How can I configure Airnote to use an external SIM card?

If you are in a country where Airnote’s built-in cellular data plan coverage is not available, you can add a SIM card to enable the Airnote’s cellular connectivity.

To see which countries are covered by default, visit: Notecard Datasheet - NOTE-NBGL-500 - Blues Developers

Required Tools and Accessories

  • Phillips head screw driver
  • Micro USB cable to connect to a laptop *
  • Laptop with Chrome-based browser connected to internet (recommended**)
  • Active SIM card that supports IPv4 communications

* some USB cables are for charging devices and do not enable data communication. If you are unable to establish a connection for changing the configuration, try a different USB cable.

** if you don’t have access to a Chrome browser or will not have access to the internet when configuring the Airnote, you can use the Notecard CLI or any serial terminal application (e.g. Tera Term, CoolTerm)

Some Disassembly Required

The Airnote must be disassembled to install a SIM card.

Video showing the disassembly process

The SIM card slot is located on the board labelled NOTECARRIER-A


Insert the SIM card into this slot.

Set External SIM Configuration

  1. Connect the board labelled NOTECARRIER-A to the laptop via the micro USB cable

  2. On the laptop, open Chrome (or a Chromium-based web browser) and navigate to Notecard Playground - Blues Developers

  3. Click the “Connect” button

  4. Select the USB port from the list of available serial ports that appears and click “CONNECT” button

Unable to connect?

  1. In the terminal at the bottom of the window, enter the following to configure the APN for the SIM card
    {"req": "card.wireless","apn": "mobile-carrier-apn"}

where mobile-carrier-apn is specific to the SIM card’s mobile carrier.

You may be able to find the APN listed here:

  1. IF the SIM card restricts network access technologies, they you may need to constrain the network access technologies that Airnote uses.
    {"req": "card.wireless","mode": "m"}
mode parameter description
auto default will attempt to use 2G (GSM), LTE Cat-M1 (5G eMTC) or Cat-NB1 (5G NB-IoT)
m use Cat-M1 (5G eMTC) only
gprs use GSM/GPRS/EDGE (2G) only
nb use Cat-NB1 (5G NB-IoT) only
  1. Test network connectivity by entering

Wait a minute or two, then enter


to check the connectivity status. You can repeat this command several times until the result stops changing. This will probably take about 5 minutes. It may try multiple times in a row to connect to the network.


Once the Airnote has been able to connect to the network, you can reassemble the device and follow the Airnote quick-start guide here: Airnote Quickstart Guide - Blues Developers