Hardware

Specifications

The Sigfox module is managed by UART and it can be connected to SOCKET0 or SOCKET1.

Sigfox EU module

The main features of the module are listed below:

  • Frequency: ISM 868 MHz

  • TX Power: 16 dBm

  • Chipset consumption:

    • TX: 51 mA @ +16 dBm

    • RX: 16 mA

  • Receive sensitivity: -126 dBm

  • ETSI limitation: 140 packets of 12 bytes, per module per day

  • Range: Typically, each base station covers some km. Check the Sigfox Network.

  • Sigfox certified: Class 0u (the highest level)

Figure: Sigfox module with 4.5 dBi antenna

Sigfox US module and Sigfox APAC / LATAM module

The main features of the modules are listed below:

  • Frequency: ISM 900 MHz

  • TX Power: 24 dBm

  • Chipset consumption:

    • TX: 230 mA @ +23 dBm

    • RX: 21 mA

  • Receive sensitivity: -127 dBm

  • FCC limitation: Pending

  • Range: Typically, each base station covers some km. Check the Sigfox Network.

Figure: Sigfox module with 4.5 dBi antenna

Power consumption

The Sigfox module is powered at 3.3 V. The next table shows the average current consumption in different states of the module.

Sigfox EU

The Sigfox EU module is powered at 3.3 V. The next table shows the module’s average current consumption in different states of the module

State

Power Consumption

OFF

0 mA

Transmitting data

~ 52 mA

Receiving data

~ 13 mA

Sigfox US and APAC / LATAM

The Sigfox US module is powered at 3.3 V. The next table shows the module’s average current consumption in different states of the module

State

Power Consumption

OFF

0 mA

Transmitting data

~ 230 mA

Receiving data

~ 13 mA

Region standards

Due to local regulations, laws or other operating constraints, the configuration of the Sigfox network differs among countries or regions. In other words, there is not a single Sigfox protocol, there are actually several versions. These RF configurations are different in frequency band, radiated power, time-on-air or duty cycle, etc. Check the Sigfox Network.

The next table shows the Sigfox zones and the Libelium's module that supports each zone:

Zone

Supported by

RC1 - Europe, Oman, Iran, South Africa, Tunisia, UAE

Libelium's Sigfox EU module

RC2 - USA, Mexico, Brazil

Libelium's Sigfox US module

RC3 - Japan

Not supported

RC4 - Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, Thailand, Malaysia, Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Chile

Libelium's Sigfox APAC / LATAM module

A radio created for one zone will not work in other zone. Besides, a radio cannot be changed or reprogrammed to work in other zone (with the exception of RC2 and RC4).

Also, remember that any Sigfox transmission must be received by Sigfox base stations. This means that Sigfox (or any of his partners) must have installed their infrastructure in your country. It is not possible for one customer to build his own private Sigfox network, so please check if there is an operating Sigfox network in your country, and specifically if there is Sigfox coverage in the area of your project.

Time consumption

The client must keep in mind that sending processes take a while to be accomplished. So, this module would fit into a group of high-power consumption modules. In the case that acknowledgements are required, the time consumption increases several seconds.

Transmit mode

Time elapsed

Sending (from ON state)

~ 6 seconds

Sending (from OFF state)

~ 12 seconds

Sending with ACK (from ON state)

~ 39 seconds

Sending with ACK (from OFF state)

~ 45 seconds

The elapsed periods defined in this chapter take into account the following steps depending on the case:

  • Sending (from ON state): The sends the packet to the network (~6 seconds).

  • Sending (from OFF state): The module powers on (~6 seconds) and then the packet is sent to the network (~6 seconds).

  • Sending with ACK (from ON state): The packet is sent to the network (~6 seconds), then the module enters an idle state waiting for incoming data (~14 seconds) and finally a downlink transmission is performed from the network to the module(~19 seconds).

  • Sending with ACK (from OFF state): The module powers on (~6 seconds), the packet is sent to the network (~6 seconds), then the module enters an idle state waiting for incoming data (~14 seconds) and finally a downlink transmission is performed from the network to the module (~19 seconds).

How to connect the module

This module can be connected to both SOCKET0 and SOCKET1 on the Waspmote board.

Figure: Module connected to Waspmote in SOCKET0

In order to connect the module to the SOCKET1, the user must use the Expansion Radio Board.

Expansion Radio Board

The Expansion Board allows to connect 2 communication modules at the same time in the Waspmote sensor platform. This means a lot of different combinations are possible using any of the wireless radios available for Waspmote: 802.15.4, ZigBee 3, DigiMesh, 868 MHz, 900 MHz, LoRa, WiFi, NB-IoT / Cat-M, 4G, Sigfox, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Pro, Bluetooth Low Energy and RFID/NFC. Besides, the following Industrial Protocols modules are available: RS-485/Modbus and CAN Bus.

Some of the possible combinations are:

  • LoRaWAN - 4G

  • 802.15.4 - Sigfox

  • 868 MHz - RS-485

  • NB-IoT / Cat-M - WiFi

  • DigiMesh - 4G

  • NB-IoT / Cat-M - RFID/NFC

  • WiFi - 4G

  • CAN Bus - Bluetooth

  • etc

NB-IoT / Cat-M and 4G modules do not need the Expansion Board to be connected to Waspmote. They can be plugged directly in the socket1.

In the next photo you can see the sockets available along with the UART assigned. On one hand, SOCKET0 allows the user to plug any kind of radio module through the UART0. On the other hand, SOCKET1 permits to connect a radio module through the UART1.

Figure: Use of Expansion Board

The API provides a function called ON() in order to switch the module on. This function supports a parameter which permits to select the SOCKET. It is possible to choose between SOCKET0 and SOCKET1.

Selecting SOCKET0: Sigfox.ON(SOCKET0);

Selecting SOCKET1: Sigfox.ON(SOCKET1);

The rest of the functions are used the same way as they are used with older API versions. In order to understand them we recommend to read this guide.

Warnings:

  • Avoid to use DIGITAL7 pin when working with the Expansion Board. This pin is used for setting the XBee into sleep mode.

  • Avoid to use DIGITAL6 pin when working with the Expansion Board. This pin is used as power supply for the Expansion Board.

  • Incompatibility with Sensor Boards:

    • Agriculture PRO v30: Incompatible with Watermark and solar radiation sensors

    • Events v30: Incompatible with interruption shift register

    • Smart Water v30: DIGITAL7 incompatible with conductivity sensor

    • Smart Water Ions v30: Incompatible with ADC conversion (sensors cannot be read if the Expansion Board is in use)

    • Gases PRO v30: Incompatible with SOCKET_2 and SOCKET_3

    • Cities PRO v30: Incompatible with SOCKET_3. I2C bus can be used. No gas sensor can be used.