Configure Cingular Aircard 875

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Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 06:36 pm:   

I have a cingular wireless Aircard 875. NowSMS doesn't seem to be listing the wirelss modem and hence I am not able to configure a SMSC connection.

Is this card supported and If yes, how do I configure this card in NowSMS.

Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 6986
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2007 - 07:51 pm:   

It sounds like the modem driver is not installed for the card.

Do you see it in the Windows Control Panel ... Phone & Modem Options ... Modems list?

NowSMS is basically just querying for a list of modems from Windows.

-bn
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 05:52 pm:   

Hi Bryce,
I have installed the communication manager software and I believed it will install the modem drivers.

And I did check the modem list, the Sierra card is not displayed in the list. And the CD doesn't have any seperate driver installation.

I did try a hack, the device manager shows the sierra card as COM ports and I added one of the COM ports and I was able to send sms successfully.

However when I tried to configure a MMS Route (using MM1), I couldn't again select the modem which is a mandatory field.

Please suggest how I should proceed.
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 6994
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 07:24 pm:   

Hi Venu,

It is unusual that the installer wouldn't have automatically installed the modem driver.

I'd suggest going into the Windows Control Panel ... Phone & Modem Options ... Modems list and press the "Add" button.

First, see if Windows finds it automatically. If it does not (or suggests some strange driver), go into add again, but select "Don't detect my modem; I will select it from a list" ... and then select "Standard 33600 bps Modem" (don't be tempted to pick the "56000 bps" version, as this one includes setup commands that are specific to conventional dial-up modems). Even though the modem driver says "33600 bps", you will be able to communicate faster than 33600 bps.

All this said ... for the Sierra Aircard, NowSMS doesn't actually have to use dial-up for MMS. It can transmit MMS using the Aircard's network driver.

Before I get into that ... let me summarise some of the common configuration issues with the Sierra Aircard 850/860/875:

1.) If the Aircard modem drivers were installed correctly, usually there are two separate COM ports and modem drivers accessible on the card. One is labeled "Sierra Wireless AirCard HSDPA Modem", and the other is labeled "Sierra Wireless AirCard 3G Modem". The "HSDPA Modem" port exports an interface that can be used for sending/receiving SMS, while the "3G Modem" port does not. So, you would normally add "HSDPA Modem" to the "SMSC" list in NowSMS.

2.) For best performance when receiving SMS messages, we recommend setting the "SMS Message Storage" option to "Direct to Modem". (This option can be found under "Properties" for the modem in the "SMSC" list of NowSMS.)

3.) When sending SMS, frequently NowSMS will fail to send messages, with the log files reporting "CMS ERROR: 330".

This error code means that the modem needs to be configured with the address of the operator SMSC. This SMSC address is normally stored on the SIM card. However, many 3G modems have a problem in that they do not read this SMSC address from the SIM when connected to a 3G network. Therefore, NowSMS must be explicitly configured with the address of the operator SMSC.

You can usually determine the operator SMSC number that you need to use by looking in the Aircard Watcher utility. Go to the Tools/SMS page and look for "Service Center Number". Edit SMSGW.INI, and in the [Modem - Sierra Wireless AirCard HSDPA Modem] section, add SMSC=+xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, where +xxxxxxxxxxxxxx is the SMSC number for your mobile operator.

(In your case, the section header in SMSGW.INI would be [Modem - COMxx:], substituting the appropriate port number for "xx".)

4.) For MMS access, you are best off configuring the Aircard to automatically connect to the mobile network using its network card driver ... as opposed to having NowSMS access it via dial-up networking.

To do this, you want to click on the "New Profile" button next to the "Profile" drop-down list on the main screen of the Sierra Wireless Watcher application.

Configure the APN name to be the appropriate MMS APN for your mobile operator. You can use the "Lookup Operator Settings" in NowSMS to determine the MMS APN name for most of the common mobile operators. Note that this APN name is most likely different from the APN name that you would use for regular internet access.

Some mobile operators require you to specify a username and password. After configuring this MMS APN name, check the "Auto Connect" button ... then press "Apply" to save your changes in "Watcher".

My experience at this point is that Watcher does not actually "Auto Connect" until you reboot (this might change in a future update). But for now, manually press "Connect".

