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nRF9160 Feather

Single-unit price: $99.00 + shipping

Campaign scheduled end date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 20:00:00 PDT

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Backers: 88

Target icon campaign show

Target: 108

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Funded: 104%

Product Details

Name

nRF9160 Feather

Brand / Manufacturer

Circuit Dojo

Manufacturer Part #

PS-NRF91-FEATHER

Product Description

The nRF9160 Feather by Jared Wolff (aka Circuit Dojo LLC) is an electronics development board. It features a Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160-SICA part. This part is capable of both CAT M1 LTE and NB-IoT for communication with the outside world. It's compatible primarily with Zephyr via the nRF Connect SDK. Other toolchains and languages coming soon to a Github repository near you.

Overview

Diagram

The nRF9160 Feather is a true Feather, and then some, board. As you would expect, It works well across both USB and LiPoly batteries. 

The board is designed to be nice to your batteries. Not only can you take advantage of Nordic's advanced power states, but you can also put the device into a low power standby state. Laboratory measurements are putting that mode at about 2µA of current. 2µA!

The nRF9160 Feather is also designed to take harness every last mW your battery has to offer. That means from full-to-empty it's using every last mW your battery has to offer. It runs at 3.3V and can support and work with most Featherwing boards!

Every nRF9160 Feather includes a Hologram Hyper SIM!

That's right! Thanks to Hologram, you're global-ready right out of the box.

Hologram Hyper Card

Hologram has by my SIM of choice during the testing of the nRF9160 Feather. To top it all off, they have a robust network of cellular partners across the world

Make sure you sign up for an account here. That way you're ready when your nRF9160 Feather hits your doorstep! 

For more information about Hologram, check out their website at https://www.hologram.io

No Programmer Necessary

You can load your applications directly to the nRF9160 Feather without an external programmer. That's right, there are no extra costs associated with getting started with your nRF9160 Feather.

We've tweaked the MCUBoot boot-loader and command-line tools to boost loading speeds by 10x. This means loading via the boot-loader is nearly as fast as using an external programmer!

Open Source

The nRF9160 Feather has been reviewed and the results are in.

It now has the Open Source Hardware Association stamp of approval!

That means you're able to view the source and build on the design yourself. All the Eagle files, PDF schematic, and 3D files are available for download today at the documentation website. (see below)

Documentation

Start here

Documentation is readily available and you can access it on docs.jaredwolff.com at any time.

Hardware is licensed with CERN 1.2, firmware with Apache 2.0, and documentation with CC-SA-4.0.

Runs on Zephyr and nRF Connect SDK

The nRF9160 Feather runs on the up-and-coming RTOS. Combined with Nordic's nRF Connect SDK and you have full-fledged support. More development ecosystems coming in the future...

 

This campaign is brought to you by Hackster Launch, a collaboration between Hackster.io and GroupGets to bring high quality hardware to market.

 

Why GroupGets?

In order to get the unit costs low enough, the manufacturer requires at least an order of 108 units. Help make this GroupGet a reality by supporting today!

External Links

Manufacturer product page


Purchase Information

Unit Deliverable

nRF9160 Feather + LTE/NB-IoT Antenna

Unit Price

$99.00

Campaign Part #

GG-P-814

Availability

Campaign active, scheduled end date: Wed, 19 Aug 2020 20:00:00 PDT

Factory Lead Time

35 Days


Options and Add-Ons

Active GPS Antenna

$10.00

Active GPS Antenna

nRF9160 Feather used an external active antenna. That means that it will work with most ceramic antennas that look like the one below. 

nRF9160 Feather GPS antenna

You also have the option to purchase a pre-verified module. Not all GPS antennas are made equal. Go with the included one and you'll be ready to rock.

Here are some additional antenna specs:

  • 18.6 x 18.6 mm
  • 5.1 mm thick
  • LNA Gain: 26 to 35 dB
  • Max noise figure: 1.4 dB
  • Cable length: 2.5in (63mm)

GPS Enclosure

$19.00

Enclosure!

Start your asset tracking projects off on the right foot with the nRF9160 Feather enclosure. It pairs perfectly with the GPS antenna and a 18650 battery cell. (not included). Check out the photos and details below:

nRF9160 Feather Enclosure

The case has a few features you may find handy:

  • 18650 holder
  • GPS antenna port
  • Standoffs for mounting the nRF9160 feather
  • USB cutout for easy DFU programming

Order it with your nRF9160 Feather and make the package complete! It comes in a kit including the 18650 holder enclosure and PH wire assembly.


Micro USB CAble

$5.00

Connect to your PC for power and USB-to-UART with this cable.


  • Avatar
    hello@...

    FWIW I just tried an (old) J-Link Lite and it's a no go. As long as your J-Link supports ARMv8-M processors you should be good to go in that department. Otherwise the nRF53-DK is the solution.

