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AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10


AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

I've had a Sprint PC-5740 (Curitel) PCMCIA EVDO card for several years. I purchased it to use with my 17" PowerBook G4. After going through back-handsprings to find a way to run the WEENDOZE only firmware installer, I have been happily using this card in both my PowerBook and in several laptops with Ubuntu linux.

I now have new laptops both with ExpressCard slots instead of PCMCIA (or CardBus as it is also known). I have been using the PC-5740 with an ExpressCard/34-to-PCMCIA adapter. However, this has the entire PC-5740 exposed and hanging 6" outside of the laptop. I decided it was time to upgrade from the venerable PC-5740 to an ExpressCard EVDO. I chose a Sierra Wireless AirCard AC597E.

It was activated on Sunday and I was told it could take up to 4 hours before I could get on-line with it. This morning, now a good 18 hours later, I still could not access the Sprint Network.

On the Mac... the SmartView software simply does NOT detect the card. I also searched the /dev directory when inserting the card and no device designation is instantiated. I'd really like some pointers here. The SmartView install said some drivers were installed. I really don't see why a device which should look like a USB modem should need any special drivers save for, perhaps, these being needed for the GPS functionality of the card. I don't really care about that; I'm interested in internet connectivity.

On Ubuntu I established some symlink rules in /etc/udev/rules.d/60-symlinks.rules

KERNEL=="ttyUSB", <span class="j1">ATTRS</span>{<span class="j1">product</span>}=="<span class="j1">Curitel</span>", NAME="EVDO%s{bInterfaceNumber}"
="<span class="j5">modem</span>"</p><p><span class="j1"><br></span></p><p><span class="j1">KERNEL</span>=="<span class="j1">ttyUSB</span>", <span class="j1">ATTRS</span>{<span class="j1">product</span>}=="<span class="j5">Sierra</span>", <span class="j1">NAME</span>="<span class="j1">EVDO</span>%<span class="j1">s</span>{<span class="j1">port_</span><span class="j5">number</span>}"</p><p><span class="j1">NAME</span>=="<span class="j1">EVDO0</span>", <span class="j1">SYMLINK</span>="modem"

This simplifies connection using KPPP profiles as each modem now uses /dev/modem.

I can connect to the AC597E card with 'cu' and enter AT commands:

vaxman@Satellite:~$ cu -l /dev/modem
&C: 2; &D: 2; &F: 0; E: 1; L: 0; M: 0; Q: 0; V: 1; X: 0; Z: 0; S0: 0;
S3: 13; S4: 10; S5: 8; S6: 2; S7: 50; S8: 2; S9: 6; S10: 14; S11: 95;


HDSET: 1; ~STGLVL: 4; ~TONDUR: 100,200,100; ~TONMUT: 0; <span class="j1">SCRPAD</span>: ;<br>NAMLCK:

Manufacturer: Sierra Wireless, Inc.
Model: AC597E Rev 1.0 (1)
Revision: p2102900,60608 [Apr 19 2007 10:39:04]
APPL: SWI6800V2_FP.00.29 2007/04/19 16:55:48
BOOT: SWI6800V2_FP.00.29 2007/04/19 16:55:48
QCOM: SWI6800V2_FP.00.29 2007/04/19 16:55:48
SWID: SWI6800V2_FP.00.29 2007/04/19 16:55:48 [GENERIC_00]
USBD: SWI6800V2_FP.00.29 2007/04/19 16:55:48 [GENERIC_00]
USB VID: 0x1199 PID: 0x0021
ESN: 0x604469E1
+GCAP: +CIS707-A, CIS-856, CIS-856-A, +MS, +ES, +DS, +FCLASS

Therefore, there is communication with the device. The ESN (hex) also coincides with the value barcoded on the AC597E.

When I use KPPP to connect, I get a connect. I see an assigned IP on the 'ppp0' device and the destination IP address of the other end of this point-to-point connection. Now, if I ping the destination, I can see outward traffic but I never see a single ping returned. The log shows theAT commands sent to the EVDO modem, the ATDT#777 dial and the CONNECT message. The pppd then takes over and it's getting the information needed to establish the IP addresses.

