Archive for December, 2010

Hello everyone. Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2011!!!

I am leaving you a curious little Christmas present; I was going to make a Christmas card or something special to put in this post but in the end I was overcome with the holiday spirit and something more original came to mind. I made myself “get on with it”, never better said, and here you have the result…

It’s designed for users of the great MTX modems of which there are more and more of every year. Do the following, take an MTX65 or an MTX65+G (you can also use TC65T) and load this Java application that I have compiled. Afterwards, get the handset (a normal handset from any telephone) and connect it to the modem. Open the HyperTerminal and run this application: (AT^SJRA=”A:/Christmas.jar”)

Happy New Year!!! 


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Today I am going to talk a bit about the new HSDPA EU3 module communication interfaces and we will look at an example of using TCP/IP stack which is integrated into this module as it differs slightly as to what we were used to with the MC55i, XT65, TC63i and TC65i modules.

Communication Interfaces

The EU3 module has a serial port and a USB port. If you know the HC25 module, unlike this it’s possible to simultaneously use the serial port and the USB port with the EU3. In fact there are various ways to configure these interfaces. To do this we use the AT^SDPORT command (which is very important for the first contact with this module) that should be configured correctly.

With AT^SDPORT we can configure 4 modes.

Mode 1: default mode, it should only be used to configure an appropriate speed with AT+IPR and to change to SDPORT=2, SDPORT=3 or SDPORT=4

Mode 2: UART mode. We can only use the EU3 via serial port.

Mode 3: USB mode. To only use the EU3 via USB port, an application modem COM port and a virtual COM port are created. For example, this is in order to be able to send state AT commands to the modem at the same time as having established a 3G/HSDPA connection via the COM modem.

Mode 4: USB + UART mode. To be able to use the USB port in 3G/HSDPA connections and to use the UART to check the modem’s status by using AT commands.

Furthermore, as I indicated at the beginning of the post, we are going to see how to create a 3G/HSDPA connection using the modem’s internal TCP/IP stack i.e. we are going to create a socket to remote server to send/ receive data.

TCP/IP client connection example:

The first thing to do is define the connection profile with the context, e.g. 101



Note: it’s very important to use a context number between 101 and 116 as they are the most appropriate for service profiles (to create sockets). If you use values between 1 and 16 IT WILL NOT WORK as these are used with an external TCP/IP stack.

Afterwards, we simply activate the 101 context that we have just created.

AT + CGACT = 1,101


After receiving the OK, the EU3 modem should be connected to the 3G/HSDPA, i.e. it should have an IP address assigned to the operator. To try it we can run the following command:


+CGPADDR: 101,”″

Note that we did not need to specify neither a login nor a password to initiate the 3G/HSDPA connection. In any case, if we had needed it we would have to use the AT^SGAUTH with something like this:


So once we have the IP, we can connect to a remote server. To do so we will proceed in a similar way to what we do with the rest of the Siemens/Cinterion family (MC55i, XT65, TC63i and TC65i) configuring a service profile or in this case a TCP/IP client socket.


We can open the socket to connect to it:


If we use the trainer as a socket listener we can see how the modem has connected.


Reading/writing with a socket is the same as what we did with the MC55i, XT65, TC63i and TC65i, therefore I’m not going to expand on it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me.


A new change in the EU3 stack is the ability to use it transparently i.e. without using AT^SISR or AT^SISW commands. In short, everything we send through the modem’s serial port is sent directly via 3G/HSPDA and everything that we receive via 3G/HSDPA is directly forwarded to the modem’s serial port i.e. transparently.

In order to do this we use the AT^SIST command (T for Transparent) after the service is opened with AT^SISO=x. As we have opened the service profile “0”…



You can see that CONNECT appears, just like when you make a CSD call. From this moment, we have a transparent 3G/HSDPA connection. To exit this mode, in a similar way to CSD calls, simply send “+++” to exit command mode.

And that’s it, as you can see this EU3 module’s TCP/IP stack is somewhat different from what we were used to with the rest of the Siemens/Cinterion modules.

Now here’s my personal evaluation. The best thing about this TCP/IP stack is that you can also use a socket in transparent mode, which could be very interesting for many applications. I don’t like the fact that for now (with the current firmware), you can’t create TCP server sockets. This is because the module is really aimed at M2M applications and most of these applications use TCP/Client sockets to send data to remote servers.

