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3 Mobile Broadband
linux ubuntu

 8:26 pm on Jul 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Is anyone here using 3 Mobile Broadband on a linux machine? Specifically Ubuntu Lucid but probably any debian.

All I can get from the dongle is a flashing green light.

Am I correct in thinking the light will change if there is a signal, regardless of the ubuntu Network Connection setup?

I have the dongle number and my own details in the Network Connection's Basic setup but cannot find anything to put in the Advanced section.

Old online references (1 year+) suggest adding various scripts to cope with the installation but a later site says newest OS only needs to have the details added to Network Connections because the system was patched for this.

Location is Bristol. I've tried four "locations", all high up, including outside the house (three or four Wireless signals but no 3 Mobile). I tried the 3 web site for location status and it told me I could only search for one thing at a time - all I entered was the required postcode! :(

I do not have a suitable Windows machine to try it on - might attempt a setup on my brother's XP over the weekend. Why do these companies not add a (presumably) simple linux setp on their disk?!



 8:42 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Most dongles should work out of the box with network manager.

Have you checked whether it is failing to switch from usb storage mode to modem mode? The dongle will appear as USB serial ports, I do not know whether network manager can have issues with failing to find the right one (I know Gnokii can).


 10:36 pm on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, one embarassment and one still-problem. :)

Tried the dongle on my brother's XP and it said, No Sim Card - which I knoew was installed... Except... The shop was nearby and I went in to ask questions (first time I've ever used any mobile device, phone or otherwise).

Seems that unlike most plug-in thingies where the corner is cut off to ensure you plug it in the right way round, with sim cards it's not. You can plug it in any way you like, back to front, upside down, the cut-off corner is no deterrent... It now works on XP and shows a flashing blue light on Ubuntu. :(

Otherwise, I think you are correct in your diagnosis: the dongle is showing in the File Manager and is listed in the Disk Utility manager as a drive. Syslog confirms it was detected as a mass storage/card storage device.

A couple of days ago, following advice on one site, I added an empty file ttyUSB0 in /dev and a script 15-three.rules in rules.d which (it said) prevents the dongle appearing as a drive. ttyUSB0 seems to have removed itself (I assume this happens on boot). The file in rules.d is still there but I'm not sure it has the correct product or vendor - the latter particularly.

Am I thinking along the right lines here? Will this file switch to usbserial by disabling disk mode?

The file contains the two lines:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", SYSFS{idProduct}=="2000",SYSFS{idVendor}=="19d2"
RUN:="exit 0"

From later web sites and the fact that Ubuntu Network Connections resolves the dongle correctly I would have expected there to be no problem. Maybe I should remove the script but I do not think that would really help.

brotherhood of LAN

 11:20 pm on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I use Ubuntu/had used 3 mobile... had the same problems trying to get Ubuntu to recognise the dongle.

What I hadn't tried is running it under Wine, you might have luck with that.


 9:59 pm on Jul 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Trying to get away from Windows completely. :)

sudo lsusb reports the dongle as 12d1:1446 (one web site I found (kerry-linux.ie) lists 12d1 as vendor-id ID for Huawei dongles in general regardless of size).

I changed the script above to 12d1, removed the dongle and re-inserted it: still got the "disk" listing.

Closed the laptop, re-opened it with the dongle still installed, logged in, same situation.

I notice the product ID on the above site varies for different products within the huawei range - none of them are 2000 so I have changed that to 0x0001 - still no change.

Went into root and ran a script I got from another site, re-creating ttyUSB0 first, using the default vendor and product IDs and those mentioned above in a call to modprobe usbserial - I'm getting demoralized now!

I think part (all?) of the problem may be not having the correct product ID. The Huawei website does not even recognise e353 (the code the dongle was sold under) and there is almost no relevant information in the windows setup scripts.

One thing I have noticed whilst trying to get this dongle to work: the computer has locked up several times - virtually unknown before this. :(


 9:47 am on Jul 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

lsusb says my Vodaphone branded Huawei dongle is 12d1:1001 as well, so the vendor ID sounds right.

AFAIK you can switch modes with usb-modeswitch or by having the kernel handle it (no idea how to set that up). Some dongles can also have storage mode disabled.

It might be helpful to search using the id reported by lsusb.


 7:36 pm on Jul 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Graeme, thanks for the search idea.

My lsusb result is 12d1:1446. I wasn't sure whether I should use the 1446 or 1001, which is what most web site references quote.

I ran a few tests yesterday, gradually modifying my setup to see what happened. Most of my tests were based on the greenhughes.com articles (search the site for e169g). The first lines of the articles state that e169g should run straight out of the box since Ubuntu 8.10. Since I'm running 10.4 I'm disappointed. :(

It is possible (likely?) that I "corrupted" my laptop's capability to run out of the box, since I fiddled with the settings when the dongle first failed to work (through installing the simcard incorrectly). It is also possible that changes I made using 1001 instead of 1446 caused me problems, along with a spelling mistake copied from a different web site's "SUBSYSTEM" string.

I have now got to a stage where running usb_modeswitch with the codes 12d1 and 1446 no longer give me "No default device found". I now get "Prepare switching, accessing latest device" plus an error "sending huawei control message failed (error -1)". Which I conside a step forward. :)

It looks as if there is a problem recognising the dongle at all. I can't spend more time on it now but I'll report back in a few days when I have another go at it.


 8:00 am on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I currently get both storage and the modem showing at once - apparently no modeswitch any more! I have no idea when that happened.


