Telecom Device TD1205 – Sigfox – Test

TD1205 - sigfox
TD1205 – sigfox

The TD1205 device is more than the usual Telecom Design Sigfox embedded circuit as TD1204 and TD1208, they are a all in one chip providing GPS antenna and RF antenna. Ready to use, to be clear you just need to plug a battery to use it.

In my point of view, for many applications not requiring more than 2 GPIOs, this product is really easy and chip way to design a SigFox product. As it costs around 55$ and you just have to add box & battery id sounds like the most affordable for small quantities. But …

This post is detailing what is specific to this chip ; read more following the link

I really think this design is the best product of TelecomDesign for a quick SigFox design in many cases because it makes you ready with all the hardware stuff. The device is prevalidated by Sigfox so you have a small risk to miss the certification tests and the built-in RF antenna is compact and efficient. More over, the device transmission power has been boost compared to other chips. So you’ll get a better coverage for an equivalent antenna.

The main problem with that chip is TelecomDesign is not really ready to sell it … sounds funny ! By-the-way, discussions with avnet and Telecom Design looks like different on this topic and at the end, if you not plan to buy 100K devices it is not clear what you can do with the product. Personally I really regret this unclear position as a such device is a really good starting point for any product needing a sigfox adapter.

The TD1205 is like a TD1204, not the form factor but the content plus the GPS & RF antenna. The form factor is a square which is more easy to embed. It has GPS & accelerometers like the TD1204.

To develop with a TD1205, it starts to be a problem. The device is not part of the SDK and even if really near a TD1204, you will crash it if you try to load a TD1204 binary. The TD1205 SDK is not delivered by TelecomDesign. Even if they were a great help to me to compile sample code I do not assume it is the right way to proceed. I hope Telecom Design will reconsider the TD1205 positioning.

Some other small differences make TD1204 code not portable : 2 leds, the standard one is active low (which was not my default on my design). The accelerometer that seems to be implemented differently and was bugging initially on my code. Not big issues but requiring some interactive discussion with TelecomDesign to make it running.

So as a conclusion, I thank Telecom Design for its help to design a prototype I hope I’m ready to use on a real context for my next product experiments but, I’m a little bit disappointed about what I think to be the most interesting product  to kickstart a Sigfox project but that limited by the marketing approach.

I do not know what will be the success of this product, but frankly speaking, if I had to make 100K devices in a time I would build my own platform myself. If I need 1K – 10K I would prefer to buy this one.

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