Instructions - Creating mesh network with Boron LTE and 3rd party SIM card

Boron LTE uses LTE CAT-M1 which is not (yet) very common in Europe. Also the Boron LTE embedded SIM card won’t probably work well outside of US. If you are able to find a carrier outside US which supports LTE CAT-M1 you can use their 3rd party SIM card with Boron LTE by following the Particle instructions below:

Even though it is possible to make 3rd party SIM card work with Boron LTE the problem is that currently the embedded SIM card (which doesn’t work well / at all in Europe) is still needed for mesh network creation. For example while creating mesh network with Boron LTE and 3rd party SIM card you might see this kind of error dialog in Particle iOS app after pressing the “Enroll in subscription” button:

“Request failed: not found (404)”

The mesh network can still be created by using Particle Ethernet Featherwing with Boron LTE. After the mesh network has been created the Boron LTE mesh network can be used normally with 3rd party SIM card.

Below are the steps for Boron LTE mesh network creation with Ethernet Featherwing:

  • Make Boron LTE connect to Particle Cloud with your 3rd party SIM card by following Particle’s instructions.

  • Remove the LiPo battery and the USB cable to power off the Boron LTE.

  • Connect Boron LTE to Ethernet Featherwing.

  • Connect the RJ-45 Ethernet cable to Ethernet Featherwing.

  • Power on Boron LTE with USB cable and/or LiPo battery.

  • Put Boron LTE in Listening Mode by holding the MODE button for three seconds until the RGB LED begins blinking blue.

  • Start setting up the Boron LTE mesh network with Particle mobile app.

  • When you reach the setup step ”Get your Boron ready for setup” turn on the switch control ”Toggle ethernet featherwing setup” at the bottom of the page.

  • Follow the setup steps to finalize the mesh network creation, and in the end of the setup add couple of Xenons to the same mesh network.

  • Power off the Boron LTE and remove it from the Ethernet Featherwing.

  • Power on the Boron LTE normally (connected to breadboard for example) with the 3rd party SIM card inside.

  • Flash a simple mesh communication sketch to Boron LTE and Xenons and see the created mesh network working.

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Thank you for writing up those steps.

  • If you can use the Particle SIM card, you can just set up the with the Particle SIM card and then switch to a 3rd-party SIM, no Ethernet FeatherWing required.
  • If you can’t use the Particle SIM, like with the Boron LTE outside of the United States, then you’ll need to follow the instructions above if you want to use it with a mesh network.
  • If you want to use a Boron with a 3rd-party SIM card without mesh networking you can set it up by USB without needing the Ethernet FeatherWing.
  • This is only temporary; the ability to set up a mesh network with a 3rd-party SIM card without the Ethernet FeatherWing is planned for a future version of the mobile apps.
  • If you want to use a Boron with a 3rd-party SIM card without mesh networking you can set it up by USB without needing the Ethernet FeatherWing.

Did you write any guide/tutorial about this particular procedure? I tried to search for something on the forum but all I got is your guide to start using a 3rd party sim after setting up the Boron LTE using the particle embedded sim.

You should be able to write a application firmware that sets the cellular credentials just the way as it documented here

(apart from the fact that the quoted build command should say boron instead of electron)

And of course Cellular.setActiveSim() needs to be called too.

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I haven’t tried to use Boron as a standalone device (without mesh network), but couldn’t that be done by first making Boron to use 3rd party SIM card with these instructions:

…Note that by following the instructions you can also name and claim the device via Particle CLI. Now after you have 3rd party SIM in use (and connected to Particle Cloud) then you would use the Particle mobile app, “Set up Xenon, Argon or Boron”. When the setup is at the page which has the button “Use in mesh network” I recall there is also another button which says something like “Use as standalone device”.

As I said, haven’t tried this but I think this way it could be possible to use Boron (with 3rd party SIM) as a standalone device.