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Introducing the Arduino MKR NB1500

BY Praveen Kumar 08 April 2019

Introducing the Arduino MKR NB1500

Last year we were proud to announce our partnership with Arduino to help create an (read more about it here https://exchange.telstra.com.au/our-exclusive-partnership-with-arduino-set-to-fuel-the-growth-of-iot-in-australia/), IoT network ready, device for developers. For us this partnership is really important to help create an IoT network specific device that is quick and easy to use, while being versatile to prototype with and has a wealth of library support.

The MKR NB 1500 is perfectly designed for fast prototyping with catm1/narrowband connectivity which is made possible via the UBLOX SARA-R410M-02B module (https://www.u-blox.com/sites/default/files/SARA-R4-N4_ProductSummary_%28UBX-16019228%29.pdf). Alongside the connectivity the new connected Arduino features 22 i/o digital pins (12 PWM) and 7 analogue pins. All running via a SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ 32bit low powered ARM CPU, which helps create the ultimate low powered connected device happily running at 3.3v.

All of the Arduino MKR boards feature an ECC 508 crypto chip and the NB1500 is no exception. This means you can generate x509 certificates from the board itself to help create an even more secure connection between server and device. To read more on the ECC508 see https://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/ATECC508A

The NB1500 is Perfect to build out low powered network ready IoT projects. To get you started we already have some sample code repos set up on the Telstra Github (and many more planned).

The first repository has two working examples in it demonstrating how to use the NB1500 to do MQTT Mosquitto connections using a public IoT broker. Using the pubsub and Arduino MQTT libs the sample code is a great example of how to connect and subscribe to a broker topic and transfer data. Check it out at https://github.com/telstra/arduino-mkr-nb-1500-mosquitto

The second repository demonstrates how to connect and register into cumulocity, this sketch uses straight AT commands so doesn’t need the MKR library. The sketch examples included in the repo show how to send measurements, temperature and humidity which will then be visible on the platform. Check it out at https://github.com/telstra/arduino-mkr-nb-1500-cumulocity

The Arduino MKRNB library (available at https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/MKRNB) also has a few handy examples including NB and NBSSL web clients that enable connection to a web server via HTTP and HTTPS. Just remember to strip out headers and other unwanted information from the server response so you get just the body, a handy way to do that is via delimited characters (with the body payload between) like `[` and `]` using something like

midString(client.readString(),"[", "]");

The Arduino MKR NB1500 is exclusive to dev.telstra.com in Australia retailing for $119.95 AUD (include the antenna) with local stock on hand to make sure you get it extra fast. But that’s not all.  We’ve also included a m2m catm1 ready sim card to get you up and running even faster. That gets you connected to over three million sq km’s of network in Australia!

Head on over to https://dev.telstra.com/iot-devices to find out more and check it out today.

As always, we are looking for your feedback and would love to hear of any cool projects or ideas you are building out with our APIs or this amazing little board. Reach out via one of our contact methods here https://dev.telstra.com/support

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