Mikrotik wAP R (RBwAPR-2nD) SIM card support

I'm looking into a device with LTE support and ran across the Mikrotik wAP R. A very similar device is already supported, and the miniPCIe LTE card I have claims to have linux support via a standard driver.

What I'm wondering about is how the SIM card slot on this device works and how it interfaces with the LTE card. If it's even supported, how do you use it to authenticate a wireless connection? What interface is it? How does it show up to the OS?

Hm,I think it is connected to LTE card via traces

Looks like you're right. According to Wikipedia, part of the electrical interface for mini PCIe:

SIM card for GSM and WCDMA applications (UIM signals on spec.).

And reading the technical docs for my wireless card (a Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC73xx),

The module supports one SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) (1.8 V or 3 V)...The SIM pins provide the connections necessary to interface to a SIM socket located on the host device. Voltage levels over this interface comply with 3GPP standards.

In case anyone's curious, here's the MiniPCIe/SIM pinout:

Name Pin Description SIM contact number Notes
USIM_PWR 8 SIM voltage 1 Power supply for SIM
USIM_DATA 10 Data I/O 7 Bi-directional SIM data line
USIM_CLK 12 Serial clock 3 Serial clock for SIM data
USIM_RST 14 Reset 2 Active low SIM reset
USIM_GND Ground 5 USIM_GND is common to module ground

TL;DR: Motherboards supporting LTE cards wire SIM card pins directly to the LTE card over Mini PCIe reserved for a SIM card connection.
In order to use these cards, your motherboard needs a SIM connector, or you need to wire it up some other way. This probably explains LTE cards I saw for sale that said "For Dell only;" they must have used non-standard pins.

So then SIM slot is a non-worry but PCI needs to be enabled and most likely some GPIO compared to standard wAP.

I can take a look at GPL patch I got couple of days ago,If this board is even there

AFAIK, the Sierra Wireless cards with Dell branding have some non-standard firmware in them. I've been advised that re-flashing them can be a pain. Based on that, I chose to purchase a new Sierra Wireless module from an authorized component supplier.

The only "gotcha" might be if there is a SIM switch that needs a GPIO level to either enable the SIM connection, or to switch between two (such as on the PCEngines dual-SIM boards).

Edit: The OpenWRT support for wireless cards is reasonably good. QMI would be the first I would try. (Linux_QMI_SDK_04_00_13_Customer_Release_Note_Rev2_0.pdf confirms that the EM/MC73xx support QMI) https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-user/network/wan/wwan/ltedongle is a good starting point.

Exactly,that is what I mentioned.
Altough since this only has one PCIE slot and it is primary for LTE it possibly could not require anything special.
I looked into GPL but there are only wAP,wAPG and wAP LTE.
What names do you find in Resources and Routerboard windows in Winbox?

1 Like

wAP R and RBwAPR-2nD, respectively.

the wap-lte and the wap-r are the same device.

the only difference is that the wap-lte comes with an r11e-lte in the slot and the wap-r comes with an empty minipcie slot

is there any progress on this?

I found a wap-r build in the downloads but the modem I have installed doesnt show up.
what do I have to do to enable the slot so my ep06a will show up?

Too bad you don't know what modem you installed..

Start by doing lsusb, does it pop up there?

This reminded me of an issue I had with my modem. I had to tape over the USB 3 pin(s) because of a USB 3 compatibility issue. That caps my thoughput to a theoretical max of 480 Mbps, but I wasn't going to get that from LTE, anyway.

I dont have these at all, so cant really help

I just fresh installed this file
https://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/22.03.0/targets/ath79/mikrotik/openwrt-22.03.0-ath79-mikrotik-mikrotik_routerboard-wapr-2nd-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
without saving settings so its a brand new install

PS C:\Users\c> ssh root@192.168.1.1
The authenticity of host '192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.1)' can't be established.
ED25519 key fingerprint is SHA256:2Yyb+/lSnLKT+S7lwyHn0RqQmswoPgm58zpIhvYuREY.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])? yes
Warning: Permanently added '192.168.1.1' (ED25519) to the list of known hosts.


BusyBox v1.35.0 (2022-09-03 02:55:34 UTC) built-in shell (ash)

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 -----------------------------------------------------
 OpenWrt 22.03.0, r19685-512e76967f
 -----------------------------------------------------
=== WARNING! =====================================
There is no root password defined on this device!
Use the "passwd" command to set up a new password
in order to prevent unauthorized SSH logins.
--------------------------------------------------
root@OpenWrt:~# lsusb
-ash: lsusb: not found
root@OpenWrt:~#

lsusb is not installed by default in the wap r image

ok so I went to wireless settings and added a wifi client to my wifi in the wan zone
went to the software page updated lists
typed lsusb into the filter and it says no results

usbutils.

opkg update 
opkg install usbutils

after that finished

root@OpenWrt:~# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux 5.10.138 ehci_hcd EHCI Host Controller
root@OpenWrt:~#

It's not detecting the card.

I'd look into taping the USB 3 pins. I found this link with a similar discussion around the card you have: https://forum.turris.cz/t/support-for-quectel-ep06-lte-a/8632/22

Or poweroff minipcie slot for a while via gpio. Look info /sys/class/gpio for proper gpio.It helps me.

(BTW use firmware with this patch: https://github.com/openwrt/openwrt/commit/c29f71ece753d55ddf19a1b87d228499e5165190)