Blues Notecarrier® Datasheet
Companion development boards for easy prototyping and deployment.
While this product is still supported, it is no longer available for purchase from the Blues store. We recommend the Notecarrier-A as an updated, equivalent alternative.
Notecarriers are available in several form-factors to facilitate rapid prototyping. Depending upon the variant, a Notecarrier may be designed with direct host integration, size optimization, integrated cellular/Wi-Fi and GNSS antennas, or even to be soldered directly into a solution for low-volume production.
Notecarriers are designed to bridge the gap between prototype and production for the Notecard. The Notecard is designed to be socketed directly onto the circuit board using an edge connector socket, along with a customer's MCU, sensors, and controls. While such a model provides a highly modular configuration for the final product, it can make prototyping unnecessarily difficult.
Notecarriers offer breakout connections for the Notecard, as well as circuitry to provide power management, protection and signal amplification.
- Simple. Provides breadboard compatible pins or solderable mask for direct connections.
- Compatible. Level shifters ensure compatibility with 3.3V or 5V equipment.
- Convenient. Powered by a micro-USB connector (requires 2A supply).
- GPS Ready. Models are either active GPS compatible, or feature a built-in antenna to enable GNSS connectivity.
Notecarrier-AL (Antenna + LiPo Battery Connector)
Notecarrier-AL (CARR-AL) is designed for building battery-powered wireless applications.
- Pre-soldered female Notecarrier-AL 22-pin header for easy access to Notecard edge connector pins.
- Notecard edge connector socket and mounting screw receptacle.
- Micro-USB port to power Notecarrier and provide a USB Serial command interface to Notecard.
- Onboard cellular/Wi-Fi and active GPS antennas.
- External Nano-SIM slot for additional carrier connectivity.
- JST PH connector for a LiPo battery.
- JST PH connector for a solar panel.
- LiPo charging circuit.
- PCB Dimensions: 68mm x 75mm
- Center of Mounting Holes: 59mm x 66mm
All Notecarriers can be powered by connecting directly to the Micro-USB port. However, most installations will not have USB power available, so several alternate power options are provided by the various Notecarrier models:
attaching a LiPo battery.
The LiPo battery must be a single-cell 3.7V battery with a 2-pin JST PH connector.
attaching a solar cell (must be accompanied by LiPo).
The solar charging circuit is designed for use with a 4.5-7V solar panel.
applying 2.5-5.5VDC to the
Commonly provided via DC power supply or non-rechargeable battery.
Typical USB ports may only be capable of supplying 500 mA of current, which might not be enough to power Notecard during a cellular connection to a GSM network (which can spike to 2A). In this situation, you're advised to supplement power to your Notecarrier with an external source (e.g. a LiPo battery).
GPS (GNSS) Antenna Requirements
All Notecarrier models are designed to support active GPS, and several Notecarrier models provide built-in antennas ready to be connected to a Cellular Notecard using the included U.FL cables.
Active GPS Onboard Antenna
The Notecarrier-A models feature built-in, active GPS antennas and are designed with a sufficient buffer to isolate the antenna and minimize interference with the other electronics. Notecarrier-A models do NOT support external GPS antennas.
Notecarrier-AL 22-Pin Header
|<VUSB||IN/OUT||Access to VUSB pin of the USB jack|
|<BAT||IN/OUT||Access to battery voltage|
|<MAIN||OUT||Access to operating voltage (<VUSB, <BAT or V+)|
|<VIO||OUT||Reference voltage for digital I/O|
|V+||IN||2.5-5.5V, <8uA idle, <500mA typical, 2A surge max (GPRS)|
|EN||IN||>1.1v will power on the module, used for main product ON/OFF and for when product is being shipped to ensure that there is no communications attempted. If USB is active as power source, this pin is ignored, else it is required to be tied high or low.|
|RST||IN||>0.8v pulse will cause hard-reset of the module. This pin is internally pulled low, so NC is acceptable.|
|SCL||IN/OUT||I2C clock request interface|
|SDA||IN/OUT||I2C data request interface|
|ATTN||OUT||Configurable interrupt signal|
|AUXEN||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUXRX||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUXTX||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUX1||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUX2||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUX3||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|AUX4||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation|
|RX||IN||UART serial receive request interface|
|TX||OUT||UART serial transmit request interface|
|Solar JST Charging Range**||3.94||7.18||V|
**For detailed information regarding the solar charging circuit calculations and behavior, please refer to the Blues Notecarrier-A Series Solar JST Input application note.
Absolute Maximum Ratings
|Solar JST Voltage||0||18.18||V|
|Solar JST Input Current||-||1250||mA|
Actual values may vary based on local conditions such as atmospheric conditions and distance to the cell tower.
Open source hardware designs for all Notecarriers are maintained in the note-hardware GitHub repository.
Terms and Conditions
Visit Blues Hardware Terms & Conditions.
|Ray Ozzie||2019-2020||Document drafted|
|John Wiedey||2020||Various improvements|
|Sean Taylor||2020||Various improvements|
|Zachary J. Fields||01 OCT 2020||Updated information and translated to markdown|
|Brandon Satrom||04 JAN 2021||Added link to design resources|
|Greg Wolff||13 JAN 2021||Added BAT pin information to Notecarrier AF datasheet|
|Brandon Satrom||07 APR 2022||Added Notecarrier-A information|
|Zachary J. Fields||20 JUL 2022||Added Notecarrier-F information|
|Zachary J. Fields||24 OCT 2022||Added Notecarrier-B v2 information|
|Rob Lauer||28 OCT 2022||Added versioning for Notecarrier-B v1/v2|
|TJ VanToll||05 JAN 2023||Added Notecard Outboard Firmware Update information|
|Rob Lauer||28 FEB 2023||Re-labeling Notecarrier-B as "Basic"|
|Rob Lauer||01 MAR 2023||Added PCB/Mounting Hole Dimensions|
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