using verizon 551L usb modem with SECN

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Quentin Lindh

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May 6, 2015, 12:00:47 PM5/6/15
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I have been trying to configure and use a verizon 551L usb modem to act as gateway for SECN.  I wonder if this is possible or if that falls outside of supported devices in some way (dial up not supported?).  If so, is there a list of supported dongles/configurations?
The verizon 551L is listed as supported by the TP-link routers, so I thought there was a chance that it had general openWRT support.  
Any links to resources would be appreciated as I am swimming about a little bit on this issue. 
Incidentally my needs are very low data rate, so if anyone has found cost effective 3G service plan and USB dongle in the US, and has used it with SECN, I'd be very happy to hear about it. (I really don't need or care about LTE/4G speeds)
Thanks so much,
Quentin  

Keith Williamson

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May 6, 2015, 1:49:12 PM5/6/15
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Hi Quentin,

The verizon 551L usb modem is one of the newer class of usb modems that appear as an ethernet device to linux (OpenWRT). When you plug the device in to an MP02, you will find that running ifconfig shows there is now a third ethernet device, eth2. However, this assumes that your build of OpenWRT includes cdc-ether. Older 3G USB modems show up as serial devices/modems (e.g. ttyUSB0 or similar). These devices act like standard serial modems that are configured via AT commands and run PPP.

The newer USB ethernet devices are generally easier to deal with than the older serial devices that require sending sequences of AT commands. Instead, these ethernet devices have builtin mini-DHCP servers that provide an IP address to your new eth2 interface. For instance, I use the Verizon Pantech UML295. When I plug it in, it DHCPs an IP address of 192.168.32.50 to the eth2 device that is created. I can then point my web browser at 192.168.32.1 and get a builtin webpage with a CONNECT button to go online.

The complication with the 551L is that it apparently doesn't have the builtin web server that the Pantech UML295 has. Instead, it also appears as a number of serial ports (in addition to an ethernet port) and you must first send an AT command to its command port (ttyUSB0) to connect and get the 551L to DHCP an address to eth2. For the 551L, that command is "At$nwqmiconnect=,,". Once you have sent that command, your eth2 interface will get a DHCP'd address from the 551L and you will be connected to the Internet.

The last wrinkle here is that until support for the 551L is added to OpenWRT, you have to do the following before inserting the 551L to enable the creation of the ttyUSB ports:

# modprobe option; echo "1410 b001" > /sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/option1/new_id

Now when you insert the 551L, you should get 3 ttyUSB ports. The first one, ttyUSB0, is the command port you send the "At$nwqmiconnect=,," to.

The wildernets firmware includes cdc-ether in the build and works with the UML295. I'm not sure what version of SECN has cdc-ether enabled. I know Terry was going to add in the support I did in wildernets for the WAN option of "USB-Ethernet" but I'm not sure if he has that in currently. In any case, the 551L is an interesting case that is kind of a hybrid between a straight USB Ethernet modem and a straight USB Serial modem since it needs the serial port to do the CONNECT and the ethernet port to provide the data stream from the Internet.

If you want to pursue this, I would try the following:

Plug in the 551L and capture the output from dmesg. That will tell us what OpenWRT does (if anything) when it detects the device. If OpenWRT doesn't create a new eth device, you'll need a build with cdc-ether selected. If it doesn't create the ttyUSB ports (which I suspect it won't since a quick search of the OpenWRT Timeline webpage doesn't find the 551L), I would unplug the modem and issue the command:

# modprobe option; echo "1410 b001" > /sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/option1/new_id

Then plug the 551L back in and see if ttyUSB0 is created.

If it is created, then it's very likely we could add fairly seamless support to both SECN and Wildernets for the 551L. Since neither Terry or I have one of these devices, we would depend on you for the testing.

Cheers,

Keith



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T Gillett

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May 9, 2015, 7:34:08 PM5/9/15
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Hi Quentin, Keith

I have made a trial build for the MP2 with cdc-ether enabled. It is available as the RC2a build on the VT Downloads page here:


Please note that this build also includes the change to Asterisk 11 and has not had a lot of testing around that area, so please proceed with a little caution.

Regards
Terry

Bill Vodall

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Apr 3, 2019, 2:13:05 PM4/3/19
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On Wed, May 6, 2015 at 10:49 AM Keith Williamson <hkwill...@gmail.com> wrote:
>

> The wildernets firmware includes cdc-ether in the build and works with the UML295. I'm not sure what version of SECN has cdc-ether enabled. I know Terry was going to add in the support I did in wildernets for the WAN option of "USB-Ethernet" but I'm not sure if he has that in currently.

