Onion Omega2 LTE

by Onion

A 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connected Linux dev board with GNSS global positioning

$31,104 raised

of $10,000 goal

311% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices

$99

Omega2 LTE

An Omega2 LTE IoT computer to build your own cellular IoT projects with Linux. You'll need an antenna for LTE and GNSS connectivity.


$10

3-in-1 Flex Antenna

An all-in-one starter antenna that's good for use worldwide. The antenna sports two LTE antennas for better indoor reception and a GNSS antenna that's good for use outdoors.


$49

Pro Antenna Kit

Get the best reception for your IoT project with the Pro Antenna Kit. Features two suction-mount LTE antennas, a magnetic mount GNSS antenna, and three SMA to U.FL adapters for easy connection to the Omega2 LTE.


$129

Omega2 LTE Essentials Collection

1x Omega2 LTE, 1x Ethernet Expansion, 1x ADC Expansion, 1x 3-in-1 Flex Antenna


$199

Omega2 LTE Ultimate Collection

1x Omega2 LTE, 1x Ethernet Expansion, 1x OLED Expansion, 1x Servo Expansion, 1x ADC Expansion, 1x NFC Expansion, 1x Proto Expansion, 1x 3-in-1 Flex Antenna, 1x Pro Antenna Kit

Details

Recent Updates


As Featured In

Hackster.io

"The Omega2 LTE is based on the Omega2S+ with added 4G LTE support and integrated GNSS for increased networking capabilities."

Electronics-Lab.com

"The Omega2 LTE also has GNSS global positioning capabilities, further extending the possible use cases to include real-time asset and fleet tracking."

LinuxGizmos.com

"The SBC is further equipped with a power switch, a programmable button, multi-colored status LEDs for LTE and general operation, and a 30-pin GPIO connector."

Geeky Gadgets

"The developing board has a form factor smaller than a credit card and features an LTE Cat 4 modem that delivers 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink data rates."

MickMake

"Everything seems to work without issue... that's a really nice module. I quite like it."

Effortlessly deploy your IoT applications in remote areas without being limited by the range of Wi-Fi networks. The Omega2 LTE is the latest addition to the Omega2 family of Linux IoT computers, adding built-in high-speed 4G LTE cellular data connectivity and GNSS global positioning.

Smaller than a credit card, the Omega2 LTE is an all-inclusive, standalone computing device for developing cellular IoT applications. Just add a Nano-SIM card with a data plan, LTE antennas, and power it all up via USB or battery. The Linux network stack makes the switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data seamless to user applications. Take your existing NodeJS or Python IoT project outside the building with minimal effort! Or, use it as a fully-customizable cellular gateway for other Wi-Fi devices, deployed remotely or on the go.

Cellular Network

The Omega2 LTE features an LTE Cat 4 modem that delivers 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink data rates. This same modem features the GNSS Receiver. It enables use cases that are not limited by the range of Wi-Fi networks since the 4G LTE data connection provides internet connectivity as long as there is cellular signal. And the Global Model even supports world-wide connectivity.

Positioning, Available Globally

In addition to the cellular connectivity, the Omega2 LTE features a high-sensitivity, multi-constellation GNSS receiver, capable of retrieving positioning and accurate time data worldwide.

The Omega2 LTE supports all of the common positioning systems:

  • GPS
  • GLONASS
  • BeiDou
  • Galileo
  • QZSS

This further extends the possible use cases to include real-time asset and fleet tracking. Combined with the LTE data connection, it’s easy to build applications that report geoposition, an accurate timestamp, and other data to remote servers.

Even without an LTE data connection, the Omega2 LTE can determine its geoposition and the accurate time, enabling power-saving by locally caching data and turning on the LTE data connection to report data on an interval.

