Blues Notecarrier® Datasheet
Companion development boards for easy prototyping and deployment.
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-B (Basic) v2.1
Notecarrier-B (CARR-B) is designed for building highly customized hardware solutions.
Notecard edge connector socket and mounting screw receptacle.
Micro-USB port to power Notecarrier and provide a USB Serial command interface to Notecard.
Requires user provided U.FL cellular/Wi-Fi antenna and optional U.FL active GPS antenna.
JST PH connector for a LiPo battery.
Qwiic connector for connecting I2C peripherals.
LiPo charging circuit.
PCB Dimensions: 52mm x 46mm
Center of Mounting Holes: 36mm x 36mm
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.
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 Ready
The Notecarrier-B and Notecarrier-Pi models do not have integrated GPS antennas, but support active GPS by providing circuitry to enable bias voltage to be supplied.
The Notecarrier is built to support either an active or passive GPS antenna, and
has a DIP switch to enable you to select your configuration. The DIP switch
connects the Notecard's
VACT_GPS_IN to support active GPS
antennas that accept voltages in the 3.3V-4V range*.
VACT_GPS_OUT is only powered when the cellular modem is active.
Notecarrier-B Dual 10-pin Headers
|Pin Name||Direction||Usage||Usage||Direction||Pin Name|
|GND||IN||Ground||Access to operating voltage (N_VUSB, VBAT or V+)||OUT||VMAIN|
|AUX1||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation||UART serial receive request interface||IN||RX|
|AUX2||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation||UART serial transmit request interface||OUT||TX|
|AUX3||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation||I2C data request interface||IN/OUT||SDA|
|AUX4||IN/OUT||API-selectable modes of operation||I2C clock request interface||IN/OUT||SCL|
|AUXEN||IN||Enable diagnostics||Configurable interrupt signal||OUT||ATTN|
|AUXRX||IN||High-speed diagnostic interface||Active-high reset||IN||RST|
|AUXTX||OUT||High-speed diagnostic interface||Module enable||IN||EN|
|VUSB||IN/OUT||Access to VUSB pin of the USB jack||Access to battery voltage||IN/OUT||VBAT|
|VIO||OUT||Reference voltage for digital I/O||Ground||IN||GND|
Absolute Maximum Ratings
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|
50 Dunham Ridge Suite 1650
Beverly, MA 01915