Keith recently talked to a local Amateur Radio group about
Wildernets.. I've since been unable to find anything related to the
updated firmware posted anywhere on the web. Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Bill

T Gillett

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Apr 3, 2019, 3:34:49 PM4/3/19
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Hi Bill

Are you looking for Wildernets firmware or SECN firmware?

And what device did you want the firmware for?

Regards
Terry


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Bill Vodall

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Apr 3, 2019, 6:00:51 PM4/3/19
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> Are you looking for Wildernets firmware or SECN firmware?

I'm not sure. Perhaps both. At least to see where the features are
of each. I saw a glimps of a slide of Wildernets and it looked like
there was lots new.

Will Wildernets and SECN work together now?


> And what device did you want the firmware for?

I think, if I could find them, that I and a couple friends have a
significant collection of MP-02's.

>

Thanks,
Bill

Keith Williamson

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Apr 3, 2019, 7:10:06 PM4/3/19
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Hi Bill,

I did do a presentation last month for the Mount Baker Amateur Radio Club. One of the local hams (Budd Churchward, WB7FHC) was interested in the potential use of Wildernets on MP02's for field emergency operation center use. Also several hams drove up from Anacortes and one was quite interested in the Wildernets version of the firmware. He said he already had some MP02's. 

I haven't done any work on the firmware in quite sometime but it seems very stable and runs on a 5 MP02's in my home near Bellingham. It supports POTS and VoIP telephony with voicemail, IM via Jabber, Rachel web content, and client web pages that provide dynamically generated phone and IM directories. It also provides builtin "getting started" instructions for installing the client softphone and IM apps for smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. 

I keep meaning to put the source up on Github in case anyone wants to browse the code and/or make enhancements. 

Wildernets should generally interoperate with SECN however it might take some config tweaks. For instance, the default AP SSIDs would be different and would need to be aligned. I believe both use the same BSSID but I know that Terry evolved SECN to use an updated mesh link protocol while Wildernets still uses Adhoc (IIRC). 

In any case, I'm sure you could flash any given MP02 between both versions without issue. 

73,

Keith
KF7DRV


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T Gillett

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Apr 3, 2019, 7:22:48 PM4/3/19
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Thanks Keith. Greetings and salutations.

Bill
Just further to Keith's comments, the firmware can be found on the Village Telco Downloads page here:




As Keith mentioned, in later versions of SECN firmware we have switched to the "Meshpoint" wifi interface in lieu of "AdHoc" interface, so there will not be mesh compatibility between Wildernets and SECN later than Ver 4.
However I think you will find that Wildernets is pretty much a superset of SECN, so you may not need to use both.

Regards
Terry

Keith Williamson

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Apr 3, 2019, 7:34:02 PM4/3/19
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Hi Terry..great to hear from you. Hope all is well! 

@Bill: As Terry points out, the Alpha35 version is available on the villagetelco website, however, I would recommend using v1.0 Beta5 instead. There were a bunch of bug fixes and feature enhancements between 1.0 A35 and 1.0 B5. The question is how to get it to you. Don't know if I can still upload to villagetelco. 

I'm sure we could work something out if you're interested. 

Keith

T Gillett

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Apr 3, 2019, 7:38:46 PM4/3/19
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Hi Keith
I can easily upload it for you. Just zip it up and send it to me.
Terry

Keith Williamson

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Apr 3, 2019, 9:05:16 PM4/3/19
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Hi Bill,

Terry was kind enough to upload WNETS 1.0 Beta 5 to the villagetelco website at the following URL:


Let me know if you have any questions. 

-Keith
 

Bill Vodall

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Apr 22, 2019, 4:47:37 PM4/22/19
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> Terry was kind enough to upload WNETS 1.0 Beta 5 to the villagetelco website at the following URL:
>
> http://download.villagetelco.org/firmware/wnets/unstable/mp02/WNETS-1/Beta5/
>
> -Keith


Thanks all for the support and info on this. I hope to be putting it
to use soon.

Bill

PS. Anybody here going to Linuxfest NW 2019 this weekend the 26th..?

https://www.linuxfestnorthwest.org/conferences/2019

Keith Williamson

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Apr 23, 2019, 10:45:18 AM4/23/19
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Yes! Trying to decide on Saturday or Sunday currently. Need to have a look at the program. This is my first opportunity to attend since moving up here. I've been away on business for each of the last two. 

Would be nice to meet if we could arrange it. 

73,

Keith
KF7DRV

Virus-free. www.avg.com

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