Suggestions from PPP testing

  • Hello,

    I have an ALIX 2D3 board and a Sierra Wireless Compass 885 USB modem. It is stamped with the AT&T logo, but it found it's way across the pacific to Thailand where I live.

    I've successfully gotten it to work with this image (pfSense-2.0-ALPHA-ALPHA-2g-20091115-1833-nanobsd.img). In fact I'm posting this to the forum with using pfSense on the ALIX with the 3G modem (but only 2.5G GPRS service unfortunately.)

    My feedback:

    1. Please give me a way to turn this connection on and off. How about a button from the Status-> Interfaces page? How about a button on the Dashboard in the "WAN" section? The whole world doesn't use the business models of Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.  I don't have unlimited access. I still pay for internet access by the minute! I need to be able to turn it on and off at my leisure.

    1a. How about dial-on-demand?

    2. How about a way to set time of day for bringing the connection up and brining it down?

    3. I really need to be able to check the remaining internet minutes balance/credit AND top up the monetary credit on the SIM without removing it from the modem. In this country, with my provider I dial *139# when the SIM card is in a phone and there is a message that comes back that tells me the balance of minutes left for the month. To top up the credit on the SIM I buy a top up card from 7-Eleven with a PIN on it. I put the SIM in a phone and dial 120<16 digit PIN># and press the CALL/SEND button. Can you guys code an interface for this?

    4. I saw that the default dial script in mpd has a feature that allows you to call the phone number of the SIM in the modem from another line and this causes the modem to call the ISP. I think this is a hot feature. Can it be done with /usr/sbin/ppp?

    5. The PPP configuration page doesn't update the ppp.conf file reliably. I find that sometimes if I change a field in the page it doesn't get propagated to the ppp.conf file. For example, if you enter a dial command, then save, then delete that dial command, it doesn't blank it out. If I change the serial port, it doesn't propagate out to the ppp.conf file.

    6. If I delete a PPP configuration from the interfaces_ppp.php page, it doesn't delete the corresponding section in the ppp.conf file.

    7. If I go to Diagnostics -> NanoBSB and press "Duplicate Slice" my browser just says "waiting for pfsense" or something like that in the status bar and nothing seems to happen.

    8. I tried using the update firmware function in the GUI and was trying to tell it to upload a .gz file of a full image. I later realized this was wrong, but only by doing some research. Maybe pfSense could alert the user if the file has the wrong extension instead of just hanging. I know it says .tgz, but I didn't discover the .tgz files on the snapshots server until I'd tried to upload many times. I just assumed that the web page hadn't been updated and images weren't compressed with .tgz any more. I figured it out now. (I'm using a Mac with a Safari 4 browser. I tested Firefox 3.5 too and got the same result.)

    Okay, Thanks for your efforts. I'd be happy to buy you guys a beer (remotely . . . through paypal) :)


  • You can open a bounty for this.
    Otherwise i am not sure all this list is in a priority.

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