IoT M2M blog

The home of free hints and tips about wireless IoT / M2M

IoT M2M Cookbook

 IoT M2M Cookbook

How to develop a device based on Wireless Wide Area Network modules

Excerpt of the
IoT / M2M-Cookbook here

Table of contents
1 Why Did I Write the IoT / M2M Cookbook    5
2 Fundamental considerations before starting the IoT / M2M project    7
3 Certifications and approvals    7
3.1 Examples for Radio approvals in EU and US    7
3.2 Examples for Radio approvals in US and Canada (PTCRB)    9
3.3 Examples for automotive related approvals in Europe    9
3.4 SAR – Specific Absorption Rate    10
4 Cellular data communication (GPRS, USSD, SMS, CSD, DTMF)    11
4.1 Voice communication    11
4.2 Modem / acoustic coupler / encryption    11
4.3 DTMF (Dual Tone Multi Frequency)    12
4.4 GPRS (General Packed Radio Service)    12
4.5 SMS    13
4.6 USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data)    13
4.7 Comparison of power consumption (SMS, USSD and GPRS)    14
4.8 CSD (Circuit Switched Data)    15
5 Supply voltage    16
5.1 Power on timing and waiting    16
5.2 Cellular module in power save mode    17
5.3 Internal resistance of batteries and linear voltage transformers    17
5.4 Switched mode voltage regulator    19
5.5 Simulation of a switched power supplies with LT Spice    19
5.6 Capacitors at power supply and cellular module    21
5.7 Supply voltage for GNSS antenna    21
6 Antennas for IoT / M2M devices    21
6.1 Monopole and dipole antennas    21
6.2 Are you sure nothing will interfere with your embedded antenna?    22
6.3 Why do embedded chip or patch antennas have different resonant frequencies?    23
6.4 How will the ground plane affect your embedded antenna?    23
6.5 How to connect your embedded antenna with your wireless module    26
6.6 How to design an antenna matching circuit    27
6.7 Free of charge software to generate a matching circuit automatically    29
6.8 How to switch between an internal and external cellular or GNSS antenna inexpensively    30
7 GPS antenna selection for a tracker    31
7.1 Which GPS antenna types we can select from?    31
7.2 A closer look on Bluetooth / GNSS antennas    32
8 GPS antenna selection for a people or pet tracker    33
8.1 GPS chip loop antenna type A matched to GPS only – test 1    35
GPS chip loop antenna type A matched to GPS / Glonass – test 2    36
8.2 GPS chip loop antenna type A matched to GPS / Glonass – test 3    37
8.3 Effect of the a human or pet body on GNSS antenna type B    38
8.4 Nine different PCB with chip antennas – just one is under test    39
8.5 Return Loss test of the human / pet tracker with and without meat    40
8.6 GPS chip antenna type B  unmatched    42
8.7 Effect the enclosure on GPS chip antenna type B    43
8.8 GPS chip antenna type B frequency drift caused by temperature change    44
8.9 Effect of the cut-out zone without copper under the GPS chip antenna type B    45
8.10 Testing chip antenna performance on the humand hand with a special magnetic probe    47
Test fixture    49
8.11 Why it is impossible to compare the GSM antenna design with a GPS antenna design?    49
9 Examples for IoT devices with embedded antennas    52
9.1 Example: Embedded PCB antenna inside a vending machine    52
9.2 Example: Embedded antennas in Telematic device GPSauge IN1 v.2 of GPSoverIP    53
10 Simulation of an embedded GSM PCB track antenna    53
10.1 Definition of the antenna simulation project    54
10.2 Description of the inverted F antenna    54
10.3 3D model of the simulation    55
10.4 Optimization – determination of antenna shape    56
10.5 Typical requirements of a quad-band GSM antenna    56
10.6 Optimization of the quad-band antenna GSM antenna shape    58
10.7 Directional characteristics of the antenna for two GSM frequencies    58
10.8 Influence of the housing on antenna characteristics    60
10.9 Influence of the ground plane on antenna characteristics    60
10.10 Optimisation of the simulated antenna with matching circuit    62
10.11 Designing in the simulated antenna to a special GSM / GPS tracker    63
10.12 Dos and don’ts during embedded antenna design    65
11 Components around the cellular module    66
11.1 SIM card    66
11.2 SIM card subscription    67
11.3 Low ESR capacitor    67
11.4 ESD protection    68
11.5 Loudspeaker and microphone    68
11.6 Firmware update for the final PCB    68
12 Examples of mistakes and errors during M2M development    69
12.1 Power down reset    69
12.2 SMS errors    69
12.3 CSD errors    70
12.4 IP connection errors    70
12.5 Analysis of several design mistakes in one M2M design    71
12.6 Analysis of mistakes of a PCB track antenna for GSM    71
12.7 Analysis of a GSM chip antenna on a small ground plane    72
12.8 Analysis of a Swiss GSM watch    73
12.9 Analysis of embedded LTE antenna in detail    73
13 Radiation noise, maximum spurious antenna radiation    74
13.1 Antenna radiation versus radiation noise    74
13.2 Conductive noise    76
13.3 Conductive noise transformed to radiated noise    77
13.4 Radiated noise transformed to conductive noise    77
13.5 Prevention against radiated noise    77
14 How to use a vector network analyser for IoT / M2M development    80
14.1 Quick Start Guide Vector Analyser MiniVNA Tiny    82
14.2 Explanation S11, VSWR, return loss, reflection coefficient and antenna bandwidth    84
14.3 Revealing the truth – four cellular antennas tested with MiniVNA    86
14.4 A comparison of three Vector Network Analysers    94
15 Testing your M2M device    100
15.1 TX power peaks by cellular module test mode    100
15.2 Pseudo load of 2 Ampere peak load with self-made function generator    100
15.3 TX power peaks with a GSM tester    102
15.4 Testing of the sensitivity    102
15.5 Testing radiated TX power    102
15.6 Where can you buy a cheap cellular tester?    102
15.7 Example of a measurement report from GSM test equipment    103
15.8 Ripple and peak voltage – visible on GSM test equipment    108
15.9 How to test a UMTS module on foreign band    108
15.10 Testing with UMTS testers    108
15.11 How to test an LTE module on foreign bands    109
15.12 Potential difficulties with LTE modules worldwide    110
15.13 Testing the GNSS module    110
15.14 Measurement of the cellular antenna in 3D    111
15.15 Summary of testing    112
16 AT Commands    112
16.1 AT commands during power on of your cellular module evaluation kit    113
16.2 ”Hello World” for GSM – AT commands to send a SMS    113
16.3 AT commands and logic loops to set up a communication channel    114
17 Project descriptions of IoT / M2M devices    115
17.1 Project description of a long-term tracking device    116
17.2 Project description of a flexible tracking device for bank notes    116
18 Thank you    117

