• So i tossed the mikrotik RB230 mifi project to a friend to test and built another MIFI .
    Nexcom VTC-6110 cpu=L2400 Pentium M LV/2GIG RAM/ Replaced 16GB SSD with 2GB CF.
    Changed Wifi card from realtek to an ATH -Apple Airport Extreme ARX112.
    Shipped with MC7700!! U-Blox GPS as well for double GPS onboard?? Cause MC7700 has GPS too…Bluetooth module onboard as well.
    Box is so extreme the mailman broke the "wallmount ears" screws slam off and didnt miss a lick. Super thick aluminum casting. SIM slot as well. Fanless. Very nice for MIFI.

    Drawbacks. Realtek Gigabit Ethernet port. Only One Port.

    ATT Fleet vehicle PC and they epoxied the on-off button and that was a mess to clear. But what a deal at 60 bucks...
    Wide input voltage 6-36VDC too.

  • How could I integrate the GPS NEMA location data into my rig. I would like a log of where its been!!! Most everything i find relates to using the GPS signal for NTP time features.
    I use NanoBSD so a simple comm port log dump to CF would be bad so where does something like that belong. Maybe write out to a smallish usb flash drive?? Is this built in and I missed it??

  • Attachment of dashboard.Not bad speed. Maybe my Wifi slower than WWAN

  • You may want to specify, of which project you speak.  Just the one for which you posted, starting this thread, and only what's currently installed, or what you would like advice, in being able to add.

    Mentioning your other project, the "mikrotik RB230 mifi", for those of us who don't follow your every post, confuses things. ;)

    Posting product photos and info links, U.S. F.C.C. data, may help.

    So, let's transcribe some of what you wrote, into concise, time saving, bulleted list:

    • It's a Nexcom VTC-6110; and,

    • You intend to use, or are using it, as a MiFi; and,

    • You want to be able to log GPS data, and use GPS time sync; and,

    • It had a realtek WiFi card You installed an "ATH -Apple Airport Extreme ARX112" (ATH = Atheros?  Could mean Athlon CPU…) WiFi card; and,

    • It shipped with a Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7700; and,

    • You MAY have added a U-Blox GPS unit, but it's not clear, from the way you "code" English.

    • The input voltage is  6 - 36 V.D.C.; and,

    • It had 16GB SSD has 2GB CF.

    • It has a S.I.M. slot, so it's, at least G.S.M., and possibly W.C.D.M.A. (U.M.T.S)/H.S.P.A./L.T.E./WiMAX; and,

    • It has one, Gb Ethernet/RJ-45 port; and,

    • It has bluetooth.

    I've been told that pfSense, at least up to, and including 2.1.5, does NOT support bluetooth, yet.  Perhaps some can…

    "Post a bounty"

    This is where someone (or groups) can get together to raise money for a feature. To start a thread you must offer a starting price and be very specific on the feature you would like to see.

    GPS…  Have you read THIS THREAD: ntpd / gps need some love?

    Can you clarify the following?:

    • What exactly is an, "ATH -Apple Airport Extreme ARX112"?  I don't see an "ARX112", searching Google, or the model #s.  Is that the WiFi CARD from an Airport Extreme?

    • @Phishfry:

      Shipped with MC7700!! U-Blox GPS as well for double GPS onboard?? Cause MC7700 has GPS too

    What, has what; and "Who does what, to who?"  I've done enough google-ing for you.


  • Sorry for  my sloppy shorthand:

    Regarding the wireless ATH:

    The atheros based mini-pcie modules carry a long prefix for part number, so i lazed out.

    Some common atheros 802.11N part numbers include:

    I have bought around 30 different used modules on ebay just to try out -seeing how they are so cheap.

    One of my favorites for the money is  the Atheros ar5bxb112. An apple airport extreme oem module.

    Regarding the ublox GPS module it is an solidered on module and the Sierra MC7700 Airprime module offers GPS data as well.

    It appears that I need GPSD for my purpose since NTP is for time not location. GPSD parses the NEMA data which would be handy…

    I posted this to help people find an suitable platform..

  • And yes i do have a fully operational MIFI in my vehicle now. Running off 2ea. 12V12AH SLA batteries currently.

    I had no ideal until i read your links that MiFi was a Novatel exclusive term..

  • Suprised you didn't ask me how I got that strange IP either. Seems carrier T-Mobile spoofs their IP addresses, but what an odd IP range to substitute.


  • It's cool. 8)

    But, it helps, for those interested, or who may have something relevant to add, to be on the same page.  This, especially since the "rules of the game" (protocols) and "players" (hardware/firmware), are ever in constant flux, a'changin'.

    I think I read something about bluetooth in 2.2, MAYBE.  It should be there, at least for Bluetooth Networking.  The other profiles, they could be I.P. encapsulated, to pass to another device.

    There are quite a few WLAN type (i.e. WiFi), and WPAN type (i.e. Bluetooth) protocols in the pipeline, 60 GHz R.F. band - IEEE 802.11ad "WiGig", for example.  pfSense should be prepared to roll with the changes.

    Question:  Is the G.S.M. radio a plug-in module, or is it integrated with the motherboard/mainboard?  I did a bit more googling, and found a better link, but went with an archived version: http://web.archive.org/web/20140810104108/http://www.sierrawireless.com/productsandservices/AirPrime_Wireless_Modules/Essential_Modules/MC_Series.aspx.  You don't know how hard it is to search for something like "GSM module"/"GSM board"/"GSM card", etcetera, and not be awash in common consumerism crap.  I'm glad you shared this info, now that I clarified it, for those of us, not quite up to speed.

    So, I assume pfSense does not control the Sierra Wireless MC7700 LTE/HSPA+/EV-DO module, other than as an interface/gateway.  I imagine it has proprietary firmware?  Do you have some sort of serial/JTAG connection, where you can modify settings?