Here is a last detail to point out. The EU3 Cinterion module has the same B2B connector and (almost) the same pinout as the TC63i. Therefore anyone who is designing a board for the TC63i, take a look at the application note called EU3_e-migration (part of the EU3 documentation) as it points out slight differences to take into account when changing from a TC63i to a EU3. Or rather, this document will allow you to design a board that you can use with either the TC63i or the EU3, with obvious advantages that will help you in the future. If you, like others, have any doubts about whether to use a MC55i or a TC63i in a new design, you should consider the fact that the TC63i is compatible with the EU3. It would help me decide.

I hope that you have found it interesting. Until next time. ;) Read the rest of this entry »

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Today’s post is somewhat personal as I am going to talk about a product that I have been thinking about buying for myself for quite a long time. It’s a PC, quite a special PC.

We all have our hobbies. Some like to go out to eat often, others like to go dancing, others like mountain biking… As for me I like the world of motoring, specifically off-road racing. For some time I have had an Azel1100, a vehicle that’s prepared to go on nice hikes. But above all, when my son is a little older, I want to take him with me to go on an extra special trip. Someday I will do this

Since then, although I’m not in a rush, I’ve been looking for some kind of PC to put in the vehicle. I want a PC that I can use as a GPS navigator and tracker, but that I can also use to film my trips. I also want to be able to control some of the dune buggy’s settings via RS232 port + a HW (temperature controls, electric fans, battery status etc.) and I want to be able to have internet access whenever possible.

At first sight you could think that there are hundreds of PCs that could do this but that isn’t true. The real problem is that the PC needs to be very ruggedized for the applications that I need. They need to be prepared for extreme conditions. So today I am going to talk about a PC that I think is perfect for these types of applications.

The PC in question is the Twinhead T7M model, and it looks like this:


Nice isn’t it?

It also has some very interesting features. I’ll talk about a few of them, but only the most special ones.

The first and the most important is the IP54. Remember the post that I put up a while ago with different IPxy degrees. We saw the IP54 which is “x = 5 = Protected against dust” and “y = 4 = Protected against water”. This is perfect for what I need as it is practically going to be out in the open.

Another interesting feature is the resistive Touch Screen. This allows you to use the screen whilst wearing gloves which is also very important to me.


Another important aspect is the brightness of the screen adapting to the sunlight, some mobiles and TVs have this. In outdoor environments it’s even more important to be able to see the screen well at all times.


It’s very robust. It has a magnesium alloy chassis (you could literally throw it on the floor and it wouldn’t break), just like its TFT screen which is highly impact-resistant.

Where the hard disk is, the PC structure is designed to absorb shock and vibrations so that the heads aren’t affected. If like in my case you are going to use a vehicle whose natural terrain isn’t exactly asphalt, it’s imperative that you have an anti-vibration system, if not the hard drive will break after a short period of time.


Something else I love which is related to the hard is that under 0ºC, the T7M warms up the hard drive like a mother keeps her son warm in winter. This way, the device’s total operating temperature is -20ºC a 60ºC which is perfect for cooler days.

Also at the start of the post I was talking about being able to record video. This device provides a very good solution as it has a camera (although the resolution isn’t brilliant but sufficient 2Mpx). The camera is situated on the back of the PC. This position isn’t very common on laptops as they are usually located on the front of the PC with the idea having videoconferences. I want the exact opposite so it’s perfect.


And finally I will talk about some optional and some serial modules that it incorporates. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communication modules are among the serial modules. GPS and an internal 3G communication module (both interesting to me) are among the optional modules and so are others that I don’t need like RFID or barcode readers.

So that was a bit about the T7M, the PC that I like and have in mind. Now I have to save up a little bit (I’m not in a rush) and the most difficult thing is to try and convince my Mrs as it’s a military grade device and not exactly a trinket…

Soon I will post some short articles that I have in mind related to various new Cinterion modules (EU3 and BG2) and also related to Digi (more in the line of communication devices that I normally talk about on here) but I haven’t had the time to do it. I’m sure that you will find it interesting. Ciao. ;)

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