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7 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 102878 24-May-2012 22:35 Send private message

Background: Living rural, not only does power and/or phone line get the occasional problem (storm), the number of technicians is limited so it can also take a while until things are sorted. Working online from home is not compatible to that situation. So eventually I got myself a prepay "T-Stick" (that company because of coverage) for the 2-3 times a year that I'm without landline internet.


WxC's recommended/supported/managed all-in-one Cisco SRP527W just arrived today, all nice and easy to install, VFX provisioned, and apart from only having four 10/100 ports I did notice the USB option for mobile broadband fallback. So what the hey.

The router detects a Sierra Wireless AC326U with SIM ready and good signal strength but "Card Status: error", no further information. Plugged into my desktop computer (Ubuntu 12.04) it works just fine. Does this need manual configuration on this Cisco device?

Thanks for any pointers.

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  Reply # 630101 24-May-2012 22:40 Send private message

Sounds like your USB stick may not be supported.  I have a Cisco SRP521W (same as yours but without the ADSL modem) and when I plugged in my Telecom MF636 ZTE modem, it was recognised and after entering the dial string and making a couple of other selections, I was connected.

Like you, I live in a rural area, and if my primary Vodafone RBI connection ever goes down, it's so quick and easy to just plug in my T-stick and away we go.  Having said that, the RBI connection has been pretty rock solid since we had it connected a month ago.  Long may it continue!







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630104 24-May-2012 22:47 Send private message

Thanks Grant,
What I gathered from the Cisco documentation was that if the model name is shown then it is supported.

SRP520 series manual:
- "Connect to the USB Modem. If the card is supported by the SRP, it is automatically detected and appears on the Mobile Network page."
- "Card Model: Data card model that is inserted into the USB drive. Unsupported cards are reported as unrecognized."

-> It is shown/reported as Manufacturer "Sierra Wireless, Incorporated", Card Model "AC326U", not as unrecognized.

Or is that just wishful thinking on my side? It shows the details of an unsupported card??



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630107 24-May-2012 22:59 Send private message

Minor update: I changed "Configure Mode" from "Auto" to "Manual", set APN to "internet.telecom.co.nz" and Dial Number to "*99#" (left all else as default). NB not really an educated guess (Google).

After "Searching for service..." (as before) Card Status now shows "disconnected" rather than "error".

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  Reply # 630108 24-May-2012 23:04 Send private message

unfold: Minor update: I changed "Configure Mode" from "Auto" to "Manual", set APN to "internet.telecom.co.nz" and Dial Number to "*99#" (left all else as default).

Yes, those are the same settings I am using.

So what happens if you set "Connect Mode" to Auto, and enable "Keep Alive".  Does it connect then?







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630109 24-May-2012 23:15 Send private message

Hey thanks!
That's awkward. "Connect Mode" always was on "Auto"/"Keep Alive", I was just playing with "Configure Mode". I had to switch to Manual, connect, then back to Auto. I pulled the phone cord and now somehow it's connected. :-)

This doesn't really have to work unattended so I'm happy with where this is at - will play around a bit looks like something had to be done in the right order. No serious general issue it seems - thanks!

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  Reply # 630110 24-May-2012 23:18 Send private message

Oh man those USB 3g modems are nothing but trouble..... I've found the 2degrees e1552 to be most compatible but you'll need Vodafone for that.







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630112 24-May-2012 23:29 Send private message

Working now. It's actually switching over as promised now. :-)

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  Reply # 630114 25-May-2012 00:07 Send private message

unfold: Hey thanks!
That's awkward. "Connect Mode" always was on "Auto"/"Keep Alive", I was just playing with "Configure Mode". I had to switch to Manual, connect, then back to Auto. I pulled the phone cord and now somehow it's connected. :-)

This doesn't really have to work unattended so I'm happy with where this is at - will play around a bit looks like something had to be done in the right order. No serious general issue it seems - thanks!

Yeah, that was my feeling too.  A little awkward the way it works, and in Auto Mode the USB modem sometimes decides to connect even though the Primary Connection (ADSL in your case) is present.  After a bit of experimenting, I found that it was unwise to leave the USB modem plugged in as it would sometimes be using up data for no valid reason.  Apart from that minor complaint though, the fallback connection works as you would expect, and it's certainly nice to have as a backup.

When I initially installed my Cisco router, the T-Stick "Backup" connection was providing a 3Mbps speed, vs. 1Mbps on my "Primary" connection.  So that was a little bizarre, but now with Vodafone RBI @ 5Mbps, things are back in their right order.





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  Reply # 630125 25-May-2012 06:18 Send private message

Should be pretty easy, I run this in my Lab SRP521 and at my home location a SRP547 but works the same, auto failover works very well, it will failover if you lose the connection on the primary line and fail back when its restored ,








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  Reply # 630151 25-May-2012 08:49 Send private message

I have the same setup, but the card is the Sierra Wireless model up from that (I don't think they sell it anymore). In any case I don't leave the automatic fallback enabled - you never know if the main connection goes down and you keep using mobile data like it's fixed line data... The meters are ticking!




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  Reply # 630163 25-May-2012 09:07 Send private message

Would be nice to have an unofficial list of what NZ telco USB sticks work in these. I'm sure there are sticks not on the Cisco list that work, or on the list, but we have it under a different model.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630188 25-May-2012 09:31 Send private message

Being on the criminal prepay, I can leave the stick in. :-)

Either $20 for 29MB which expire after a year ($1 for 10MB then $1 per MB thereafter)
or $25 for a block of 500MB which expires after 30 days (that's what I'll be doing when needed)

@coffeebaron I noticed that
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/routers/srp520_series/srp521w/usb_modem_support/srp500_usb_modem_matrix.pdf
doesn't list AC326U but rather AC320U - looking at the other models the zero doesn't seem to indicate "the whole series" so I would put the AC326U on such an unofficial list.

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  Reply # 630212 25-May-2012 10:12 Send private message

unfold: Being on the criminal prepay, I can leave the stick in. :-)

Either $20 for 29MB which expire after a year ($1 for 10MB then $1 per MB thereafter)
or $25 for a block of 500MB which expires after 30 days (that's what I'll be doing when needed)


Reason to be even more worried. You don't know the connection has switched to mobile, so you could be using that at a fast rate. $1 for $10 MB is very expensive if you keep downloading an update without knowing you are doing it on mobile.







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 630216 25-May-2012 10:22 Send private message

Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.
It's prepay.
I won't put money against it, I leave it at $0, and just purchase $25 blocks (500MB) "on demand".
So yes, for all practical purposes the failover won't work automatically... :-)

Phone line cuts out, then I top prepay up (apparently that must be done over the phone, online only allows casual/criminal topup), then I continue my work.

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  Reply # 630233 25-May-2012 10:49 Send private message

unfold: It's prepay.
I won't put money against it, I leave it at $0, and just purchase $25 blocks (500MB) "on demand".
...
Phone line cuts out, then I top prepay up (apparently that must be done over the phone, online only allows casual/criminal topup), then I continue my work.

Topping up over the phone is a major pain in the a$$ so I am careful never to let my credit run out, or else I can't easily top up.  Hence leaving the stick unplugged unless absolutely necessary.





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