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Introduction

The Hologram Nova is a global-band, simple-to-use, and completely open source cellular USB modem. We’ve developed the Hologram Python SDK specifically for use with the Nova. Together the Nova and Python SDK are what we believe is the simplest way to get started using cellular on embedded Linux. This modem is also compatible with Linux, Mac OS, and Windows devices via an AT command interface.

At the heart of the Hologram Nova is the u-blox SARA-U201. We chose this modem family for its direct USB networking interface (available on almost any embedded linux platform), standard AT command interface, and global connectivity availability (when paired with the Hologram SIM). This USB modem is purpose-built for IoT applications and can be purchased for use in large fleets or used as a reference design for any customer application.

Download Nova Data Sheet as PDF here.

System Block Diagram

Block diagram of the Nova board:

Nova Block Diagram

Input/Output Characteristics

USB

The Hologram Nova is designed to provide easy access to the u-blox SARA-U201 and SARA-R410-02B USB interface.

SARA series modules include a high-speed USB 2.0 compliant interface with maximum 480 Mb/s data rate. The module itself acts as a USB device and can be connected to any USB host. The USB is the suitable interface for transferring high speed data between SARA-U2 series and a host processor, available for AT commands.

The USB_D+ / USB_D- lines carry the USB serial data and signaling. The USB interface is automatically enabled by an external valid USB VBUS supply voltage (5.0 V typical) applied on the VUSB_DET pin.

For additional details, please see the following datasheets:
u-blox SARA-U201 datasheet
u-blox SARA-R4 Series datasheet

UART

At Hologram, we believe in providing an open platform for developers to build hardware. To support this mission, the Nova exposes the u-blox modem’s UART interface as solderable pads on the top half of the board. For more advanced hardware devlopment, this provides direct access to the u-blox modem which runs at 1.8V.

Note: USE UART PADS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Pads are directly connected to the u-blox modem so using these I/O or improperly handling the board runs the risk of damaging the u-blox modem. Additionally, we do not officially provide support this interface.

UART Pad Diagram

Technical Specifications

Absolute Maximum Ratings (Power Inputs)

Stressing the device above one or more of the ratings listed in the Absolute Maximum Rating section may cause permanent damage. These are stress ratings only. Operating the device at these or at any conditions other than those specified in the Operating Conditions should be avoided. Exposure to Absolute Maximum Rating conditions for extended periods may affect device reliability.

SymbolDescriptionMin.Max.Unit
VCC, USB 5VInput DC voltage at VCC pins-0.305.50V
USB D+/D- lineInput DC voltage at USB_D+/D- pins-1.005.35V
UBLOX_RTS, UBLOX_CTS, UBLOX_TXD, UBLOX_RXDInput DC voltage at u-blox digital interface pins-0.303.60*V
UBLOX_RESET_NInput DC voltage at u-blox RESET_N pin-0.152.10V
GPIO2, GPIO3, GPIO4Input DC voltage at u-blox GPIO pins-0.303.60*V

For power draw characteristics under certain cellular conditions, please view respective u-blox datasheets.

Note

Nominal operational voltage is 1.8V.

Operating Conditions

The Hologram Nova is designed to operate within temperatures between -45°C to 85°C. It is not designed to withstand material contact with moisture or any other conductors, aside from intended use of the USB. The Hologram Nova may be installed into appropriate enclosures that can protect the device from heat, cold, moisture, and humidity for Industrial use.

If handling the Nova circuit board directly, please do so in an ESD-safe environment and wear ESD protection.

Radio Specifications

The Hologram Nova platform features cellular modems which support a global list of 2G, 3G, and LTE Cat-M1/NB-IoT frequencies.

Nova 3G/2G (SARA-U201)
  • 3G Bands:
    • Americas: Band 5 (850MHz), Band 2 (1900MHz)
    • Europe/Asia/Africa: Band 8 (900MHz), Band 1 (2100MHz)
  • 2G Bands
    • GSM - 850MHz
    • E-GSM - 900MHz
    • DCS - 1800 MHz
    • PCS - 1900 MHz
      Nova LTE-M & NB-IoT (SARA-R410M-02B)
  • LTE Cat-M1/N1 Bands:
    • LTE FDD: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28

Mechanical Dimensions

The Hologram Nova board without an enclosure is:

  • Length: 61.58 millimeters
  • Width: 19.4 millimeters
  • Height: 5.84 millimeters (maximum height)

Below are views of the Hologram from the top and side.

Top View:

Nova Top View Dimensions

Side View:

Nova Top View Dimensions

LEDs

The Nova has two clear LEDs for providing power and connectivity feedback. A power LED that represents whether the modem is on or off, and a network LED that indicates the current network status.

Note: Nova LTE-M & NB-IoT modem and Nova 3G/2G modem have same placement of LED color indicators but opposite use for power/network indication. Please use below table for reference.

