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MDG100 LTE Modem

LTE modem alone MDG100 LTE Modem

Overview

This is continuation of my Protectli OPNsense Router Project series. Head over to Part 1 - Project Overview for a complete overview of the project.

I wanted to touch on some of the features of the MDG100 modem. This little modem has an unexpectedly large feature set.

Features

  • 3G/4G cellular connectivity
  • Compatibly with Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD
  • WebGUI configuration
  • Basic router functions
  • GNSS functions

I didn’t get a chance to play with the GNSS side. If I ever do I’ll be sure to do a write up.

Inserting a SIM

SIM insert direction

To open the sim tray you simply slide the tray door down toward the center of the board. Once the tray is open insert the SIM in under the clips (green) with the SIM card notch down toward the center of the board.

To close the door, ensure the SIM card is not past the hinge, push down on the door and slide closed in the direction away from the center of the board as you gently push down on the board.

The tray door has a bit of a flimsy - going to break feeling. Just be gentle.

Check out the next post where I go into the 4G Internal LTE modem - MDG100 more.

WebGUI

You can access the WebGUI via default IP 172.16.0.1. The default setting for both username and password is admin. Except for static IP and/or APN settings from the carrier use this interface mainly for troubleshooting.

Status Screens

The modem has a few status screens so the operator can troubleshoot issues.

Status IPV4 IP on the LTE service provider network

Status Modem

advanced view

LTE signal level

advanced view LTE signal level Advanced signal information

Manager Menu

firmware upgrade Firmware update

enable ssh SSH access

enable at commands Enable AT ports

I have to admit, it has been a while since I played with AT commands.

Setup Menu

Setup mode

Modem mode vs NAT mode

The MDG100 has two modes, LTE Modem mode, and LTE Router mode. In Modem mode, the LTE card management interface is inaccessible to the user. The device acts as a LTE modem and communicates with the operating system directly. In router mode, the card acts like a mini wired router and presents to the operating system like a USB ethernet interface.

Exiting modem mode

If you place the card in Modem mode, the only way to exit this mode is to power down, remove the SIM card, boot the system, enter the configuration interface, disable modem mode, power off, reinstall the SIM card, and boot the operating system. I do not recommend the use of Modem mode. Use NAT mode unless a static IP is provided from the carrier. Modem mode made troubleshooting difficult because I did not have access to the GUI via OPNsense.

virtual server mode - port forwarding Port forwarding

DDNS config Dynamic DNS (DDNS)

User Manual

You can check out the whole list of features in the user manual. Download the user manual here: UM_MDG100-UserManual.pdf

Troubleshooting

error message

As I mentioned in the last post I encountered issues with the modem. As pictured above the modem kept disconnecting from the router, as if it was being unplugged. At first I thought the issue was in my OPNsense configuration or maybe something the modem/carrier was doing.

I did all the usual, reseated the card, reseated the SIM, reset the card, opened the case with a fan thinking a heat issue. I kept getting the disconnected messages. Putting the modem in “modem mode” didn’t resolve the issue either.

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ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0 (disconnected)
urndis0: at uhub0, port 5, addr 4 (disconnected)
urndis0: detached
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0
urndis0 on uhub0
urndis0: <RNDIS Communications Control> on usbus0
ue0: <USB Ethernet> on urndis0
ue0: Ethernet address: fe:3a:71:ca:bf:73
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0 (disconnected)
urndis0: at uhub0, port 5, addr 5 (disconnected)
urndis0: detached
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0
urndis0 on uhub0
urndis0: <RNDIS Communications Control> on usbus0
ue0: <USB Ethernet> on urndis0
ue0: Ethernet address: fe:3a:71:ca:bf:73
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0 (disconnected)
urndis0: at uhub0, port 5, addr 6 (disconnected)
urndis0: detached
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0
urndis0 on uhub0
urndis0: <RNDIS Communications Control> on usbus0
ue0: <USB Ethernet> on urndis0
ue0: Ethernet address: fe:3a:71:ca:bf:73
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0 (disconnected)
urndis0: at uhub0, port 5, addr 7 (disconnected)
urndis0: detached
ugen0.3: <Qualcomm MDG100> at usbus0
urndis0 on uhub0
urndis0: <RNDIS Communications Control> on usbus0
ue0: <USB Ethernet> on urndis0
ue0: Ethernet address: fe:3a:71:ca:bf:73

Error message

After some research I emailed Protectli. The rep suggested that we swap the modem. This resolved the issue.

As a result of the modem issues I used a modified version of this reboot script found here: [UM_MDG100-UserManual.pdf](https://forum.opnsense.org/index.php?topic=13544.msg67170#msg67170)

I’ll touch more on this script and how to enable it later in the OPNsense setup.

Part 4 - Protectli UPS and Rack Mount Shelf

Overview of the Protectli FW4B

Protectli UPS and Rack Mount Shelf

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