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Metr LTE is here | GPS tracker with SIM card designed for ESK8

We are extremely excited to launch our new product. After being in development and testing for over 2 years and struggles with production during global chip shortage we only have 100 pieces up for grabs.:grimacing:

We teamed up with @JTAG for hardware design and look what he delivered! It is tiny! (36x24x10mm, about the same size as Metr Pro)


Before you go any further, here are the most important things to know before ordering (PLEASE READ):

Summary:

  • Prepaid SIM card included (global roaming)
  • Not a standalone product (Metr Pro is required)
  • Might not work in your country
  • No built-in battery

Details:

We have found SIM cards that work globally (1nce.com) and decided to include them with every module. We actually think you won’t find anything cheaper, that’s why we did it like that. The SIM cards have 500MB that can be used for up to 10 years. For Metr LTE this amount of data should last on average for 5 years. It will be possible to top up and renew 500MB/10 years for just €15.

Metr LTE will not work in some places. At the moment mobile connections are only supported in the following countries (most up to date list is here https://1nce.com/en/coverage/ check for LTE-M column checkmark):

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA. During BETA testing we confirmed that LTE connection works in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and USA.

We hope that other countries on the list should work. Hopefully 1nce will sign contracts with more operators and more countries in the future.

=== === === ===

Metr LTE is not a standalone product and requires Metr Pro CAN or Metr Pro in order to operate. It relies on bluetooth connection provided by Metr Pro to communicate with the Metr app and perform initial connection setup. If you already have Metr Pro or Metr Pro CAN, you are good to go. If not, you need one to use together with Metr LTE. You also need a GPS module (unless you already have Metr Pro CAN with GPS module, that one is enough to provide data to both).

Here are some examples setups to make it easier for your to understand:

Setup #1

VESC
Metr Pro CAN with GPS
Metr LTE


Both Metr Pro CAN and Metr LTE are connected to CAN. GPS module is connected to SD card shield.

=== === === ===

Setup #2

VESC
Metr Pro (UART)
Metr LTE with GPS


Metr Pro is connected to VESC using UART cable.
Metr LTE is connected to CAN.
GPS module is connected to Metr LTE.

=== === === ===

Setup #3

VESC
Metr Pro UNITY
Metr LTE with GPS


Metr Pro UNITY sits where it should be and Metr LTE with GPS is connected to CAN.

=== === === ===

Setup #4

VESC
Metr Pro CAN
Metr LTE with GPS


Metr Pro CAN without SD card does not have GPS port. No problem, GPS module is plugged into Metr LTE.

All these variations were thought through to provide as much flexibility as possible for existing and future setups.

=== === === ===

Metr LTE comes without a battery. This means it will be online only when your board is powered on. Or if you provide 5V supply to it (for example by channeling CAN bus cable through a small 5V power bank).

=== === === ===

Some cool features that we made available on launch are:

  • Remote tracking with current speed and battery level
  • Location history for the past week
  • Live location sharing
  • Group location sharing
  • Remote board lock / unlock

Software updates will come through the Metr app and it will only get better with time. This module is designed for ESK8 and functionality possibilities are amazing. Racing, fleet management, geofencing, etc. Let us know what you think and what features you would like to see.

Big thanks to our beta testers @xsynatic and @b264 as well as Bioboards and Lazyrolling.

Order Metr LTE in our shop shop.metr.at – telemetry for electric vehicles

33 Likes

Will there be a US based distributor or group buy?

Are there any examples of powering this with a battery?
How much power does this draw?

Could this be used as an anti theft device if you get 5v to the setup ?

6 Likes

Ill be purchasing a few of these! How can I run dual esc connected over CAN while also running a Metr Pro can + LTE + GPS

Just bought one!

1 Like

Daisy chain dude. That’s the beauty of CAN

7 Likes

Not anything we plan as we have limited stock at the moment. Besides we have sorted out shipping with a new shop and doing UPS / DHL Express now instead of slow regular post, should be much faster shipping to US.

Currently no. But this is one of the first features we will be adding with firmware updates. At the moment Metr Pro CAN + Metr LTE + GPS module draw about 80mA. This should last a few days with a power bank. There are a few things we will do to lower current consumption, turn off the LEDs for example.

Yes, absolutely. You can also block the board remotely so it won’t be able to accelerate.

VESC — Metr Pro CAN — Metr LTE — VESC

7 Likes

This looks awesome. But one thing I don’t understand,

Why not just build everything into a single product? The cost of a metr pro + GPS + LTE is a lot. If this was all on one board with less connections, cables and failure points it would be a much more appealing solution.

