Particle Boron - Power consumption?

I was just wondering how the Particle Boron (LTE M1/NB1) would compare to the 3G Electron in terms of power consumption of the modem. If I understand correctly, it should be ‘way less’, but what could I roughly expect?

There are a lot of different numbers you can compare, so the best thing to do it pull up the data sheets for the modems:

The Boron LTE has a u-blox SARA-R410M-02B:

The 3G SARA-U series is in the U260 (Americas) and U270 (Europe/Asia/Africa):

But “a lot less” is certainly accurate. While the peak current of the 2G/3G models tops out around 1800 mA, it’s around 500 mA for the LTE-M1/NB1. Other currents are also lower.

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So one more question:

the datasheets mention ‘‘Peak during Tx’’ - I assume this also applies to establishing the connection.

Many of my devices are in areas with poor reception, so it’s not uncommon for them to spend 2-3 minutes to make the connection. Roughly what kind of a power consumption pattern would this show, and would the Boron be considerably lower for this? (e.g. in poor reception areas, would it be hitting (close to the) peak for the full duration?

After establishing a connection, my devices send data and immediately go into Deep Sleep, so my power usage concerns primarily come from establishing a connection.

I don’t have a SARA-R410M device yet so I haven’t run any tests. However, LTE Cat M1 and NB1 were specifically designed for low-power applications, so the negotiation should be more efficient, but I don’t know how much more.

This post has graphs of power consumption during cellular connection (blinking green) and cloud connection (blinking cyan) so you can see roughly how much of it is high power consumption for 3G.

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Also from what I have read about LTE Cat M1 and NB1 is that they are better at penetrating objects and getting connected when compared to 3G cellular performance. So this may allow for quicker connection times if surrounding objects are the reason for your signal strength being lower.

Hard to tell until we get the devices in our hands so we can put the new tech to the test.

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That’s great. I am contemplating between having a design with two D cells (but this requires everything to become much bulkier) and keeping the Electron, or a design with one D cell - but I will swap out the Electron for a Boron eventually (hopefully cutting down the consumption rate significantly)

After looking at all the info, I think I’ll go with the latter

Will there be LTE in your area?

I’m hoping there will be maybe in a year from now :slight_smile:

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