Novatel E371 WWAN LTE modem for APU

Novatel E371 (also known as Dell DW5804) is sold for less than $30 at Aliexpress, and it’s so far the cheapest 4G/LTE WWAN card suitable for PC-Engines APU.

The initialization is fairly simple, although it was tricky to find the right command (AT$NWQMICONNECT=,,).

cat >/etc/chatscripts/lte_on.E371 <<'EOT'
ABORT BUSY
ABORT 'NO CARRIER'
ABORT ERROR
TIMEOUT 10
'' ATZ
OK 'AT+CFUN=1'
OK 'AT+CMEE=1'
OK 'AT\$NWQMICONNECT=,,'
OK
EOT

cat >/etc/chatscripts/lte_off.E371 <<'EOT'
ABORT ERROR
TIMEOUT 5
'' AT\$NWQMIDISCONNECT OK
AT+CFUN=0 OK
EOT

cat >/etc/network/interfaces.d/wwan0 <<'EOT'
allow-hotplug wwan0
iface wwan0 inet dhcp
    pre-up /usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/chatscripts/lte_on.E371 >/dev/ttyUSB0 </dev/ttyUSB0
    post-down /usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/chatscripts/lte_off.E371 >/dev/ttyUSB0 </dev/ttyUSB0
EOT

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  1. #1 by Victor Padro on April 5, 2017 - 8:54 am

    Hope you can read this anytime, by any chance is this card usable as a GSM gateway using an APU2? I want to setup one spare APU2 as a VoIP Server and use one of the local GSM Networks which offers unlimited calls for a low price, or it’s just a 3G modem thank you.

    • #2 by txlab on April 5, 2017 - 9:16 am

      Victor, it’s unfortunately common to all modems that I could find on the market: they are only suitable for mobile data access. Some of them claim to provide voice interfaces (Huawei modems, for instance), but this voice interface is PCM stream on pins which are reserved in mPCIE specification, and the APU board does not have those pins wired. If you need a GSM gateway, go for any ready-made one, like Yeastar or something similar.

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