News in from Kyalami-based RS Components that’s worthy of a quick mention this morning. It’s just started stocking (and shipping) seven different boards from SparqEE.

That’s slightly more significant than it sounds: SparqEE’s product line covers Arduino shields and Raspberry Pi daughter boards which add a 3G modem and integrated SIM card reader to your electronics projects. That means you can add remote control and internet monitoring in areas where WiFi doesn’t reach – and running costs are good too. The SparqEE kits arrive with a bundled SIM card that’s good for data coverage anywhere in the world with roaming arrangements set up with local networks.

To get the modem functions into your projects, you’ll need an RPi or Arduino SparqEE shield, which costs R133 or R230, and the cell modem itself for R978.60.

SparqEE successfully crowdfunded development for most of its product range through Kickstarter last year, and uses components and software from Chinese manufacturer ZTE for its 3G kits.

As well as the modem shields, RS is also stocking GPS receivers and accelerometer sensors from SparqEE. The full list is here.

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.