As others have said, the Dash is/was a wonderful gem: a hardware/network stack easy-to-use like the Particle Electron (one-liner C++), with Hologram pricing (about $0.40/device/month for low-bandwidth applications, prior to the recent changes), open source firmware/design, and minimal “fluff”. The documentation and diagrams are reasonably comprehensive, but easy to read through in a day or so. The forums (and @Reuben) are a great help. I’ve referenced the API page, datasheet, datasheets of the charger and user microcontroller, Arduino integration Git repo, etc. countless times in the last few months that I’ve worked with the Dash. I placed an order for a few more Dash units to have on hand as spares, thanks.
Of course, this only makes the news that much more frustrating. I just finished spending a few months testing Dash units in the field, and am now rushing to redesign/port/retest my PCB and code with an alternative. I’m also disappointed that we will never see a Cat M1 Dash as planned.
I get that you have a business to run, and sometimes those practical interests don’t align. So we’ll have to make do with an alternative, e.g., a supported board that integrates:
- easy-to-use network API extending Arduino (or MicroPython on PyCom boards?), like the Hologram library suggested above
- low power consumption and power management options like deep sleep
- SPI, I2C, ADC, DAC, 3.3V regulator, LiPo JST battery charger, U.FL antenna, etc.
- LTE Cat M1 with a U-blox modem
- RTC that can be set by cellular network time
- flash memory for data
- decent user microcontroller
- OTA updates
I imagine other Dash users are looking for something similar?
Does the upcoming Arduino MKR NB 1500 support some deep sleep state for minimal current draw?