PiloT

Release your Pi with a PiloT

Buy now

Features & specifications  |  Assembly & usage  |  Further technical resources  |  Purchasing & pricing

 

The Raspberry Pi is a hugely successful platform for IoT projects, with total sales reaching nearly 20 million units. Serving educational, hobbyist and professional markets, the Raspberry Pi range covers a wide variety of uses. The addition of cellular communication and GNSS location to the Pi further extends its reach, offering the ability to transfer data to and from the Raspberry Pi globally, together with the availability of accurate positioning and time information.

Features and Specifications

About    |    Photos    |    How it works   |    Variants    |    Compatibility   

About

The PiloT is a HAT compliant board which is compatible with all versions of Raspberry Pi with 40 pin header, including Pi 2,3 and Zero models. Fully controllable with I/O pins, the PiloT can communicate with the Pi over USB or serial ports*. Two versions are available - the PiloT 3GL, which offers hexaband 3G/HSPA for global coverage, with fallback to EDGE/GPRS, and SiRF V GNSS technology, and the PiloT 4G-1,which is an LTE CAT-1 device with fallback to 2G for Europe.

The PiloT can be fully controlled from the Raspberry Pi, and can support data communication using either PPP or CDC-ECM (PiloT 3GL) or CDC-NCM (PiloT 4G-1). Scripts to automate communication setup are available.

*We recommend use of USB ports for Pi 3 as the main serial port is used for Bluetooth / Wi-Fi communication.

 

Product images

 

How it works

Variants

 

 

Compatibility

The PiloT is currently compatible with the following devices:

 

Please note: settings and configuration may vary according to board specifications. 

 

 

Assembly and Usage

Kit contents    |    Assembly    |    Quick start    |    User guides    |    Antenna

Kit Contents

Please note:

  • Raspberry Pi / other development boards are not supplied, and should be purchased separately if required.

  • SIM card not supplied. A working SIM card is required for use of the cellular function on the PiloT, and should be purchased separately before use.

The kit contents supplied will vary according to the buyer's chosen PiloT option. The components included in the kit for each variant are as follows:

PiloT 4G-1: PiloT 4G-1 HAT, Micro-USB to USB cable.s

PiloT 3GL*: PiloT 3GL HAT, Micro-USB to USB cable, right-angled 3G stub antenna.

Additional antennas and other components are also available. Please browse the related products here, or contact Linkwave for recommendations.

 

*Please note: a GPS antenna is required for use of the location option on the PiloT 3GL. Please see here for recommended antennas.

Assembly

  • Step one – Gently push the 40 way pins all the way through the holes in the socket.

     

     

    .

  • Step two – Remove the four screws from the mounting pillars.

  • Step three – Screw the right-angled stub antenna on to the SMA WAN antenna connector located next to the 40 pin header.*

     

  • Step four – Align the 40 way socket with the 40 way header on the Raspberry Pi. 

  • Step five – Gently press together.

  • Step six – Ensure the PiloT® is securely mounted on the Raspberry Pi by inserting the four screws (see step two) into the holes at the bottom of the Raspberry Pi. 

  • Step seven – Gently tighten using a #1 Pozidriv screwdriver.

     

  • Step eight – Insert the SIM card into the SIM card holder, ensuring the chamfer is located as shown on the photo, and the contact side is face down.

  • Step nine – Insert the USB end of the USB to Micro USB cable into the top centre USB socket.

  • Step 10 – Insert the Micro USB side of the USB to Micro USB cable into the Micro USB socket located above the USB socket.

     

  • Step 11 – Your PiloT is now ready to be powered up.

Quick start

Quick start instructions for the 3GL variant of the PiloT.

The following instructions are based on use of Raspbian Stretch.

 

Firstly, install Minicom using the following code:
sudo apt install minicom
 
PiloT power supply control 
 
The PiloT® power supply is controlled by a Raspberry Pi IO pin. A logic “1” output enables a power supply regulator which supplies the PiloT® with power. Note that the regulator may switch on by default when power is applied to the Raspberry Pi.
 
PiloT HL module ON/OFF control
 
The PiloT® module ON pin is used to turn on the HL module’s internal power supply. 
 
