GSM/GPRS & GPS modem with SIM900/SIM908 module

By on April 6, 2012

Allows you to create data connections on the GSM network through a standard USB interface.

The cellular modems, particularly USB-stick ones, are now at very affordable prices, however they’re limited: they are explicitly designed for Internet connections, so you cannot use it as a normal modem and so implement, for example, a point to point data communications with them. The GSM modems that allow this are quite rare, and so we create and offer you one: it is a device for PC with an USB interface with “voice” functions: there is a jack for a speaker and one for microphone.

The circuit is made simple by the adoption of a mobile phone module of Simcom SIM908 and SIM900 of the SIMCom. The USB connection is implemented with the aid of a converter TTL / USB type FT782M. Our modem is ideal to perform data links without access to the GPRS network or in any case to the Internet and allows, for example, the use in point-to-point mode, locators GPS / GSM or GSM only so as to obtain instantly data positioning and follow moves on live. In short, it allows direct data connection with another modem or mobile phone provided of a modem, but without going through the web: connections are made directly to the GSM data channel.

 

Wiring diagram

The circuit consists in a Simcom module and a few discrete active and passive electronic components; the conversion interface from TTL to USB is a small module that applies to USB contacts and connects to RX and TX cell module.

The connector carries power supply (Vcc, contacts 17 and 19 – GND, contacts 18 and 20) in addition to the power-on signal (PWR), and all signals and serial communication lines to and from the GSM module.

SIM900_modem_schematic

The ON/OFF line is connected to a R/C circuit that, at power of the entire circuit, considering that C11 is discharged puts it to hte logical zero; this condition leaves the transistor T2 of the mobile phone module interdict and maintains logical 1 to the PWR Contact of the SIM900/SIM908. When the capacitor is charged enough to saturate the T2 transistor, these places at the bottom level the PWR line of the GSM and turn on the mobile phone.

 

There are two contacts for the microphone (differential input) and two contacts for the speaker: pins 19, 20, 21, 22, which correspond respectively to MIC1P and MIC1N (positive and negative) and SPK1N and SPK1P (respectively negative and positive of the speaker).

The antenna of the GSM module is connected directly on the PCB of the cell on a special type of miniature coaxial MMCX connector.

The main power is provided by the 5 volts coming from USB, the absorption of the mobile phone module does not exceed the granted limit (500 mA) from this type of connection.

C1 and C2 filter the voltage and D1 and D2 subtract about 1.4 volts, because SIM900/SIM908 work with a maximum of 4 volts, filtered by C3 and C4 to reduce noise (note the resistor R1, which discharges such capacitor when the circuit is private of supply).

Light emitting diodes LD1 and LD2 are used to monitor data traffic, respectively, received on the RX line and sent from the TX.

 

Bill of materials

[code]

R1: 330 ohm
R2: 47 ohm
R3: 47 ohm
R4: 4,7 kohm
R7: 56 kohm

C1: 100 nF
C2: 470 µF 16 VL
C3: 100 nF
C4: 470 µF 16 VL
C5: 47 pF
C6: 47 pF
C7: 47 pF
C8: 47 pF
C9: 47 pF
C10: 47 pF
C11: 220 µF 16 VL

D1: 1N5819
D2: 1N4007

GSM: GSM (FT900M or FT971)

LD1: LED 3 mm red
LD2: LED 3 mm yellow
LD3: LED 3 mm green

USB: TTL/USB (FT782M)

female strip 2x10 via 2 mm
Jack  3,5mm (2 pz.)

[/code]

Use of the modem

To use our modem first must install a virtual serial port loading on the computer FT232RL drivers, downloadable for free from www.ftdichip.com .Once the drivers are installed, connect the modem, with USB/mini-USB cable, and wait while it is found and the drivers are actually installed.

After that, you can already use the product by opening a terminal window (Windows Hyper Terminal is fine …) you can handle the modem by issuing the AT commands for the SIM900/SIM908.

The communication session from a terminal must be opened on the virtual COM assigned by the operating system with the following parameters: speed 115.200 bps, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, no parity, hardware flow control disabled.

 After starting the communication session with Hyper Terminal, the screen shows all the time diagnostic information and other data coming from the SIM900/SIM908 modem; into the screen you can give appropriate commands, perhaps starting with a reset (ATZ). You can also do a simple test first, giving the command ATD NNNNNNNNN where NNNNNNNNN is the number to dial, putting the number of mobile phone with a modem and pressing Enter, you will see soon the phone’s display the incoming data message.If you give the command ATD NNNNNNNNN followed by ; the call will be on a normal mode (vocals) and the called phone display will show only the incoming call alert.

