MyFirst mobile phone for Code club

One of my co-workers is involved with a group that run “code clubs” at local schools teaching high school students how to code.

We got talking about projects which would appeal to the students and I suggested making a mobile phone. This is my prototype

Image

It’s more Nokia 5110 than Nokia Lumia 820

If you want to build your own (the parts list will grow as I add GPS, accelerometer, compass, screen etc..)

For V0.1 of code one button sends and SMS to my mobile, the other button initiates a voice call to my mobile. The initial version of the code was based on the SeeedStudio GSM Shield Netduino driver on codeplex.

The later versions are based on the CodeFreakout Seeedstudio GPRS Shield drivers which are available via NuGet. I have added some functionality for dialling and hanging up voice calls which I will post for others to use once I have tested it some more.

HTTP Headers GPRS Modem HTTP Post

All my initial deployments used a CAT5 cable and my ADSL connection which was great for testing and debugging but not really representative of the connectivity a mobile solution would experience.

For this test I used a seeedstudio GPRS shield on top of a Netduino Plus.

Netduino + SeeedStudio GPRS Modem

SeedStudio GPRS Modem on top of Netduino Plus

The shield is based on a SIM900 module from SIMCom Wireless and can also initiate HTTP requests. This functionality looked useful as it could make my code a bit simpler and reduce the load on the Netduino CPU.

I initially looked at a the Netduino driver for Seeeduino GSM shield on codeplex but it appeared to only support the sending of SMS messages. (Feb2012)

After some more searching I stumbled across the CodeFreak Out SeeedStudio GPRS Driver which is available as a Nuget package or source code. I had to modify the code to allow me to pass a list of HTTP headers to be added into the request

var gsm = new GPRSShield("www.vodafone.net.nz", SerialPorts.COM1);
gsm.Post(@"gpstrackerhttpheaders.cloudapp.net", 80, @"/posV4.aspx", httpHeaders, "application/html", "");

My simulated data used the same header format as in my earlier testing

x-Pos: 5C-86-4A-00-3F-63 20130218081228 F -43.00000 172.00000 31.4 1.31 0 0

I timed 10 requests

4789,3778,3793,3756,3796,3825,3806,3817,3795,3877

Average 3903 mSec

This was a bit slower than I was expecting so i’ll have to do some digging into the code and see if anything looks a bit odd.