1 Why Did I Write the IoT / M2M Cookbook?

I have worked in the Wireless M2M industry for more than a quarter of a century. Twenty-five years ago, we didn’t even have a word for “M2M” or “IoT”. We developed Machine to Machine devices without knowing that decades later these creations would be called “M2M devices”. Twenty-five years ago, the GSM network for wireless data communication did not exist. I took my first steps in wireless data communication with Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) on Private Mobile Radios (PMR). On PMRs we achieved communication speeds of 3600 bits per second. A little later we started using public analogue trunked radios. These trunked radio systems provided local terrestrial wireless networks on FSK. Years ago, the last public analogue trunked radio network in Germany was taken out of service. GSM jumped in with its Short Message Service (SMS) and Circuit Switched Data (CSD). CSD provided us 9600 bits per second. We could use SMS and CSD for straightforward countrywide data communication. Later on, GSM roaming offered us worldwide data communication. Today, GSM/GPRS is being gradually phased out and is being replaced by 3G and 4G technology.
In the US, the cellular operator AT&T no longer accepts new M2M applications on GSM/GPRS. AT&T will only accept applications on 3G and 4G (UMTS, HSPA, LTE)
. Some people try to differentiate between M2M and IoT. Call it IoT or M2M – it does not matter. Applications for IoT or M2M often use the same wireless technology. IoT is the umbrella term for a number of subsets of wireless data communications. M2M is one of these subsets and maybe one of the oldest. Another subset of IoT is called Industry 4.0 or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Just wait a while and a new buzz world will always come up.
This IoT / M2M Cookbook describes how to develop a tracking device based on cellular and GNSS modules. You can create a telemetric device by ignoring the GNSS aspect. Typical devices without GNSS include cellular routers with Ethernet ports or a cellular to Wi-Fi bridge. Nevertheless, the navigation system for trucks described in this book already uses six different wireless technologies (2G, 3G, GNSS, Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC) with five different antennas within one enclosure.
Cellular networks for GSM, HSPA and LTE are the popular Wireless Wide Area Networks (WWAN). However, in some regions we have WWAN over CDMA and WiMAX.
Sometimes it is not easy to come up with the appropriate English word for the terms in this book. The common word for SMS in UK is “text message”. In this book, we will consistently use the term “SMS”. A prepaid SIM card in UK is called a “Pay as you go SIM card”. I will typically use the common words specified by ETSI – I will call it a prepaid SIM card. If I use the term “GSM module”, this will cover 3G and 4G modules as well, because the fall-back of UMTS, HSPA and LTE is still 2G (GSM/GPRS). GPS is fundamentally an incorrect term. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is just one out of several Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) that provide the functionality we refer to as “GPS”. We can currently access the Russian GNSS called Glonass. The Chinese GNSS is called Beidou. At some point we will be able to access the European GNSS called Galileo.

