to 7 sockets can be created. It is possible to specify the local port to bind within the socket in order to send data from a specific port. The bind functionality is supported for both TCP and UDP sockets.

    AT+USOCO=?
    Establishes a peer-to-peer connection of the socket to the specified remote host on the given remote port, like the BSD connect routine. If the socket is a TCP socket, the command will perform the TCP negotiation (3-way handshake) to open a connection. If the socket is a UDP socket, this function will declare the remote host address and port for later use with other socket operations (e.g. +USOWR, +USORD). This is important to note because if refers to a UDP socket, errors will not be reported prior to an attempt to write or read data on the socket.

    AT+USORD=?
    Reads the specified amount of data from the specified socket, like the BSD read routine. This command can be used to know the total amount of unread data.

    AT+USOCL=?
    Closes the specified socket, like the BSD close routine. In case of remote socket closure the user is notified via the URC.

    Initial Set-up

    The following instructions will vary by your OS. Find your OS below and follow the instructions listed.

    Verizon

    Windows 10

    1. SIMs inserted into the Modem will automatically configure onto their respective network. The connection can be verified by checking the APN with:
      • AT+CGDCONT?
    2. The APN will be configured on Class 1 by default. Connectivity can be verified using the UDP data test or any other protocol test outlined in the AT command section or by using the different connectivity AT commands outlined in the AT manual.

    Note that the operating system will not see the modem as a native “connection”, either as an ethernet or cellular connection, due to the speed of the modem. The modem’s connection will need to implemented into your own software and integrate the modem manually.

    Windows 7

    1. SIMs inserted into the Modem will automatically configure onto their respective network. The connection can be verified by checking the APN with:
      • AT+CGDCONT?
    2. The APN will be configured on Class 1 by default. Connectivity can be verified using the UDP data test or any other protocol test outlined in the AT command section or by using the different connectivity AT commands outlined in the AT manual.

    Note that the operating system will not see the modem as a native “connection”, either as an ethernet or cellular connection, due to the speed of the modem. The modem’s connection will need to implemented into your own software and integrate the modem manually.

    Ubuntu 16.04

    1. SIMs inserted into the Modem will automatically configure onto their respective network. The connection can be verified by checking the APN with:
      • AT+CGDCONT?
    2. The APN will be configured on Class 1 by default. Connectivity can be verified using the UDP data test or any other protocol test outlined in the AT command section or by using the different connectivity AT commands outlined in the AT manual.

    Note that the operating system will not see the modem as a native “connection”, either as an ethernet or cellular connection, due to the speed of the modem. The modem’s connection will need to implemented into your own software and integrate the modem manually.

    To learn about more advanced features and how to program your NWK030, visit our Github page.

    For more information on how to program and set up your card, visit u-blox’s SARA-R4 series site to learn more.

Updated on February 12, 2020

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