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 Post subject: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libelium)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:29 pm
Posts: 4
Hi,

I'm having a problem with reading the SIM card in the 3G/GPRS Module.
Both with an Arduino script and directly via Realterm I receive a "SIM failure"-error when inquiring the SIM-card with the AT+CPIN? command.
Normally the inquiry should return "READY" (SIM card without PIN) or "SIM PIN" ( SIM card requiring a PIN).

When using the AT+CPIN=nnnn command with a SIM-card that needs a PIN, I receive an "operation not allowed" error.

The result of all this is that the SIM-card does not register on the mobile phone net. ( the AT+CREG? inquiry loops endlessly ).

I've tested with 3 different SIM cards, cards that work without problem in various devices, like old GSM, modern Android phone and GPS-tracker (TK102B).

Any advice would be appreciated. Could it be that there is a soldering/connection error on my module board?

Below you find the Realterm capture ( RED = my commands )

Best regards,
André
Forensicron: Digital Forensics


START


ATI

Manufacturer: SIMCOM INCORPORATED
Model: SIMCOM_SIM5218E
Revision: SIM5218E_V2.4
IMEI: 3558430305XXXXX
+GCAP: +CGSM,+DS,+ES

OK


AT+CPIN?

+CME ERROR: SIM failure


AT+CPIN=1289

+CME ERROR: operation not allowed


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:29 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 11062
Hello Andre_M

Could you post some hardware photos?

Regards.


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:41 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:29 pm
Posts: 4
Hi,

Below you can find a link to a photo, this is in direct mode with a working Realterm program on the PC.
Power supply to the Arduino is 12V.

http://forensicron.be/CommBox/images/hardware.jpg

Best regards,
André
Digitaal Forensisch onderzoek


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:01 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 11062
Hello Andre_M,

The mini USB connection is not necessary. Could you test the shield with the USB and power connection?

Regarads.


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:29 pm
Posts: 4
This standard Arduino setup is what I've had in the first place. The mini-USB was a test-setup used to connect directly to the SIM5218E and send some commands via a Terminal program.

Let me reiterate on the problem: we are NOT trying to solve a communication problem. Both the Arduino script and a terminal program on the PC "talk" correctly with the SIM5218E.
The problem lies with the fact that the SIM5218E does not recognize the SIM card. I've tried with 3 different SIM cards that work flawlessly on various other devices.

Here is a modified script to debug the problem:

int8_t answer;
int onModulePin= 2;
char aux_string[30];
char phone_number[]="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";
char response2[100];


void setup(){

pinMode(onModulePin, OUTPUT);
Serial.begin(115200);

Serial.println("Starting...");
power_on();

delay(3000);

// sets the PIN code
// sendATcommand("AT+CPIN=****", "OK", 2000); // SIM card without PIN, statements commented out
// delay(3000);
sendATcommand("AT+CPIN?", "READY", 500); // query the SIM card, because the AT+CREG? below loops
Serial.println(response2); // the reponse is +CME ERROR: SIM failure

Serial.println("Connecting to the network...");
sendATcommand("AT+CREG=0", "OK", 1000);
Serial.println(response2);

while( (sendATcommand("AT+CREG?", "+CREG: 0,1", 500) || // no connection to the network
sendATcommand("AT+CREG?", "+CREG: 0,5", 500)) == 0 ) {
Serial.println(response2);
};
..
etc etc etc



This is the log from the serial port ( see also the beginning of this post ):
BOLD = reply from SIM5218E, green = my comments

Starting...
AT
AT+CPIN?

+CME ERROR: SIM failure // this should return READY or SIM PIN when PIN is required

Connecting to the network...
AT+CREG=0

OK


AT+CREG?

+CREG: 0,0

OK


AT+CREG?

+CREG: 0,0

OK





My conclusion: communication between the Arduino script and the SIM5218E is functioning properly. The problem lies in reading the SIM-card from the SIM5218E. This can not be a power supply problem, as reading a SIM-card only takes a maximum of 10 mA ( souce: hardware documentation of SIM5218E ). GPS functions properly. My guess is that there is board error in the SIM circuitry!!!

I'm open to any suggestion that focus on the problem, but not some wild guesses.


Best regards,
André
Digitaal forensisch onderzoek


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:29 pm
Posts: 4
UPDATE

With both the SIM5218E and the SIM card removed from the shield, I measure a short circuit between pin 1 SIMVCC ( = SIM_V in your 3G_shield schematic diagram ) and pin 4 = Gnd of the SIM card holder.

As these are both lines that are both connected directly to pin 57 and pin 58 of the SIM5218E, with NO OTHER CONNECTIONS, there is definitely an error in the shield.

What do you suggest?

Best regards,
André
GCFE Gecertificeerd digitaal expert


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 Post subject: Re: SIM card failure with 3G/GPRS Module for Arduino (Libeli
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:39 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:06 pm
Posts: 11062
Hello Andre_M,

As you say, we believe that there could be a hardware issue, please contact with our technical service:

http://www.libelium.com/contact/#RMA

Regards.


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