Multitech GPRS modem

Lloyd has done a lot of work, see this thread:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=31224

Quoting:
I am pleased to announce the first release of a patched driver for the USB-connected Multitech Multimodem GPRS/EDGE/CDMA modems. Multitech makes what are probably the best GPRS modems in the world. (GPRS is a wireless Internet technology, running on top of a GSM cellular phone connection. It provides very cheap Internet access throughout Costa Rica, and is is popular in several European countries.)

To my knowledge this is the only working driver package available for a modern Linux distro (aside from my Debian Etch solution at http://voluntary-simplicity.org/linux, which is not nearly as nice as this). In other words, no other current Linux distro (kernel version 2.6x) has a driver package that works with these modems. It is tested only for GPRS.


I am looking how his PET package can become a "firmware tarball" in Puppy 4.1. That is, it will be built-in, located at /lib/modules/firmware/multitech-1.2.tar.gz, and will install automatically if the ti_usb_3401_5052.ko module loads.

I have created an entry in /etc/modules/firmware.dep.2.6.25.11, which establishes this relationship between module and firmware package:
multitech-1.2:ti_usb_3410_5052.ko

Puppy 4.1 will automatically load usbserial.ko and ti_usb_3401_5052.ko and in the correct order, so I don't think Lloyd's 'pinstall.sh' file is needed. Um, no, have retained just this:

#make symlink if /dev/ttyUSB0 not already a special device file
if [ "`file ./dev/ttyUSB0 | grep 'character special'`" = "" ];then
rm -f ./dev/ttyUSB0
ln -s /dev/usb/ttyUSB0 ./dev/ttyUSB0
fi
/usr/sbin/fixmenus


I added the last line, as Lloyd has .desktop files, so the JWM menu will need to be updated.

I need to liaise with Lloyd on this find out if I've done this right. Note, 4.1alpha5 is expected to come out real soon, so we can test this, or rather Lloyd will as he has the hardware. Lloyd has stated that other brands of GPRS modem may also work.

What is supposed to happen here, is if you boot Puppy with the appropriate hardware for the ti_usb_3401_5052.ko module (or hotplug it), then the firmware package will automatically install and menu entries will magically appear. There will be nothing separate to install to get it going.

Posted on 20 Jul 2008, 20:30


Comments:

Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 8:31 by lstandish
GPRS modem driver pet
This is Lloyd Standish, author of the pet modem driver package.

I could not get Puppy 4.00 to automatically load the kernel drivers (usbserial and ti_usb_3410_5052) upon hotplug (as it does on Debian and Ubuntu). I don't know why this is.

Therefore, I had to add lines in /etc/rc.d/rc.local to load the modules upon boot. It will be great to do away with that, and it would be a great precedent for Puppy to have a *general* way to automatically install special modules (plus perhaps firmware) through the hotplug process.

However, I'm pretty sure that it will not be possible (or desirable?) to load everything this particular pet provides via the "firmware tarball". The menu entries execute a connection script and a GUI setup program, MT-GPRS-setup (the usual Puppy-style shell script + gtkdialog). It expects to find some pet-supplied ppp connection scripts and configuration files.

MT-GPRS-setup gives faster and easier GPRS setup than anything else in Windows or Linux, and is extremely small.

The setup program (not the driver) will work with other types of GPRS/EDGE/CDMA modems. For example, some of them simply connect to the serial port and do not require special drivers, but do nonetheless require ppp setup and the connection scripts.

The most common type of GPRS modem is built into a GSM cell phone. Bluetooth wireless connection is often used to connect the phone (modem) to the computer. Linux has good support for bluetooth.

My GPRS setup program will work with all of this hardware. All the setup program does is alter lines in ppp connection scripts and config files.

I just got confirmation by a guy who downloaded my Debian kernel with modem support (same patched driver) that it works with the Multitech USB-connection EDGE type modem. It should also work with Multitech CDMA. See articles on my open source Linux site: http://voluntary-simplicity.org/linux/.

