Cellular Modem Support

My application will be using a 3g cell modem for its primary network connection. If you provisioned the devices initially over wifi does Resin support switching to a cellular connection.

Cell modem is being used with Beaglebone Black on Debian using PPP.

Would also like to adjust the amount of resin.io updates to save data usage.

Hey there! we’ve worked on both of these issues :smile:

@lifeeth can give you more info on that and point you to the right resources.

How do you connect the 3g modem to the device? (usb, ethernet, etc)

Currently we are using the serial uart interface but might switch to USB in the future.

Is their pros or cons on either interface with resin?

They should both work fine. Just asking so @lifeeth has more info on what examples to point you at. In the meantime, I’d love to hear more about what you are building, if you can share of course.

Hello Dsalzman,

We do support using PPP over a serial UART interface. We have a user using wvdial for connectivity, it works as expected from within the container - You can checkout an example which we made for the yantrr board (Beaglebone with an onboard USB 3g modem) here, you can ignore the modem initialisation parts and reuse the wvdial components. Both USB and serial modems work with us, I do however recommend a USB hub if using a USB modem as the beaglebone sometimes has issues providing power for 3g modems.

Regarding saving data usage we have certain features that can reduce the bandwidth needed to ~2MB a month, Unfortunately we don’t have these controls exposed in the UI/API yet [We have them in the pipeline for the next month], so we will have to set them for your application from the backend. For now reducing the logs printed from your application and increasing the “Check for updates every X minutes” count to 1 day in the advanced section, while downloading an image will considerably reduce your bandwidth consumption. Do let me know if you want to try these features or have any other questions.

This is a need for us too. Any thoughts on using connman and ofono for connectivity management?

Connman has a very narrow set of modems that it supports - We found using wvdial better for this purpose.

A fair comment. There’s probably more work needed there.

I added support in for the Gemalto range though (EHS6) which was easy to do and with that in ofono I have found the combination of connman/ofono to be excellent for connectivity management across wired/wifi/cellular/vpn. I aim to look at the bluetooth support at some point in the future…

Nice - Maybe you can try using resin with ofono and the modem and write us a nice blogpost :smile:

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I understand that there is support to run the cellular modem within the container, but I want the Resin Supervisor to be using the cellular connection. I know the code is on github and will be looking at it shortly.

Hi there, using the suggestion from @lifeeth means that the resin supervisor will also be using the 3g modem.

For all following this thread - @lifeeth has written a great guide on using 3g modems with resin.

Let us know if you have any Qs.