About Boris Landoni

Boris Landoni is the technical manager of Open-Electronics.org. Skilled in the GSM field, embraces the Open Source philosophy and its projects are available to the community.
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  • mostafa

    Dear Sir/madam

    We’re a software development company from iran
    and we plan to develop arealtime positioning system
    using personal GPS trackers.
    Please inform us if your personal tracker devices
    support GPRS communication , and if so,we appreciate
    your contribution on providing us with the necessary
    technical information or documentation.

    Best regards
    Mostafa Ghassemi

    • Hassan S

      Dear Mostafa, My name is Hassan.
      We usually do projects related to GPS tracking and remote monitoring using GPRS.
      My skype ID is : hassanshirazi53
      Please connect with me for more information

  • http://www.open-electronics.org Boris Landoni

    Hi,
    our system uses the SimCom modules:
    http://wm.sim.com/producten.aspx?id=1019
    http://wm.sim.com/producten.aspx?id=1024
    This modules have teh GPRS functions

  • Gundeep

    Hi, I’m trying to connect two computers using GSM to establish a data call for serial data transmission. I’m also using SIM900 module on a shield, connected to the computers using FTDI cable.

    When I try to initiate a data call it says “No Carrier” but when I initiate a voice call it connects easily. I can even send sms without any problems.

    Do I need to change any settings in the module for the data call?

    Regards

  • http://www.open-electronics.org Boris Landoni

    To do a Data call you have to write :
    ATD 3452454658

    without ;
    If you write

    ATD 3452454658;
    you make a voice call.

    Also you ave to wait the phrase CONNECTED 9600 (if I remember correctly :-/ )

  • Gundeep

    hey Boris!

    I tried that, with a semi-colon, it makes a voice call but without one, it just replies “No Carrier”.

    Did you change any other setting for the SIM900 module?
    Could it be because of the SIM Card? Is the one you are using a normal SIM card? Did you activate any special plans/settings from your service provider?

    Thanks & regards,

  • joon

    Hi Boris !
    I’m also using SIM900 module to design a gsm/gprs modem.
    The power supply is from USB (5V-500mA),as your circuit on this site,i use 2 Diots 1n5819 and 1n4007 to get 4V output.
    Now is the problem :
    +When power plugs in,power led is bright,status led is bright,netlight led is blink fast…but after 10 seconds,netlight led turns to be black and it continues blinking fast,status led is too,i understand it’s now in reset mode because it cant find any phone networks.I’ve checked my schematic and no problem can be found,so maybe the problem is current.
    +Sim900 need 2000mA to active GSM mode,but USB current ‘s just 500mA so i think that’s problem ?
    Can you explain my problem ? Any solution for that ?
    Thanks !

    • Mandeep Tiwary

      Please read data sheet. it is clearly specify that
      When the input is from the USB port of a computer, the average current is 500mA according to

      the USB specification, so a super capacitor must be added near the module VBAT pins to

      compensate the peak current in transmit burst. A low ESR tantalum capacitor is usually used. The

      value for the capacitor should be not less than 470uF.

  • http://www.open-electronics.org Boris Landoni

    Hi, I’m using some big capacitor to give the right current. The USB give no more 500mA but the capacitors control the spike.

  • http://www.gonzobrains.com Jeff Gonzales

    Can you take off the USB adapter and use serial directly?

    • BorisLandoni

      You have to power the circuit with 5V and use a MAX232 to adapt the level

  • http://www.open-electronics.org Boris Landoni

    You have to use a RS233/TTL converter, like the MAX232

  • R 396

    My notes for others:

    Link to product: http://store.open-electronics.org/GSM_GPRS_GPS_modem

    Need to buy small breakout for SIM900 GSM module (or other), USB to serial converter and antenna. (all on the shop)

    I received instructions in Italian. The USB to Serial sheet points to selecting 5V or 3.3V for the TX/RX lines. I found it worked with 5V which as shown in the diagram on the supplied (italian) instruction was the centre and left connections to bridge.

    I found the “modem” capability this circuit provides is provided by the GSM chip and is Circuit Switched Data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_Switched_Data
    so you should CHECK YOUR OPERATOR supports this before buying.

