Spark is one of the biggest proponents and creators of easy to afford, top notch development kits for tinkerers and makers. So it should come as no surprise that Spark is at it again with a new product that allows customers to develop products with cellular connectivity in mind.
While the Electron builds on the technological know-how that has made Spark the go-to for the development community. The unique thing about the Electron is that it features cellular connectivity in lieu of the traditional Wi-Fi hardware. Spark recognized that the M2M world was quite friendly to the large corporations that navigated the murky waters looking for SIM cards for cellular connectivity. For the rest of us trying to do the same thing, it’s nearly impossible with all of the red tape in the way.
Lucky for us then, that Spark is now a cellular carrier or MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Provider) for any creative mind that uses the new Electron. They decided to cut that annoying red tape so that the tinkerers and makers can focus on just that and price for such access? Only a$2.99 a for 1MB or about 20,000 messages a month.
Spark started with a thumb-sized circuit board that’s stuffed with all sorts of goodies. The Electron features an STM32F205 ARM Cortex M3 Microcontroller with 1MB of flash and 128K of RAM. Cellular connectivity is provided by either a U-Blox SARA G-series 2G or SARA U-series 3G chip. Lastly, there are 36 pins in-total with 28 of those being GPIO’s with the rest being TX/RX, 2 GND’s, VIN, VBAT, WKP, 3V3 and RST.
To get your hands on one of these great devices you can pledge $59 for an Electron 3G on Spark’s Kickstarter page. There are other options of course but $59 is the cheapest option available but don’t wait long. Spark has easily met their goal of $30,000 with pledges totaling $447,815 with six days to go.