The IoT / M2M Cookbook is intended to help developers of wireless applications save some time and perhaps provide some inspiring ideas. It is a book for makers and summarizes the collective experience across my different jobs. By leading the team of developers that is required to design a mobile GSM/GPS tracking device, I learned to think like a developer of an IoT / M2M device. In over fifteen years of working with manufacturing and distribution, I have repeatedly provided the same hints and recommendations to developers of wireless applications. The origin of this book was a 14-page application note written in July 2010. In May 2012, I made the decision to document the story that I deliver weekly to customers within a book. The goal of this book is to guide developers from the concept stage of an IoT / M2M device all the way to the final mass-produced product. This book will not provide introductory details such as how an inverted F antenna works. To explain those concepts, I will provide links to relevant supporting information. In any case, this book will provide you with information that is often omitted in the official radio module and antenna manufacturers’ documentation. This book shows an inverted F PCB antenna for GSM in detail. It explains how to redesign it with your own PCB and how to encapsulate the whole design in epoxy resin. It also explains how to integrate a chip or PCB antenna with coaxial cable.
Some power supply concepts including LT Spice modules for DC/DC regulators and load generator for the 2 Ampere peak currents are included in the book, too. It should be noted that the power down reset is still the main fault in designs with cellular modules.
I hope you will enjoy reading the book and I hope it will save you some time as well.
If you an interest to get a copy of the IoT / M2M Cookbook then do not hesitate to drop an email to harald.naumann (at)


Add a Comment
  1. Pingback: Quora
  2. Pingback: Quora
  3. Pingback: Quora
  4. Pingback: Quora
  5. Pingback: Quora
  6. Hi Harald
    I chanced upon your website through google search and think it is very useful. I am interested in developing an application using GNSS + 3G connectivity and think your book may be useful.
    How much does it cost and how do I buy it ?


  7. Thank you for the interest in my IoT M2M Cookbook. I will come back to you by email.

    A major part of the book is about embedded antennas and ground plane. It includes a simulation of a GSM IFA antenna in different versions. The simulation includes the results by changing the size of the ground plane, enclosure and further parameters. This engineering job has already a value of Euro 3.500.

    The book got a zone for download in the meantime ( ). Here you’ll get for example the Touchtone export file out of the simulation for an upload to the free of charge software to design a matching circuit. This means you can play with the simulated antenna and will learn what will happen by changing components in the matching circuit.

    Every reader gets an in detail explained antenna shape and will be able to use the learned lessons for integration of any kind of self-made or out of the shelf antenna.
    Other chapters explain common mistakes of developers that I have seen during the last 20 years. Since January 2014 several PDF files were delivered. In parallel I consult a few wireless projects with embedded cellular antennas. The feedback of the readers and the feedback out of the projects trigged some new chapters or additional text in existing chapters.

    I still accept sponsoring of the book. The money out of the sponsoring I will use to finance the proof reading by an English native speaker and changing of some graphics. The latest sponsor is . They helped with four proposals for the book cover.

    I would be glad when you will be a reader of the book as well. I hope that you will enjoy reading and I hope it will save some of your time, too.

    Best regards from Germany

  8. Hi Harald,

    I came across this book thru a post of yours on linkedin. How do I get access to it?


  9. Dear Ramki, I offer the book as a PDF for download. Just have a look in your email inbox. You will find an email that will descripe the next steps. Have a nice weekend.

  10. Hi,
    I would be very interested in taking a look at your book
    Please advise how I can access a copy

  11. Mr. Naumann,

    I am also interested in your e-book. I can tell there is a lot of useful information from the chapter titles alone!

    Best regards,

    Adam Fuller

  12. Hi Harald,

    Please can I have access to the pdf download too? If you need any help with proof-reading, I may be able to help.

