3G Ublox Peak current


#1

Simple question: at which points exactly will the 3G Ublox operate at its 800mA peak? Is this the case whenever Particle.connect() is called, or when it is about to establish the connection?

I’m wondering because I’m working on a power-efficient device, and some areas I plan to deploy my Electrons in don’t have very good data reception. If the modem consumes 800mA for a 1-2 minute duration in order to connect (or can’t connect at all) then upgrading to a stronger antenna definitely will become a priority on my to-do list.


#2

Ahh, if I were you I would put an Oscilloscope on your Electrons with the special batteries and see what the voltage drop is when your connecting.

The battery voltage may hold fine for short burst when the batteries are brand new but may not be up for the task when the cells get older or if the power draw during connection takes longer than expected.

Also, are you sending the RSSI signal levels with each publish so you know what the signal level is at each location so you know if it’s a signal or other issue?


#3

No, I’m not sending the signal levels right now…should remember to add this in my code sometime soon.

According to the manufacturer information the voltage should remain extremely steady over their lifespan, only dropping when very close to the end…but I will certainly keep monitoring it. At the moment I can call Particle.connect() for several minutes and the batteries will still remain functional.

However, this doesn’t fully answer my question yet; will I hit 800mA as long as I’m calling Particle.connect()? Regardless of battery voltage and such, since 800mA is a insane amount, if it remains that high throughout the entire connection process then being able to connect ASAP would have to be a very high priority to extend the lifespan of my sensor


#4

Hi @Vitesze

There are too many variables to say. Your Electron will change the transmit power (and receive gain) in real time based on signal strength, control vs. data cellular data and many other factors. Variables like distance to the cell tower or towers, how many other cellular handsets are in the area and many others are just outside your control.

As @RWB says, you can measure a particular Electron at a particular place and time, but in general you have to design for the worst case.


#5

Very interesting information, thanks! To me it just wasn’t clear what exact step was requiring those 800mA, but I understand now that it’s not steady. Considering some of the areas where I want to deploy them are a bit remote, I definitely will be counting on a continuous 800mA current for designing my device!