 9:55 pm on Aug 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've seen reports that this happens with or without the modeswitch. In my case the modem just isn't kicking in at all.


 10:26 pm on Aug 9, 2011 (gmt 0)

Update on this...

I found info on a web site that showed me what the syslog entry should be when plugging in the dongle - nothing like it!

On inspiration I opened synaptic and searched for usbserial (a significant omission from my syslog). This returned two items, usb-modeswitch and usb-modeswitch-data (I think, from memory).

After installing these two I unplugged and re-plugged the dongle and Bingo! On right-click of Network Connections in the taskbar I now have "Enable Mobile Broadband as one of my connection options! The lack of this always worried me.

I also have (left-click) an entry for 3Internet1 which is my dongle's connection supplier (three.co.uk).

Online recommendations say disable CHAP in Network Connections Mobile Broadband PPP/Configure Methods, which I've done. Not sure yet about the two MSCHAP ones. I also ticked Connect Automatically in this panel.

So far I have only the device Number (11 digits beginning 074) and the APN (3Internet1) set up. I now have to figure out how to actually connect with the dongle.

...And I made the mistake of removing it and plugging it in again and now all the mobile stuff has gone from the NC taskbar icon. Or maybe it was something else I did. :(

Enough for today. Time for supper.


 9:31 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

And more... Thank goodness for Bing!

I recovered the device in Network Connections by replacing the empty username/password with blank and blank. Following further research I replaced blank in both cases with three. In both cases I get everything working until the actual connection stage, which SYSLOG returns as "Got failure code: No carrier" whenver I click on the connection in NC.

I replaced my 074... number with 99# (which it originally was when I first started) and added what one web site says is the default PIN: 0000. Still the same results. If I put anything into the Network field it disables the Apply button.

I have been trying to get AT commands to work (trying to find a proper PIN) but telnet in Terminal does not seem to accept them, possibly because I have given it the wrong IP but I don't really know.

Does anyone know how I can send AT commands to the dongle?

By the way, following a hint on one web site I looked again at the dongle with lsusb. The code has changed, presumably by turning off the Card Storage feature (that went off when I installed usb-modeswitch above). The new code is 12d1:14ac - which is fortunate because the file /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1446 has that product code but not 1446.


 9:41 pm on Aug 12, 2011 (gmt 0)

You need to send AT commands to the serial port, not an IP.

My dongle, for example, is on /dev/ttyUSB2

Note that the number can change if you move it to a different USB port.


 8:46 am on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just to clarify, I think you want something like:

echo "[AT command]" > /dev/ttyUSB2

 9:02 pm on Aug 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

The IP was indicated as part of issuing a command via (I thought) Terminal. I re-thought this after posting and later installed gtkterm. Using that, I could get three out of four ttyUSB ports (0 failed due to being busy) but the PIN? command failed on all of them. I need to spend some more time on it - preferably before my three months pre-paid term is up! :(

By the way, the dongle is back in the File Manager. :(


 10:52 pm on Aug 14, 2011 (gmt 0)


Poking partially at random, changing things to what I thought they should be after reading a few more web sites (this time with brain engaged!)...

In Network Connections --> Mobile Broadband select the new modem (3 Internet 1) (install a new one if not already done).

On the IPv4 Settings tab:
Automatic (PPP)
Connect Automatically: (tick)
Available to all users: (your choice - I ticked it)
Routes: (none)

Mobile Broadband tab:
Number: *99# (that's star 99 hash)
Username: three
password: three
APN: 3internet (remember this is three.co.uk network)
Network: (empty)
PIN: 0000

PPP Settings tab:
Configure Methods: EAP and PAP (only)
Point to point encryption: (not ticked)
Allow BSD: (ticked)
Allow Deflate: (ticked)
Use TCP header: (ticked)
Echo: (not ticked)

When I saved that lot - Bingo!

The only real changes I made from previous attempts were:
*99# (previously tried 99# and before that the product Identifier 074...)
Removed all Methods except EAP and PAP (previosly only removed CHAP).

For interest, from Connection Info:
Interface: GSM (ttyUSB0) - (that's zero not o)
Hardware Address: (nothing)
Driver: option1
Speed: unknown (dongle is showing blue so lower range - cyan is higher)
Security: unknown
IP Address: 94.196.nnn.nnn
Broadcast address: (same as IP)
Subnet Mask:
Primary DNS: 217.171.nnn.n
Secondary DNS: (same as primary)

Network rDNS shows as Hutchison H3G UK (in my case 94.196/15)

For some of the testing I had my Etho0 LAN cable plugged in and connected to the internet. Both Etho0 and 3Internet1 showed connected (no idea at this point which would actually do the work).

When I disconnected Mobile in Network Connections the dongle's light went back to flashing blue (3 network detected but not connected).


 3:53 am on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Glad you got it fixed reasonably straightforwardly.

There is a failure on the part of network manager in that it fails to configure the right number and methods automatically..


 9:59 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

In my case it may originally have put the correct Number in - I mistakenly thought it had to be the 074... number. As regards the Methods, though, agreed. I had CHAP disabled since a couple of weeks ago and occasionally disabled the two MSCHAP ones but re-enabled them when I still got no response (due to some other "mistake" of mine); none of the helpful posts I saw mentioned those two.

I now have to find time to disable the wired connection and test that the complete network works on Mobile from the laptop. This whole excercise has been a back-stop for when my wired broadband changes in a few weeks time. I can't afford to be offline for more than a few hours.

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