ANNOUNCEMENT: Introducing the Electron

WOW, you guys!!! Great one more awesome kit to look forward. Who is in charge of naming the dev kits :smile: Good choices. For us one more kit to make it fly to :rocket:

Hi guys, just found this one on my kickstarter feed.
I love the idea. I long wanted to built a tracker for my car which I can connect to my car alarm. basically build a cheap Lojack for Europe.
You’ve managed to solve almost all my problems, like roaming charges, etc (I think all might be solved but I have to ask you a few questions).
From what I’ve understood you will supply the board and the sim, but we have to create our own server for reporting?
I just want to be able to attach the tracker board to the alarm to get info of when my alarm is going off (I park pretty far away in a bad place of the town, and both at work and home cars next to me had break-in).
At the same time I want my loved ones to see where I am, especially since I travel a lot across borders in europe.
The hardware part I can handle it, my problem would be the software part, especially the server where I would get all the data from the board.
Do you have any example project or will you provide some, I think almost any of the mentioned projects on the kickstarter page where it involves tracking would be fine. The best would be to include also some security layers (not fort knox type but just to keep 99% of the population away) and also something where data can be transferred both ways since you have some awesome output pins on the board.

Another question would be: can you provide a map of the coverage, or the carriers whom you’re piggybacking in order to get their coverage map, some providers have better coverage then other, that won’t be a detriment, its just nice to know.

Ok. So looked around, managed to figure out some of the stuff for WIFI board, but it would be nice to have some full open-source examples based on which we can adapt our ideas.
Something like a bike/car tracker with an android app and 1 button (the app would read the gps or any variable and output another based on the pressed button). Something basic just to get an idea of how to build things.

The server part you’re worried about is already covered. It’s the so-called Spark Cloud. It exposes your Spark Devices functions/variables and other data over a secure REST API. It’s very easy to interface with if you’ve ever used REST before, and even if you haven’t, following the excellent tutorials here. Also, you can connect your device with IFTTT, triggering certain actions upon certain events. “if car alarm goes of call me”, would be a nice example.
All connections are encrypted, so you can reasonable assume to be safe in that regard.

If you look around the forum a bit more, you’ll find quite a few example projects. There are tutorials on how to create webinterfaces, and control your Core over the Web. Both ios and Android applications are open source, so you can see those. There are also already projects using a GPS tracker, with libraries included.
The only difference with the Core/Photon will be the method of connecting it to the Web. Everything else should remain the same.

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hey this is awesome! whats the deal with battery life? do i have to connect my own or does it come with a battery. sigh* you know tech. it always comes down to bat life

@RWB Thank you for the kind words! So much of why we wanted to do the Electron was not about the technical challenges, but about problems with accessibility–this kind of technology should be available to product creators, but the industry isn’t currently set up that way. Glad to hear the Electron will be valuable to you! We’re already working hard to make it a reality :slight_smile:

@JBass14 it does not come with a battery, although you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to powering the Electon. It can be powered over USB (admittedly not great for mobile projects), or you can use something like the Battery or Power Shields, which are both currently in our online store, to manage charging and discharging of a Li-Po power supply. Firmware management of the radio and microcontroller are key to optimizing battery life, so we’ll do our best to provide thorough testing results and tips for optimization as we get closer to shipping.

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I’m the only one smelling a Spark Proton, with Bluetooth-LE?

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Pretty please, expand coverage to New Zealand :smile:

I am particularly interested in remote long term environmental monitoring. Battery power optimization is key! The ability to charge from a solar panel is a helpful tool as well.

@ruben, Spark is working on a new power shield for all Sparks. I believe it includes solar charging capability. It should be ready soon :smile:


Will the Electron allow “roaming”. e.g. If I got my Electron in Canada and take it across the border to the US will it just continue working or will my account be tied to one country at a time ?

I moved a post to an existing topic: VIPER the Python developing solution for Core and Photon


That’s a good question, and one we haven’t figured out the answer yet. There’s some underlying tech about how SIM cards work that is changing and we’re hoping to be on the forefront of that change. More on that soon…


I agree. NZ coverage please!

Just had an idea:

Quadcopter with GPS plus the Electron for communication back to a control station.

Makes me wonder how difficult it would be to port MultiWii to the Core/Proton/Electron.

Just came across this EE Times Coverage of the Electron by Max Maxfield:


Can’t wait till it is available to Singapore. This is like what I am looking for… :smiley:

Got a question, does the Electron have a built in wifi module? Like the Spark Core? TY! Looking forward for this! More power! :smile:

It's in the post:


Whether it can be used with another SIM card?
For example is it possible for me to put my SIM card provider in my country. I live in Macedonia.
As we see with frequencies and standards of the module is supported in my country. Currently I use other modules Quectel and SIMCOM and they are working on the network without a problem.
If possible I would like to use my sim card, because Macedonia is still missing in the list.
And another question whether Sededstudio will distribute Electron.
It would be good for the wider availability of Electron, because for me it would be okay to use another SIM card.