Are you using a USB HSDPA/EDGE/UMTS 3G Modem on pfSense?



  • Hi,
    I'd like to know what 3G modem models people are using successfully with pfSense.

    Thanks,
    G



  • I have this exact same question.  From digging though the forums, I found this post http://forum.pfsense.org/index.php/topic,17756.msg91822.html#msg91822

    Which states "I am about to receive an AT&T USBConnect Mercury which is the only one known to work currently at this moment."  This reply is from 2009.  I am curious if anyone can confirm that this 3G modem works with pfSense?  (hopefully without any kernel hacking)



  • USB Connect Mercury works

    u3g0: <sierra 0="" 2="" wireless,="" incorporated="" hspa="" modem,="" class="" 0,="" rev="" 2.00="" 0.04,="" addr="">on usbus1
    u3g0: Found 7 ports.</sierra>



  • Verizon UM175 works. We'll start a page with known working cards at some point. It's only usable with 2.0.



  • Thank you both for your replies!



  • USB Connect Mercury = Sierra Wireless Compass 885 or C885. (Com port is cuaU0.4 (and cuaU0.5 works as well but it's not documented.))

    USB Connect Mercury is AT&T rebranding.

    I'm now using a Huawei E169 which works as well. Com port is cuaU0.0 for the E169.

    I've also used a MC950D from Novatel Wireless, but they seem to be not as common any more. Com port for this is also cuaU0.0

    GB



  • Is there some sort of GUI that shows signal strength from 3G modems?

    I use a Verizon UM175 as my main internet connection at home (live out in the boonies, dialup barely even works).  I currently use a simple Atom machine running XP with ICS as my "router".  ICS screws up constantly.  Having pFSense running the show instead would be great!



  • @stevewm:

    Is there some sort of GUI that shows signal strength from 3G modems?

    For some, there will be RRD graphs with signal strength. For the UM175 in particular, we have a utility that pulls those stats and is supposed to be graphing it via RRD, though it has a problem at the moment. It was just fixed in the builds so tomorrow's snapshots should be ok.



  • btw, it is very stable with the UM175, I wouldn't hesitate using that in production now. Mine gets great throughput, and since it was initially implemented and everything fixed early this year, never had a problem with it, always been rock solid. We have some 2.0 boxes in the field in production with UM175 cards.



  • @cmb:

    For the UM175 in particular, we have a utility that pulls those stats and is supposed to be graphing it via RRD

    What is the utility? I'd like to add the capability to get stats from the C885 and the E169 and whatever else I can get my hands on. :)



  • I found the utility. It doesn't look easy to extend to other devices, at least by me.

    Now, hijacking my own thread, I know . . .

    I've been thinking for a while about creating a (much simpler) tool to send a query to the diagnostic serial ports on a 3G modem to get the signal strength. I think AT+CSQ is a standard query and all the modems I've encountered support it. However, I wasn't planning on doing an historical graphing, just displaying current signal strength. This is from my Sierra Wireless C885
    –----------
    at+csq
    +CSQ: 20,99

    OK

    Here's a graph relating the CSQ # to dbm of signal strength. http://www.gprsmodems.co.uk/images/csq1.pdf

    I've testing using just
    #echo at+csq > /dev/cuaU0.3
    #cat /dev/cuaU0.3

    but the trouble is that the C885 modem never sends a character that makes cat finish catting if you know what I mean. Cat just sends an endless repeat of the same data from the serial port to the terminal.

    So . . . a slightly more sophisticated program is necessary to send the query to the serial port and get the response back. I thought it could be a command line program that could take the device and the command as arguments. (I would have done it already, but I don't have enough experience with unix programming in C.)
    Another upside is that this same program can be used to query the modems and automatically set  up the serial ports for the users based on the device type. Whaddyathink?

    GB



  • @gnhb:

    I found the utility. It doesn't look easy to extend to other devices, at least by me.

    It's not, Andrew Thompson who wrote that for us (as well as a number of the 3G drivers in FreeBSD) said each vendor has a different way of doing that. Checking with him on the feasibility of at+csq. He could adapt 3gstat to pull that without a whole lot of trouble I think.



  • Has anyone tried either one of these two MiniPCI Express modems?:

    • Novatel 5520 Mobile
    • UMTS/HSDPA Sierra Wireless MC8775

    … with an Alix6B2 board?

    I know a bunch of USB modems would work, but I can't use one of those for this deployment. It will have to be an "embedded" module.

    I'm considering getting all the hardware to do some testing, but if possible would like to know which modem to get.