Back in NowSMS, when configuring the MMS settings for sending or receiving MMS, you want to set the "Network Connection" field to be "Network: 3G Aircard", instead of selecting a modem connection. Note that this causes the "GPRS APN" field to be grayed out because the network driver is responsible for establishing which GPRS APN is used. Also, leave the "Modem Used" setting blank or set to "(none)" ... because the Aircard network driver operates independently of the modem. (This is a very good thing about the Aircards.)

5.) Having followed the above advice, at this point you should be ok for sending SMS or MMS messages, but receiving will be a problem, because the "Watcher" application has a nasty habit of automatically grabbing all inbound SMS messages and removing them from the modem. To deal with this, you need to disable "Watcher" from automatically loading ... do this under Tools/Options of the Watcher program, where you UNcheck "Auto launch on card insertion" and also UNcheck "High speed connection lost warning". Reboot after saving these changes.

-bn
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:47 pm:   

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Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:49 pm:   

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Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:50 pm:   

REPOSTING: PREVIOUS TWO TIMES NOWSMS FORUM COULDN'T UPDATE A POST WITH IMAGES !

Hi Bruce,
Thanks for the detailed response. I finally got SMS and MMS working, but I had to go through a lot of pain :-)

The Cingular Communication Manger did not add any items under the Modems list.
However when I inspected the COM port list, there were a bunch of Sierra Wireless COM Ports. (Check this picture)

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/148/424020615_cea9ccec0d_d.jpg

I did install the 3G watcher and this installation added 2 modems into the modem list
1. Sierra Wireless Aircard 875 HSPDA Modem
2. Sierra Wireless Aircard HSPDA Modem


I was able to add one of the modems successfully (I don't remember which one), but it was not able to send SMS and the log complained of no response from Modem. The other modem could not be added because it was used by some other process (Note: Both 3g Watcher and Cingular Comm Manager were closed, so not sure which process was using the port)

Next I tried adding the COM ports itself as modems ! I was able to successfully add COM5 (Sierra Wireless AT command Port) and via this I could send SMS !

For MMS, as mentioned by you, I created a new profile, connected using that profile and used the "Wireless Connection" in the MMS Routing configuration. I was able to send MMS also using this configuration.

Is there any way to configure MMS using the Modem ? The "wireless connection" way is working fine, but I would also like to know the alternative way of configuring MMS.

Thanks for your inputs Bryce. However I would like you to confirm If I can continue using that COM5 port ! I am not sure how its working via that AT Command port :-)
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 7
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 07:16 pm:   

Hi Bryce,
Looks like the COM port approach is not always working. I have now no issues in sending MMS using the network connection.

However sending SMS is still a problem. When I add a COM port (Wireless AT command port),its successfully initialized and added to the SMSC list. However the Log file tells a different story

2007-03-18 15:40:09,System,,COM5:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.
2007-03-18 15:53:01,45FC24F2.req,127.0.0.1,9785015317,Retry Pending - ERROR - Error waiting for response from modem (2) -- COM5:
2007-03-18 15:56:17,System,,COM5:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.
2007-03-18 16:04:43,45FC24F2.req,127.0.0.1,9785015317,Retry Pending - ERROR - Error waiting for response from modem (2) -- COM5:
2007-03-18 16:05:03,System,,COM5:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.
2007-03-18 16:05:57,System,,COM5:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.


How do I resolve this ?

Thanks
Venu
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7008
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - 05:38 pm:   

Hi Venu,


quote:

Next I tried adding the COM ports itself as modems ! I was able to successfully add COM5 (Sierra Wireless AT command Port) and via this I could send SMS !

For MMS, as mentioned by you, I created a new profile, connected using that profile and used the "Wireless Connection" in the MMS Routing configuration. I was able to send MMS also using this configuration.

Is there any way to configure MMS using the Modem ? The "wireless connection" way is working fine, but I would also like to know the alternative way of configuring MMS.




Let me answer this question first.

You can manually install a modem driver and associate it with COM5.

Go into "Phone & Modem Options" in the Windows control panel ... check the option to indicate that you do NOT want Windows to auto-detect your modem. Then pick "Standard 33600 bps Modem". This is a good generic driver ... do not use the 57600 version as it is not as generic ... and despite the name, you are not limited to this speed.