Enabling GNSS and reading the data can be done in just two commands:

# enable gnss data collection
o2lte gnss enable

# read positioning data once satellites lock 
ubus call gps info

# GNSS data:
{
        "age": 0,
        "latitude": "43.727278",
        "longitude": "-79.339722",
        "elevation": "207.9",
        "course": "7.5",
        "speed": "0.0"
}

Wi-Fi Networking

Like all Omega2 family devices, the Omega2 LTE is a whiz at Wi-Fi networking. The Wi-Fi interface can simultaneously host its own Wi-Fi access point and connect to existing Wi-Fi networks. With the addition of an Ethernet Expansion board, the network capabilities can extend to wired networks as well.

The LTE data connection benefits from the flexibility of the network stack as well. The network stack takes care of the low-level configuration of the LTE data connection, making the process easy for the user and seamless for any applications. In addition, the data connection can be shared over the Omega’s Wi-Fi access point with other Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Features & Specifications

  • Based on the Omega2S+ IoT computer module
    • Processor: 580 MHz MIPS CPU
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Storage: 32 MB
      • Expandable up to 2 TB with MicroSD card
    • Connectivity: 2.4 GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi
    • Operating System: OpenWrt 18.06 Linux, kernel 4.14
  • Antenna:
    • Wi-Fi: On-board 2 dBi direction chip antenna & U.FL connector for external antenna
    • 4G LTE: U.FL connectors for main and diversity antennas
    • GNSS: U.FL connector for GNSS antenna
  • SIM Support: Nano-SIM slot for cellular data
  • Battery Support: LiPo battery management and JST-PH battery connector
  • Dimensions: 80 x 50 mm

Board Features - Front

A. 30-pin expansion header
B. LTE modem + GPS receiver
C. LTE status LEDs
D. LTE & GNSS U.FL antenna connectors
E. JST-PH battery connector
F. Power management
G. Power switch
H. USB-C (power & serial)
I. Programmable button
J. Omega2S+ module
K. Wi-Fi chip antenna
L. Omega status LEDs

Board Features - Back

A. Nano-SIM slot
B. MicroSD slot

The Omega2 LTE specializes in wireless networking, sporting 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi capabilities, making it ideal for outdoor and remote sensor hub applications.

Ideal Hardware for IoT, Inspired by your Feedback

Since we started making IoT hardware in 2015, we’ve taken great care to listen to feedback from our community of developers, hackers, and makers to learn what they really need from their IoT devices and to make sure that community feedback drives our product decisions.

Battery Manager for Portability and Back-up

Community Feedback: Portability and resilience is important for IoT devices

The Omega2 LTE is flexible when it comes to power sources: it can be powered by LiPo batteries or USB power. An on-board battery management chip enables the use of LiPo batteries as the main power source, and will recharge the batteries when connected to USB power. Use a battery to make your project portable or to act as a back-up power supply.

Command-line Access

Community Feedback: Easy access for configuration and debugging

The on-board USB-to-serial chip provides reliable, always-on access to the Omega’s command-line, which is invaluable for configuration and debugging device operation. Alternatively, you can securely connect a command-line terminal through the local network using SSH.

MicroSD Slot for Extra Storage

Community Feedback: Expandable storage

Use the microSD card slot on the bottom of the device to add gigabytes and gigabytes of additional storage to your Omega2 LTE. The ability to add storage space is essential for storing any assets created by the device – log files, images, etc. – or, occasionally, when project requirements change leading to the application taking up more space than originally planned.

Status LEDs

Community Feedback: Easily check the status of the device

The Omega2 LTE uses a series of LEDs to provide visual feedback on the current status of the device:

Status LED Indicates
A. Green Power LED Running on battery
B. Amber System status LED Whether Linux OS has booted
C. Blue Wi-Fi status LED Connection to a Wi-Fi network is active
D. Green Cellular network status Connection to cellular network is active
E. Amber Cellular network activity Transmitting and receiving cellular data

Building on our Omega2 Platform

The Omega2 LTE is the latest step in our community’s evolving vision for an IoT computer. It adds a new dimension of connectivity while also building on everything we’ve done with the Omega2 platform since it was first introduced in 2016. The result is a device that allows you to jump-start your development with a quick and easy setup, a familiar Linux environment, and support for your favorite programming languages.

