Cellular boards cloud service price with 3rd party SIM?

Hi!

I’m a little bit confused with the Cloud service pricing for Cellular devices (Electron/Boron). It’s $2.99 per device/mo after first 3 months. As I know, the whole development process with Particle devices is made through the WebIDE and OTA. So without this fee $2.99 I can’t use the Electron/Boron at all? Or what other options I have?

You can also flash firmware via USB (and for Boron even Ethernet when you have the Ethernet Feather Wing).

But why would you have a cellular device without using cellular connection? The $2.99 are a combination of carrier fee and Particle cloud cost. If you don’t want to use cellular nor cloud you can deactivate the SIM - but if you do, I’d just consider it fair to pay for it.

Also, let’s not forget that the first 3 months (assuming no data overage) are free!

Particle cellular rates is a little bit pricey for my purposes, so I would like to use it with another SIM. If Electron/Boron doesn’t make big sense without Particle SIM maybe you can recommend me another board?

@motomac, you CAN use 3rd party SIMs with the Electron/Boron.

OK, but what about Web IDE? Will it be still available after 3 months?

Correct. You can use the Electron or Boron with a 3rd-party SIM card. Up to 100 cellular devices using a 3rd-party SIM card can be associated with your account without an additional monthly fee to Particle; you only need to pay your mobile provider for data usage.

You can still use all of the normal Particle features like the Particle Build (Web IDE) and other tools with a 3rd-party SIM card.

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Can you add these 100 devices to a product for OTA updates without charge?
I would be fine with using the Web IDE for OTA updates, but when you select a new firmware as well, the device comes up in safe mode. So the only way to flash these devices is via a product…

I would be fine with using the Web IDE for OTA updates, but when you select a new firmware as well, the device comes up in safe mode. So the only way to flash these devices is via a product…

That’s because developer (non-product) devices won’t automatically update system firmware OTA for cellular devices. You can solve this three different ways:

  • If you flash via https://build.particle.io and match the target system firmware version to what’s one the device, you won’t go into safe mode
  • You can flash newer system firmware manually OTA
  • You can flash newer system firmware by USB

Can you add these 100 devices to a product for OTA updates without charge?

Yes you can use a product with a 3rd-party SIM card.

Rick

Thanks. Can you point me to some documentation on how to flash newer firmware manually OTA without ending up in safe mode? (Or does this always require a product?)

For example, if you wanted to upgrade your Electron to 0.6.4 OTA, you’d do this:

Go to the firmware release site and download the 3 Electron system parts.

Then use the CLI to send each part. Wait until the device completely reboots after each step. If the device is remote, you can use the console to monitor events from it and look for the online event after each step.

particle flash YOUR_DEVICE_NAME_OR_ID system-part1-0.6.4-electron.bin
particle flash YOUR_DEVICE_NAME_OR_ID system-part2-0.6.4-electron.bin
particle flash YOUR_DEVICE_NAME_OR_ID system-part3-0.6.4-electron.bin

You must flash them in that order: 1, 2 then 3.

NOTE: If you have an old Electron that has any version prior to 0.5.3, including the original factory default of 0.4.6, you must upgrade to 0.5.3 first. Trying to do it in one step will require recovering the device by USB.

A product is not required to update Electron system firmware OTA. It’s only required to do it automatically when you flash firmware that requires it. That’s done on purpose because it uses a lot of data and it’s easy to accidentally cause an update. For products, it’s assumed that if you went through the process or testing and uploading your firmware you know what you’re doing.

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