(continued following post)


Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 8:33 by lstandish
GPRS modem driver pet, part 2
(Continued from previous comment)

I think you should be able to test the loading of the ti_usb_3410_5052 driver without the hardware. The only thing you can't check (all-important!) is auto-load upon plugging the device. I'll be glad to help with that.

When the driver loads, there are distinct kernel messages. A successful load (usbserial has to be loaded first) gives:

user.info kernel: drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for TI USB 3410 1 port adapter
user.info kernel: drivers/usb/serial/usb-serial.c: USB Serial support registered for TI USB 5052 2 port adapter
user.info kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver ti_usb_3410_5052
user.info.kernel: drivers/usb/serial/ti_usb_3410_5052.c: TI USB 3410/5052 Serial Driver v1.1

In order to give these messages, the firmware will have to be found; everything has to be right.

You can confirm all these kernel messages by just installing the pet into Puppy 4.00. The pet installs and uninstalls cleanly - no worries. The pinstall.sh program runs my setup program. Just accept the default values, and as soon as the pet install finishes, the driver will be loaded, as confirmed by lsmod.

Again, I'll be glad to help in any way I can. I don't have broadband to download Puppy at home, but at a distant city there is broadband at Internet Cafe."


Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 8:47 by BarryK
Re: Multitech
The module loading in 4.1 is totally different from 4.00. The correct modules should load in 4.1.

Note also, 4.1 does not have the hotplug package, it uses udev.

However, I'm pretty sure that it will not be possible (or desirable?) to load everything this particular pet provides via the "firmware tarball". The menu entries execute a connection script and a GUI setup program, MT-GPRS-setup (the usual Puppy-style shell script + gtkdialog). It expects to find some pet-supplied ppp connection scripts and configuration files.

...no problem, the firmware tarball has all that in it. For description of firmware tarballs see:
http://puppylinux.com/technical/module-loading.htm


Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 8:05 by lstandish
PS
Sorry this became so wordy. If Puppy has a self-installing modules+firmware mechanism, my package will no longer need to supply a kernel-specific driver, and I could convert it to be a tiny, device-independent GPRS connection package, in which you can specify the device file (for example /dev/ttyUSB0) in the setup.


Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 8:15 by lstandish
Re: Multitech
I did not realize that a firmware tarball could have essentially all of the features of a pet - great! The setup program and connection scripts are so small that they could indeed be included in the firmware tarball, to avoid creating a dependency to a pet. Great job, Barry!

(I could still create a generic GPRS connection pet!)


Posted on 21 Jul 2008, 11:44 by metre9dmt
Phone Modems
I really appreciate this development. I am currently using a 3G phone, Nokia 6151, as my means to connect to internet. Unfortunately, the Nokia PC Suite that you need to use to connect to the Internet is Windows-only. I've been exploring possibilities to connect my cell using a Linux version of the Nokia PC Suite. I would like to know if there are any developments in this area.


Posted on 22 Jul 2008, 8:55 by BarryK
"Firmware tarball"
Yes, the name "firmware tarball" is somewhat of an understatement. It is really a complete package.


Posted on 30 Jul 2008, 23:28 by lstandish
re Phone Modems
To metre9mt:
I understand (via Google search) that the Nokia 6151 has bluetooth connection. If so, you will be able to connect to the Internet with it. I hope to eventually put together a Puppy pet to make bluetooth GPRS connection easy. It appears that upcoming Puppy releases will support all sorts of GPRS connection via the Network Connection Wizard.


Posted on 30 Jul 2008, 23:29 by lstandish
re Phone Modems
To metre9mt:
I understand (via Google search) that the Nokia 6151 has bluetooth connection. If so, you will be able to connect to the Internet with it. I hope to eventually put together a Puppy pet to make bluetooth GPRS connection easy. It appears that upcoming Puppy releases will support all sorts of GPRS connection via the Network Connection Wizard.