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3 Reasons Why You Should Use SODAQ Boards for Your IoT Development!

1 Sep 2019


Yes, we know this is our blog. But trust us, we will clearly explain why we think that you should use SODAQ boards for your IoT development and clear up some common bottlenecks that people have when considering our products. We have spent countless hours making the highest quality possible boards without compromising any other details and will be outlining at least 3 reasons why SODAQ boards should be your first choice.



prototyping hardware SODAQ iot


What’s Universal Tracking and why is it the number 1 reason why SODAQ boards are so valuable? Well, the reason why its called Universal Tracking is because it’s the foundation for any type of tracker.  If you wish to track any device or vehicle that requires a data point every minute, hour, or day, it’s usable! All it takes is to follow a simple SODAQ tutorial and literally copy paste some code to your SODAQ ONE. 

For example…


SODAQ has constructed a bike sniffer with partnering companies and the basis of it is the Universal Tracking software. It tracks the location of the device and combines that with the measured air quality around the bike every single minute.

bike sniffer map tracking

Whenever you ride a bike with the device it collects data, which you can see on a map how polluted the air is (with particulate matter measurements). This is provided with a custom dashboard for the user. SO ANYTHING THAT REQUIRES TRACKING, ALSO REQUIRES THE UNIVERSAL TRACKING CODE. Certain SODAQ projects have been scaled to huge numbers of boards for which this software is the basis and it has been tested extensively.  It took around whole man-year to develop this type of professional code… And you can receive this professional level of code for free! Yes, for free. And its open source software and is built in with SODAQ SARA boards and the SODAQ ONE.


Other IoT companies offer you hardware that you can do tracking with, but none of them offer this type of free professional software that allows you to track anything immediately. So, then you have to write software when you buy from other IoT companies and waste hours of your time, when it all could be saved with another board.


Well, you can get this type of code from GitHub but most published tracking code will be amateurish and not as useful as SODAQ boards universal tracker. Our Universal Tracking code can be found on our professional GitHub account This tracking application has been very heavily tested and has been developed to work both on LoRa and cellular networks (Nb IoT/ LTE M/ 2G) in a similar way. You can check out all of these boards in our webshop!


Form Factor means that it is easier to fit boards onto each other to reduce the size of the design or create a more compact finished product. The SODAQ ExpLoRer (LoRa) and SARA AFF (cellular) boards are the same Arduino compatible, hence you can add shields or plug them into breadboards easily with the same pinouts. This makes it a very comfortable size to work with, both the LoRa and NB IoT product have the exact variant in product sizes.

nb iot shield on an arduino SODAQ


The picture above is an NB-IoT shield and it shows its form compatibility with other Arduino boards. All of our boards have this type of form factor which make them extremely easy to use. Similarly, the small form factors (SARA SFF and SODAQ ONE) are compatible with each other (and it’s the smallest they can get with the same forms). Although the AFF boards are a bit larger, it is because there are onboard modules such as bluetooth on the ExpLoRer and a GPS antenna on the SARA AFF. The exact reason why you want to use the small form factor is because you can add it to more designs and fit it in smaller enclosures (like your bicycle or machine light for smart tracking).

But one last thing…
It is not only about the compactness of the Arduino form factor and the small form factor,  it’s more about the fact that they easily allow Nb IoT tracking with a small module.  And if you wish to replace that with the 2G version (which works all over the world), you can do so too with our boards! For instance, the R412M works across NB IoT, LTEM and 2G.



Most development IoT boards have no power management, no ways to connect the battery and solar panel efficiently, and no sensors onboard (some don’t even have grove connectors)! Depending on which SODAQ boards you buy they have grove connectors, accelerometers, magnetometers, GPS modules and an LED lights for giving different signals (green for success and red for failure)!

SODAQ SARA explanation of all parts

This saves money and time, and makes your whole project more compact. Imagine not using your breadboard anymore, not buying any additional sensors and have a solution with all in one. As there is a GPS module, you can track everything immediately, with the accelerometer it makes sure that the device only works when it moves (so it saves a lot of power). Moreover, you can attach a solar panel so it can charge from the sun. So let’s see the cost breakdown of a SODAQ SARA AFF N211 which costs 114 euros:

cost breakdown SODAQ SARA N211

To summarize this in text:

1. Development boards (minimum 50 euros)

2. GPS antenna is included (5 euros)

3. LiPo battery is included (10 euros)

4. GPS module on the development board (10 euros)

5. Universal Tracking and coding libraries (you saved hours of your time, the more you value your time, the more justifiable it is)

6. Accelerometer and Magneto Meter chip (5 euros)

7. Efficient power management (5 euros)

8. Research & Development (someone has to design the board, right? 30 euros)

Hence, if we excluded all the additional sensors for the device and Universal Tracking, you could be able to get the board for a standard 75 euros (not even including the time you waste for setting up the code)! So yes, some of our boards may initially seem expensive, but that’s because we care about the quality of the boards and the user experience.

Now, do you want to start creating your own project? 
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