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 LTE 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 GPRS connectivity.
Notecarrier-B (CARR-B) is designed for building highly customized hardware solutions.
- Pre-soldered male Notecarrier-B dual 9-pin headers 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.
- Requires user provided U.FL cellular antenna and optional U.FL active GPS antenna.
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:
- applying 2.5-5.5VDC to the
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.
All Notecarrier models are designed to support active GPS, and several Notecarrier models provide built-in antennas ready to be connected to Notecard using the included U.FL cables.
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. This functionality is enabled using the
|Pin Name||Pin Description|
|VACT_GPS_IN||Input for active GPS antenna bias voltage|
|VACT_GPS_OUT||Notecard supplied DC bias voltage for active GPS|
The only pin required to support active GPS is
VACT_GPS_IN, which allows you
to provide a voltage specific to your antenna or application.
unnecessary, but can be connected directly to
VACT_GPS_IN to support an active
GPS antenna that accepts voltages in the 3.3V-4V range*.
The Notecarrier-B has a 0Ω resistor connecting the two pins. The resistor can be removed, allowing you to either utilize a passive GPS antenna, or splice into the circuit and provide your own bias voltage.
VACT_GPS_OUT is only powered when the cellular modem is active.
|Pin Name||Direction||Usage||Usage||Direction||Pin Name|
|AUX1||IN/OUT||Access to alternate modes of operation||UART serial receive request interface||IN||RX|
|AUX2||IN/OUT||Access to alternate modes of operation||UART serial transmit request interface||OUT||TX|
|AUX3||IN/OUT||Access to alternate modes of operation||I2C data request interface*||IN/OUT||SDA|
|AUX4||IN/OUT||Access to alternate modes of operation||I2C clock request interface||IN/OUT||SCL|
|AUXEN||IN||Enable diagnostics||Configurable interrupt signal||OUT||ATTN|
|AUXRX||IN||Diagnostic interface||Active-high reset||IN||RST|
|AUXTX||OUT||Diagnostic interface||Module enable||IN||EN|
|VUSB||IN/OUT||Access to VUSB pin of the USB jack||2.5-5.5V, <8uA idle, <500mA typical, 2A surge max (GPRS)||IN||V+|
|VIO||OUT||Reference voltage for digital I/O||Ground||IN||GND|
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.
|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|