nRF9160 Thing Plus

Sparkfun nRF9160 Thing Plus

nRF9160 Thing Plus (Credit: Sparkfun)


The nRF9160 Thing Plus designed by Circuit Dojo is a single-board development for bringing your LTE-M and NB-IoT applications to life. The sparkfun_thing_plus_nrf9160 board configuration leverages the pre-existing support for the Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160. Supported nRF9160 peripherals include:

  • ADC



  • GPIO

  • I2C

  • MPU

  • NVIC

  • PWM

  • RTC

  • Segger RTT (RTT Console)

  • SPI


  • WDT

  • IDAU

More information about the board can be found at the nRF9160 Thing Plus Documentation 1.


Connections and IOs

The nRF9160 Thing Plus has everything you know and love about the Feather platform. Here are some of the highlights:


  • D7 (blue) = P0.03

Push buttons and Switches

  • MODE = P0.12



Contains a USB/UART connection for both debugging and loading new code using a UART Enabled MCUBoot.

Standard Battery Connection

The nRF9160 Thing Plus has a 2 pin battery connector on board. Lithium Polymer batteries > 300mA required.

Nano SIM Holder

The nRF9160 Thing Plus has a built-in nano SIM (4FF) holder located on the bottom side.

Programming and Debugging

sparkfun_thing_plus_nrf9160 can be used with most programmers like:

  • J-Link (the nRF53-DK is recommended)

  • CMSIS-DAP based programmers

Check out Getting Started 2 for more info.

Building an application

In most cases you’ll want to use the ns target with any of the Zephyr or Nordic based examples. Some of the examples do not use secure mode, so they do not required the ns suffix. A great example of this is the Hello World below:


Follow the instructions in the Nordic nRF5x Segger J-Link page to install and configure all the necessary software. Further information can be found in Flashing. Then build and flash applications as usual (see Building an Application and Run an Application for more details).

Here is an example for the Hello World application.

First, run your favorite terminal program to listen for output.

$ screen /dev/<tty_device> 115200

Replace <tty_device> with the port where the nRF9160 Thing Plus can be found. In most cases (On Linux/Mac) it will be: /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART.

Then build and flash the application in the usual way.

# From the root of the zephyr repository
west build -b sparkfun_thing_plus_nrf9160 samples/hello_world
west flash


Refer to the Nordic nRF5x Segger J-Link page to learn about debugging Nordic boards with a Segger IC.

Testing the LEDs and buttons on the nRF9160 Thing Plus

There are 2 samples that allow you to test that the buttons (switches) and LEDs on the board are working properly with Zephyr:

You can build and flash the examples to make sure Zephyr is running correctly on your board. The button and LED definitions can be found in boards/arm/sparkfun_thing_plus_nrf9160/sparkfun_thing_plus_nrf9160_common.dts.




Side note This page was based on the documentation for the nRF9160 DK. Thanks to Nordic for developing a great platform!