Particle Electron 3G for vehicle application

We currently have data logging implemented in one of our products. Currently, users download logs from vehicles using Android BlueTooth and this gets automatically uploaded from the Android to our web portal. The customer has a Desktop analysis software we supply them that retrieves logs from our web portal to their desktop.

What we want to do is change the upload to be near real time. ie. Each time a record is created, it is sent direct via GPRS to web portal. If internet not available then we need to be able to store and forward when it becomes available.

The data will come into the Electron via RS485 (converted to 3.3V TTL). The only other function we need is a real time clock to be able to time/date stamp each record at the vehicle.

Is the Electron suitable to provide the functions we require and can be purchase the Hardware with SIM account but have data go to our existing portal in our packet format?


What kind of micro controller are you using right now? and I would say yes you can uses the electron for this type of product. I guess you would be cutting the middleman. Now the big question is how much data does the device produce normally. I would start there.

Thanks for your response.

Is the RTC built into Electron and only require backup battery? If so, I could synch this local clock from web when connected and let it free-run when web not available.

This will be a retro-fit box that attaches to the RS485 bus and obtains data from it.
Only using small amounts of data from 250k to 500k per month max per vehicle/Sim.

What do you mean by middleman, are you referring to online api?

Yes, and normally the provided LiPo is also the RTC backup battery. If you want another backup battery (e.g. because you won’t need the LiPo *), you should remove a 0Ohm bridge between 3v3 and VBAT - in bigger batches you may be able to get Electrons with that bridge unpopulated.

A word of caution, the cellular module does have rather fast current demands at times and the LiPo will act as a quick supply for that, but if you want to go without it, you need to ensure your own power source can be as quick too (e.g. extra buffer caps).

Thanks for the advice,
I will get some hardware and have a play. The good thing is I can develop the app and test without making the finished hardware and then to complete I will make a base-board with RS485 to TTL for incoming data and a power supply with some protection and smoothing.
Using the SIM cards from means all the units will set up the same for web access and I can manage the customer billing online. Though customers will need a sim for every vehicles, the cots will easily offset the cost of their time to move near a vehicle and connect and download using the current Android method.