Add devices without activating SIM cards

Hi there,

We are building a product based on Electron. We need to add Electrons to Particle Console and Product for the latest firmware. Is it possible to do that without activating SIM cards first? It will be the best for us to activate SIM cards when end-users get them.


You can load firmware via DFU without needing cellular service.

I don’t think the windows updater application has been updated lately which is a shame because it was the easiest way to update the Electron over USB.

You do not need to have a SIM card to flash firmware by USB or add a device to the console.

You do need a SIM card if you’re going to claim the device to an account, as the device must be online and breathing cyan to claim. However, it does not need to be the same SIM as will be used in it later. You can swap SIMs between Electrons all you want without reconfiguration so you really can just have the one SIM card you use for claiming, if you need to do that.


Thank you. But I have a question regarding your answer.

You mentioned that I do not need to have a SIM card to add a device to the console. Then you said that I do need a SIM card if I am going to claim the device to an account. I am confused. When I add “particle device add”, it will claim the device to my account.

Adding a device to a product using the Add Device in the product devices tab merely marks the device as able to run a product’s firmware. When the device is connected to the cloud it will get a product firmware update if necessary, as well.

Claiming a device associates a device with a particular user account (using particle device add) or customer account (using claim codes). That can only be done when online, as there’s an exchange of data between the device and the cloud during claiming.


Thank you for the clarification. If I use “particle device add”, does it mean that the SIM card has been activated automatically? Or should I do something to activate it explicitly?

In order to particle device add, the device must be online and breathing cyan, or it won’t work. Thus for that step, you need to have an activated SIM card in the device.

However, it doesn’t need to be the SIM you eventually will ship to the customer. You can activate one SIM card that you use for device claiming. You can use it to claim the device, then remove the power, remove that SIM card, and put the real customer SIM card (unactivated) back in the device until you activate the SIM card for the customer.

You the use the removed and activated SIM card to claim the next Electron, reusing it over and over.


Thanks. How many ways to activate SIM cards?

For individual developer SIM cards, typically you use There is a limit of 100 developer SIM cards in an account.

For products, you typically use product SIMs. They can be activated at in the product, then in the SIMs tab. You can activate SIMs in bulk in that location, using the file of ICCIDs you get when you order 50-packs of SIMs. Or you can do them one-at-a-time as you get new customers.

You can also activate SIM cards using the cloud API. For example, you could use a simple node.js script to activate SIM cards. There are several sample scripts for doing operations like activating product SIM cards here: