OpenWRT with Huawei E367 and TP-Link TL-WR1043ND

The ability to connect a 3G modem to a wireless router to form a Internet connected ad-hoc network of machines is very powerful. I’ve done this many times and have written about it before (e.g., see my OpenWRT writeup page) but I recently did it with modern hardware again. Here I will use the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND wireless router (available here for around $50) together with the Huawei E367 3G UMTS/HSDPA modem. Other wireless routers and modem should work fine. The software is OpenWRT 10.03 although I hope to redo this with LibreWRT eventually. My writeup is mostly focused around what is happening around the prompt, so it is mostly a cut’n’paste terminal session with a comment interlined.

TL-WR1043ND and Huawei 367

Router and modem



The first step is to flash the firmware with OpenWRT. The OpenWRT wiki page for the TL-WR1043ND covers this in detail, and for any other hardware you should find what you need in the OpenWRT wiki. If you have already installed OpenWRT on the TL-WR1043ND, and want to wipe it out and start from scratch (like I did for this writeup) here is how to do it:

root@choco:~# cd /tmp
root@choco:/tmp# wget http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
Connecting to downloads.openwrt.org (78.24.191.177:80)
openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr 100% |*******************************|  2688k 00:00:00 ETA
root@choco:/tmp# md5sum openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin 
9927973ba5da65d0d52e255397452b87  openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
root@choco:/tmp# mtd -r write /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin firmware
Unlocking firmware ...
Writing from /tmp/openwrt-ar71xx-tl-wr1043nd-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin to firmware ...     
Rebooting ...

The device will reboot automatically when it is done. After say 30 seconds, try to connect to it using the default IPv4 address 192.168.1.1. I have connected the WAN port to the Internet and connect to the router over local network connected to the router’s LAN1 input. Let’s configure OpenWRT, I’m calling the host ‘choco’ and giving it the IPv4 address 192.168.1.46. I’ll also set a good root password to disable telnet, and add some SSH keys to simplify remote login.

jas@latte:~$ telnet 192.168.1.1
Trying 192.168.1.1...
Connected to 192.168.1.1.
Escape character is '^]'.
 === IMPORTANT ============================
  Use 'passwd' to set your login password
  this will disable telnet and enable SSH
 ------------------------------------------


BusyBox v1.15.3 (2010-04-06 03:14:11 CEST) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 Backfire (10.03, r20728) --------------------------
  * 1/3 shot Kahlua    In a shot glass, layer Kahlua 
  * 1/3 shot Bailey's  on the bottom, then Bailey's, 
  * 1/3 shot Vodka     then Vodka.
 ---------------------------------------------------
root@OpenWrt:/# passwd
Changing password for root
New password:
Retype password:
Password for root changed by root
root@OpenWrt:/# sed -i -e 's/OpenWrt/choco/' /etc/config/system
root@OpenWrt:/# sed -i -e 's/192.168.1.1/192.168.1.46/' /etc/config/network
root@OpenWrt:/# cat>/etc/dropbear/authorized_keys
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2...
^D
root@OpenWrt:/# dropbearkey -y -f /etc/dropbear/dropbear_rsa_host_key
Public key portion is:
ssh-rsa AAAA... root@OpenWrt
Fingerprint: md5 45:fd:62...
root@OpenWrt:/# 

You could reboot the machine here to switch from telnet to SSH, but I’ll install a bunch of packages while I’m at it. Run ‘opkg update’ to update the package list, and then install the wireless modules for the TL-WR1043ND.

root@OpenWrt:/# opkg update
Downloading http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/packages/Packages.gz.
Inflating http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03/ar71xx/packages/Packages.gz.
Updated list of available packages in /var/opkg-lists/packages.
root@OpenWrt:/# opkg install kmod-ath9k wpad-mini
...
Configuring iw.
Configuring kmod-crypto-core.
Configuring kmod-crypto-arc4.
Configuring kmod-crypto-aes.
Configuring wireless-tools.
Configuring kmod-cfg80211.
Configuring kmod-mac80211.
Configuring kmod-ath.
Configuring kmod-ath9k.
Configuring crda.
Configuring wpad-mini.
root@OpenWrt:/# 

Next I’ll install some packages that will are needed for the modem.

root@OpenWrt:/# opkg install comgt kmod-usb-serial kmod-usb2 kmod-usb-uhci kmod-usb-ohci usb-modeswitch 
...
Configuring kmod-nls-base.
Configuring kmod-usb-core.
Configuring chat.
Configuring kmod-usb-ohci.
Configuring kmod-usb2.
Configuring comgt.
Configuring usb-modeswitch.
Configuring kmod-usb-serial.
Configuring kmod-usb-uhci.
root@OpenWrt:/# 

Now let’s reboot the machine and try to get things to really work.

root@OpenWrt:/# sync
root@OpenWrt:/# reboot

Use SSH to connect to the router, and don’t forget the use its new IPv4 address!

3G modems are notoriously known for not acting as a modem directly. Instead they often simulate a CD-ROM that will install device driver software, for inferior operating systems. Fortunately the usb_modeswitch tool “fixes” the hardware for us. My Huawei E367 start up with the USB vendor/product IDs 0x12d1:0×1446, you normally find this out by looking in /proc/bus/usb/devices. Here is the output on my device:

root@choco:~# cat /proc/bus/usb/devices 
...
T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  2 Spd=480 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=12d1 ProdID=1446 Rev= 0.00
S:  Manufacturer=Huawei Technologies
S:  Product=HUAWEI Mobile
C:* #Ifs= 2 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=500mA
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
root@choco:~# 

This means I have to go find a usb-modeswitch configuration for this device. Fortunately, I found it on my Debian Squeeze box in /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1446 (from the usb-modeswitch-data package). There was a slight problem with the file, it didn’t specify the correct USB vendor/product ID of the device after it has been “switched”. My Huawei E367 switches to 12d1:1506, so I add ’1506′ to the ‘TargetProductList’ list. Here is the final configuration:

root@choco:~# cat>/etc/usb-modeswitch.conf
EnableLogging=1

DefaultVendor= 0x12d1
DefaultProduct=0x1446

TargetVendor=  0x12d1
TargetProductList="1001,1406,140b,140c,1412,141b,14ac,1506"

CheckSuccess=20

MessageContent="55534243123456780000000000000011062000000100000000000000000000"
root@choco:~# 

Now you should be able to run usb_modeswitch to perform the “switch”:

root@choco:~# usb_modeswitch 

Looking for target devices ...
 No devices in target mode or class found
Looking for default devices ...
 Found default devices (1)
Accessing device 002 on bus 001 ...
Using endpoints 0x01 (out) and 0x81 (in)
Inquiring device details; driver will be detached ...
Looking for active driver ...
 No driver found. Either detached before or never attached

SCSI inquiry data (for identification)
-------------------------
  Vendor String: HUAWEI  
   Model String: Mass Storage    
Revision String: 2.31
-------------------------

USB description data (for identification)
-------------------------
Manufacturer: Huawei Technologies
     Product: HUAWEI Mobile
  Serial No.: not provided
-------------------------
Setting up communication with interface 0 ...
Trying to send the message to endpoint 0x01 ...
 OK, message successfully sent

Checking for mode switch (max. 20 times, once per second) ...
 Waiting for original device to vanish ...
 Original device can't be accessed anymore. Good.
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Searching for target devices ...
 Found correct target device

Mode switch succeeded. Bye.

root@choco:~# 

The /proc/bus/usb/devices file will now contain information about the real device:

root@choco:~# cat /proc/bus/usb/devices 
...
T:  Bus=01 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=00 Cnt=01 Dev#=  3 Spd=480 MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=ef(misc ) Sub=02 Prot=01 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=12d1 ProdID=1506 Rev= 0.00
S:  Manufacturer=Huawei Technologies
S:  Product=HUAWEI Mobile
C:* #Ifs= 7 Cfg#= 1 Atr=c0 MxPwr=500mA
A:  FirstIf#= 1 IfCount= 2 Cls=02(comm.) Sub=00 Prot=00
I:* If#= 0 Alt= 0 #EPs= 3 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=01 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=81(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=  64 Ivl=2ms
E:  Ad=82(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=01(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 1 Alt= 0 #EPs= 1 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=09 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=83(I) Atr=03(Int.) MxPS=  64 Ivl=2ms
I:* If#= 2 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=08 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=84(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=02(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 3 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=03 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=85(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=03(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 4 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=ff(vend.) Sub=01 Prot=02 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=86(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=04(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=4ms
I:* If#= 5 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=87(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=05(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
I:* If#= 6 Alt= 0 #EPs= 2 Cls=08(stor.) Sub=06 Prot=50 Driver=(none)
E:  Ad=06(O) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
E:  Ad=88(I) Atr=02(Bulk) MxPS= 512 Ivl=0ms
root@choco:~# 

Let’s put that command in /etc/rc.local so that it will be run on every boot.

root@choco:~# cat /etc/rc.local 
# Put your custom commands here that should be executed once
# the system init finished. By default this file does nothing.

