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Programmable Wireless: Seeed Studio Wio Tracker GSM Quickstart

Using these instructions and the affordable Wio Tracker GSM from Seeed Studio, you can quickly get connected to the internet with Twilio's Programmable Wireless.

In this quickstart, we'll use the Arduino IDE to program our board. However, the modifications we make should be adaptable outside of the Arduino ecosystem.

In this Quickstart, you'll learn how to:

  1. Sign up for Twilio
  2. Purchase your first SIM cards for Twilio Programmable Wireless
  3. Insert your SIM card into a GSM Wio Tracker
  4. Connect the included cellular PCB antenna to the Tracker
  5. Power and flash the Wio Tracker
  6. Verify you are connected to the internet

Hardware Prerequisites

  • Wio Tracker GSM
    • Included PCB Cellular Antenna
  • Highly Recommended: 3.7v Lithium Ion Battery with JST SH 1.0mm 2-pin connector
    • (Without the battery, performance will be unreliable due to power draw)

Setup & Software Requirements

Not the quickstart you were looking for today? See our other Programmable Wireless quickstarts or see all Wireless resources.

While most of your code will be transferrable, it’s important to note: for new product development in the United States 2G isn’t a good choice.

American 2G networks are being deprecated. For new development, we suggest researching alternatives or discussing your idea with the Twilio Programmable Wireless team.

I'm got everything ready - let's do this!

Already have a Twilio account and SIM card? Skip ahead to the register and activate step.

Before you can connect with Twilio Programmable Wireless you'll need to sign up for a Twilio account. Once you've done that, continue this quickstart.

Visit the Programmable Wireless Console. On the Orders page, purchase a set of 3 starter SIMs or make a larger custom order.

Order SIM Cards from Twilio

Note: Orders of 10 SIMs or more will be delivered with the SIM cards already registered to your account.

I've got my SIM! How do I register and activate it?

Register, assign a rate plan, and activate your SIM

Once you receive your SIM shipment, choose one and remove it from any packaging. Once removed, visit the Register a SIM page in the Wireless Console.

SIM Card Registration Code

Follow that up by next picking a distinct Unique Name for this SIM.

Choose a rate plan

Next, select a rate plan from the options provided by Twilio.

By default, there are rate plans added which approximate the usage we see in the field. Rate Plans let you control every aspect of what your device can do in the field and their data usage, but their complete capabilities are beyond the scope of this post.

Activate the SIM card

When you're happy with the naming and rate plan, click to 'Activate' the SIM card.

Note: You'll need to activate your SIM for real-world workflows although you can use small amounts of data without activating.

I'm active! Let's grab the Wio.

Attach the Cellular Antenna to the Wio

With the Wio Tracker still disconnected from power, remove the cellular PCB antenna from the packaging. Connect it to the labeled connector on the Wio. Your setup should look like this:

Cell Antenna Wio Connection

Insert the SIM Card

Punch out your Twilio SIM card if necessary and insert it into the slot closest to the PCB on the Wio. The slot is on the modem side and has an orientation diagram. You want to put it in the 'bottom' slot; the upper slot is for an optional MicroSD card.

Insert SIM Card

Connect the Battery

If you have a 3.7v Lithium Ion battery with the proper connector, connect it to the Wio Tracker. Although the Tracker will run without a battery, brief spikes of power consumption may make the Tracker unreliable or cause a freeze. It is highly recommended you add a battery to your setup for reliability.

Let's connect via serial!

Connect to the Wio Tracker using Serial

Now that everything is inserted and connected you're ready to power it up and flash it!

Follow these steps to get serial connected on the board.

  1. Using a MicroUSB cable, connect the Wio Tracker to an empty USB port on your computer. You should see signs of life (in LED form) on the board.
  2. Open the Arduino IDE if it isn't yet open. In the 'Tools' menu under 'Boards', scroll to 'Seeduino SAMD Boards' and select the 'Wio GPS Board'.
    Wio Tracker Board

  3. A new serial port should be enumerated in the menu. Visit 'Tools' -> 'Port', then select the Wio Tracker's serial.
Simple - are we adding code next?

Flash the Wio Tracker with the Firmware

If everything is set up properly, now you're ready to add the firmware to the board. Create a new project and paste the following code, or download it from Github and open it in the Arduino IDE.

        Connect to Twilio Programmable Wireless with the Seeed Studio Wio Tracker and GPRS.

        Programmable Wireless with a Seeed Studio Wio Tracker GSM

        Connect to Twilio Programmable Wireless with the Seeed Studio Wio Tracker and GPRS.

        Once you have the code inside the IDE, 'Upload' the code to the board.

        Monitor the results over serial

        Open the serial monitor by visiting the 'Tools' menu, then selecting 'Serial Monitor'.

        If everything goes well and your connections are true, you should see something like the following sequence as the Tracker boots up and connects to Twilio:

        Serial Monitor with the Wio

        And there you have it! Internet connectivity with the Wio Tracker and Twilio Programmable Wireless.

        Awesome! What's next?

        Where to next?

        Now that you have a Wio Tracker connected to Twilio, we can't wait to see what you do with it. Here are some possible places to go next:

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        Need some help?

        We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.