Note that I don't recommend this however ... as you are better off using the "Network:" driver as your MMS link.

The reason I say this is because if you select the "Modem:" driver, it is not possible for NowSMS to send/receive SMS while it has an active data connection for sending/retrieving MMS. NowSMS has to switch access modes between the SMS and data channels in this case.

However, no switching is required if you are using the network driver for the MMSC connection. NowSMS can keep monitoring the SMS channel even while it is interactive with the MMSC over the data channel.

Regarding the SMS problem, do any SMS messages ever get sent out? If not, have you tried manually adding the SMSC number to the SMSGW.INI file? (#3 in my list above.)

Also, there is a configuration option in NowSMS ... under properties for the modem in the "SMSC" list, try setting "SMS Access" to be "GSM". (In a 3G context, this setting actually means to use the "circuit switched" network for SMS ... while the "GPRS" setting means to use the "packet switched" network. Most cards default to wanting to use the "packet switched" network, but many providers are requiring the use of the "circuit switched" network.)

-bn
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 06:09 pm:   

Hi Bryce,
I haven't still tried the alternate approach of configuring sms (i.e. assigning a standard modem to a COM port and using that port)

I was able to add the Command AT port of Sierra wireless (modem initialized at 115200 bps). For few hours, there are no issues in sending SMS messages
(note i haven't done any smsc setting in the ini file)

But after few hours, nowsms is not able to communicate with the modem !!!

12:12:18:835 [3] ThreadProcessModem: After ModemRelease - COM8:
12:13:38:950 [3] ThreadProcessModem: Before ModemAllocate - COM8:
12:13:38:950 [3] ThreadProcessModem: After ModemAllocate - COM8: - OK
12:13:38:950 [3] ThreadProcessModem: Re-initializing modem: COM8: ...
12:13:38:950 [3] OpenDevice: Unable to open device COM8:, error 2
12:13:38:950 [3] ThreadProcessModem: Before ModemRelease - COM8:
12:13:38:950 [3] ThreadProcessModem: After ModemRelease - COM8:
12:15:18:093 [3] ThreadProcessModem: Before ModemAllocate - COM8:
12:15:18:093 [3] ThreadProcessModem: After ModemAllocate - COM8: - OK
12:15:18:093 [3] ThreadProcessModem: Re-initializing modem: COM8: ...

Log mentions "error 2" when trying to initialize the modem. What does that error mean and why does this start happening after few hours !!

(I will try out the alternate approach and let you know if its working)
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 - 07:53 pm:   

Hi Bryce,
I tried manually adding a modem. However I need to assign the modem to one of the COM ports.

In my earlier message, I had linked a picture showing the different COM ports configured by Sierra. I could only configure Command AT port and make it work

But again after sometime, in the SMS out log I see a message saying Error trying to initialize the modem !!

So here is the exact scenario of the problem.
1. Install Nowsms
2. Configure SMSC(Add the COM port which is configured as the Wireless AT Command Port into the modem list)
3. Modem is successfully initialized
4. Sending and receving of SMS messages is fine
5. After some time/few messages, SMSOUT log starts printing out these messages.

2007-03-27 16:02:56,4609538C.req,208.45.178.176,15085722814,Retry Pending - ERROR - Error waiting for response from modem (2) -- COM6:
2007-03-27 16:03:08,System,,COM6:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.
2007-03-27 16:03:28,System,,COM6:,Modem Failure -- Unable to access modem, ensure that it is powered on and passes diagnostic tests.

Sonus Networks recently bought a license for NowSMS and the basic SMS feature is not working

I used the Cingular and 3G watcher application to send SMS, it never fails.

Please let me know how to proceed ahead.
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7017
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 01:28 pm:   

Venu,

I'd suggest going to the Sierra Wireless web site, and download the latest drivers.

I can't help but think that there is something fundamentally wrong with the installation of the drivers ... since you've had to try to go direct to the COM port.

The "Error 2" that you are seeing is a Windows error indicating that the COM port does not exist.

The "Error waiting for response from modem (2)" message means that we sent a command to the modem asking to send a message, but no response was received after 2 minutes.

