Help with Zoom 4630 USB modem with Balena OS and Rpi3

We have been using a Huawei usb cell modem with our Rpi3/Balena setup, however this modem is no longer readily available in the US, and it was the only qualified usb cell modem listed in your documentation. We have used Zoom 4630 LTE modem with Rpi3 before and it works well, but we were running Raspbian, not BalenaOS. We have contacted Zoom and they are not familiar with how to setup pppd/Wvdial with Balena. Can anyone at Balena help in getting BalenaOS configured for use with this modem? It may be a good option for your US users going forward. A manual for the modem including scripts to run with Rpi has been uploaded to this ticket.4630-4631-QuickStart-EngAZ.pdf (307.1 KB)

Hi @etc3 . Thanks for reaching out. For cellular/modem connectivity balenaOS doesn’t do anything very unique, rather it uses the ModemManager and NetworkManager the same as the defaults for Ubuntu Linux. There shouldn’t be any need to use pppd/wvdial and we rather discourage that as one would need to run those tools from a container rather than them being run in the hostOS.

To get that modem working, I would recommend first testing it on an Ubuntu Linux machine, they have a GUI that will guide you through getting it connected to your carrier. If that works, it will create a file in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections . Copy that file to some place safe as you will use that for balenaOS to connect.

Next download and flash a development version of balenaOS to a SD or usb drive (depending on what device type you are using). Once that is flashed, re plug the sd/usb into your laptop and you will see a new drive listed called resin-boot and in that copy the file you saved from above into /resin-boot/system-connections

Now boot up your device with the modem connected and it should connect up automatically. If it doesn’t get into the hostOS (this is why you need to use a development OS version as you can access the OS via SSH and serial console if needed). To check if the modem is detected on the usb run mmcli -L. Also check if the connection is activated doing nmcli c

Please try out all of the above and come back here if you get stuck with out the modem being detected. I will also raise internally if this modem could be a candidate for official support (which means continuous QA and testing with each OS release)