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16.02.2016

OVMS module V2 End-of-Life

Here's the official statement - or as close to official as Open Vehicles gets 

We are aware of the upcoming decommissioning of 2G GPRS systems by some regional carriers. Today, there are millions of 2G M2M (machine-to-machine) devices in the field today, and it will take some time to upgrade those devices to 3G/4G, and some may simply never be upgraded. The approach taken by most is to switch carrier to one still supporting 2G GPRS.

The SIM908 module we currently use for OVMS is already past end-of-life and remaining stocks are extremely limited and expensive. There is a replacement SIM808 radio module, with similar specification to SIM908 but that requires modifications to our board layout. We are currently out of stock of OVMS v2 modules (using SIM908), and trying to arrange a final batch (v2.5) using SIM808 modules. Hopefully this final batch will be available during March 2016 timeframe. OVMS v2 is a 2G system, without WIFI or BLUETOOTH.

Longer term, we are working hard on the OVMS v3 system. Specifications and timeline are subject to change, but the following notes on OVMS v3 may help:

  • We will use 32bit ARM architecture, support multiple CAN buses, and be very extensible. We are trying to get as much RAM and FLASH memory as possible, to avoid the limitations of the OVMS v2 architecture.
  • We anticipate being able to maintain the same DB9, antenna, and GPS connectors, so as to be a simple plug-in replacement.
  • Apps will be backwards compatible (supporting both OVMS v2 and v3 modules).
  • The design is for a base module to support at least 2 CAN buses, with SD card, USB, WIFI and BLUETOOTH connectivity as standard.
  • 3G/4G connectivity will be provided by an optional plug-in module (with different modules available for different regional requirements, and making it easy to replace the module without having to replace the entire OVMS system).
  • Expansion will be via plug-in modules, and expansion connectors.
  • Firmware will be all new, based on a multi-threaded embedded RTOS.
  • The base module will be able to perform CAN bus logging over USB, WIFI and/or BLUETOOTH.
  • The base module will also be able to perform the usual OVMS functionality (but you will need a 3G/4G radio module if you want to be able to receive alerts or check vehicle status when out of WIFI/BLUETOOTH range).
  • We anticipate having an extremely limited number of development boards available 2016Q2, for firmware developers.
  • The OVMS v3 production modules should be available sometime during the second half of 2016.


I hope that the above helps.

Regards, Mark.

The experiment with the SIM808 is ongoing. I hope to have a sample later this month. Minimal firmware changes to support it, but I worry about ‘gotchas’ that we don’t know about (we have three years experience with the SIM900 and SIM908).

Fasttech is pretty much out of stock. I kept back a dozen or so v2 modules, for RMA repairs and emergencies.

Most of my time is spent on v3 at the moment. Trying to get a prototype OVMS running on the FRDMK64F board under FreeRTOS and GCC (Kinetics Studio). So far so good, but it is an uphill struggle given the changes Freescale/NXP are going through at the moment.

Regards, Mark.

Update / Module V2.5 (SIM808 based)

An update on SIM808. It is just a stop-gap solution, but it buys us some time.

It is almost done, and I should be able to commit the code soon.

Production firmware then goes to the manufacturer in China, and we give the go-ahead for the production run. We should have the modules back in stock towards the end of March / first thing in April.

Update May 6: due to an incompatible firmware change in the SIM808 production modules, the OVMS code needs to be reworked. Please stay tuned.

Regards, Mark.