SIM900 RS232 V1.2

This GSM modem can accept any GSM network operator SIM card and act just like a mobile phone with its own unique phone number. The advantage of using this modem will be that you can use its RS232 port to communicate and develop embedded applications. Applications like SMS control, data transfer, remote control and logging can be developed easily.

The modem can either be connected directly to the PC serial port or to any microcontroller through MAX232. It can be used to send and receive SMS or to make/receive voice calls. It can also be used in GPRS mode to connect to the internet and do many applications for data logging and control. In GPRS mode you can also connect to any remote FTP server and upload files for data logging.

Powering the module Edit

  • Firstly insert the SIM card in the sim holder. Make sure to use a normal SIM card (Micro or nano SIM cards are not supported)

C360 2015-12-21-09-36-40-249

  • Connect the GSM modem to the usb2serial hardware via DB9 connector. Then using a USB A to B cable connect to the computer.
  • Connect a 12V/9V 1A adapter to the power jack provided on the GSM modem. The LM317 voltage regulator regulates the voltage to 3.6V. Please note when you connect the power LED will glow. It shows that the modem has got the power required for its operation.
  • When you connect the power, Network LED will glow for approximately 1sec. After that, it will blink with a delay of approximately half sec. That means the SIM card is searching for network. If the SIM card has connected to a network, then the Network LED will blink with a delay of approximately 4sec. Depending on the network strength, the time to connect to a network may vary. If there is no SIM card in the modem, the Network LED blinks with a delay approximately half sec.

Testing in Windows Edit

To communicate with the network we use ELEMENTZ GSM Modem Test Utility software. It is an executable file which supports serial data transmission and reception similar to HyperTerminal.

Using the test utility Edit

The steps required for connecting the modem to the PC is shown below:
  • Right click My Computer ? select the Device manager ? Ports(COM & LPT).

Port connect

  • Note the COM PORT. Here you can see it's COM3.
  • Double click GSM Tester.exe ? click on Scan ports. The Status box will show “Port Scan complete”.

Test utility

  • Click on Port drop-down menu. Select COM Port for your device. Here it's COM3.


  • Then click on Open port. The status box will show Port opened successfully. Message cleared. Connect the 12V 1A adapter to the power jack of the modem. You can see the following details in the status box.
“+CFUN: 1 ”


“CALL READY”  This means that the modem is ready for normal functioning.

Please note if SIM is not inserted then it will show “+CPIN: NOT INSERTED”.
Making a CALL Edit

To make a call, enter the phone number and press the Call button.

The status box will show Data received: ATD903720XXXX; . This is the AT command for making a call.

If a call is coming to the GSM modem, a series of “RING” will appear on ths Status box. If you want to connect to the call ,then type “ATA” in the AT command window and press “Execute“.


Sending message Edit

The first thing you have to do before sending a message is to make the modem to text mode. To do that type AT+CMGF=1;&W in the AT command window and press execute. DO NOT TYPE THE DOUBLE QUOTES. &W is used to write to the SIM900a memory permanently.

To send a message, type the phone number in Phone number window and the message content in the Message window and press the Send button.

You can see that after the message has been sent, the modem gives a response”+CMGS: 234?. From this you can confirm that message has been sent successfully.


The number 234 means 234 messages has been sent from the modem.

The AT command for sending message is AT+CMGS=”903680XXXX?. When you press enter , > prompt will appear. Type the content of the message and after that press Ctrl+z to send the message.

Using Putty Edit

PuTTY is a serial emulator which is works with windows OS.

Double click putty.exe ? select serial bullet?change the com port number to the number shown earlier in the device manager ?click open.

Then a new window is opened and we give the commands in the window to communicate with the GSM modem and the other network through GSM modem. The commands are called ‘AT commands’ or ‘Attention commands’. To check the connection type AT in the putty command window and press enter. If there is a connection it displays OK.

Putty screen

Please note if SIM is not inserted then it will show “+CPIN: NOT INSERTED”.

Make call Edit

To make a call type ATD<phone number>; e.g.: ATD9020XXXXXX;

If a call is coming to the GSM modem, a series of “RING” will appear on the window. If you want to connect to the call ,then type “ATA” & press enter.

Send message Edit

To send a message, first you may have to change the message format from PDU to TEXT by typing AT+CMGF=1;&W . To send the message type the following AT+CMGS=’’9020XXXXXX” and press ENTER After this, you can see the message prompt (>). Then type the message and press Ctrl+z to send the message.

