Cellular data allowance question

I have 2 new Elections that came with a 3 MB data allowance @$2.99/month (free for 3 months). But when I look at my SIM Cards in the Console, I am told that my data limit is 5 MB. When I go to View Device in the Console and click on SIM DATA USAGE I am told in one place that my Data Limit is 5 MBs but I have “3MB included/mo.”.

Can someone clarify: are the terms “data limit” and “included” synonymous - in which case, why the discrepancy between the two values - or does “limit” mean that I cannot use more than 5 MB even if I pay $.40/MB for everything over the “included” 3 MB? If the latter, I cannot find any explanation for such a cap.

Also, it appears that the allowance is per device. Can the allowances be aggregated per account, i.e. 6MB total in may case, regardless of distribution among devices, or is the allowance strictly associated with each specific device?

The data limit is the amount of data you can use before your SIM is deactivated. Once deactivated, it won’t use any more data, and also is no longer usable. It will resume working at the end of the billing period or after you’ve increased the limit. It’s primarily used to prevent excessively large bills if something goes wrong and you end up using more data than expected.

There should be a 3 MB level in the popup menu, but there isn’t currently one.

The data usage is per SIM. There’s no option to pool data across multiple SIM cards.

Thanks Rick! How do I increase the data limit?

My brand new application (a float switch in a water storage tank, when closed, turns on a pump in a remote well) results in an Electron transmitting a zero or a one (depending of the state of the float switch) every 60 seconds, 24/7/365. As you can see from the screenshot I provided, that app has already consumed .25 MB in less than 24 hours.

If that’s a representative daily figure, then I anticipate using over 7 MB per month. I suppose I could change the transmission interval to every 120 seconds (or more) rather than every 60 seconds, if necessary, but I’d rather just increase the cap. I am puzzled, however, as to why each message is apparently more than 175 bytes in length (250,000 bytes / 1440 minutes in 24 hours).

Log into the console, then the SIM Cards tab, then click on the … button, then Set Data Limit. Setting it to 10 MB would make sense in your case.

There’s a fixed overhead for each publish for various headers, plus the length of the data, plus the acknowledgement.

If you use the NO_ACK option you’ll reduce your data usage by more than 100 bytes per publish, at the cost of possibly losing a publish every now and then since the device won’t retransmit a lost one.

Perfect! Very clear and most helpful! I learn more from the members here on the forum than I do reading all the reference material!

Next task is to teach myself how to upgrade the OS from 0.5.4 to 0.8.0…

Many thanks again Rick.

This post is for the E Series LTE, but the process is exactly the same for upgrading an Electron to 0.8.0, same binaries and same process:

Yet again, Rick, perfect! I’m off to retrieve the boards now so I can do this via USB rather than OTA.

It might save you a lot of data if you only connected to cellular and transmitted on a state change of your float switch. As you get deeper into writing the firmware for your app, you will find you have a lot of options for controlling when your device connects, and more importantly, when it doesn’t. To get you started, here is how to use the different modes.

The device at the pump (assuming you are using a relay at the control box) could be continuously powered/connected but just waiting for your 0/1 via a pub/sub.

This type of setup should give you a quicker response between float and pump as well (in theory).
Hope that helps and good luck with your project! :slight_smile:

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Rick: I got 0.8.0 installed on both Electrons (bit of a struggle, but a good opportunity to refresh my fading knowledge of Unix!) and both are now connected to Device Cloud. I can ping them both and they pass all tests (although one whines about having only fair signal strength) and the event logs show that my app is working properly.

So many, many thanks for all your help!