SARA Arduino Form Factor (AFF) N211 Connected by Vodafone including including PCB Antenna and a Vodafone SIM card
Nifty, industry standard AFF R410M Vodafone powered SODAQ board comes with a Vodafone NB-IoT SIM card and a subscription to the All Things Talk IoT Maker platform. Read more
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What's new in this Vodafone edition?
The board comes with a Vodafone NB-IoT SIM card that can be used in the following countries: Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Australia, Spain, England and The Netherlands. Here the Vodafone NB-IoT network is already available. This SIM card allows for free use of the network for 6 months and 2MB data traffic per month. You will also receive a subscription to the All Things Talks IoT Maker platform.
Note that we will not include a SIM card in countries where there is no NB-IoT network from Vodafone. Further note that including this SIM card requires us to share your contact details with Vodafone.
What is the SODAQ SARA AFF N211?
The SODAQ SARA AFF N211 is an NB-IoT Supported, Arduino compatible, developer board that gives you access to NB-IoT bands 8 and 20 implying coverage across Europe, South Africa and a few other areas. The name "SARA AFF N211" originates from the powerful cellular module utilized within this board. Evidently, this module alone does not make the SODAQ SARA AFF the powerhouse it is - for that, we developed a low power consumption board that can be powered by solar / battery (2 JST connectors). Furthermore, we built in a range of high quality modules such as our integrated Microcontroller (Microchip Atmel SAMD21), GPS (uBlox M8Q for GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou support), Sensors (LSM303AGR digital magnetometer and accelerometer) The board further comes with a small antenna that connects to the uFl port.
What can the SODAQ SARA AFF N211 do?
Imagine you need to create a new IoT project where you need to track multiple containers over a range of countries. SODAQ boards provide the ultimate low power solutions that would allow you to bring your devices to fully sustained autonomy. If you were to put this SODAQ SARA AFF board in an enclosure, attach a small battery and a solar panel, you have a fully autonomous solution that requires no manual adjustments. Updates? Easy, these can go over the air. Support? we have a forum for that where our engineers answer any questions.
By utilising the SODAQ SARA AFF, you already have a full solution as it has a GPS built in, which would allow for tracking, as well as an accelerometer to detect movement. Whenever the device is moved, you could, for example, program it to send the GPS location. Everything is fully customisable, making this the perfect board for prototyping and scaling. The power consumption in sleep will be ~26uA.
What makes it so special?
We have now established a few things: firstly, this board is able to utilize NB-IoT bands 8 and 20, implying that you can send your data over a tested network with the power of the latest module, with minimal energy expenditure, allowing for longevity of projects. Secondly, this board has GPS, accelerometers, microcontrollers and antennas built in, meaning that you get an off-the shelf product that can act as a tracking device.
Two more things set this board apart:
1. The SODAQ SARA AFF is fully Arduino compatible. This means that every single open-source code written can be used on the SODAQ SARA AFF. On top of this, there are two grove connectors allowing you to connect whatever sensors you want to the board. Want your project to involve the measurement of water quality? Attach a water quality sensor to our grove connector. Want it to act as a portable security device? Attach a camera through the grove connector. The possibilities are endless with this device, especially given it's potential autonomy that you would not get with the traditional boards and their heavy power consumption.
2. SODAQ knows quality. This implies that every product we release involves countless R&D projects and thorough testing before bringing anything to the market. This is also the reason why key IoT players such as Vodafone choose our hardware to demonstrate the power of their network. They wouldn't choose our boards if they could not maximise their network, establishing an objective level of robustness in our designs.
Sounds good, what's the next step?
The steps are simple:
1. Purchase a SODAQ SARA AFF board
- We offer quantity discounts, which can be viewed here.
2. Set up your SODAQ SARA AFF board
- Our engineering team has set up a page to help set up your board. This can be viewed here
3. (Optional) Utilize our pre-configured Sketches
- Low power sketch will allow you to maximize energy efficiency of our boards. This can be viewed here
- Universal tracking will allow you to utilize all the tracking features of this board and customize whatever aspect you require. This can be viewed here
- Learn how to read battery voltage, read GPS, Temperature and other features here
Feel free to browse new support page for more information.
How can I visualize my data?
We have tested the Universal Tracker Code with the following dashboards:
- Create your account on and sign-in on the AllThingsTalk Maker
- If you have an activation code, simply claim your device
Cayenne from MyDevices
- Create your account on and sign-in on Cayenne
- A Thingsboard tutorial will come soon
- Ubidots made a tutorial how to connect our SODAQ ONE sending over The Things Network and show it on the Ubidots dashboard.
- Click here to see the Ubidots tutorial
Below is an example of a water quality project we created for a client with our SODAQ AFF board. We utilised an EC sensor (electrical conductivity) attached to our SODAQ SARA boards to consistently send a signal of water quality, powered autonomously by the sun and tracking a range of things such as temperature, speed, location and evidently water quality. This is the overview of one board, but you could create comparison charts as evident on the picture to contrast between measurements at certain locations.
Another example of a successful integration of this product is the utilization of our universal tracker code. Here, we simply uploaded the aforementioned universal tracker code for an easy read of a few key variables:
Microchip Atmel SAMD21, 32 bit Arm Cortex Arduino compatible
uBlox Sara N211, NB-IoT bands 8 and 20 (Europe, South Africa and some other countries)
uBlox SAM-M8Q. Support for GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou
LSM303AGR digital magnetometer and accelerometer
The board comes with a Vodafone NB-IoT SIM card that can be used in the following countries: Ireland, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany, Australia, Spain, England and the Netherlands. Here the Vodafone NB-IoT network is live. This SIM card allows for free use of the network for 6 months and 2MB data traffic per month.
The boards get supplied with a U.FL PCB antenna.
To really get the most benefit from this board, you should consider attending one of the starter workshops we offer for the NB-IoT. For more information on the NB-IoT shield, please visit the support page our developers have made for you.SODAQ Forums
The SIM cards provided with our board are whitelisted to send data to the All Things Talk platform.
If you want to have your own server whitelisted, please contact Vodafone in your respective country. This is unfortunately outside our control.
Alternatively, you could use MQTT to retrieve the data that your board sends to All Things Talk.