    CSD is not always supported and often requires activation. Although wikipedia says otherwise, I believe CSD will be phased out over the coming years.

    http://www.cooking-hacks.com/index.php/documentation/tutorials/arduino-gprs-gsm-quadband-sim900 is a good reference for the same GSM chip so commands etc are the same. It is important 0D 0A (carriage return and line feed are at the end of your AT commands. (most terminal programs add them auto)

    Hope this helps someone, these are purely my experiences. I’ve little actual knowledge.

    • BorisLandoni

      Thank you

      • Rowell

        sir,

        do u have a code for sending an SMS and also to make a call for SIM908???

        • BorisLandoni

          You have to see the AT command.
          IE to make call ATD xxxxxxx;

      • Rowell

        i had already the GMS-GPRS-GPS Arduino SHield… I buy last month here…

  • ms

    How accurate can the gprs code get? Meaning, is it only down to the cell tower.

    • BorisLandoni

      Whato do you mean?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zeratool Zera Tool

    Sir,

    Can this be plugged in a linux pc?

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  • Farhan Alam

    is it possible to design a gsm module capable of connecting more than one sim at a time?

    • BorisLandoni

      Hi, the SIM900 doesn’t support this function.

  • Farhan Alam

    plz its urgent my dear fellow help me out with this. thankx

  • Farhan Alam

    is it possible to design a gsm module capable of connecting more than one sim at a time?is it possible to design a gsm module capable of connecting more than one sim at a time?

  • Nguyen Chi Tam

    HI. I use module SIM908 to connect GSM network and receive GPS. I have some problem with it. The first, i coudn’t send SMS from SIM908 to my mobile. And when i type AT+CGPSSTATUS, it response “Location Unknown”.

    Can’t you help me!!!!!

  • Hamza Khan

    hey can i get your circuit schematics as i am new one to GSM modules and i purchased SIM 908 yesterday. As my project includes both GSM & GSM.

    • BorisLandoni

      Ops… I add the schematics ;-)

  • karunakar

    I have the simcon 908 ttl modem , & i want to test it is there any body from mumbai or pune who can do this for me …..I want to read the location & send it to a PLC can anybody help ?
    Kindly contact on karunakaronly@gmail.com

  • Geckorg

    can it allow the pc to be connected to internet???

    • BorisLandoni

      Yes of course, but probably isn’t the best solution ;-)

  • carlos

    hi, what is the value of resistor R7?, between on / off and vcc, regards

    • BorisLandoni

      R7= 56Kohm
      I fix the BOM

  • carlos

    I built the circuit according to your design but only flashes on hyperterminal only get garbage, any ideas?

    • BorisLandoni

      Open hyperterminal at 115200 baud and type
      AT (enter)
      in upper case

      • carlos

        thanks for the reply, it does not work on hyperterminal but I had very good results using the next page, put it here in case anyone had the same problem as me, greetings from México!

        m2msupport.net/m2msupport/module-tester/‎

      • carlos

        thanks for the reply, it does not work on hyperterminal but I had very good results using the next page, in google type at command tester it’s the firts option, put it here in case anyone had the same problem as me, greetings from México!

  • Muhammad Umar

    I’ve been using it’s SMS and call functionality with SIM900D.

    I want to know:
    How can i communicate between two Modules either with data or call, “without any network” with or without a SIM card inserted? Kindly point me in the right direction, i actually need to develop a long range data transfer technique for my RC ground vehicle at upto 2KM range

    • BorisLandoni

      To make voice call
      ATD +39xxxxxxxxx; (see the ; char)
      to make data call
      ATD +39xxxxxxxxx (without ; )

  • Som

    Hi Boris,

    I am trying to test the SIM900 with the given schematic.(Openelectronics schematic) on breadboard.

    My netlight is working but it never find the network.(SIM_VDD no voltage).

    My question is :will breadboard connection can work or not.
    Waiting for your reply.

    Please
    let me know do i need to make connection of SIM900 to SIM holder on PCB
    only. Will simple connection on bread board will work or not.( i kept SIM900 on PCB only from there i am taking out the connections.)

    • BorisLandoni

      A GSM module on breadboard isn’t a good choice.
      Check the connection

  • Som

    Hi

    I solder SIM900 with PCB and now i am trying to test the connection with breadboard. I am able to switch on the netlight after pushdown the pwr_key button.
    But it’s frequency of blink never come down.(it is not able to find network)

    I think there is some issue in connection of SIM_HOLDER with SIM900A.
    I followed http://www.open-electronics.org/small-breakout-for-sim900-gsm-module/

    I have not used : Electro-static discharge device ONS EMI SMF05C.

