I have been trying the asset tracker in various rural parts of Alberta, Canada for it’s cell coverage and data transfer reliability. But unfortunately it does not always works. For example, I was in Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada for 7 days, and the cellular and GPS worked for 2 nights and after that she did not work anymore. Not too sure why. Could it be that I need a higher gain cellular antenna connected to the Asset Tracker?
I wonder if anyone has seen this happen to them? Or maybe I am over looking something here.
Hard to say for sure, but an external cellular antenna can be helpful.
The Electron comes with a Taoglas PCB Antenna. It is possible to use the Electron with other antennas, however.
Note: If you are building a product, there may be additional considerations if you use an antenna of a different type or a higher gain than the Taoglas antenna. This may require additional testing for certification.
The Electron comes with a u.FL connector. Most GSM antennas require an SMA connector. A small adapter can be purchased:
At Adafruit, you can get this adapter. At SparkFun this adapter. At Amazon this adapter.
Once you have an SMA connector, you can most cellular phone antennas. For example, I use this antenna from Amazon which is about 4" long and has a magnetic mount to improve reception in fringe areas.
In addition to what @rickkas7 mentioned, you can also figure out which network carrier offers the best coverage for Alberta, and use one of their Simcards? The Particle simcard roams on Rogers’ network in Canada (if I’m not mistaken); going straight with Rogers/Bell may yield better results.
Follow-up question: We’re talking about the Boron 2G/3G here, but I’m going to make the assumption that the Boron LTE simcard uses the same carrier. In that case, Telus/Bell already have a very extensive LTE-M1 network in Canada, at least since mid-2018. If the Boron LTE indeed uses Telus/Bell as its carrier, why is it still promoted as a US-only product?
Does the Boron LTE simcard use a different carrier? Has it not gone through the certification process yet outside the US?
I haven’t had much luck setting up my Boron LTE, so I haven’t had the opportunity yet to actually test whether or not it works.
Thanks for your comments and feedback. I have spoke with Telus and they were very confident that their network can support the IoT devices, and therefore have order a SIM from them. We will see how it turns out. But for now the SIM card provided by Particle (that latches on the Rogers network) have a very spotty if not no coverage in most rural cities in Alberta; cities like Fox Creek, Bonneyville, Edson, Innisfail, just to name a few.
I will try with Telus SIM card once I get home and maybe pick up higher gain antenna.
Btw. My test platform is Electron (Asset Tracker). You probably know it.