Support for Quectel EP06 LTE-A?

Sorry for not posting in so long.

Today, I installed Turris OS 4.0. After taping off the USB3 pins on the Quactel EP06 modem, the QMI interface registered as a USB device:

root@turris:~# lsusb
...
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2c7c:0306 Quectel Wireless Solutions Co., Ltd. EG06/EP06/EM06 LTE-A modem
...

I then installed the opkgs kmod-usb-net-qmi-wwan, luci-proto-qmi, and uqmi.

A /dev/cdc-wdm0 device node appeared after installing the qmi-wwan kmod.

I then ran uqmi and was able to query the device, so it appears to be working!

root@turris:~# uqmi -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --get-capabilities
{
	"max_tx_channel_rate": 50000000,
	"max_rx_channel_rate": 100000000,
	"data_service": "non_simultaneous_cs_ps",
	"sim": "supported",
	"networks": [
		"umts",
		"lte"
	]
}

Thank you VERY much for sharing this! I really appreciate you taking the time to detail this info. Were you able to make a connection with a carrier? May I ask how and where you taped the pins? A photo or two, if possible, would be even better! Thanks again, and I hope I can call on you if I need to. My EP-06 has been collecting dust, and the EC20 I am using cannot leverage LTE-A speeds.

Taping the pins was a pain in the rear, so I don’t want to take the modem out of the socket!

Look at page “14/53” of the following PDF:

With the modem pins facing you and the shorter set of pins to the left, you will see something like the below (assume the notch is __ and the pins are X or dots. You tape the pins with dots (4 total, 2 groups of 2).

XXXXXXXX____XXX..XX..XXXXXXXXX

I have not yet installed a SIM card, so I cannot verify that it works with the carriers. I plan on using it with Verizon in the coming months, though.

Thanks again! Can I please ask what you taped them with and how you went about it?

I used frog tape (painters tape). Just cut it to size and plaster it on the right pins. You can also use scotch tape, but I found it was annoyingly hard to manage a piece small enough so that only two pins are covered.

Be sure to have a magnifying glass handy unless you have some very good eyes :slight_smile:

So, after many months of waiting, I have some good and bad news. I got a SIM card and was finally ready to set up my Omnia for use on Verizon’s network…

Good news: Once the pins are taped off as prescribed above, the EP06-A likely works great in QMI mode out of the box in Turris Omnia 4.0 beta1. So thank you all of you here for your support.

Bad news: Wait, why did he say likely!? Well, I say likely because while you can swizzle and swirl the modem from the OS (via uqmi), the modem itself looks seriously botched – it won’t register itself on Verizon’s network. I spent probably my entire weekend learning the Hayes’ AT command language and poked and prodded at the modem 20 different ways via /dev/ttyUSB2 (playing with bands, LTE modes, forcing manual registration, improving signal strength,etc…). It just simply won’t register on Verizon’s network. I also tried popping my T-Mobile SIM in, but T-Mobile wasn’t even been seen in the operator list in respond to a COPS? command.

Now – I’m a very, very technical person, but it always could be me messing something up since this is my first time… but I really don’t think so at this point. I think the EP06-A is just a bad lemon. I noticed that while their “tech spec” document has Verizon certification pending (as denoted by the asterisk!)… Verizon still does not acknowledge the modem as of today. At the same time, however, Verizon does support older Quectel modems and a range of other manufacturer’s recent LTE-A and LTE-A Pro modems. So it’s kinda fuel to the fire for me. I e-mailed Quectel support with some diagnosis I did, so we’ll see.

Anyways, I’m really not optimistic that this modem will work on the Verizon network, so I broke open the piggy bank and ordered a Telit LM-940 (mPCI-e) card. It’s a LTE-A Pro Cat11 modem that Verizon has already certified. Supposedly only requires >= kernel 4.10, and Turris Omnia 4.0 beta1 is based on 4.14. We’ll find out this weekend. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I can open a new thread for the LM-940 if desired.

Thank you for all of your hard work on this, as well as sharing the details of what you discovered. Both are greatly appreciated! Please do keep us updated on your findings with the new modem. If it works, I am definitely getting one, especially if it does not require pins to be taped!

No problem. I do imagine the pins will have to be taped, unfortunately. And this time, instead of being in sets of 2 pins, they are 1-off pins… will require the taping to be more precise. :frowning:

I am typing this forum post from a connection going through the EP06-A! :slight_smile:

Quectel gave me a firmware update dated 2019/05/09. The changelog for the update references several things for Verizon/Verizon certification. Once I applied it, the modem fired right up over a QMI connection.

root@turris:~# uqmi -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --get-signal-info
{
	"type": "lte",
	"rssi": -63,
	"rsrq": -10,
	"rsrp": -91,
	"snr": 88
}
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I’m not sure what performance people are getting with the EC20, but in the suburb I am testing from, the EP06-A yields about 55-65ms pings consistently on beta.speedtest.net with download speeds of 22-25mbps and uploads of 11-12mbps.

Signal info right now:

root@turris:~# uqmi -d/dev/cdc-wdm0  --get-signal-info
{
	"type": "lte",
	"rssi": -62,
	"rsrq": -14,
	"rsrp": -94,
	"snr": 32
}

This is excellent news indeed! Could I please get a copy of that firmware? robroy90 at gmail dot com.

