Network Availability and Ring Alert pinouts

How to detect NA and RI's via the pinouts.


RockBLOCK 9603 Pinouts

Network Available Indicator pinout

The RockBLOCK Network Available signal is driven directly by the internal SBD modem. When active, the Network Available status indicates if the RockBLOCK has visibility to an Iridium satellite. As an alternative to using the Network Available hardware output, a host controller can use AT commands to poll the network status. If the Network Available Indicator function is not required, this signal should be left disconnected.

The specifications for the Network Available Indicator for both the RockBLOCK and RockBLOCK+ are listed in the table below. The Network Available Indicator is an output and should not be driven by an external source.

Network AvailableNetwork Unavailable
RockBLOCK 9602/9603>2.4v<0.5v
RockBLOCK Plus-5.8v (White Wire RS232 Signal levels-HIGH)+7.5v White Wire RS232 Signal levels-LOW)


Network Availability pinout state

When a network is available, the Network Available pinout is high.
When a network isn't available, the Network Available pinout is low.

Network Available is not a guarantee that a message can be successfully sent; instead, it reports if the antenna can see an Iridium satellite by measuring the level of the incoming satellite channel.

The Network Available state is evaluated every time the satellite channel is received or missed. If the satellite channel is visible, then the update interval is typically every 4 seconds. If the satellite is not currently visible, then the update period can be as long as 2 minutes, depending on how long the lack of satellite visibility existed.

The duration increases during lack of satellite visibility as the Iridium module backs off its attempts to conserve power by increasing the satellite channel search interval. Every time a satellite search fails, the time to wait is increased and eventually limits at 120 seconds.

Ring Alert Indicator pinout

A dedicated pin is available to notify your controller when a Ring Alert is received.

The specifications for the Ring Alert Indicator are listed in the table below. The Ring Alert Indicator is an output and should not be driven by an external source.


Ring Indicator pinout state

Please note that the Ring Alert Indicator pinout behaviour is opposite the NA pinout.

When Ring Indicator activates, the Ring Alert Indicator pinout is low.
When Ring Indicator is inactive, the Ring Alert Indicator pinout is high.

An incoming Ring Alert signal is a 5 second low pulse, followed by a second 5 second low pulse 20 seconds later.

Ring ActiveRing Inactive
RockBLOCK 9602/9603<0.5v>2.4v
RockBLOCK Plus-5.8v (Green wire RS232 Signal levels - HIGH)+7.5v (Green wire RS232 Signal levels - LOW)



Please note that the RockBLOCK+ is an encapsulated sealed RockBLOCK 9602 unit, and the outputs are not directly from the pinouts but adapted to RS232 Signal Levels (White and Green wires).