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Hi All, Once again I am confronted with problems getting a UMTS device working. This time it is a TP Link MA260. I've downloaded the DataSheet from the TP Link ...
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  1. #1
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    Question TP Link MA260 - cannot get UMTS device to be recognised orswitched.


    Hi All,

    Once again I am confronted with problems getting a UMTS device working. This time it is a TP Link MA260. I've downloaded the DataSheet from the TP Link website, but unless you're using some flavour of Windows, it isn't very useful.

    Currently I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

    The result of running lsusb:
    Code:
    achim@achim-W840SU-Series:~$ lsusb
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp. 
    Bus 002 Device 005: ID 2357:f000  
    Bus 002 Device 003: ID 8087:07dc Intel Corp.

    Trawling the net I saw a lot of very techincal posts mentioning this relatively new card and that including this rather tantalising piece:USB_ModeSwitch ? View topic - New device TP-Link MA260.

    This and a few other technical posts suggest that the MA260 has been "added to the kernel options", though I confess I do not know exactly what that means. I assume that means the firmware has been added. It's not entirely clear which kernel versions have been blessed with this update.

    I tried the man page for usb-modeswitch and attempted to give a command to switch the device over to UMTS modem. I tried the following:
    Code:
    usb_modeswitch -v 2357 -p f000 -P 9000 "5553424312345678000000000000061b000000020000000000000000000000"
    This had the effect of placing me in some sort of interactive mode in which I had no idea what to do next. So I got out with Ctrl-C. There was no change whatever to lsusb.

    I am starting to get quite desperate, because I have no private access to internet other than a mobile device. I am doing this after hours at work so I can check the results at best tomorrow. At the weekend my time is limited so I cannot spend ages on this problem.

    The MA260, it's vendor ID and product ID are all missing from the list in /lib/udev/rules.d/40_usb_modeswitch.rules. The format for this stuff also seems to have changed in the past 2 years. I look at some backups from 18 months ago and it looked quite different.

    I'm happy to provide further information if anyone can help. I just don't know what's needed.

  2. #2
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    If you have the kernel docs installed you'll have <path_to_docs>/usb/acm.txt (or acm.txt.gz). I don't know if it'll provide you any help or not but it's a little more info.

  3. #3
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    There hasn't been much response on this thread, but I have had a bit of support from this other forum. I have attempted to be as clear and concise as possible and there have been very clear advances in how to diagnose this type of problem. A solution is not yet available but I expect to get there soon.

    Amongst other things, there is a link to a checklist. If you know a bit about these things, this is quite useful, but be warned it is essentially a list of all manner of things that can go wrong without regard for which phase of the attempt you're in... e.g. it is pointless looking at dial up script errors when your dongle is not being recognised.

    I will be closing this thread as soon as I get an answer... watch this space, people.
    Last edited by achim_59; 01-22-2014 at 06:54 PM.
    gregm likes this.

  4. #4
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    OK. There is a way around the problem. The details (lots of them) are to be found on that other forum I mentioned. It is worth a read for anybody trying to get a handle on mobile broadband. In it I have documented all the approaches I have tried with 2 different dongles: a Nokia CS-15 (known to work under Linux for a number of years) and the TP-Link MA260 (relatively new at this time).

    I'll skip the details and cut to the chase, as they say. I found a reasonable work-around to the problem. At first I tried it with the CS-15. I was baffled as to why I could not get it to work, when I had previously used the same model for a couple of years. In the end I discovered that the device was faulty. Using the method described below I got it working, but as described in my othether post, it ceased working after 2 weeks. I have since sent it back (under guarantee, you understand).

    I then tried the same trick with the MA260 and it also worked, though it definitely behaves somewhat differently. Here is the sequence of steps required:

    1. start Network Manager (I don't think this is required if you use wvdial but if you use a Network Manager connection, obviously you'll need to do this).
    2. System > Control Center > Drive Utility. Other distros than Ubuntu will probably have a similar tool that may need to be installed.
    3. Select the "CD drive" that corresponds to your dongle and click the "eject" button.
    4. Start your wvdial script and you should get a connection (in this case you probably don't need step 1). Alternatively, check the NM icon and see if your Broadband config is listed as active and available. If so, you can select that and you should be online.

    To check on the process as it happens, you can try tail -f /var/log/syslog or tail -f /var/log/dmesg. The former gives more detail, the latter is a bit more readable. This and the lsusb command and the reaction to the usb_modeswitch command are what showed up the differences between the (probaly broken) CS-15 and the MA260.

    My only worry now is whether or not the "eject" causes any problems for the dongle. Those with whom I have spoken all say "No".

    I'm marking this as solved, but you should look at the Ubuntu post to see if I come up with anything better. I'll mark that one as solved, too, as soon as I run out of ideas.
    Last edited by achim_59; 02-18-2014 at 08:33 PM. Reason: corrections

  5. #5
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    OK. There is a way around the problem. The details (lots of them) are to be found on that other forum I mentioned. It is worth a read for anybody trying to get a handle on mobile broadband. In it I have tried and documented all the approaches I have tried with 2 different dongles: a Nokia CS-15 (known to work under Linux for a number of years) and the TP-Link MA260 (relatively new at this time).

    I'll skip the details and cut to the chase, as they say. I found a reasonable work-around to the problem. At first I tried it with the CS-15. I was baffled as to why I could not get it to work, when I had previously used the same model for a couple of years. In the end I discovered that the device was faulty. Using the method described below I got it working, but as described in my othether post, it ceased working after 2 weeks. I have since sent it back (under guarantee, you understand).

    I then tried the same trick with the MA260 and it also worked, though it definitely behaves somewhat differently. Here is the sequence of steps required:

    1. start Network Manager (I don't think this is required if you use wvdial but if you use a Network Manager connection, obviously you'll need to do this).
    2. System > Control Center > Drive Utility. Other distros than Ubuntu will probably have a similar tool that may need to be installed.
    3. Select the "CD drive" that corresponds to your dongle and click the "eject" button.
    4. Start your wvdial script and you should get a connection (in this case you probably don't need step 1). Alternatively, check the NM icon and see if your Broadband config is listed as active and available. If so, you can select that and you should be online.

    To check on the process as it happens, you can try tail -f /var/log/syslog or tail -f /var/log/dmesg. The former gives more detail, the latter is a bit more readable. This and the lsusb command and the reaction to the usb_modeswitch command are what showed up the differences between the (probaly broken) CS-15 and the MA260.

    My only worry now is whether or not the "eject" causes any problems for the dongle. Those with whom I have spoken all say "No".

    I'm marking this as solved, but you should look at the Ubuntu post to see if I come up with anything better. I'll mark that one as solved, too, as soon as I run out of ideas.

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