Up and Running in Under Five Minutes

The flash storage on the Omega2 LTE comes pre-loaded with a Linux operating system. To get started with your new Omega2 LTE, you only need the Omega2 LTE itself, a USB-C cable, and your computer - no keyboards, monitors, or anything else. Take a few minutes to step through the browser-based setup wizard and you’re ready to start building your cellular IoT device.

Use the command-line to configure and enable the LTE data connection:

# configure the Omega2 LTE to connect to your cellular data provider
o2lte apn ltedata.apn

# enable LTE cellular data
o2lte data enable

# share cellular data connection over Omega's Wi-Fi 
o2lte share enable

Running OpenWrt Linux

The Omega2 LTE runs the latest OpenWrt embedded Linux operating system, which provides a flexible and powerful foundation for building your cellular IoT applications. Develop your project in your favorite language: Python, GoLang, NodeJS, PHP, C, C++, and many more are all supported. There’s also a wealth of existing packages available that can be installed with the built-in package manager so you don’t have to start from scratch.

The Linux network stack manages all of the connectivity interfaces the Omega2 LTE offers – LTE data, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet – making it easy to manage without knowledge of the low-level details and, most importantly, making internet connectivity transparent to your applications.

OnionOS: Browser-based & User Friendly

Hosted on the Omega2 LTE, OnionOS provides an intuitive user interface through your browser. Write code, run commands, and use apps to interact with your Omega2 LTE, no installation required.

The Terminal and Code Editor apps make OnionOS a development environment that works on any computer. Use it for initial development or as an easily-accessible IDE for projects that have already been deployed.

With the OnionOS App Manager, you can install more OnionOS apps and do even more from your browser.

Ecosystem of Expansions

With extensive I/O, it is easy to interface the Omega2 LTE with other devices and components depending on the needs of your application.

On top of that, it has the benefit of being compatible with the existing ecosystem of Omega2 expansions. This ecosystem of plug-and-play additions are a modular way of adding specific functionality to your device.

Above expansions: NFC/RFID, ADC, OLED

Above expansions: Servo (PWM), Ethernet, Proto

Expansion Description
NFC/RFID Standard 13.56 MHz RFID and NFC reader and writer
ADC Four-channel, 16-bit analog to digital converter
OLED Screen Low-power, 0.96” diagonal, monochrome display with 128 x 64 pixels
Servo (PWM) Generate up to 16 different, free-running, pulse-width-modulated signals
Ethernet Wired 10/100 network connectivity via a standard Ethernet cable
Proto A blank slate of 185 pads on which to solder your own circuit

The IoT landscape is evolving and extending beyond the reach of Wi-Fi networks. The Omega2 LTE builds on everything that makes the Omega2 platform great, and adds cellular connectivity, opening the door to a variety of remote and outdoor use cases.

Two Variants for Global Compatibility

The Omega2 LTE is comes in two variants: a model that is compatible with cellular networks in North America, and a Global model that supports network bands around the world:

Cellular Technology Omega2 LTE Omega2 LTE Global Model
4G LTE (FDD) B2, B4, B12 B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B13, B26, B18, B19, B20, B28
4G LTE (TDD) - B38, B29, B40, B41
3G UMTS WCDMA B2, B4, B5 B1, B2, B4, B5, B8, B6, B19

Neither Omega2 LTE models are locked to a specific cellular network provider and both will work with any provider as long as it supports the provider’s main band.

