I recently got something the seller on Aliexpress referred to as an "AC1200 WG3526 OpenWrt LTE Router, EU Version 1". It's basically a ZBT WG3526 board, in a Cioswi box, with an Quectel EC25-E LTE card.
So I started looking into the LTE part of the configuration using the Wiki and was quite confused: What with sending AT commands to the modem and different modes of operation and a lot of talk about "dongles" when I have an internal card. Sorry guys, I know you mean well, but I'm new to all that. So I set aside this evening to try to figure it out.
Imagine my delight when, while searching for "QMI" packages, I stumbled across something called
luci-proto-qmi which allows for LTE configuration through LuCI. Using that, it was a breeze and I spend the saved time to document the procedure here.
Now my question is: Was I just lucky, maybe because the router came pre-configured with a customized version of OpenWrt? Or should this procedure generally work with current equipment? Right now the description is on the device page. But if this should generally work, I would recommend moving it to the User Guide as "LTE for dummies - try this first".
What are your thoughts / experiences?
This is probably the only choice when support for various modems is required with almost zero manual configuration.
Compare this with "Literally 5 minutes to get it up and running" - real user feedback
Though it is a PCIe form factor, LTE cards are not on a PCI bus. Communication to the CPU is via USB, so the software is exactly the same as with an external USB modem.
If you use an official OpenWrt release build you would need to also install the kmod drivers required for your card. Vendor specific firmware usually includes them.
This website distributes variants of OpenWRT called Rooter and what may have happened is some seller took the package and distributes with this hardware. I can't say because I don't use your hardware but have used for years Rooter with a USB cell modem and it works great. www.ofmodemsandmen.com
There may be other distributions out there, but my question regards OpenWrt. And with QMI-Support in LuCI it's also just a matter of minutes to get it up and running.
My question is, whether that's a common experience, like: the wiki talks about setting modems to QMI mode using AT commands. Are most modern modems already configured that way or was I just lucky? What worked for me is basically "LTE in 5 minutes without opening a single terminal session". Should that work for other people as well?
@mk24: I now know that miniPCIe also routes USB and SIM. My point is: in my case I obviously didn't need to know that. And other newbies could save themselves a lot of time if the way I did it "usually works".