I called Sprint this morning and had them put the ESN of the PC-5740 back on the account. Within seconds of that being reset, I was able to connect to the Sprint EVDO network with the old, venerable, PC-5740.

So, what is with this AC597E? Is it horked?

Is anyone using this card? On a Mac or Linux?

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

Thanks for the detailed post!  I'm working to find our 'wizard class' support folks for the mobile broadband cards, but with the holiday, many people are off work.

Product Ambassador, long time Sprint employee

Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

No major rush... Find someone who is really familiar and knowledgeable of the low-level stuff and have them reply.

I can use the PC-5740 and PCMCIA=>ExpressCard/34 adapter for now.


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10


I purchased a third-party CardBus/ExpressCard adapter. I was convinced that the one that came with the card

(Kyocera TXPCM10001) was non-functional.

Here is the new adapter (SynchroTech) with my other hardware:

The new adapter appears to work! When the AC597E is inserted into the new adapter and then,

subsequently, inserted into my ExpressCard/CardBus adapter (Addonics) as pictured here,

I can see the AC597E in an older PCMCIA laptop running Linux and I can use

#cu -l /dev/ttyUSB0

to communicate with the card.

Also, on my Mac (OS X 10.4.11) it appears to see the AC597E but I still get No Wireless Card.

SmartView starts and the initial window says: No Wireless Device Detected; yet, when I click

on Preferences and then select Mobile, I see listed.

I've called Sprint for support. I'm told nobody there is knowledgeable of Mac OS X. I really

do NOT believe this is an OS issue.

Why can't I take this card to a Sprint store and why don't they have laptops there with which

to check this device out? If the thing connects, OK... I'll figure it out on my own but I really

do think that this is NOT an OS issue.

Why does Verizon support this card and OS X but not Sprint?


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

My best recommendation is to start from scratch if you haven't already. Uninstall all of the software and ensure all of the related folders are moved/deleted. Then reinstall the software and try it again.

I have had windows systems that a simple uninstall/reinstall with removing the folders will fix the issue. Not sure why, shouldn't have really made a difference. I am not very familiar with OS X however, so I can't really give any specific help.


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

How WEENDOZE a solution can you get.

I'll give it a go but seems like an exercise in what to do until somebody actually has a solution.


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

Some progress. After much googling, I found a discussion link concerning the Sierra Wireless on OS X. I cannot use the SmartView software. There is a SmartView Light which supports the AC597E. I removed SmartView; then, downloaded

the SmartView Lite package and installed it. IT has the drivers which now show me:

crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 9, 8 Jan 23 20:55 tty.sierra001
crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 9, 12 Jan 23 20:55 tty.sierra05
crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 9, 10 Jan 23 20:55 tty.sierracntl

Yeah. there are finally devices when I plug in the AC597E. BTW, I need to use my new adapter. They Kyocera which it

came with simply DOES NOT WORK. This last step, I am convinced, proves this.

I ran the SmartView Lite and it sees the card. It now is asking me to contact Sprint with the hex ESN to get a "secret" 6

digit code to activate my card. Nobody at the Sprint stores or Sprint support ever mentioned a thing about this. What

is this all about?

I remember the nightmare I had to get my Ciritel PC-5740 PCMCIA card turned on. It had to load firmware which was

only supported via WEENDOZE. I don't and won't use WEENDOZE. This is better but I think Sprint personnel need to

get out of bed with Micro$oft and at least pretend to like their Mac and Linux neighbors that are moving in.

It's late now. I will contact Sprint tomorrow to see if anyone there isn't clueless enough to understand what this software

is asking me to get from them. Why do they complicate this so???


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

The 6 digit code is used for activating the card. I don't know if the 597E activates itself or not, I have a lot more experience with the USB devices.

According to everything I can find the best thing I can recommend is uninstalling SmartView and everything first. The plugging the card in, waiting for it to install the drivers. Then install SmartView, restarting if necessary, and trying to connect. If it pops up acking to activate, say yes, it may activate on its own. If it pops up asking for the lock code (which it sounds like you're at this point) then you will have to call into Care, they should be able to assist you with activation and programming, if not then technical support can definitely. Activation/Programming is the same regardless of Windows/OS X usage.