    So, you've soldered a U-blox?  On to the main/motherboard?

    I appreciate the idea of a single box project, but it's not shared by the developers.  One poster thought to integrate a FreeNAS file server, and was told "Just NO!"  But, it was mentioned that, POSSIBLY, certain things might run in a BSD jail.  Possibly something you could do, if "Your 'Kung Fu' is better…" ;)

    I have to run an OpenWRT box, just to get my RNDIS tethered device to act as a gateway, for pfSense.  There seems to be RNDIS support in 2.2, which, hopefully, will work with my device.

    I've checked in, from time to time, on hak5, and the unconventional things they have in play.  And, I've read of a remote controlled, unmanned airplane, that was equipped with a WiFi cracker.  You? ;)

    I wasn't trying to be a snot about the "MiFi" term.  Language is a fluid and dynamic thing, and there's no, real, rock solid "specification", just like it was with php.  It's nice to have generic names for things, instead of fumbling around with, "You know…  That thing that does that thing..."  "MiFi", works for me!  OpenWRT is no longer just about the WRT54G.  "Hoover", now, can be synonymous with any vacuum cleaner, or mean someone who works for the agency, forged by a guy who wore a red dress, who persecuted OTHER guys who wore red dresses.  Uh, huh…

    I'm just glad there's someone else on here who reports what they've learned!  I have a budget issue, but instead of repeating your "trial and error", I can read what you report, or ask you.  Thanks!

    T-Mobile...  You must want me to vent...  I just burnt an HOUR of prepaid minutes, going 'round with, probably, a "ladyboy", in the Philippines, at their call center.  (S)He sounded like (s)he was underwater, but maybe it was some crappy voice masking software…  I bought a S.I.M. "Bring Your Own Device", that, RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE PACKAGE, stated it came with airtime/minutes.  So, after I went through the online activation process, their server then demanded that I "fund" my account...  Uh, huh...

    I went for the $3.00/Month "pay as you go" plan, and expected to get the $10.00/Month-200MB data plan, which was clear, on the page covering plans, and seen here: http://www.t-mobile.com/Promotions/Overlays/TenDollarAddDataOverlayText.htm.  I might as well have been talking to a parrot!

    Your I.P…  Well, maybe there are more, like J. Edgar, whose 9-5 workweek I.P.s are in that block, who vacation in the Philippines!  Maybe they have "no show" jobs, but need the I.P.s to look like they're at work.  Instead of "The French Connection", it's "The Ladyboy Connection"!!!  Ever wonder what the "T" in "T-Mobile" represents?  Their color IS pink!  It's one of those things where you shake your head, and say, "I don't want to know!!!"


  • Yes i have found this Sierra wireless module the best for me. MC7700 is an LTE module for GSM bands. I have found it to work on both ATT and Tmobile. They do have a separate part number for a Tmobile version MC7710 and the Verizon and Sprint version the MC7750.

    They are one generation behind in the Sierra product lineup, but i doubt the newest model the MC73xx is supported in Freebsd/pfSense

    Here is a primmer on some of the Shell or Console level things you can do.(#8 on the menu)
    The modem will take standard hayes modem AT commands and that is how you control it.
    The console allows you to interface with various comm ports the modem is communicating on. For instance cuaU0.4 is the data interface for pfsense. If you ppp/term/ set device cuaU0.3 That is the GPS comm port. It is constantly spewing information and if you "Term" into it - It will quickly fill the screen with useless characters and lockup shell. That is why a parser like GPSd strips out non-relevant information and produces usable information. I'm really in over my head on it and I am sure there are some rolling their eyes(adding gps data to a routingOS), but it is doing what i like with it. I see a PBI for GPSd and need to read up some.

    The ublox was a factory option (LEA-5) I am sure it is pumping out data on a port somewhere. It actually has a small battery next to it ….Maybe offline buffer..

    This site has some good info. The ppp stuff has been superseded by MPD5 -but docs on that are skimpy

    Note:Some modules from ebay -new- come in QMI mode by default so you need a windows box to flash them to DirectIP mode. There is a utility from Sierra as well for switching, from the MC-7750.

  • And i forgot to mention Straighttalk $15month/tablet 1Gig plan working fine as well. Have choice of ATT or Tmobile with thier SIM kit which includes a months/1Gig service.
    In my findings ATT is throttling S/T hard –like 3G data rates-- but Tmobile seems like the same 4G speeds with their SIM card or ST/ T-mobile sim.
    Hands down winner here. I just got the T-mobil prepaid 5gig/$50 monthly to sample. I like that it falls back to 2G after 5 gigs data and doesn't cut you off until next billing cycle. Truly unlimited. So they say!!

  • phishfry, what makes the Atheros ar5bxb112 your fav? Do you also have a fav for 1/2 sized cards?

  • I would put that card in the best  ebay deal for around 12 bucks category. If you want the best the Mikrotik is king.
    Everything i test with it the card excels. The thing gets better connection speeds than anything i have tried. The only drawback is the height of the heatsink restricts its use as a client or in space limited builds. I actually have a newer favorite MIFI machine but i may need to work on the heatsink.

    I have a Dell/Atheros/Bigfoot networks half mini "Killer N" card for a NUC project i need to build for an christmas gift. Not tested yet.

    I can say the AR..93 and 95 'minis do work in AP mode for sure.

    I think the ARxxx designations are an Atheros reference design with many builders making modules.

    All my statements above are using pfSense beta 2.2 version regarding 802.11N-mode

  • Here is a good resource for Sierra modem capabilities.
    This is where i found the tip that data port is usually next to last comm port.
    The correct PPP comm/usb port seems to be the biggest guessing game on getting cellular working for me.