    And yes, Nordic's nRF Connect SDK (https://github.com/nrfconnect/sdk-nrf) and the Uart-over-USB bootloader. (the nRF9160 itself doesn't have a USB PHY. Or it does and Nordic hasn't turned it on yet!)

    Post last edited: 14 days ago

  • Aoh14gh3mhayfgapsjl0dow zcuvnjt7 cwqc2w qeky=s50
    Rod Montrose

    Great work Jared! I have ordered a board and have a couple of questions:
    - Are you using an embedded SIM for Hologram or just supplying a tri-cut SIM? We're already a Hologram customer and would want to either put our own SIM in or move it to our account.
    - I was surprised looking at the AT&T site the nRF9160 isn't listed as a module (https://iotdevices.att.com/modules.aspx). If Nordic got PTCRB you would think they would also get the AT&T certification at the same time. Without Module certification, you can't get AT&T end-device certification. Do you know if Nordic has AT&T certification in progress?

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    Hey Rod,

    Thank you for your support. :)

    Are you using an embedded SIM for Hologram or just supplying a tri-cut SIM?

    For Hologram it's a tri-cut SIM. Unassigned until you assign it to your account. The nRF9160 Feather has a 4FF slot so you'll be using the smallest size of the tri-cut.

    Do you know if Nordic has AT&T certification in progress?

    Yes it's in progress and nearly complete!

  • 37669773?v=4
    langestefan

    Hi,

    With regards to AT&T certification, do you think Nordic's software architecture will make it more difficult to get end device certification?

    Considering both LWM2M stack and OTA of the modem are required by AT&T and both are running in 'user space' application CPU as opposed to more traditional modems where these components run on the modem CPU. Does it affect module certification in any way? It's one of the major concerns I have with nRF9160 at the moment.

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    Yup. That's a valid concern for sure. I've heard rumblings of "End Software" certification. Which defeats the point of doing end device certification.

    With all of that being said, Nordic's architecture is here to stay. I only imagine more companies and competitors jumping into this once they see its success. It's an inevitability to have everything in one chip. Ignoring that trend would be futile!

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    I hope so too!

    Thanks for sharing that resource Stefan. I'll be getting to know that library more intimately in the coming weeks. :)

  • 37669773?v=4
    langestefan

    Hi Don, thank you for your reply. This is exactly what I have been doing for the past couple of months, the serial LTE modem works fine on it's own and is perfect for benchmarking. In terms of power consumption the nRF9160 is in a league of it's own.

    I found one major drawback of using the carrier lib however, as stated in the docs: "The LwM2M carrier library uses both the DTLS sessions made available through the modem. Therefore, the application can not run any DTLS sessions."

    Is this correct?

    As a side note, is it possible to include the LWM2M carrier lib in the modem firmware?

  • Avatar
    cbrake@...

    Do envision the price of this module coming down as volume goes up? For instance, the Particle Boron is ~$60, and based on components, it seems this could be a lower cost device eventually. I realize pricing is highly dependent on volume.

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    Hey Cliff! I'd love to for sure. You're spot on about volumes though. The only way that works if if we're pumping out 1000's of units. Stay tuned though, I want to make this board as accessible for folks as possible (partially why I made it open source)!

    Post last edited: 9 days ago

  • Avatar
    justinStitches

    Seconded. Part of Hackster Launch is to drive cost down and availability up post success here on GroupGets but that will take some time.

  • Avatar
    mrwho

    Hi!
    Regarding customs - from where will the Feather be delivered?

    Edit: Found it on the order page: The USA

    Post last edited: 7 days ago

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    You are correct! It'll be sending it from my office Connecticut. Boards are assembled down the street!

  • Aoh14gimddgscqwnzawtcsfnushitko  9hgamuj9lup=s50
    Don Janysek

    Stefan,
    You are correct about the LWM2M lib taking the DTLS connections. Can you do mbeddtls in the application core as an option? I suggest sending Nordic devzone this to check.
    Unfortunately the LWM2M carrier function has to live in the application side.

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    More updates coming out on programming the nRF9160 Feather without a programmer. If you're not already on the mailing list make sure you jump on to get the update!

    https://sendfox.com/jaredwolff

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    Hey All!

    Thank you so much for the support! We've reached our goal! If you're on the fence about buying more or someone you know is there's still time! The campaign will close in 5 days. So get in now on the action before it's too late!

    Also, I've been monitoring the shipping situation with USPS carefully. There may be future unexpected delays with shipping. If you'd like to change your shipping method give us a shout so we can make that change.

    Now that things are wrapping up. I'll be spinning up some long lead time items like testing. Fingers crossed everything gets done so you can get your boards ASAP.

    Thanks again for your support!

  • Avatar
    hello@...

    Oh, here's an important bit I forgot to add: early access.

    Once the campaign completes, I'll have some limited early access boards. They'll be the same as what you'd get in September. The catch? You need to be in the USA and willing to put your nRF9160 Feather to the test.

    If you're interested in early access and have the time to help email me: hello@jaredwolff.com

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