I would suggest uninstalling the current driver, and then installing an updated driver downloaded from http://www.sierrawireless.com/support

When the driver is properly installed, there should be a modem driver installed for "Sierra Wireless AirCard 3G Modem" ... and that is the one that should be added in NowSMS. (Note that in most situations, you will see "CMS ERROR 330" errors when attempting to send a message, so see my notes above about configuring the SMSC number to address that problem.)

Regarding the Sierra Wireless driver ... I wonder if there is something funny about the Cingular/AT&T version of the driver. From the Sierra Wireless web site, you can also download the normal international version of the driver, which may be worth trying.

I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm passing the blame on this issue, but it really sounds like a driver problem. The fact that the modem driver is not installed automatically ... and the error about the COM port not existing ... just seem to point in this direction.

-bn
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 10
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 02:58 pm:   

I will check by reinstalling the drivers. The funny thing is that Cingular communication manager doesn't add any modems

But when I install the 3g watcher application, it adds 2 modems. But point to note is that these 2 modems are using the same COM port (Command AT port)

When I initially configure nowsms, the modem (COM Or hspd) is added successfully. I can send and receive messages. After some time, modem doesn't respond !

When I try to run the "Test" modem , I get the following message

Some other process is using the port - Error 5

Does any process take over the COM port and deny nowsms the access to the port ?
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 11
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 10:33 pm:   

Hi Bryce,
I resintalled the firmware, the latest software from Cingular and even then I ended up with the same problem

Then I thought that it might be a problem with the hardware. So I took one more brand new cingular card from IT, reinstalled the software and drivers.

It turns out NowSMS has issue with this card as well.

I have ran the Sierra Troubleshoot wizard and seems like all devices are installed properly. Cingular Communication Manager and Sierra 3G watcher application have no issue in sending/receiving SMS.

Has anybody used NowSMS with Cingular Aircard 875 ?

Scenarios of using this card with NowSMS gateway:

1. Added Aircard 875 HSPDA modem into SMSC list
2. Modem Tested successfully and added to the list.
3. Test again (2-3 times). successful and this message is displayed almost instantaneously.
4. Configure SMSC number in the INI file
5. Start SMS Gateway service
5. Switch to SMSC List and now again retest. The test takes around 20-30 seconds and finally comes with a message "Test succeeded"
6. Try to send a SMS message via the web interface
7. Error message in SMSOUT log

Retry Pending - ERROR - Error waiting for repsonse from modem (2) - Sierra Wireless Aircard 875 HSPDA Modem.

For every message sent from web interface, the above message is logged.


Scenario 2:
Configure the COM port (AT Command port) in the SMSC List (COM8 in my case)
(This port is the one used by Cingular Sofware also I believe)

1. Modem Initialized at 115200 bps
2. SMS works perfectly fine but only for a few hours/messages and SMSOUT also suggests that messages are sent out properly.
3. After few hours you see error messages in SMSOUT and these are similar to the one displayed in Scenario 1 (Error waiting for response from modem (2) – COM 8 

However both Cingular Messaging Application and Sierra wireless application have no issue in sending SMS messages (I believe this also goes via the GSM Modem)

So does this mean that NowSMS has issues with Cingular Aircard 875 ? ( I have tried with 2 cards to confirm that there is no problem with the hardware)
Has anybody including NowSMS tested with this 875 PCMCIA card ?

Can you please recommend a Cingular Card which works seamlessly with NowSMS? I have been struggling for the past 1 week with this card and I am not sure If I am willing to spend more time on this card.

}
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7021
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 07:20 pm:   

Hi Venu,

I have not used a Cingular branded Sierra Wireless Aircard 875. That is one of the reasons that I suggested trying the "Other" firmware. That is the generic firmware for the Aircard 875.

Have you tried setting "SMS Access" to "GSM" under the "Properties" in the NowSMS list? (In a 3G context, this means to use the "circuit switched" network for SMS sending ... most cards default to "packet switched", but most operators don't have SMS enabled on the packet switched network.)

If you're still not getting anywhere ... let's do a sanity check ...

The fact that Watcher works for sending SMS is good, but it's not perfect. Watcher interfaces with the card using a proprietary interface, not the open "AT command" interface.

What seems to be happening for you is that every time you try to send a message, the modem does not respond back to acknowledge it.