After it is activated/programmed you should have no issues.

One thing I am curious about looking at all of those adapters, is the system a PCMCIA or ExpressCard system? From your previous posts it sounds like its an ExpressCard system so no adapters should be needed. The 597E is an Expresscard/54 card but it is compatible with ExpressCard/34 slots.


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

I was told the device needed no drivers or software, and that I just needed to plug it in.

I did but there was nothing on the Mac that would indicate that the device was present

(ie. # ls -aFl /dev showed no new devices when the card was inserted). Several days

worth of googling, and reading the and the Ubuntu forums yielded


As for the adapters, they are to test the device on other systems where I was using the

older PC-5740 successfully (PCMCIA based laptops) and to test the AC597E on these

same systems requires that adapter from EC34 to CardBus.

Just for fun, I plugged the AC597E into the EC34/CardBus and then into the CardBus/

PCMCIA adapter, and stuck the whole string of devices into my linux laptop. The same

/dev/ttyUSB* devices were created so I concluded that the adapters, even the rediculous

configuration in the photo, worked.

As for self-installation, wouldn't the device need to appear as a storage device (USB disk) to

the OS? From there, it would have to have some sort of a self-installation kicker. I have my

OS X systems configured to NOT install anything automagically without notifying me and

asking for confirmation to do so. If this is the case, why are there two SmartView downloads

on Sprint's downloads page for OS X and some for WEENDOZE?

Message Edited by VAXman on 01-24-2009 06:55 AM
Message Edited by VAXman on 01-25-2009 08:42 AM


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

It is done! It is working! It is blazing fast compared to the old card!!!

After downloading the SmartView Lite for OS X, I was able to see the card and, more importantly,

the SmartView Lite software could see the card. I don't know what Sprint is telling their support

and sales force, but there is NO automatic installation, configuration and activation with this card

on OS X. I may be proven wrong someday but my experience in this sample space yields a very

different conclusion.

I called the Sprint 888 number that appeared in the software. Apparently, this software is so old

that the 888 number provided is no longed in use to access Sprint. I had to locate another phone

number. Once I got through to the mobile broadband person (a pleasant young woman from the

sound of her voice) I was given the 6 digit activation code. Within about 30 seconds after entering

that number, I was able to connect with the SmartView Lite. I then terminated the connection and

used the Mac OS X Network Connect app which I had configured previoulsy. That too fired up, so

I have no need for the SmartView gizmo. I'll keep it around... JUST IN CASE.

On to Ubuntu now that the card was enabled/configured/provisioned/programmed/firmware loaded

whatever it is that the SmartView Lite and 6 digit code did for the card.

I plugged in the AC597E and launched KPPP. It dialed out and immediately connected. NO SOFT-

WARE DRIVERS needed. The AC597E looks like a USB modem and configured as /dev/ttyUSB*. I,

of course, as I detailed in the initial post of the thread, used udev to create my own desired name

designations for the wireless devices.

Anyway, this has been quite a saga. I have to thank Sprint for knowing absolutely squat about OS X

or Linux, and how to configure this card outside of that crap called WEENDOZE. BTW, I received a

brand new Kyocera ExpressCard/PCMCIA adapter. It behaves just like the original in other words,

it doesn't function. Why is Sprint distributing this device with this useless adapter? The SynchroTech

adapter (P/N: ADP-PCM-EXPUSB2) I purchased separately works and is the one that, IMHO, should

be included in the packaging.

I will be willing to assist anyone attempting to do the same as I just have accomplished. Just email me.


Re: AC597E on Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Ubuntu 8.10

Just a followup... Ubuntu users, don't get discouraged. I found that the Network Manager Applet (0.7.0) on Ubuntu 8.10 can be configured for use with Sprint and the AC597E even though its current listed options are only for AT&T and T-Mobile.

I have abandoned KPPP altogether now. I have a single network connect now via the Network Manager Applet. Wired Networks, Wireless Networks and Mobile Broadband Networks can all be connected with one common application. The only thing I cannot get is signal strength. However, the Gnome-Netstat Applet will track packets transferred to and fro.

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