Omega2 LTE Omega2 LTE Global Model
USA AT&T Yes Yes
T-Mobile Yes Yes
Verizon Yes
Canada Rogers Wireless Yes Yes
Fido Yes Yes
Telus Mobility Yes Yes
Bell Mobility Yes Yes
Europe Orange Yes
Vodafone (Italy, UK, Germany, Spain) Yes
O2 (Germany, UK, Czech Republic, Slovakia) Yes
T-Mobile (Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic) Yes
SFR France Yes
EE UK Yes
Three (UK, Ireland) Yes
Asia Yes
South America Yes
Africa Yes
Oceania Yes

To connect, insert a Nano-SIM in the slot on the bottom of the device and use our command-line utility to specify the APN (Access Point Name) of your cellular provider.

Antennas

To offer flexibility in choosing antennas, the Omega2 LTE features U.FL antenna connectors for connecting two LTE antennas and a GNSS antenna. The Omega2 LTE needs these antennas to connect to cellular networks and GNSS satellites. GNSS is best suited for outdoor use, as it’s not very likely to lock on to any positioning satellites when indoors.

Featuring three U.FL connectors:

1. 4G LTE Main
2. GNSS
3. 4G LTE Diversity

You’ll notice there are two antennas marked 4G: one is the main antenna, and the other is a diversity antenna. The main and diversity antennas work together to improve the quality and reliability of the wireless link. While it is possible to just use the main antenna and get cellular reception, using the diversity antenna as well will increase reception, especially indoors.

We’re offering two antenna options so you can tailor the Omega2 LTE to suit your needs.

3-in-1 Flex Antenna

This Onion-branded antenna sports three distinct antennas in one package: main and diversity 4G LTE antennas that support global cellular frequencies, and a GNSS (GPS & GLONASS) antenna. The antenna is physically flexible and features an adhesive on the bottom, making it a great form-factor for use with enclosures or when space is at a premium. Overall, it’s excellent for portable projects.

3-in-1 Flex Antenna
Cellular Coverage Worldwide 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G support
Supported Cellular Bands B1-B23, B25-B29, B33-B42
LTE Peak Gain 3.4 - 5.2 dBi depending on the band
GNSS Coverage GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS
GNSS Frequency Range 1570 - 1610 MHz
GNSS Peak Gain 0.8 dBi
Impedance 50 ohm
Dimensions 224 x 20 mm
Mechanical Flexible and foldable, 3M adhesive on the bottom

Pro Antenna Kit

This kit features three separate antennas for the best possible reception. There are two standing, global LTE antennas and a patch GNSS antenna. All antennas feature magnetic mounts, making this kit ideal for mounting on vehicles or for permanent installations.

LTE Antenna GNSS Antenna
Supported Protocols Worldwide 4G, 3G, and 2G Support GPS, BeiDou
Frequency Range 700, 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2300, 2400, and 2600 MHz 1575.42 +/- 4 MHz
Gain 12 dBi 3 dBi
Impedance 50 ohm 50 ohm
Antenna Dimensions 31 cm tall 38 x 46 x 12 mm
Cable Length 2 m 2 m

Use-cases

The Omega2 LTE has all the hardware and software you need for:

  • Real-time asset tracking
  • Remote sensor applications - as a hub or end-node
  • LTE network sharing hotspot - share the high-speed LTE data connection with IoT devices, laptops, and tablets

Real-Time Asset Tracking

Use high-level programming languages to quickly write device-side programs for real-time asset tracking or even fleet management. With the GNSS receiver providing location data and accurate time-stamps, and the LTE data connection providing internet connectivity, it’s straightforward to write an application in Python, NodeJS, GoLang, and others to report asset location details to an online server.

Remote Sensing

Expand the reach of your IoT projects and deployments to anywhere that has cellular reception with the Omega2 LTE. Use your favorite programming language to collect data from I²C, one-wire, SPI, digital, or analog sensors, and report it to an online service or API endpoint. Then, add a SIM card to report the data over the cellular network, and you can deploy your cellular IoT sensor device almost effortlessly.

The Omega2 LTE provides a platform for software developers to leverage their experience with Javascript and NodeJS to create IoT hardware. This includes remote sensor nodes, sensor hubs, or remote actuators that take action based on remote commands.