So as a sanity check, let's go into HyperTerminal and try issuing some commands manually ... as this may give us a better understanding of what is and what is not working.

In order to put a list of commands together for you, can you tell me what the SMSC address is that you found when checking Watcher? (One of the commands needs to include this address in a scrambled format.)

If you can post that SMSC address, I'll be back more quickly to give a list of commands to try.

In the meantime, let me give you something else to try ... edit SMSGW.INI, and under the [Modem - Sierra Wireless AirCard 3G Modem] section header, add:

ModemTextMode=Yes
CommandPostInit1=AT+CSCA="+1xxxxxxx"

(Replace the "+1xxxxxxx" with the SMSC number.)

Does this result in any difference in behaviour? The "ModemTextMode=Yes" setting tells NowSMS to use the text mode AT command interface for sending SMS, which is one of the things I want to have you try in HyperTerminal eventually ...

-bn
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 05:04 am:   

Hi Bryce,

Seems like I have found the culprit for the problem. (Need few more days to confirm this though)

We re-imaged the notebook and did a fresh install of the Cingular communication manager software.

As usual there was no modem added to the modem list and I used one of the COM ports (this is the only port that works) - Sierra Wireless AT Command Port (UMTS).
Sending of SMS has no issues from the past 2 days.

I believe the culprit is the 3G watcher software that I used to install to configure MMS.
As suggested by you, I used to connect to the NowSMS profile in 3g watcher, however probably after sending one MMS message, SMS starts failing.

The same Wireless AT command port is used to establish the data communication and this probably takes over control of the COM port.

(Cingular Communication Manager -> Tools -> Diagnostics -> GSM Info also lists the AT command COM port as the device driver)

When I try to remove and add the port again as a modem in NowSMS, I used to get a message saying that the port is already in use ! (

Is it possible for the connection created by 3G watcher to take over the modem and deny access to NowSMS ? Please confirm.

If this is the case, I would have to go for the alternate configuration for MMS (i.e using the modem and not the network driver)

In one of your earlier replies you had mentioned that I should be creating a new modem and associate it with the COM port (i.e. Wireless AT command port).
But when I try to configure the modem, the Wireless AT command COM port is not listed at all !! How do I resolve this.

Thanks
Venu
Venu
New member
Username: Venukb

Post Number: 13
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 09:17 am:   

Hi Bryce,
Please let me know the alternate way of configuring MMS.

There is no modem added in the Modem List and I am not able to configure a MM1 connection

I cannot use 3g watcher since it seems to take over the COM port (or i am doing some configuration error in 3g watcher, not sure)

Also please let me know which Aircard you suggest.
Functions required:
SMS - Send and Receive
MMS - Send.

Regards
Venu
Bryce Norwood - NowSMS Support
Board Administrator
Username: Bryce

Post Number: 7246
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 07:27 pm:   

Sorry, I dropped the ball on this thread, but it has been continued (with an 860 instead of 875) on the following thread:

http://support.nowsms.com/discus/messages/1/21562.html

I did want to offer a few pointers ...

The Cingular version of the Sierra software might be a problem. That is one of the reasons that I suggested trying the "Other" firmware. That is the generic firmware for the Aircard 875. You can download this at http://www.sierrawireless.com/support, by selecting "Carrier" as "Others".

I have not been able to test the Cingular version of the software, but the generic version should work with the Cingular branded card.

Regarding Watcher grabbing ports, while you do need to load Watcher to define the settings to get the APN to automatically connect ... after you define the APN and reboot, you need to configure Watcher itself not to auto-load, as described by this item above:


quote:

5.) Having followed the above advice, at this point you should be ok for sending SMS or MMS messages, but receiving will be a problem, because the "Watcher" application has a nasty habit of automatically grabbing all inbound SMS messages and removing them from the modem. To deal with this, you need to disable "Watcher" from automatically loading ... do this under Tools/Options of the Watcher program, where you UNcheck "Auto launch on card insertion" and also UNcheck "High speed connection lost warning". Reboot after saving these changes.




Generally speaking, the Sierra Wireless cards have always worked great for me. However, they are very confusing to get configured initially. And it is very possible that the Cingular branded software is causing this issue.

I'm going to close this thread, and let's continue discussion over in the other thread regarding the 860.

-bn

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