/usr/bin/usb_modeswitch
exit 0
root@choco:~# 

We are not quite ready, the “usbserial” module needs to be told which USB vendor/product to use. The /etc/modules.d/60-usb-serial file is used during boot to set the right parameters. You can also run ‘rmmod’ followed by ‘insmod’ with the proper parameters to avoid a reboot. You can use the “gcom info” tool to find some information about the modem. Normally you use /dev/ttyUSB0 but for some reason it does not work for me and instead I had to use /dev/ttyUSB3.

root@choco:~# cat>/etc/modules.d/60-usb-serial  
usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1506 maxSize=4096
root@choco:~# rmmod usbserial
root@choco:~# insmod usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1506 maxSize=4096
root@choco:~# gcom -d /dev/ttyUSB3 info
##### Wireless WAN Modem Configuration #####
Product text:
====

Manufacturer: huawei
Model: E367
Revision: 11.807.05.00.00
IMEI: 353613040739180
+GCAP: +CGSM,+DS,+ES
OK
====
Manufacturer:           huawei
IMEI and Serial Number: 353613040739180
Manufacturer's Revision: 
11.807.05.00.
Hardware Revision:      NOT
Network Locked:         ERROR:
Customisation:          NOT SUPPORT
Band settings:          (NOT)
APN:                    ERROR:
##### END #####
root@choco:~# 

Let’s configure network and wireless. The configurations files are /etc/config/network and /etc/config/wireless. Edit them using your favorite editor, or vi. I’m setting up a PSK2 encrypted WLAN and I have a WDS to connect two wireless routers. Note that you need to use the correct PIN for your SIM card (here I’m using 8328) and set the APN correctly (I’m using ‘bredband.tre.se’). Reboot after making these changes.

root@choco:~# cat /etc/config/network 
config 'interface' 'loopback'
       option 'ifname'   'lo'
       option 'proto'    'static'
       option 'ipaddr'   '127.0.0.1'
       option 'netmask'  '255.0.0.0'

config 'interface' 'lan'
        option 'ifname'   'eth0.1'
        option 'type'     'bridge'
        option 'proto'    'static'
        option 'ipaddr'   '192.168.1.46'
        option 'netmask'  '255.255.255.0'

#config 'interface' 'wan'
#        option 'ifname' 'eth0.2'
#        option 'proto' 'dhcp'

config 'switch'
	option 'name' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'reset' '1'
        option 'enable_vlan' '1'

config 'switch_vlan'
        option 'device' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'vlan' '1'
        option 'ports' '1 2 3 4 5t'

config 'switch_vlan'
        option 'device' 'rtl8366rb'
        option 'vlan' '2'
        option 'ports' '0 5t'

config interface wan
        option ifname   ppp0
        option proto    3g
        option device   /dev/ttyUSB0
        option apn      bredband.tre.se
        option pincode  8328
root@choco:~# cat /etc/config/wireless 
config wifi-device  radio0
	option type     mac80211
	option channel  5
	option macaddr	00:27:19:fc:87:b2
	option hwmode	11ng
	option htmode	HT20
	list ht_capab	SHORT-GI-40
	list ht_capab	DSSS_CCK-40

config wifi-iface
	option device   radio0
	option network  lan
	option mode     ap
	option ssid     Grisslan
	option encryption psk2
	option key	  notforyoutosee

config wifi-iface
        option device     radio0
        option network    lan
        option mode       wds
        option bssid      00:1F:C6:60:D3:11
        option ssid       GrisslanWDS
        option encryption psk2
        option key        thisisalsosecret
root@choco:~# reboot
root@choco:~# 

Once the machine have rebooted, you can bring up the 3G connection by using “ifup wan”. Look at the log by using “logread” and tail the log in the background by doing “logread -f &”.

