nRF9160 Thing Plus Hookup Guide

Contributors: Circuit Dojo, Ell C
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Example - nRF Cloud AGPS Sample

The nrf_cloud_agps sample is the easiest way to get started with generating GPS coordinates with your nRF9160 Thing Plus.

Note: Pre-built binary can be downloaded here: nrf_cloud_agps

Programming nrf_cloud_apgs Sample

Change directories to ncs/v1.4.1/nrf (Make sure you're using NCS v1.4.0 or newer). Then change directories to /nrf/samples/nrf9160/agps/. Add the following to prj.conf:

# Cloud prefix for nRF9160 Thing Plus

# Enable Zephyr application to be booted by MCUboot

# COEX0 is used to enable the GPS LNA, but it has to be configured to do so.

Then compile as normal:

west build -b circuitdojo_feather_nrf9160ns

Uploading Code

Make sure that you have set your connection configuration (this should only need to be done once) and put your nRF9160 into Boot mode.

  • Press the Mode button (MD)
  • While holding down the Mode button, press and release the Reset (RST) button.
  • When the LED lights up, release the Mode button

Programming can then be completed with newtmgr by pasting the following into your bash/terminal window:

newtmgr -c serial image upload build/zephyr/app_update.bin
newtmgr -c serial reset

Setting Up nRF Connect for Cloud

Note: Some of these steps take time to complete and/or register with the cloud devices. Be patient!

During factory test, your nRF9160 Thing Plus is added to nRF Connect for Cloud for your immediate use. The boards are registered with an nRF cloud key of 7753 (SPKF). You'll use this, along with your nRF9160 Thing Plus, SIM and antenna to connect to the nRF Connect for Cloud and get GPS readings.

Every nRF9160 Thing Plus has a device ID generated based on the IMEI. Your full device ID will look something like:

thing-plus-<IMEI> where <IMEI> is the IMEI tied to your specific device. You'll need this in a moment.

Above you should have compiled and programmed your device with the nrf_cloud_agps sample. Power up and confirm that the device can connect to the cloud. Then pop on over to your favorite internet browser, go to, and create an nRF Connect for Cloud Account.

Once created, go to the top left and click the big + icon.

Big plus circle is in the upper left corner of the screen

Add new:

Add New LTE Device is the second option down

Then skip the iBasis setup since we're using Hologram.

The Skip option is located directly under the Activate SIM button

Enter the Device ID and the PIN.

Device ID and Pin options are pointed out

Once you press Add Device, nRF Connect for Cloud should notify you that your device has been added. Navigate to Devices and click on the device you're working with!

The newly registered device will show up in your dashboard

That's it! Your device screen will adapt to whatever example code that you're using.


There are some things that can go wrong here. They're usually related to your nRF Cloud certs.

Reloading the certs can be done using the tutorial here.