Otherwise is there any way to use metr pro to do the initial setup then unplug and run LTE in standalone after?

EDIT:
just to be clear here I love the work you guys are doing here and I have metr on all my boards and recommend to anyone who asks.

I’ve been following your metr LTE development closely as I believe having always on logging that’s not dependent connection to the phone is the way forwards.

But if there was an LTE+GPS only option (no Bluetooth at all) I would much rather put one in each of my boards

7 Likes

I’m presuming that’s the way it works, right @rpasichnyk?

Is there any plan to release (or support the production of) a housing for both the Metr CAN and LTE units? They look like they’re roughly the same dimensions and share the same port positions.

2 Likes

How many are left in stock?

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To keep the price lower. Designing the module was a challenge and putting more components would only increase time and cost. We actually had to buy components from several different places and then ship them to assembly factory because they could not source themselves. For BLE modules we have another supply chain. It was the most effective solution and CAN bus allowed us to go this route.

Plenty. No worries :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Metr Pro CAN already has a housing (with SD card and GPS). For basic version of Metr Pro CAN and Metr LTE there are no plans to have a housing.

1 Like

Yeah, I’m thinking one housing to house both units… like an extended version of the existing housing. A ‘semi-detached’ as they say.

@SabreDynamics made the existing CAN housing, right? Could he, for example, be enabled to produce said semi-detached?

3 Likes

Curious and also a lot of random questions.

When you order the Metr Pro LTE w/ GPS, which module does it come with (BN-180 or the BN-250)

Same question regarding the Metr Pro CAN w/ SD. Which GPS module does it come with?

Would it be better to just order both Metr Pro Can w/ SD + LTE without GPS modules and do a add-on order of individual GPS modules for BN-250’s?

Do The LTE and Metr Pro Can w/ SD use the same GPS modules?

Also

In theory based on setup #1 can we and or what would happen if we put two GPS modules on the unit? (One in the SD card shield port and one in the LTE port) :sweat_smile:

1 Like

Yes, @SabreDynamics did the Metr CAN + SD housing. I think it makes sense for us to also look into a combined housing in the future, but there is no timeline set for it at the moment.

All Metr Pro CAN / LTE bundles with GPS come with the BN-250 now. We decided that the larger antenna and integrated flash is a bigger advantage than the downside of the slightly bigger dimensions. For people that still need the smallest possible GPS module we are selling the BN-180 separately now.

Yes, they are using the same BN-250 GPS when buying them bundled with a GPS. The only difference is the cable because the Metr LTE has an other UART pin layout compare to the Metr CAN + SD. For Metr LTE it isn’t important which side of the JST SH cable is plugged to the GPS and which to the LTE port. For Metr CAN + SD it is important to connect it the right way. Have a look at the following pictures to see what I mean.



Thats a question for @rpasichnyk. Not sure how it would behave with the current implementation.

4 Likes

I’ve been waiting for this for awhile, this will definitly pull me into Metr!

Few questions, is there a more rugged LTE antenna compatible?

My setup will most likely be #4, how much ride data can be stored and logged? Is it possible to log data on cloud?

What’s the procedure to connect vesctool to it?

Is it compatible with UavCAN and rise sdvp?
Thanks!

2 Likes

With this setup only battery level, speed and location are sent to the cloud with 10 seconds interval (to save data, however you can shorten the interval to 3-5 seconds). Metr LTE is not a replacement for regular records, where a lot more data is logged with high detail.

Regular records are still taken over BLE when you have your phone around. Otherwise I recommend Setup #1 with SD card.

Ah! Well good you cleared that up. I’d indeed expected a fully untethered logging solution there.

What’s the limitation then? Data plan longevity?

2 Likes

There are no hardware limitations, in theory Metr LTE should be capable of sending full telemetry over LTE. But I think it is not practical because megabytes on SIM card are limited. It will also require a lot of development efforts to change from how things are working at the moment.

This is new technology for ESK8 and the plan is to carefully explore it, I think location / battery / speed information is a good start. But I am certain mobile connection will be used more over time. And Metr LTE firmware updates will make it possible.

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Superb job! One question - why LTE over 2G comms? I work in an industrial telematics company and our hardware guys swear by 2G modems as most networks still support them and the parts are way cheaper. As I understand, for our usecase data rates have little impact.

2 Likes