    Thanks in advance!



  • Hi,

    Anyone using Alix boards in Canada in conjunction wtih USB keys?

    Thanks



  • I',m using Alix board with Huawei E220 working verry good.

    Last days I'm trying Vodafone k3765 USB stick, it has 7.2Mbit support, but doesent work with latest pfsense snapshot :(, I hope that this modem will be supported in future, becouse its much smaller and plugs directly to USB port it getets detected by the system but log says that modem does not respond to AT command?i

    regards,



  • @torontob:

    Anyone using Alix boards in Canada in conjunction wtih USB keys?

    Yes, not in Canada, but the cards are the same regardless of where you are.



  • Yes, but like cmb's reply, not in Canada. I've successfully used a Huawei E181 USB (GSM/WCDMA/HSDPA) stick with pfSense 2.0 BETA4 on the T-Mobile USA's network. The Huawei E180 should work too since it is has the same firmware as the E181, with the only difference between the two models being the WCDMA frequency bands they support. Chances are that many/most other Huawei modems will work too, but I have yet to test that.



  • Is this supported in version 1.2.3?
    Can it be used as a backup or in load-balance mode with a DSL PPoE?

    Thanks



  • I haven't tried, but I don't think so. I think it would require loading drivers for those cards. In 2.0 it pretty much just works.



  • @torontob:

    Is this supported in version 1.2.3?
    Can it be used as a backup or in load-balance mode with a DSL PPoE?

    No and yes.



  • Any plans to get it working with version 1.2.3.

    By the way, when would version 2.0 become stable?

    Thanks



  • @torontob:

    Any plans to get it working with version 1.2.3.

    By the way, when would version 2.0 become stable?

    No, and sometime this year.



  • hi i have the usb modem: huwai cdma. i want use it to pfsense . but pfsense don't see it as a usb modem. pfsense see it as a storage mass. somoene can help me to use it. think



  • What version of pfSense are you using? And what's the model number of your Huawei card? If you are on v1.x.x, chances are it won't work without a lot of hacking, or at all. Try upgrading to 2.0 BETA and it may work out of the box. However, beta is beta …



  • Successfully tested T-Mobile webConnect Rocket, aka Huawei UMG1831, an HSPA+ modem with pfSense 2.0 BETA4. Got very low speeds up and down (despite it being an HSPA+ card), but my coverage was really bad so that was most likely at least part of the problem.



  • Also tried a miniPCI express card, Huawei EM770U, and got the following message during boot:

    ugen1.2: <huawei technology="">at usbus1
    u3g0: <huawei 0="" 2="" technology="" huawei="" mobile,="" class="" 0,="" rev="" 2.00="" 0.00,="" addr="">on usbus1
    u3g0: Found 6 ports.

    So, I'm guessing it should work … but I can't get it to connect.

    If anyone has any ideas, I'd be grateful.

    Thanks in advance.</huawei></huawei>



  • @mlanner:

    Also tried a miniPCI express card, Huawei EM770U, and got the following message during boot:

    ugen1.2: <huawei technology="">at usbus1
    u3g0: <huawei 0="" 2="" technology="" huawei="" mobile,="" class="" 0,="" rev="" 2.00="" 0.00,="" addr="">on usbus1
    u3g0: Found 6 ports.</huawei></huawei>

    This suggests the modem is recognised by the u3g driver so it should work Did you follow the steps in the documentation at http://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Configuring_3G_modems



  • wallabybob,

    Thanks. Yes, I did follow those steps. I've got a few other modems to work before. However, those have all been USB modems, plugged in directly to the standard USB ports on the board. In this case it's a miniPCI express card sitting in the miniPCI connector on the board and with the SIM in the SIM slot directly on the board.

    Although the OS seems to properly recognize the card, maybe there's some setting I need to change on the board? The board is an Alix.6E1.



  • Mini PCI express is compatible electrically with USB 2.0.

    Rather than hijack the original topic how about creating a new topic for your particular issue and include in that the status of your interfaces as displayed by the shell command # ifconfig -a and any other information that might give some more details of why you say "I can't get it to connect."



  • @mlanner:

    Successfully tested T-Mobile webConnect Rocket, aka Huawei UMG1831, an HSPA+ modem with pfSense 2.0 BETA4. Got very low speeds up and down (despite it being an HSPA+ card), but my coverage was really bad so that was most likely at least part of the problem.

