DEV KIT WEEKLY: MultiTech Dragonfly Developer Kit
March 26, 2021
If you’re looking for an easy way to get your IoT devices and data connected for use cases like real-time alerting, reporting, and management, or a path forward from older 2G deployments, look no further. The MultiTech Dragonfly Developer Kit is an incredibly fast and easy way to evaluate and start wirelessly connecting machines over 3G or 4G wireless – seriously, to begin all you need to do is install a SIM card on the Dragonfly cellular module’s Micro SIM connector, screw it into the baseboard, then hook up a host PC via a Micro USB connection or J-Link and start programming, debugging, and controlling the modem using AT commands. Getting started is really that simple.
Once you've gottten there, you’ll be exposed to 4G Cat 4, Cat 1, Cat M1 or 3G wireless technology courtesy the MultiTech Dragonfly embedded cellular modem, nestled into this compact 58.4 by 34.9 mm module. Different variants of the Dragonfly modems are certified for use in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Globally. Different SKUs also deliver different levels of performance, ranging from 300 Kbps downlink speeds and up to 375 Kbps uplink speeds on the 3GPP Release 13 (or Cat M1) version to 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink speeds of the 4G Cat 4 device, which happens to be the one we are showcasing here. This Dragonfly, the MTQ-L4G1-B02, comes with HSPA fallback capabilities, supports GPS or GNSS, operates in a wide range of frequency bands from 700 MHz to 2.6 GHz, and is EMC compliant with various FCC, CE Mark, RED, and RCM standards.
Extending beyond the Dragonfly parts and out to the developer board extends the system on module hardware, as there you’ll find Arduino shield headers; a serial disconnect header; QuickConnect Socket; the aforementioned USB and J-Link connectors; a jack for the included 9V 1.7 Amp power supply with region-specific blades; a slot for the included 7”, 3.5 dBi LTE Surface-Mount Antenna, and various buttons and indicators. As an added bonus, the development board is also compatible with MultiTech’s SocketModem and mDot products.
The tool that’s probably most relevant to those starting their IoT connectivity journey is the MultiTech Connection Manager. Connection Manager is a software tool that helps accelerate the installation, configuration and management of MultiTech’s cellular offerings and prevent dropped connections, all without using AT commands. It is integrated into Windows Networking and compatible with Windows 8 and Windows 10, which means that it can automatically detect cellular devices that interface over USB or serial and download and install the latest drivers, and correctly map COM ports to ensure a persistent cellular connection.
Now, unfortunately the Dragonfly Developer Kit is not free. The Developer board costs $104.60 and the Dragonfly LTE Cat 4 Embedded Cellular Modem we highlighted here will set you back an additional $141.65, both of which are available. on shop.multitech.com or from distributers like Digi-Key. Not a bad price to pay to get a feel for 3G and 4G connectivity and build yourself a working IoT monitoring and reporting system, but not free either.
If you’re looking for free, you’ll want to enter the raffle to win this week’s kit, where we’ll be sending both the Dragonfly developer board and Dragonfly system on module for zero dollars. Just follow the link on screen or in the description below to enter.
Whichever path you choose to acquire a MultiTech Dragonfly developer kit, good luck getting your devices and data connected. Although you probably won’t need much luck with this kit.
Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week on Dev Kit Weekly.