HSPA+ and WiFi mini-PCIe module

Talk about the wireless features of the micro PC.
avidbrit
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HSPA+ and WiFi mini-PCIe module

Postby avidbrit » Wed Sep 05, 2012 19:36

I found a mini-PCIe module that has HSPA+ and WiFi but I am not sure it would work in the UX.

The manufacture states "they do not include connection manager to run on a PC to control them, and Linux and Windows drivers are available". If it would work in the UX sounds like I'd have to find connection software to get the HSPA working.

The module has four RF connectors I assume you could use two from WiFi but I wonder if you could connect the other two from the WWAN antenna for HSPA.

Description - Option GTM671WFS 3.5G HSPA+ with GPS + Wi-Fi
Full-Size Minicard with SIM Holder

URL - http://www.embeddedworks.net/pdetail.php?mn=wwan&mid=mwwan5356&prod=wwan319

Any insight/help would be great

Thanks.

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tomn
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Postby tomn » Thu Sep 06, 2012 06:55

It probably will not work.

The WiFi section uses PCI bus to provide high transfer rate. The 3G/HSPA+ will usually use USB port for communications, hence you need a Mini PCIe slot that supports both PCI and USB bus, which most Mini PCIe slots do not support (they either support PCI or USB, not both). I believe the UX Mini PCIe slot does not support USB as someone else place an Intel WiFi+WiMax card into the slot and it didn't work.

If they allow 100% money back guarantee, you could always get it and try it out. If so do let us know the end result.
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ceehoppy1st
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Postby ceehoppy1st » Thu Sep 06, 2012 19:37

I have read (from anh) that the wifi slot does NOT have usb lines. They could be added (run 2 wires from the WWAN/ cf cable zif connector to m-Pcie slot), but without connection software all you'd have is a $$$ wifi card (maybe- if that). I have no idea how you would find a pc that uses this particular card & use/mod its sw. Or you'd need sw skills to create or mod an existing manger to work with the new card. There's probably a reason why the seller has a $$$ "developer kit".
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avidbrit
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Postby avidbrit » Fri Sep 07, 2012 00:26

I found some more information about this module. First I found the list of approved modules for the "AT&T Communication Manager" software. The list includes the model "GTM671W" the model I was looking at is "GTM671WFS" the difference between the two modules is the W is a half size mini PCI-e card and the WFS is a full size PCI-e card with a sim slot. The chip sets on the two cards are the same except one. Below are links. Ill send a message to the reseller to see if they know if it works under the AT&T communication manager software.

Approved modules - http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CCAQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.att.com%2Fmedia%2Fen_US%2Fdocs%2Fedo%2FATT_Approved_Modules.xls&ei=ESlJULncL4PY2gX4-YCgDg&usg=AFQjCNGh2mEaLoFmbuI6kiYMTBO2bkGd2Q&sig2=i9bojHr6YANS010EUM80vQ

GTM671W specs - http://www.option.com/en/products/products/gtm671-679/specifications/

GTM671WFS specs - http://www.option.com/en/products/products/gtm671wfs-gtm679wfs/specifications/

Thanks.

bigs
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Postby bigs » Fri Sep 07, 2012 04:44

hmm, sounds interesting Ceehoppy1st, adding USB lines to the PCI-e slot!! wonder why Sony did not include this, I do not think it reduces the cost that much putting in the USB lines.

Also the mini pci -e hsdpa card has built in SIM adapter, which means in order to change it, one has to dismantle the UX rear cover just to acces the SIM slot. Not really feasible if you are an avid traveller.

I still think the best solution to date is to either USB tether to a mobile phone with hsdpa, or connect to a phone using bluetooth DUN. It is super low power and gets enough speed for descent surfing, whist keeping the exisiting working Wifi PCI-E card
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client10
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Postby client10 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 13:37

I found this card also by searching online and was just about to order one but stumbled across this thread... Phew!

I e-mailed Option to find out whether or not it would be supported, and what bus it uses etc. Will post results when I hear back =)

client10
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Postby client10 » Mon Feb 25, 2013 21:35

Ok so here is Options response (very friendly and super quick response time :)

QUOTE
Thank you for your mail and your interest. It is always nice to see conversations on technical forums about our modules.

Our GTM671W(FS) is a mPCIe module that follows the mPCIe elektromechnical specification revision 1.2. This general standard defines two primary data interfaces: the PCI express and the USB interface. We decided to use PCIe for our WiFi communication and the USB serial data interface for the 2G/3G/GPS part. If your Sony Vaio doesn’t support USB than you unfortunately cannot use our solution for mobile communication.
ENDQUOTE

But i'd still like to do this,.. I'm wondering how hard it's going to be to wire a usb connection to the pci-e slot...

It would just be a hub right? going from the main usb port terminal, split back to that usb, and to the pci-e, with the Data + and Data - going to the pin 38 & 36 on the pci-e slot.

Would i need to power it as well? I'm guessing I can't directly wire 5v to the pci-e UIMPWR (pin 8) and GRND (pin 4), I can't seem to find what these voltages are supposed to be.

I'll pull the back off tonight and test those pins (pin 8) and see if there is any voltage there already..

Is this all i would need to do? could someone please post with some info =)

Thanks
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ceehoppy1st
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Postby ceehoppy1st » Thu Feb 28, 2013 00:03

If all you want to do is add usb to the pcie slot then you can use the flex cable that's taped to the hdd/ssd- it's part of the hdd-usb port cable. It's a 8-pin 0,5mm pitch ZIF cable with 3.3V + & ground, as well as usb data +/-. Here's the pinout. If you don't want to solder direct to the cable, you can get a 8-pin ZIF connector from DigiKey. Then wire the usb line from ZIF cable/conn direct to the pcie slot pins 36/38 (this way you don't have to deal with a hub & 5V power).

Most of the UX internal devices operate on 3.3V- unless your card specifically needs 5V I wouldn't bother. (the external usb port is the only 5V I know of)

There's also usb lines in the WWAN-EDGE modem cable.
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client10
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Postby client10 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 13:19

Hey,

Thanks for the reply and the info! I attempted a solder onto the flex cable, got it soldered and usb working but found it not strong enough for my liking.

Abandoned the idea of the GTM671W(FS) and ended up just modding in a 4 port usb hub coming off the original usb line, back to that usb and to a usb 3G/HSDPA module with inbuilt microsd port (which holds all the drivers for OS reinstalls), in place of the original Sony Ericsson edge chip, The aerial of the module is wired to the existing edge aerial and has great reception. I was hoping to use the original Sim holder but in order to fit the hub I had to remove it.

All working great! Text / mobile broadband is so freakn handy.

Next mods will be;
Keyboard mod to lower the backplate of the keyboard to *raise* the keys up a bit making them more easier to press.
Keyboard LED mod - RED or UV
A 128gb flash drive modded to one of the ports of the usb hub
Eventually i'd like to get a U7700 chip and attempt a BGA install but i'm a little nervous about that one...

Again, thanks for the reply =)
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