    – Niels

  13. Hi Niels, I will come back to you with an offer. The pro reading will be done by somebody from UK. This will move forward as soon I finished a new chapter. I bought a GSM tester Willtek 4202s like listed here:
    and explained in detail how to use such a tester. On top I offer the consulting at customers office. The customer and me sit together in front of the Willtek 4202s test together. We start with a standard mobile phone and move in second step with testing their own IoT / M2M devices.

  14. Hi Harald
    I’m developing a traking device and I think your book may be very useful.
    How I can have it?


  15. Dear Mikey, yes I have a price. I charge Euro 90 including all updates. Right now, my book readers got an update with the right to ask for further content. I would like to freeze the book end of the year and order the proof reading. I bought a GSM tester like listed here:
    and made some measurement reports taken by the tester public. I explained what to do with such a tester and why. In parallel I started to offer consultancy local, by email and phone. My target is to make the life of IoT M2M developers easy. As soon the first book is finished I will start to write the next book. The concept for the next book is already in my mind.

  16. Hi Harold ,

    I am interested in buying your book. How can I get access to it.



  17. Hi Adithya, I will come back to you by email. Please help with your postal address. This is neccesray to write the proforma invoice and later on the final invoice.

  18. Dear Laurent, I will come back to you by email. Just to let you know, that the book will contain all updates up to the final version. Right now, I try to follow the wishes of the book readers and write updates of chapters or complete new chapters. I plan to finish it including proof reading by native speaker for end of this year.
    One of the latest chapters is the testing of IoT M2M devices on GSM by GSM tester. I bought such a GSM tester and made the test reports public. I also explained which tests shall be done and why. On top I offer consulting local at customer office, telephone and email.
    My latest tool is the MiniVNA Tiny listed here:
    I got training by a very high skilled engineer yesterday. The RF engineer runs a small company and produces its own VNA with small bandwidth (2400 MHz range). The result out of the training I will try to make public. Testing of embedded antennas on PCB is real difficult. I will try to explain it so detailed, that the book readers will be able to follow or at least will understand, that you will worst case have a need of a third party for the tuning.

  19. Hi Herald,

    We are developers of IoT solutions for our industrial customers. As part of our solution, we also integrate with some of the things you mentioned like GPS, GSM/GPRS. Would be keen to know your learnings and see if we can help add some more. Could you please share the ebook.

    Thanks & regards,

  20. Hi Mahesh,
    I will come back with an email. My first IoT M2M Cookbook is related to cellular modules (GSM/GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, LTE) plus GNSS (GPS, Glonass, Galileo), because I am close to 20 years in GSM+GPS. Right now the updates of the book are driven by the readers. I try to follow their wishes.
    Bye for now

  21. Hi Harald,
    I came across your IoT cookbook through our common friends on linkedin. Can I get access to it?



  22. Pingback: Quora
  23. Hi Jan, I will come back with an proforma invoice to you. After that I help with a copy by download.
    BTW, will you stay at electronica in Munich? I will stay the whole week at the stand of Compotek / Tekmodul Hall A4 / 342. Can we meet in Munich?

  24. Hi Harald,

    I am interested in your book, can you send me a copy?

    Thank you, regards.

  25. Dear Kumar, yes every IoT M2M developer can get a copy. Please be so kind and email me to harald.naumann (at) I need your postal address to write the proforma invoice. Will you stay at electromica in Munich next week? I will stay the whole week at the stand of Compotek / Tekmodul Hall A4 / 342. I will show the latest version of the book plus some antenna shapes on customer PCBs.

  26. Pingback: Quora
  27. Pingback: Quora
  28. Dear Artur, I will come back to you by email. BTW, I met your company years ago at Hanover Industry Fair in Hanover. I would be glad to meet again. See you.

  29. Pingback: Quora
  30. Pingback: Quora
  31. Hello Harald,
    While investigating how to add a PCB antenna to a SIM900a module I dicovered your site. Very interesting indeed, thank you. Also I would like to order a copy of your book. Can you please send me the details to do so?

  32. Dear Clemens, sorry for delay. I was on a business trip in Bavaria this week. I will come back with an offer for my IoT M2M Cookbook by email. Are you sure to stay with a SIM900a? I can help with a smaller GSM module on lower price including pretty good support. Pretty good support means support by the manufacturer and support by me as well.The supportis up to free of charge test in electronic chamber for M2M projects on resonable size.
    BTW, if you like you can get articles about wireless modules and applications from me for your magazine. Your office is not so far from my home office. If you like we can meet each other next weeks.

  33. Pingback: Quora
  34. Pingback: Quora

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blue Captcha Image


Harald Naumann © 2014 Frontier Theme