[Update: Apr-17-2012]

I have a working library for initializing AT-command compatible modems for TCP/IP over cellular.


Protocols: TCP and UDP (both work)

Mode: Transparent Bridge

Rate: 57600 baud

GCS tested: MP and QGCS

HW: APM1 tested, (APM2 testing soon)

Modems Tested: DroneCell (SIM900D module) and Arduino GSM Shield (SIM900 module)

Development continues...

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Replies to This Discussion

If you look at the developers website of drone cell, he has sketches for tcp/ip and all the like... I would start there... also arduino has some good code snippets on their website... 

Eirc over at narobo (dronecell creator), has been very helpful. I have all the docs. I also found some working init scripts... 

I just received the dronecell today, so let's see..

Got the basic init script for "Transparent mode" UDP forwarding on the DroneCell working.

I also have it incorporated into the APM code so that it happens on startup, cleanly and automatically. 

DroneCell is responding and setting up the UDP "connection" (yeah, I know...). 

Possible first field test this weekend

Is there anyone in this group who has a DroneCell and wants to help with testing?

Don't have DroneCell, but I'll check if I'm able to get one. I'd like to test it in the field. I have currently APM 1 (2560). Does the DroneCell need any additional boards or can it be connected directly to the APM?

No additional boards, connected directly.

It will work fine with an APM1 2560, I'm testing that as well as an APM2. 

You will also need a SIM card (if your phone has one, and it is GSM, then you can use it. It will need a data plan. The code uses only IP (TCP + UDP), so no SMS charges, or call charges. 

Yes, I already have data sim card that has unlimited data usage. I just need to get the DroneCell quickly. Any Ideas from where to order one?

Just asked 20 min ago, he didn't have any at his storage.

There are a whole lot of different GSM modules out there.

You could try a different brand. 

Are you handy with a soldering iron?

European sources: 



You would need to make sure that the voltage from the Telemetry port is appropriate, or regulate it with some additional components. You will also need a SIM card slot/holder. Perhaps you can find other, more "ready to fly" boards in other European outlets, I honestly don't know the market. 

From a software perspective, it uses an AT command set that is similar (if not identical) to the one on the dronecell module. Whatever code I develop for the DroneCell, will assume that people will have a variety of modules and should be easily portable to other GSM modules. Probably be auto-detected and supported out of the box, since you can ask the modem for a brand name and then pick the appropriate init-string and behavior. 

No guarantees any of it will work, but in principle, we can develop an appropriate AT command to initialize and manage any IP-capable brand of GSM modem. 

I think I could handle the basic soldering, but coding and detailed electronics is really not my area. If I'd take some random GSM-module and tried to make it work with APM with all the possible voltage regulating things, coding and other issues... I must say it might be a bit too difficult to handle :) Or at least it would take too long time to get it work. 

I think I'll still try to look if I could find a DroneCell so I could test it with your code? 

I have this kind of GPS/GSM board that I have used to track my drone, could it work for the telemetry purpose? I don't know anything specific about it. The model info is here:


Yes,I would test it. Today I am using another to initialize the game module.
Do you detect disconnect ? and blind it up again after GSM loss ? How do you give feedback if connection/UDP failed?



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