Sierra Wireless Gateways

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tekuhn
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:51 am

Sierra Wireless Gateways

Post by tekuhn » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:36 pm

I built a WE826T2 w/EM7455 and adapter. Everything works great! I built it to replace a Netgear LB1120 which was working fine, but didn't support any LTE-A specifications. Through the process of researching LTE gateways, I was seeing lots of used Sierra Wireless GX440 and GX450 units for pretty good prices. I noticed on the pictures of the labels that they contained MC series communication modules. I bought both a GX440 and ES450 online quite cheap and proceeded to take them apart. Sure enough, MC7750 and MC7355 modules inside with standard PCIe mini interfaces.

I was really hoping that they would allow me to replace the module with an MC7455 or higher, but long story short, no. They have the firmware locked down so that it will not even recognize the presence of anything other than the module it originally came with. In fact, the GX440 I have with the MC7750 for Verizon, cannot even be changed to the MC7700 for use with AT&T even though they sell an AT&T model that uses the MC7700.

I suppose one could say Sierra has done this to ensure the device will not be modified to operate outside of it's FCC certification, but I'm sure they like selling their business customers a new unit (at $600-$800 each) with every model change.

Has anyone developed open source firmware for these units? They are rugged and reliable and just what many people need who don't want a full WIFI, router, gateway. I use a Peplink load balancing router and just want simple and reliable LTE gateways.

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BillA
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Re: Sierra Wireless Gateways

Post by BillA » Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:03 am

tekuhn wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:36 pm
Has anyone developed open source firmware for these units? They are rugged and reliable and just what many people need who don't want a full WIFI, router, gateway. I use a Peplink load balancing router and just want simple and reliable LTE gateways.

Those devices including the modem firmware are encrypted, so unless you can crack an AES-256 encryption (which even the most powerful computer in the world can't) then there's not much you can do.
There are a number of more capable devices out there which don't have locked down hardware (ex. ZBT WE828, WG3526 with Quectel or Sierra modems), can be found for sale at https://ltefix.com/product-category/routers/

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