Network Sharing

The Omega2 LTE can share its cellular data connection with other devices. Use one command to enable cellular data sharing over the Omega’s Wi-Fi acces point:

Or, add an Ethernet Expansion board and provide wired internet connectivity over Ethernet:

Comparisons

We’ve been iterating on the Omega IoT computer since 2015. The Omega2 LTE is the first of our line of IoT computers to add built-in cellular connectivity and positioning capabilities, while building on everything our community has come to love about the Omega2 family.

Within the Onion Family

Omega2 LTE Omega2 Pro Omega2+ on Expansion Dock Omega2 on Power Dock 2
Processor 580 MHz MIPS 580 MHz MIPS 580 MHz MIPS 580 MHz MIPS
Memory 128 MB 128 MB RAM & 384 MB Swap File 128 MB 64 MB
Storage 32 MB 8 GB 32 MB 16 MB
Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client 2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client 2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client 2.4 GHz b/g/n Access Point & Client
Cellular High-speed 4G LTE built-in No No No
Global Positioning GNSS support built-in No No No
Battery Management LiPo (use and charge) LiPo (use and charge) None LiPo (use and charge)
Expandable Storage Yes, microSD slot No Yes, microSD slot No
USB Serial Yes, USB-C port Yes, Micro-USB port Yes, Micro-USB port No
USB 2.0 Host None Yes, one Yes, one Yes, one
Power Requirements 5 V, 500 mA USB 5 V, 500 mA USB 5 V, 500 mA USB 5 V, 500 mA USB

You can think of the Omega2 LTE as an Omega2+ built into a Dock that combines the Expansion Dock, Power Dock 2, an upgraded GPS Expansion, and a 4G LTE modem.

Among Other Offerings

As a small, standalone, all-in-one device featuring a microprocessor, Linux OS, Wi-Fi-connectivity, high-speed 4G LTE cellular data connectivity, and positioning capabilities, the Omega2 LTE is in a league of its own. However, we still think its worthwhile to compare it to other offerings:

Omega2 LTE Raspberry Pi w/ Hologram Nova Dongle Raspberry Pi w/ LTE HAT Particle Boron 2G/3G Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L LTE Mobile Hotspot
Processor 580 MHz MIPS 1.4 GHz Cortex-A52 1.4 GHz Cortex-A52 ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller Qualcomm SDx20
Memory 128 MB 1 GB 1 GB 256 KB 128 MB
Storage 32 MB Flash + microSD slot None - microSD None - microSD 1 MB Flash 256 MB
Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz b/g/n access point & client 2.4 GHz b/g/n client 2.4 GHz b/g/n client None 2.4 & 5 GHz b/g/n/ac access point
Cellular Network Support 4G LTE Cat 4 3G 4G LTE Cat 4 3G 4G LTE Cat 18
Downlink Data Rate 150 Mbps 7.2 Mbps 150 Mbps 7.2 Mbps 18 Mbps
Uplink Data Rate 50 Mbps 5.76 Mbit/s 50 Mbps 5.76 Mbps 13 Mbps
SIM Nano-SIM slot Built-in Nano-SIM slot Built-in + Nano-SIM slot Built-in
Positioning Support GNSS None GNSS None None
Programmable Yes. All modern programming languages Yes. All modern programming languages Yes. All modern programming languages Yes. C++ only No. No access to operating system at all
Battery Management LiPo (use and charge) No No LiPo (use and charge) Built-in battery
USB Serial Yes No No No No
Power 5 V 0.5 A 5 V 2.5 A 5 V 2.5 A 5 V 2 A ?
Form-factor All-in-one Board + USB dongle Board + HATs All-in-one Consumer device
Dimensions 80 x 50 x 10 mm (85 + 46) x 56 x 17 mm 85 x 56 x (17 + 5) mm 23 x 50 mm 113 x 71 x 19.15 mm
Open Source Yes No No Yes No
Path to Production Yes No No Yes No
Total Cost $99 (includes US shipping) $124 $154 $69 $199

Support & Documentation

This project builds on the success of our community, which is years in the making and thousands strong. They have contributed an enormous amount of examples, use cases, demos, questions, answers, and tutorials.

