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Connect Your BeagleBone To Cellular Via Hologram’s Network

/ Written By Reuben Balik

NOTE: An updated version of this tutorial is available in our Documentation.

Our goal here at Konekt is to help people get their devices connected to cellular Internet networks, regardless of the hardware they choose to work with. That’s why we wrote up the tutorial for getting your Raspberry Pi connected and why we had Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, and Arduino reward tiers on our recent Konekt Dash Kickstarter.

Regardless of what your cellular M2M project is, or what IoT development tools you choose to use, we just want to help you get connected as quickly and easily as possible.

In that same vein, here is our tutorial for getting your BeagleBone up and running on a cellular internet connection.

connect beaglebone to internet

The Beaglebone has some complications that make this a little more difficult than the Raspberry Pi:

  • There is only a single USB port, so you can’t plug in a keyboard and mouse at the same time as the modem without a USB hub.
  • The default OS image does not support creating an Ethernet device for the modem in HiLink mode.

To get around the first issue, we’ll be doing all of this by using SSH to connect to the Beaglebone and doing everything from a command prompt. We’ll also configure the modem itself on your computer via the web interface.

For the second issue, we’ll need to boot the BeagleBone off of a MicroSD card with a newer OS image on it.

Ingredients for Connecting your BeagleBone to Konekt’s Cellular Internet Network

Items with a * are included in the Konekt Dash Kickstarter BeagleBone Maker Kit

  • BeagleBone Black*
  • USB Cable (included in BeagleBone box)*
  • 8GB MicroSD card*
  • Huawei E303 Cellular Modem*
  • Konekt SIM Card*
  • Windows or Mac Computer with a free USB port

Instructions

Note that this will only work if you use an E303 modem with the HiLink feature. Older versions of the same model (which turn up on eBay a lot) do not have HiLink, but if you got the modem from us then you should be fine.

  1. Slide the cover off of the Huawei E303 Modem and insert the Konekt SIM card.
  2. Plug the modem into your computer.
  3. It should mount itself as a flash drive. The drivers for the modem will be on the drive. Go ahead and install them.
  4. When the install is finished, it should automatically open up a web browser with the Huawei HiLink settings page. If this doesn’t happen, open your web browser and go to http://192.168.1.1
  5. Click Settings->Profile Management->New and add a profile for the Konekt APN (apn.konekt.io) as shown here:
    connect beaglebone to internet
  6. Save all that and then go to the Connection Settings page. Enable all of the auto connect options as shown here:
    connect beaglebone to internet
  7. Finally click back to the Home page and click the connect button. You should be able to get on the network.
  8. Now unplug the modem from your computer and plug in your BeagleBone.
  9. The BeagleBone will also install itself as a flash drive at first. Open the Readme.htm file in your browser and follow the instructions to install the correct drivers for your computer.
  10. Follow the instructions on the Readme page to download and install the latest software image to the MicroSD card. You should use the latest image available from http://beagleboard.org/latest-images
  11. If you don’t already have an SSH client on your computer, then install the PuTTY SSH client from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html
  12. Power down and disconnect your BeagleBone, then plug the Huawei E303 Modem into the USB port on the board, and boot the BeagleBone with the MicroSD card in the slot.
  13. Using PuTTY (or your SSH client of choice) connect to the BeagleBone at IP 192.168.7.2. The username is root and there is no password.
  14. The modem should now be connecting to the network on it’s own. While it is attempting to connect, the light will flash green and it will be steady green once it has connected.
  15. Once the light stays steady green, type dhclient eth1
  16. You should now be online. Try to ping konekt.io to confirm.
  17. To automate the process a little more, follow the instructions in the Raspberry Pi tutorial for editing the interfaces file.

Update 5/29/2015: Added the SIM card to the instructions and ingredients list.


I hope this was helpful. As always, leave any comments or questions down below or on our community forum. You can also view all of our additional tutorials here. Thanks!