Particle's Electron is a fantastic cellular enabled micro-controller that is perfect for embedded low power solutions. In this guide we go over the setup required to get it working on the Hologram network using our global IoT SIM. However, before we begin you need to make sure that your Electron will work in the country you are in and with the available technology. The Electron comes in a global 3G version, an America and Australia 3G version, a Europe, Asia, and Africa 3G version, and a global 2G version. The Hologram SIM works in 196 countries and with all cellular technologies (2G, 3G, and 4G), but not all countries offer all cellular technologies. Feel free to reach out in our forum if you have specific coverage questions.
Before we begin, please make sure that you have a Hologram and Particle account.
1) First we need to make sure to activate our Hologram SIM on the Dashboard. Here is a link that walks you through that process. I recommend copying the SIM number used to activate your SIM, we'll need that for later.
Once your SIM shows a green dot that indicates that it is in the LIVE status on the Dashboard, we are ready to move on to the Electron.
2) To setup the Electron we need to go to https://setup.particle.io/ and click on Setup an Electron followed by Next.
3) Make sure that you have your Electron, your Hologram SIM, and the battery, antenna, and USB cable that came with your Electron and click Next.
4) The following step will ask us to enter our SIM's ICCID number. This is the same number used to activate the SIM and should be copied onto the clipboard. Hitting Next will confirm that we are using a non-Particle SIM. Clicking Next once more will take us to the Electron configuration page.
5) To configure your Electron we will need to modify its APN value in firmware to Hologram's APN. Conveniently our APN is
hologram so enter that under step 2 and hit the download button.
6) Following the instructions on screen we need to install Node.js and the particle CLI. I'm using an Apple computer, so this can be done on the Terminal. This also applies to Linux devices. For Windows devices, this can be done via the command prompt. You might need to install Node.js separately.
The command we need to run is:
npm install -g particle-cli
7) Next we plug in our Electron (without the SIM or antenna) and run the following to make sure the downloaded firmware binary is in our path.
particle flash --serial firmware.bin
The CLI will ask us to press enter when the Electron is blinking Blue. Doing so will flash the firmware.
If you run into any issues here, I recommend making sure you are running the most up to date versions of Node.js and Particle's CLI.
8) Now that we have flashed the Electron with the firmware that uses Hologram's APN we can click next in our browser. In the next screen we are asked to insert the SIM and plug in the battery and antenna. Please unplug your electron when doing so to avoid and short circuits. Also note that your SIM's notch needs to be oriented correctly.
Once everything is ready, plug in the USB cable and wait for your Electron to connect to a cell tower. If you are using a fresh Hologram SIM this process can take a few minutes, but subsequent connections should be faster. Your Electron's onboard LED should go from breathing white (initializing), to blinking green (connecting to cell tower), to blinking blue (connecting to Particle's cloud), and finally to breathing cyan which means we are connected!
Hitting the Next button will claim your device and prompt you to give it a name which finishes the process.
For more information on the process of using other SIM's on the Electron check out this page.