root@choco:~# ifup wan
Trying to set PIN
PIN set successfully
root@choco:~# logread |tail -20
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: send (ATD*99***1#^M)
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: expect (CONNECT)
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: ^M
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: ATD*99***1#^M^M
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: CONNECT
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]:  -- got it
May 21 13:41:20 choco local2.info chat[2419]: send ( ^M)
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.info pppd[2412]: Serial connection established.
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.info pppd[2412]: Using interface ppp0
May 21 13:41:20 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/ttyUSB0
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.warn pppd[2412]: Could not determine remote IP address: defaulting to 10.64.64.64
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: local  IP address 95.209.96.115
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: remote IP address 10.64.64.64
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: primary   DNS address 80.251.201.177
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.notice pppd[2412]: secondary DNS address 80.251.201.178
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: reading /tmp/resolv.conf.auto
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using nameserver 80.251.201.178#53
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using nameserver 80.251.201.177#53
May 21 13:41:24 choco daemon.info dnsmasq[1028]: using local addresses only for domain lan
May 21 13:41:25 choco user.notice rdate: Synced with ptbtime1.ptb.de
root@choco:~# 

Hooray!

Or almost so… usually the first time you connect, I often get incorrect DNS servers from the server. It shows up like this in the log:

May 21 12:25:04 choco daemon.notice pppd[1157]: primary   DNS address 10.11.12.13
May 21 12:25:04 choco daemon.notice pppd[1157]: secondary DNS address 10.11.12.14

The exact reason why this happens is beyond me. There are patches floating around for pppd, but I haven’t tried them. A common workaround is to hardcode static DNS servers (like Google DNS or OpenDNS). I have come up with my own workaround, based on the observation that when the problem has occurred it will not happen again if I disconnect and reconnect. Thus I have written a small script which is invoked whenever an interface is brought up (typically the WAN interface).

# Written by Simon Josefsson May 2011.
root@choco:~# cat> /etc/hotplug.d/iface/01-reconnect-if-dns-is-broken 
case "${ACTION:-ifup}" in
    ifup)
	    if grep -q 10.11.12.13 /tmp/resolv.conf.auto; then
		(sleep 30 && ifdown wan && ifup wan) &
	    fi
	    ;;
esac
root@choco:~# chmod +x /etc/hotplug.d/iface/01-reconnect-if-dns-is-broken 
root@choco:~# 

That’s it! If you found this writeup useful, please flattr it.


15 thoughts on “OpenWRT with Huawei E367 and TP-Link TL-WR1043ND

  1. great writeup. if you could only post a single customized file for this configuration, then it would make configuration a snap for newbies :-) but thanks anyway!

  2. Thank you sooo much! This was the end of DD-WRT and the beginning of OpenWRT and that I finally got my Huawei E812e 3G modem working. Thank you soo much!

  3. I am trying to connect using openwrt and the E367, everything here is very helpful, but could you provide me with a chat script to use? I am failing to connect with the chat script.

    Thanks

  4. Pingback: KiwiBird » TP-Link tl-wr1043nd, openwrt, zte mf626 ? 3G-????????

  5. Hello!

    First thanke you for nice presentation, but I have a problem with configuration my Asus 500gp v2 and 3g modem.

    First which verison of openWRT i must install?

    Which program can i used for paste you code? (root@choco:~# cd /tmp…)? Terminal?

    Thanke you for help!

  6. Hello!

    Thanks for your help. I am writing some tutorials about Openwrt and I wanted to write about 3g modems as part of them. You can find them in my web page. I did not publish the 3g modem part but I wanted to include the reference to this post because I consider this post the best I have ever read about 3g modem configuration. Could you give me permission to do so through e-mail?

    Thanks a lot!

    David.

  7. thanks for your guide,

    i have a question: how do you know that vendor/product ID of the USB device after it has been “switched” is 12d1:1506 , how do you find that numbers (1506).?

    thanks for your replay

  8. Dear All,

    I am new to OpenWrt and want to connect a 3g modemto my openwrt router,I have follwed the steps you have mentioned in the forum but can not get success.

    I am using huawei datacard having model number EC1261

    can you please help me with the steps to be followed

    Thanks
    Maxe

  9. did u try ever try using this tplink with usb hub…so it can connect both usb 3g modem and usb storage (sata 2.5″ external hdd 500gb)….

    or what kind of tplink can do those scenario ?

    please answer….

    thx

  10. Thanks Simon, for a clear explanation. I’ll be trying it out with a WRT160NL and A Huawei E353.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>