ModelPower LEDNetwork LED
Nova 3G/2GRedBlue
Nova LTE-M & NB-IoTBlueRed
  • Power LED status indicator (Red – 3G/2G, Blue – LTE-M & NB-IoT)
    • On: USB 5V is connected and the Nova is powered on
    • Off: USB 5V is not connected and the Nova is not powered on (modem may take up to 30s to boot up and power the LED)
  • Network LED status indicator (Blue – 3G/2G, Red – LTE-M & NB-IoT)
    • On, solid: Nova connected in active data session
    • On, rapid blink: 3G network detected (3G/2G Nova Only)
    • On, double blink: 2G network detected (3G/2G Nova Only)
    • Off: No network detected
      • Make sure antenna is securely connected, positioned to receive cell signal and SIM properly inserted
      • Device can take up to 200s to detect available networks

Antennas

The Nova is made for ultimate flexibility and this extends to available antennas. Each model’s included antenna characteristics are listed below:

Nova 3G/2G (SARA-U201)
  • Black, flexible antenna (Sinbon A9702472)
    • Size: 37x7x1mm
    • Weight: <1g
    • Connector: U.FL
    • Mounting: Adhesive 3M tape
    • Temperature: -40C° - +85C°
Nova LTE-M & NB-IoT (SARA-R410)
  • Black, flexible antenna (Pulse PN W3907B0100)
    • Size: 111.70x20.4x1mm
    • Weight: <1g
    • Connector: U.FL
    • Mounting: Adhesive 3M tape
    • Temperature: -40C° - +85C°

The Nova can antenna which has an SMA connector, you need to purchase a UFL - SMA adapter.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

DesignatorQuantityMFGMPN
ANT_UFL1AMPHENOLA-1JB
C2, C6, C483MURATAGRM155R61C104KA88D
C111SAMSUNGCL10A225MQ8NNNC
C391MURATAGRM155R71C103KA01D
C341MURATAGRM188R60J106ME84D
C461AVX/ELCO04025A150JAT2A
C36, C37, C383MURATAGRM188R60J226MEA0D
C41, C42, C43, C44, C45 (U201 Nova Only)5AVX04025A470JAT2A
C401KEMETC0402C560J5GACTU
C47, C49, C503AVXF950J337MBAAQ2
L71MURATABLM18KG121TN1D
L51COILCRAFTXFL4020-102MEC
D11VISHAYVLMB1500-GS08
D21VISHAYVLMS1500-GS08
D3, D4, D53LITTLEFUSEPESD0402-140
L11YAEGORC0603JR-070RL
R131YAEGORC0402FR-071ML
R3, R52YAEGORC0402FR-073KL
R4, R6, R7, R84YAEGORC0402JR-0710KL
R1, R22YAEGORC0402FR-0722RL
R11, R512PANASONICERJ-2GEJ104X
R121YAEGORC0402FR-07150KL
R91PANASONICERJ-2GEJ471X
U161U-BLOXSARA-U260-00S
SIM11GLOBAL CONNECTOR TECHNOLOGYSIM8050-6-0-14-01-A
U21TITPS63020DSJ
Q1, Q2, Q3, Q44ON SEMICONDUCTORMMBT3904LT1G
J11MOLEX480372200

Regulatory Information

Carrier Specific Certifications

NOVA-U201 (3G/2G): AT&T, T-Mobile, PTCRB, GCF
NOVA-R410 (LTE-M & NB-IoT): Verizon ODI, AT&T, T-Mobile (In progress), PTCRB, GCF

Verizon Open Development Device #7721
AT&T Network Compatibility Record: 10bkv4QCDm

Export Control Classification Number (ECCN)

ECCNs are five character alpha-numeric designations used on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify dual-use items for export control purposes. An ECCN categorizes items based on the nature of the product, i.e. type of commodity, software, or technology and its respective technical parameters.

ECCN for All Nova Modems: 5A992.c.

RoHS Compliance

The Nova modem family complies with the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive of the European Union, EU Directive 2011/65/EU.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule Code (HTS)

HTS Code for All Nova Modems: 8517.62.0010.

Interference Statement

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules and Industry Canada licence-exempt RSS standards. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interferences, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

FCC & IC Compliance

If the modem’s antenna is located farther than 20cm from the human body and there are no proximate transmitters, the FCC/IC approvals of the constituent u- blox SARA-U201 or SARA-R410-02B can be reused by the end product.

Should the modems antenna be mounted closer than 20cm from the human body or if there are proximate transmitters, additional FCC/IC testing may be required for the end product.

Nova 3G/2G & Nova LTE-M & NB-IoT modems make use of the underlying u-blox module’s FCC & IC identification numbers below.

ModelFCC IDIC ID (Certification Number)
Nova 3G/2GXPY1CGM5NNN8595A-1CGM5NNN
Nova LTE-M & NB-IoTXPY2AGQN4NNN8595A-2AGQN4NNN

Additionally, all Nova modems are compliant with FCC Part 15 Class B.

Modification Statement

Hologram has not approved any changes or modifications to this device by the user. Any changes or modifications could void the user’s authorization to operate the equipment.

End Product Labeling Requirements

End products utilizing Nova 3G/2G modems should be labeled with the following information:

Device Uses Approved Radio: NOVA-U201

Contains FCC ID: XPY2AGQN4NNN
Contains IC: 8595A-1CGM5NNN

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules and Industry Canada licence-exempt RSS standards. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interferences, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

End products utilizing Nova LTE-M & NB-IoT modems should be labeled with the following information:

Device Uses Approved Radio: NOVA-R410

Contains FCC ID: XPY2AGQN4NNN
Contains IC: 8595A-2AGQN4NNN

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules and Industry Canada licence-exempt RSS standards. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interferences, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

Revisions

  • Rev 1.0: 2017-09-05 Initial Release
  • Rev 1.4: 2018-09-07 Nova Hardware Revision

Datasheet PDF

Download Nova Data Sheet as PDF here.