The PiloT® module ON pin is GPIO21 on the Raspberry Pi.
 
The HL module will automatically power on when the PiloT® power supply powers on. Once the module is powered off, the ON pin will need to be pulsed to turn the module back on again.
 
 
To power on, insert the following commands:
(Please note: the following commands may be added to a shell script for convenience.)
 
gpio –g mode 6 out

gpio –g write 6 1

gpio –g mode 21 out

gpio –g write 21 1

gpio –g write 21 0
 
Connecting to the PiloT via a UART port
 
To enable handshaking on the serial port, enter the following commands:
 
 
gpio –g mode 16 ALT3

gpio –g mode 17 ALT3
 
You are now able to use AT commands to communicate with the HL module on the PiloT®. 
For a full list of AT commands for the Sierra Wireless HL modules, visit the Source.
 
To use AT commands, open a Minicom session by entering the following:
 
 
minicom –D /dev/ttyAMA0 
 
Check the AT commands are working by typing ‘AT’ and pressing enter.
This should return ‘OK’.
Exit Minicom (Ctrl A then X > enter).
 
Connecting via USB
The USB interface provides several USB endpoints to the Raspberry Pi. These can be set using the AT+USBCOMP command. Serial endpoints can be seen by typing the following:
 
ls /dev/ttyACM*
 
This should respond as below:
PIC1
 
A serial session over USB can be instigated using the command below:
 
minicom –D /dev/ttyACM0
 
 
For LED function activation, enter the following commands in minicom:
 
To monitor network connections, use of the left LED is recommended. To use the LED to indicate whether the PiloT is connected to the network, enter the following command:

at+ksync=2,7
 
To switch off the left LED, send:
 
at+ksync=0
 
To switch on the right LED, send:
 
at+kgpio=8,1
 
To switch off the right LED, send:
 
at+kgpio=8,0
 
For further details, please see the HL Series command guide. 
 
 
Using IP
In Minicom, enter the following command, which changes the USB end points to provide a CDC ECM interface:
 
AT+KUSBCOMP=2
 
Close Minicom (Ctrl A then X > enter), then power cycle the Raspberry Pi by removing and reinserting the power cable. 
 
Enter power-up commands again (see above).
 
 
Configure the HL8 bearer APN by opening a Minicom session to /dev/ttyACM0, then entering the following command using the appropriate APN according to your selected network:
 
AT+CGDCONT=1,“IP”,“Access Point Name”
 
Configure the APN username and password: 
 
AT+WPPP=1,1,“username”,“password”
 
Configure dynamic DNS request:
 
AT+XDNS=1,1
 
To start an IP session:
 
AT+XCEDATA=1,0
 
To stop an IP session:
 
AT+CGACT=0,1
 
 
Power off
 
To power off the PiloT®, open a Minicom session with /dev/ttyAMA0 or /dev/ttyACM0. Power off by entering the following command:
 
at+cpof
 

 

User Guides

Recommended antenna

  • 3GL CELLULAR ANTENNA

    Right-Angled Stub Antenna

  • 3GL GNSS ANTENNA

    GNSS Patch Antenna

  • 4G-1 CELLULAR ANTENNA

    4G Bracket Mount Antenna

  • 4G-1 CELLULAR ANTENNA

    Low Profile LTE Antenna

  • 4G-1 CELLULAR ANTENNA

    4G / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Antenna

  • 4G-1 CELLULAR ANTENNA

    4G Magnetic Mount Antenna

Further technical resources

Technical drawings and dimensions (mm)

Connectors

Pin functions

 

Further pin function information

*The level shifter used for the serial signals is a TXB0104D, which is an auto bi-directional device. Pull up or pull down resistors must not be attached to the signal pins identified.

Purchase and pricing information

Small quantities

Buy now

Both variants of the PiloT are available for purchase on our eCommerce site.

Please note: although our eCommerce site is convenient for smaller order quantities, our online stock level is limited. For orders of over 50 in quantity, please refer to the section below.

Larger quantities

For projects requiring larger quantities of PiloTs, please get in touch on +44 01522 833204, or send us a message using our online contact form.