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Old 10-17-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
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Connecting and firing up a USB HSDPA modem on Fedora 9

Hey there..

I have an Opticon iCon 225 USB modem (GPRS/HSDPA) which I'm currently trying to get running on my laptop.
Running Fedora 9 on a kernel.

From what I've read, after plugging in, a new type of connection should appear in NetworkManager. Nothing like that happens, all I get is a window displaying the contents of the modem's built-in memory. Dmesg output is a mystery to me:
usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using ohci_hcd and address 3
usb 2-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
scsi3 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=0af0, idProduct=6971
usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 2-1: Product: Globetrotter HSDPA Modem  
usb 2-1: Manufacturer: Option N.V.
usb 2-1: SerialNumber: Serial Number
usb-storage: device found at 3
usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
usb-storage: device scan complete
scsi 3:0:0:0: CD-ROM            ZCOPTION HSDPA Modem      3.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
sr1: scsi-1 drive
sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr1
sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 5
ISO 9660 Extensions: Microsoft Joliet Level 1
ISOFS: changing to secondary root
SELinux: initialized (dev sr1, type iso9660), uses genfs_contexts
I have read about people having trouble with Linux recognizing and setting up the modem as a flash drive only, but here, dmesg seems to correctly recognize it as a modem. Still, NetworkManager shows only wlan networks. How should I get this modem up and running?

I have to admit I'm completely new to this stuff, never had to set up any modem at all - since my whole life was wlan/wired based

I hope you guys help me out a bit, thanks in advance!
Old 10-18-2008, 04:29 AM   #2
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When you run lsmod do USB _SERIAL_OPTION and USB _SERIAL show up;
Old 10-18-2008, 05:51 AM   #3
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See if the usb_storage driver is also running (lsmod | grep storage)
If the storage driver is running and hijacks the modem, you will not be able to get it to work. In principle this is a hardware design fault of the modem (it does not comply with the USB spec); unfortunately we're cursed with such things because the manufacturers happen to be able to get their stuff running under winduhs.

If the storage driver is running, try:
rmmod option usb_serial usb_storage

Then try:
modprobe option

There may be a race between the usb_storage taking control and usb_serial+option taking control. There's a lot of bad history in there too; these modems were meant to provide a little flash storage which retailers could use to load up their software to set up your connection and stuff like that. (Well, it's more like hijack your browsers really - so I don't complain that ISPs don't support Linux.) Of 4 different retailers I've seen, they all say DON'T use the software on that storage device - so the point seems to be to annoy end-users. There is also the danger that the device is preloaded with malware (aside from the ISPs usual malware). Now why do things go horribly wrong in Linux? When the device is attached and probed it responds with "I'm a serial port" and soon after "I'm a storage device". Well, a device can't be both if you follow the USB spec. The exception (at least one example) would be if you advertise as a HID, then you can be probed to see which HID features you support. What the devices *should* have done is advertise as a USB hub, then the serial port and storage device could be individually probed. The alternative is to let two drivers control a single USB device - apparently you can do that on winduhs. I can't see anyone convincing Linus that it's an acceptable design.
Old 10-18-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your replies, the problem is solved now thanks to this guide.

pinniped, thanks for all that insightful information, I really like to get the idea of what is actually going on. That's exactly what had been happening when I plugged in the modem - the usbstorage module was being automatically loaded into the kernel and the whole procedure would just stop there. Before I found HSOconnect I blacklisted the usbstorage module, added an appropriate "options" entry for usb_serial (vendor= & product=) in modprobe.conf. Apart from getting the modem the be recognized properly (that's not really the right word since it is both a modem and flash drive..) and mounted on /dev/ttyUSB0 I couldn't get wvdial or comgt to communicate with it - the former would just spit out a "cannot communicate with modem" error, while the latter would try to scare me with a faulty SIM card..

Thanks again.


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