Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Using a WindMobile Huawei E1691USB stick in Linux

This piece of Chinese-designed cr*p is a dual-use USB stick, i.e. it has a dual personality as a USB device. In its "native" state it looks like a CD-ROM (so you can install the drivers in Windows and MacOS off it) yet it has to be reset with a "secret handshake" to look like a COM port.

I g00gled for this and found no good answer but some good bits. And here is how they came together:
1. you need the usbserial and a recent copy of the option [GSM driver] modules loaded;
2. the reset sequence (via usb_modeswitch):
# Huawei E1691
DefaultVendor= 0x12d1
DefaultProduct= 0x1446
TargetVendor= 0x12d1
TargetProduct= 0x140c
3. I connected via vwdial, this is the config file for it [it's Wind-specific]:
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Init4 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","broadband.windmobile.ca"
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Baud = 115200
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
ISDN = 0
Phone = *99#
Password = gprs
Username = gprs
I used Knoppix 6.4.4 to connect and it worked beautifully.

Mind you you need good signal (which can be a problem with Wind).

VMware/Windows note: if you run Linux in a VM and you assign the USB stick to it then when you use usb_modeswitch it will cause the stick to re-enumerate and kick some "Found New Hardware" dialogs in Windows. Ignore them (Cancel).