Manufacturing Plan

Every Omega2 LTE will be manufactured by our contract manufacturer (CM) in Shenzhen, China. We’ve been working with the CM since 2016 and have successfully produced tens of thousands of boards. Here’s how the process works.

PCB Fabrication

To start, a sub-contractor printed circuit board (PCB) producer will fabricate the PCBs. This will be the longest part of manufacturing, taking about three weeks from start to finish. Once completed, the PCBs will be delivered to our CM who will inspect and electrically test all traces. In the meantime, our manufacturing team and the CM’s purchasing department will have amassed all of the discrete components required to build the Omega2 LTE final product.

PCB Assembly

Using a pick and place machine, all of the components will be placed on the PCBs. The PCBs will then be passed through a reflow oven to permanently attach the components. Visual inspection using an AOI (Automated Optical Inspection) machine is then done to make sure all components have been properly oriented and properly attached. The boards can then be called a PCBA (Assembled Printed Circuit Board).

Completed Omega2 LTE samples

Testing & Quality Assurance

The next step is crucial: testing! First up is basic electrical testing. After that, each unit will have a turn in the testing rig that connects to all of the I/Os.

The first test is what we call a “sanity test”: we’ll boot the device make sure the current draw is a normal value (anything otherwise would suggest a manufacturing defect) and that the device successfully boots into the bootloader (code that runs before the operating system – think of it like the Omega’s BIOS). Using the bootloader, we’ll test the operation of all of the GPIOs and confirm the network adapter’s MAC address. The device will then be rebooted into the Linux operating system to run self-test programs that ensure the correct firmware is installed and the Wi-Fi radio is properly calibrated for maximum range and data integrity.

The final tests revolve around the LTE module, ensuring that it:

  • Can be detected, accessed, and configured
  • Responds to the Linux network stack and direct commands as expected
  • Correctly interprets received GNSS data
  • Responds correctly to simulated input from the antennas

Units that don’t pass a step in this series of tests are marked and later inspected to find the root cause of the failure and improve the manufacturing process for the next run.

Shipping & Fulfillment

All Omega2 LTE devices will be shipped to our end customers using Crowd Supply’s fulfillment services. Once manufacturing is completed, we’ll make a bulk shipment to Crowd Supply and from there, the packages will be shipped out to our individual backers. For more information, you can refer to this useful guide to ordering, paying, and shipping.

Risks & Challenges

All of the inherent risks of any electronics manufacturing endeavor apply to the Omega2 LTE – component availability may delay production, PCB production yield could be low, or assembly yield could be low, to name a few potential issues.

Having said that, we’ve been designing and manufacturing IoT hardware since 2015 and we’re confident in our ability to deliver a quality product in the expected timeline. Based on our experience, we’ve taken steps to minimize risk in the Omega2 LTE project:

  • We’ve completed a 20-unit sample manufacturing run with the same CM we plan to use for production
  • The Omega2 LTE design is based around the Omega2S module, taking the most complex circuits out of the manufacturing equation
  • The Omega2 LTE shares crucial design components with the proven Omega2 Pro design
  • Our manufacturing team has done their best to ensure we will have access to all of the components when the time comes

We believe that honesty is the best policy and will keep our backers informed every step of the way. If we do encounter any hiccups, speed bumps, or road blocks, we will be open and transparent about the issues and how they affect our delivery timelines. We have done this before, and we will not stop until we have delivered everything!


Credits

Onion

Onion is a team of technology enthusiasts, creators, and strivers, looking to make amazing products and even better user experiences. Onion has been in business since 2014, graduating from the TechStars Startup Accelerator in Boston that year. In 2015, we introduced the world to the Onion Omega IoT computer.


Lazar Demin

Zheng Han

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