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30/08/2017

Using the ZTE MF190 3G dongle with a Mikrotik Router

3G Dongles suck. Or maybe Linux support for 3G dongles sucks. Either way, if you're hoping to accelerate your hair loss, I can recommend attempting to setup a 3G dongle with a Linux based device.

This brief guide will cover setting up the ZTE MF190 modem with a Mikrotik router.

The following guide assumes you know your way around a Mikrotik Router, you have connected via SSH / Telnet / a console port, and you have a ZTE MD190 Dongle plugged into a USB port.

Confirm the router can 'see' the dongle

First of all, run the following command to print a list of attached USB devices-
/ sys resource usb print

If the router has found the modem you should see something like-
 # DEVICE VENDOR                                                             NAME                                                           SPEED
 0 1:1    Linux 3.3.5 ehci_hcd                                               RB400 EHCI                                                     480 Mbps
 1 1:6    ZTE,Incorporated                                                   ZTE WCDMA Technologies MSM                                     480 Mbps

Deleting the automatically configured ppp-client

Upon detecting the 3G modem, your router may decide to be helpful and create a ppp-client device for you. Lets get rid of it. First of all confirm the number of the newly configured ppp client. It will be called something like ppp-out1-
/interface ppp-client
print

Delete it. (the following assumes ppp-out1 is option 0)-
remove 0

Then reboot your router to purge it forever-
/ sys reboot


Disable the CD drive

Most dongles make your like 'easier' by emulating a CD drive, that contains the appropriate out of date drivers for an operating system that's no longer supported. This can cause havoc with Linux devices, so it's best disabled. 

First of all console into your modem-
/ sys serial-terminal usb1 channel=2

And type the following and hit return.
AT+ZCDRUN=8

You should see the word 'OK'

To exit the console, hit Ctrl + A then Q to quit.


Configuring the PPP client

With the above completed, its time to configure the PPP client. You will may need to find the correct APN from your provider, although some are not fussy-
/interface ppp-client
add apn=[YOUR APN] data-channel=2 dial-command=ATD*99# dial-on-demand=no disabled=no info-channel=1 name="3G Dongle" port=usb1

Confirming you're connected

Once you've finished the configuration, it's time to confirm you're connected-
monitor 0

All being well you will see something like-

          status: connected
          uptime: 8s
        encoding:
   connect-speed: 7200000
             mtu: 1500
             mru: 1500
   local-address: 10.209.185.54
  remote-address: 0.0.0.0

Finishing up

You should now go about configuring the firewall and required NAT rules.

Enjoy!

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