Cellular modems are the tools that help in sending and receiving data across cellular networks. The most common mistake people make when they set up their robot with their cellular modem is not connecting the device to the antenna properly. This not only defeats your purpose for getting a cellular modem, but it can also cause damage to both your robot and the cellular modem. Some of them are described below:
Selecting The Wrong Data Plan
When purchasing a data plan for your robot, your goal is to find one that provides as much data as possible with the fewest fees. Not all plans are created equally, thus confusing when choosing a plan. The first question you must ask yourself is, “how many wireless devices will connect to the network?” It doesn’t matter how much data you have if you can’t connect multiple devices at once or use them simultaneously. If your robot needs to support only one device and there is no need for simultaneous usage of both, then a pay-as-you-go SIM card may be all that you need. Pay-as-you-go plans don’t require a contract, offer no talk minutes or texts, and have no activation fees. Another option is a pay-per-use plan that does charge activation fees but requires a contract.
Selecting The Wrong Carrier
When selecting a carrier for your cellular modems, it is essential to consider many factors. It is also wise to research the carriers in your area before purchasing hardware or signing any contracts. You want to make sure the carrier has coverage where you will be using your modem. Coverage maps are available on carrier websites for your convenience. You can also look at third-party coverage maps. Coverage maps should not be the only factor when selecting a carrier because other factors are important too. For example, how many devices can connect to the modem at once? What is their data transfer speed? How much data does the contract provide? How much do additional gigabytes cost? You may pay more upfront, but you may end up saving in the long run. All of these questions will help you determine which carrier is suitable for your robot’s network.
Not Testing For Connectivity Loss
Once you have chosen your cellular modem and carrier, you must test for connectivity loss. Network Outages can be devastating to a project if they’re not built into the project’s design. With the “out of the box” modems, minor configuration errors can cause significant problems down the road. Some modems will automatically reboot when they detect a network outage. Other modems will not and must be reset manually or programmed to reconnect automatically. Test how your modem handles the loss of connectivity and determine your robot’s reaction when it loses connection with its modem.
Not Matching Your Solution To Your Needs
Then consider how much data you will need and how fast you want the modems to send and receive data. Many devices on the market will do more than you need them to do or less than you need them to do. If your robot needs to support more than one connection at a time, you may need a modem with additional SIM card slots. Check the data plans to save money by using your modem for more than one project. To prevent roaming issues, it may be wise to use a local operator in your area.
Using a Single Sim Card When Dual Is Needed
A single sim card modem will allow you to assign a network name, password, and several other settings. These modems offer no concern for the simultaneous use of multiple devices. Dual sim card modems provide that feature, too, but they also add many more features that you may not need. The most crucial concern is choosing a modem that is easy to configure and operate. If your project uses only one device for cellular connectivity, then a single sim card modem is all you need.
Not Taking Advantage Of Wifi When It Is Available
Some cellular modems are capable of connecting to the internet via wifi. This can be useful when wireless routers in your area or wifi hotspots are available for use. Wifi coverage maps are available for most areas. They will show not only the hotspots but also the signal strength of each hotspot, showing exactly where your robot’s modem will work best. These maps help select which cellular tower to use when multiple towers are in range. You must select one that has strong wifi capability if it is available to you.
Not Having A Stable Power Connection
When your robot needs access to the internet while on the move, a portable power source is required, this can be accomplished with mobile devices, solar panels, or car batteries. Plan your power source carefully because the amount of time you have to spend on the road will vary depending on many factors. A power outage can put your project in jeopardy if it is not planned for. This can be alleviated by planning and how long your robot will be on the road.
External Antenna Placement
External cell antennas can help improve signal quality when multiple devices connect to a single cellular modem. The distance that an antenna can send and receive signals depends on several variables like terrain, distance, antenna type, etc. Your antenna placement mustn’t cause noise in the signal because it could cause connection loss when using multiple modems at once. It is also essential to keep your antennas away from power lines because they can interfere with signal quality. Determine antenna placement before you have your robot fully assembled so that you have the time to consider all the factors that will come into play.
Not Looking Into Government Grants
Government grants are available to assist research projects for universities and schools. Eligibility requirements vary by grant, but they are typically only available to individuals enrolled in an accredited learning institution or research or nonprofit organizations. Grants are usually based upon educational programs, scientific research projects, community service, etc. If you think your project will qualify for a grant, check the eligibility requirements. If you are eligible, contact the grant program sponsor to see if they are accepting grant requests.
Not Selecting A Carrier That Is At Your Service Center
If you want to use the same carrier your mobile services bill is billed on, you must select them as your modem’s carrier. They will not only provide service to your area, but they will also do the billing for you. Often it is not worthwhile for carriers to use roaming towers across states and provinces because it could cost them money, and they may not make much off of your services. The more people using their tower, the more profit they can make.
Choosing an excellent cellular modem is not enough to ensure that your project will be successful. You need to avoid common issues and problems for better efficiency.