What maximum speed (according to your ISP) could be reached in your area / according to your contract as the modem is designed for 4G cat6 (300 MBit/s down, 50 MBit/s up)?
Did you have to tape pins? I thought that was not necessary for 4.14 kernel on TOS v.4.0?

Can you give some more details please?

I am using the EC20 on Verizon here in the St. Louis Metro area, and I just did a speed test and got 25.1 down and 18 up, and my Turris Omnia is not in an ideal location where it is conducive to getting the best possible speeds. Do you still have to have pins taped? I don’t want to run beta code on my Omnia, so maybe when the next major OS update is released, it will be officially supported. Could I please get a copy of or a link to that firmware update? Thanks!

Apologies for not responding. I’ll be watching the forum more closely for the next few days if you have questions. Yes, the pins MUST be taped - no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This appears to be an issue with the Turris – it must not support USB3 in the mPCIe slot in ways that modems expect because I’m 0/2 on USB3 working now…

I’ll post a picture with how to tape the modem pins.

Unfortunately, I cannot release the firmware for the EP06 as I believe it is issued under an NDA and not supposed to be freely distributed… you will unfortunately have to contact Quectel support via e-mail and hope for the best. They may ask for your IMEI or other information. If all else fails, I am debating selling my EP06-A modem for ~market value given that I have the Cat11 Telit LM940 modem working now.

I got the Telit LM940 (Cat11) modem working today! The pins still had to be taped. The firmware shipped on the modem worked out of the box.

About speeds:
The USB2 interface in the Turris is almost unquestionably a bottleneck at this point (it was arguably so in the EP06 when the conditions were right, but the nature of the Cat11 modem results in higher speeds in the same conditions). The catch with the LM940 is that the QMI interface seems to have some race-condition of sorts that requires a /bin/sleep between getting a client ID/setting the IP family and starting the network. Still debugging this but I could not get the modem to come up without editing qmi.sh in /lib… which is not sustainable as it may be wiped out during an update.

I’m in a rural area (so that may be the limiting factory…) and hard pressed to get speeds above 25mbps up/down. I do not have an EP20 or any kind of baseline comparison other than the EP06 (Cat6) and LM940 (Cat11).

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it. If you could please share the email address you used to contact Quectel I’d appreciate it, and it would be even better if you shared specifically what you said to them to convince them to provide the firmware, it would be even better. I have no ulterior motives, and have no issues in providing them with an IMEI or other details. If you are also still interested in selling your EP06, please let me know what you want for it. I’d probably be interested in buying it, especially with the firmware and the pins properly taped.

Glad you have the Telit LM940 working. That is good to know. I’d be inclined to agree the USB2 interface is likely the bottleneck.

I am in a more urban area for the majority of my use for internet access with Turris. But, we travel a fair amount and I also depend on it for internet access when we do, so I am all in favor of doing all I can to improve speeds, even if they are marginal increments. I am rather pleased with the Turris overall, especially now that I have Pi-Hole ad blocking running in a container on the SSD. I get cranky when I have internet access without ad blocking… :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

-Rob

The e-mail was support@quectel.com. The file I was provided was EP06ALAR02A07M4G.zip

The firmware information is:
Rev. EP06-A-LA _Firmware_Release_Notes_V0207
Date: 2019-05-09

If you can get them to give you that file (or a newer rev), I can provide instructions on how to flash it.

I would just be upfront with them: you’re trying to get a new firmware to get the modem to work on a Verizon network (that’s all I did – no trickery).

The taping is a lot easier than you’d think – the modem isn’t particularly finicky. The tape only needs to cover the pins to prevent an electrical connection – once you insert the modem into the mPCI-e slot, the connectors more or less hold the tape in place.

Here are some camera shots:

As for pricing, if you want to go there, – make an offer. I’ll gladly take whatever market value is + shipping minus a small discount (as it is technically “used”).

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One other disclaimer I should mention:
When I got the EP06-A working at first, I was using these el cheapo antennas off Amazon. They’re the regular paddle/omnis that looked similar to the Turris Omnia stock WiFi antennas.

Well, when I upgraded to a higher performance Panorama 2-in-1 dome antenna, I found that plugging a lead from the antenna into the ANT_DIV (secondary) pigtail connected to the modem would result in the modem going bazerk and disappearing from the Turris Omnia. Unplug the pigtail and the modem would appear again.

The same antenna works fine with the Telit LM940, so I can only suspect that the EP06-A doesn’t like high-gain antennas?

I don’t think USB2 would be a showstopper - at least not for me in my rural scenario: it provides 30 MBytes gross rate means 240 MBit up/down could be reached if provided by the ISP (which is not that far from maximum CAT6 speed of 300 MBit). At my dedicated spot the maximum I can reach with my SGS7 (I think it provides 2×2 antenna) is ca. 120/40 MBit. But as pricing for 4G-contracts is ridiculous high in Germany and I only need to connect an allotment I will anyways only book a 50/10 Mbit contract.

Sry to ask this again - but are you running TOS v.4.0b- versions? I hoped this might be solved with 18.x-based versions…