Or press Esc to abort.

Putty message

You can see that after the message has been sent, the modem gives a response”+CMGS: xx?. From this you can confirm that message has been sent successfully.

eg: “+CMGS: 23”

The number 23 means 23 messages has been sent from the modem.

Testing in Linux PC Edit

The test utility is developed using Python with PySerial and PyQT modules. The code is tested in Ubuntu 12.04 and LinuxMint 17.

Gsm tester linux

Program Features:

  • Auto scan Serial/COM ports in Linux when clicked on the device COMBO button
  • Configurable Baud Rate
  • Call button needs only Phone number in the TextBox above it.(Command compatible with SIM900 Modules)
  • AT command input support
  • Intelligent button enabling functionality.
  • Serial Data logger
  • Invalid ASCII Data notification– Indicate wrong BaudRate selection

The source code is available through our GITHUB channel GSM Tester.

For users not familiar with Python and configuring python module, a standalone executable with all dependencies is also distributed along with the source code.

For executing the python code use the following command from the Terminal.

tar -xvf GSM_tester_Linux.tar.gz
cd Linux

Note: Users require PyQt and PySerial in the system. The standalone executable is built using pyinstaller utility.

For running the standalone executable use the following commands

cd dist/GSM_ui
chmod 777 +x GSM_ui

Connecting with RaspberryPi Edit

Connect a USB to Serial converter to the RaspberryPi USB port. A compatible USB to Serial converter can be obtained from this link.

Create a new file named by typing the following command


write the following lines to the file

author: dhanish
company: Elementz Engineers Guild Pvt Ltd
Created on: Tue Aug 12 20:17:12 2014"""

import serial
import time
ser = serial.Serial(‘/dev/ttyUSB0’,9600,timeout=1) # 9600 is the default Baudrate for SIM900A modem
ser.write(‘ATD9020XXXXXX;\r’) # AT command to call a number using GSM Modem — Edit here # read 2 bytes of data from the serial port
time.sleep(10) # wait for 10 secondsser.write(‘ATH\r’) # Hold the call
ser.close() # close the serial port

And finally save the file using Ctrl+O and Ctrl+X Run the following command in the terminal


[Python sample code]

Connecting with Arduino Edit

The code is tested with SIM900A and Arduino UNO. Connect the Tx and Rx pins of arduino pins to Rx and Tx pins of GSM Modem.

Using Hardware serial Edit

Arduino gsm

Note: The UART(Serial) pins should be cross connected, ie. GSM Tx –> Arduino Rx and GSM Rx –> Arduino Tx. Make the ground common between Arduino and GSM modem.

TTL pins can be seen just behind the 9 pin DB9 connector. If you are using DB9 connector for interfacing you need MAX232 circuitry for converting RS232 output of DB9 to TTL levels.

Copy and paste the following code to your Arduino IDE as a starting point for GSM-Arduino interfacing test.

Note: Before powering SIM900A module user should insert the SIM into the module.

Change the phone number in the below code before running the code.

Author: Dhanish
Created on: 19-08-2014
Company: Elementz Engineers Guild Pvt Ltd
Run this code only after SIM900A Module has powered and connected to a Network.
Please make a call to the module knowing whether the connection is established.
If connected a ring will be heard at the caller end

void setup() {
   // initialize serial communications at 9600 bps:

   // print the serial data to GSM
   Serial.println("ATD9020XXXXXX;" ); // change here to call a number using SIM900A
   // wait 10 seconds before the next loop
   Serial.println("ATH" ); // hold the call

void loop() {

Using Software serial Edit

Another code using Software serial is as seen below

Note: Connect as follows

digital pin 10 — connect to TX of GSM Modem digital pin 11 — connect to RX of GSM Modem

Author: Dhanish Vijayan
The circuit:
* RX is digital pin 10 (connect to TX of GSM Modem)
* TX is digital pin 11 (connect to RX of GSM Modem)
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>

SoftwareSerial mySerial(10, 11); // RX, TX

void setup()
   // Open serial communications and wait for port to open:

   Serial.println("Calling through GSM Modem");

   // set the data rate for the SoftwareSerial port
   mySerial.println("ATD81290255XX;"); // ATD81290255XX; -- watch out here for semicolon at the end!!

   Serial.println("Called ATD81290255XX");

void loop() // run over and over
   // print response over serial port
   if (mySerial.available())

Arduino sample code can be downloaded from our GitHub channel.