    Did you tested that in Germany? I am from Austria and i recently got an Huawei E182E stick from A1 which is also HSPA+ and i assume (reffering to the USB-slide-mechanism) that it is the same Hardware. I have a spare ALIX here and will set up pfSense 2.0BETA on it today, and try it out…



  • I tested on T-Mobile USA's network. So, no, not in Germany. But, yes, the E182E modem appears to be essentially the same as the modem I tested with. I'm fairly certain it uses the same chipset, and thus, should very likely work with pfSense too.



  • @fabifri:

    @mlanner:

    Successfully tested T-Mobile webConnect Rocket, aka Huawei UMG1831, an HSPA+ modem with pfSense 2.0 BETA4. Got very low speeds up and down (despite it being an HSPA+ card), but my coverage was really bad so that was most likely at least part of the problem.

    Did you tested that in Germany? I am from Austria and i recently got an Huawei E182E stick from A1 which is also HSPA+ and i assume (reffering to the USB-slide-mechanism) that it is the same Hardware. I have a spare ALIX here and will set up pfSense 2.0BETA on it today, and try it out…

    Has anyone been able to get a Huawei E182E stick to work with pfSense 2.0 ?  I picked up one of these, as it was my other option to the Sierra Wireless 306 I couldn't get working, and I'm not  having much more luck with this one.  the u3g driver does see it, but I get errors in the PPP log in pfSense when it tries to connect.  Any ideas?



  • If you posted the PPP log or at least a part around the error reports it would give your readers a bit more information to work with.



  • @wallabybob:

    If you posted the PPP log or at least a part around the error reports it would give your readers a bit more information to work with.

    Here are the last 50 entries in my PPP system log

    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] chat: Connected at 21600000.
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MODEM: chat script succeeded
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] Link: UP event
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: Up event
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: state change Starting –> Req-Sent
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: SendConfigReq #1
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACFCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] PROTOCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACCMAP 0x000a0000
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MRU 1500
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MAGICNUM 5583f418
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: rec'd Configure Request #0 (Req-Sent)
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACCMAP 0x00000000
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] AUTHPROTO CHAP MD5
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MAGICNUM 02d9b92b
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] PROTOCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACFCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: SendConfigAck #0
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACCMAP 0x00000000
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] AUTHPROTO CHAP MD5
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MAGICNUM 02d9b92b
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] PROTOCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACFCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: state change Req-Sent –> Ack-Sent
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: rec'd Configure Ack #1 (Ack-Sent)
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACFCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] PROTOCOMP
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] ACCMAP 0x000a0000
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MRU 1500
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] MAGICNUM 5583f418
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: state change Ack-Sent –> Opened
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: auth: peer wants CHAP, I want nothing
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: LayerUp
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: rec'd Discard Request #1 (Opened)
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] CHAP: rec'd CHALLENGE #1 len: 35
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] Name: "UMTS_CHAP_SRVR"
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] CHAP: Using authname "user"
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] CHAP: sending RESPONSE #1 len: 25
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] CHAP: rec'd SUCCESS #1 len: 4
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] LCP: authorization successful
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] Link: Matched action 'bundle "opt1" ""'
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] Link: Join bundle "opt1"
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1] Bundle: Status update: up 1 link, total bandwidth 21600000 bps
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1] can't config [19]:: Invalid argument
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: fatal error, exiting
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1] IFACE: Close event
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1] IPCP: Close event
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1] Bundle: Shutdown
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: [opt1_link0] Link: Shutdown
    Nov 11 11:02:24 ppp: process 36722 terminated

    I'm not sure what can't config [19]:: invalid argument means, or where that is coming from to take a look.  It looks like it's going to go, but doesn't.

    When I plug the USB stick in, I get a bunch of messages, but the important one I think in this case is:

    u3g0: <huawei 0="" 2="" technologies="" huawei="" mobile,="" class="" 0,="" rev="" 2.00="" 0.00,="" addr="">on usbus2
    u3g0: Found 4 ports.

    So, it does appear as a u3g device, and I'm able to setup the PPP, and interface, but this is where I'm stuck.  Any ideas?</huawei>



  • Anybody have got the Huawei E122 to work in any of the pfsense versions out now (1.2.3 or Beta 2.0)?

    Other than Pfsense there does not really seam to be any good alternative to a 3G router…



  • I have following modem:
    http://www.option.com/en/products/products/wireless-data-cards/globetrotter-gt-max-hsupa-w/specifications/#start
    I used it before on Debian, it works, but had to modify AT/ATZ commands to get it connect.
    Didn't tried with pfSense.. YET :>


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