    Please let me know where i made wrong connection.
    (for bread board connection i am using SIM900A instead of SIM900 for my testing)
    Thanks in advance.

    • BorisLandoni

      The SMF05C isn’t fondamental. But the Sim holder must be near the module, don’t use the breadboard

  • Ahmed

    Hi
    I have the GSM/GPRS & GPS MODEM WITH SIM908 MODULE. When powering the board through the USB/TTL converter or external 5v supply, the gsm module doesn’t respond to AT commands. After diagnosis I found that remving the resistor R2 allows the modem to receive AT commands and responds to them properly. I have 5 boards and all have the same problem.

    Do you know why this is happening and is there any fix? I really would like to see both LEDs for Rx & Tx activities in the modem board.

    Thanks.

    • BorisLandoni

      Hi, you can remove the TX and RX led, there are other len in the USB/TTL converter

      • Ahmed

        Thanks for your reply.
        I can remove them, however I also use other USB/TTL converters that do not have Tx / Rx LEDs. It is strange that this problem only affects the Yellow LED (Rx). Red LED (Tx) is working fine. I changed the resistor (R2) to a higher value. The LED worked but it was barely lighting.

        I guess I have to find a resistor value that allows enough current to pass through the LED without affecting the signals to the modem.

        Thanks.

  • Ahmed

    Hi
    I have the GSM/GPRS & GPS MODEM WITH SIM908 MODULE. When powering the board through the USB/TTL converter or external 5v supply, the gsm module doesn’t respond to AT commands. After diagnosis I found that remving the resistor R2 allows the modem to receive AT commands and responds to them properly. I have 5 boards and all have the same problem.

    Do you know why this is happening and is there any fix? I really would like to see both LEDs for Rx & Tx activities in the modem board.

    Thanks.

  • Jasmarbina Khloe Prado

    hi..i now using the GSM/GPRS Shield and i have no idea about sending message..can u give some tutorials or working codes?thanks..

    • BorisLandoni

      Look in google for AT commands

  • Ahmed

    Hi There Im Starting my graduation project and i was wondering if i can interface the SIM900 with a LG Master K120s PLC through the RS232 ??
    Please Respond ASAP.

    • BorisLandoni

      You ave to use a MAX232 instead of FT232

      • Tran

        HELLO Ahmed, If you are sending sms to a cellphone instead of a computer do you still need RS232? if no, how is the connection?

        • Tran

          sorry the message is to BorisLandoni

          • BorisLandoni

            The modum use a FT232 converter. The GSM module need TTL 3.6V level

  • JRJJ

    Mr Boris, just out of curiosity, and probably nowhere else to ask, can two simcom SIM908’s be used to communicate with each other in different separate locations ? Thank you.

    • BorisLandoni

      Yes of course, you can create a data bridge

  • Som

    Hello Boris,

    Please let me know how can i connect(PIN NUMBER) GPS RX and TX with GSM so that through GSM(SIM900) only GPS data can be accessed.

    • BorisLandoni

      I don’t understand :-(

  • muhammad jahanzeb

    i am connecting sim900d gsm module with my laptop and i need to make a user interface in Labview. How can i import the acquired data through the module into Labview?

    • BorisLandoni

      Using AT commands you can controll this modem. The modem responds through this serial port

      • muhammad jahanzeb

        yes. but in labview , which block can be used for this..?

        • BorisLandoni

          I’m sorry but I don’t know. Sure a block for comunication with serial ports

  • Rohan

    hey boris,
    can we make voice call and hear sound like a real phone witn sim900a?
    if yes then how it can be done and also i heard that some firmware must b installed in sim900a for making voice call conversation.
    AT+FCLASS=8, is it supported by which gsm modem or sim900a supports this command?
    plz reply

    • BorisLandoni

      Hi, I haven’t tested the SIM900A, but probably works

  • http://www.cuin.com.br Marcelo Cuin

    Hello, can we use this modem with Arduino? Arduino would be recorded in the phone number, and when triggered, send an SMS, using this modem. Thank you.

  • Renato Nascimento

    Hello, sorry for my english.

    Is possible to use sim900+usb connection with asterisk for create a gsm gateway? Someone have a idea? thanks a lot