Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino


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# 1  
Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino

Normally I have very good experiences buying from AliExpress, but in this case with Elecrow, I'm disappointed.

After confirming with Elecrow on AliExpress that their Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino would work with 3G SIM cards in Thailand, I purchased one. My plan was to use this device to develop a new 3G tracker for my Ninja (a fun, special motorcycle tracker).


I received the device yesterday and noticed that the instructions for this device stated we need to set two jumpers on the board to get it to work but there were no jumpers included with the device. This is not a good sign. Anyway, I quickly set the jumpers up using a little bread board, not a problem.

Then, I set up the device, following the instructions for the SIM5360E 3G Shield.

Code:
https://www.elecrow.com/wiki/index.php?title=SIM5360E_3G_Shield

Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino-img_8850jpg


Note: The image below shows the 3G shield turned off. The image above shows it turned on (green lights).

Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino-img_8848jpg


I used this Arduino sketch from the Elecrow instructions, only adding one line, sendData("AT", 2000, DEBUG); to make sure the device received an AT command OK ( which it did, but I did not take a screen shot of that).
Code:
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

SoftwareSerial mySerial(7, 8); //
#define DEBUG true

void setup()
{
    mySerial.begin(19200); // the GPRS baud rate
    Serial.begin(19200);   // the GPRS baud rate
    // Serial.println("hello");
    sendData("AT", 2000, DEBUG);

    sendData("AT+CMGF=1", 2000, DEBUG); //Because we want to send the SMS in text mode
    delay(100);
    sendData("AT+CMGS=\"+6683297XXXX\"", 2000, DEBUG); //send sms message, be careful need to add a country code before the cellphone number
    delay(100);
    sendData("Hello,Elecrow!", 2000, DEBUG); //the content of the message
    delay(100);
    mySerial.println((char)26); //the ASCII code of the ctrl+z is 26
    delay(100);
}

void sendData(String command, const int timeout, boolean debug)
{
    String response = "";
    mySerial.println(command);
    long int time = millis();
    while ((time + timeout) > millis())
    {
        while (mySerial.available())
        {
            char c = mySerial.read();
            response += c;
        }
    }
    if (debug)
    {
        Serial.print(response);
    }
    return response;
}

void loop()
{
    if (mySerial.available())
    {
        char SerialInByte;
        SerialInByte = (unsigned char)mySerial.read();
        Serial.print(SerialInByte);
    }
}

Unfortunately, the device will not recognize my SIM, which is working fine, tested on my mobile phone and sending and receiving SMS messages just great.

Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino-img_8849jpg


Spent a lot of time online with Elecrow, but they could not solve the problem.

Elecrow GSM/GPRS/EDGE SIM5360E 3G Shield for Arduino-img_8846-2jpg


This is one of the first times I have have such a bad experience on AliExpress; but I think the problem was the Elecrow support person. The SIM card works fine on a mobile phone, but the Elecrow device does not recognize it. Note: I tried two different SIM cards, and the Elecrow device did not recognize either one of them.

Well, I'm disappointed in Elecrow and guess I will not be using this shield since it cannot even recognize a perfectly good, new, working (unlocked, of course) SIM card.

I assume not very many people buy from Elecrow on AliExpress; but for the small numbers who do, I cannot in good faith recommend Elecrow and this shield.

Also, the Elecrow email support seems pretty much "non-existent". I don't understand this company, Elecrow. Let's see if we can get any satisfaction from their email tech support group.

PS: It's not necessary to send me private messages telling the the 3G board is "off" in one of those photos (but thanks, just the same). I know well when a board is "on" or "off" or when a board has power or not. Smilie My troubleshooting skills are excellent in both hardware and software. Elecrow has already confirmed the board is defective and will issue me a refund today. Frankly, I find the Arduino almost "trivial" to program. The Arduino is like a kid's toy, it is so easy. This is the kind of board I played with as a teenager in my family attic above the house. It's slightly more advanced with the IDE, but the concept is the same. It's a basic, easily programmable, microcontroller. I would, however, be a bit less disappointed if this particular shield would recognize a 3G SIM card, as advertised.
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# 2  
Update:

Elecrow customer service contacted me and confirmed this device is defective if it cannot read / recognize a local, unlocked, working 3/4G SIM card.

They also confirmed that all of their boards should ship with the required jumpers, and they kindly apologized that this one did not come with the required jumpers (not a "big deal" but of course, their quality control team should insure this does not happen).

Elecrow also kindly refunded the cost of this device and mentioned to me they would let me know when an updated version is ready and offered to send the updated version to me when available, so I can retest.

When I get the time, I will send this device back to Elecrow so they can run their own tests on it; or I will try to find time to work with Elecrow engineers to debug this device (from here) when I get back to this project in a few weeks.

For now, I'm moving on to other "mail bag" project .... Smilie
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