I have used a pinephone a lot so I understand the state of Phosh and all of those things. From reading a few posts I think I have a pretty decent idea of battery life, so my last question is, how is the modem? On my Pinephone I get disconnected from the modem a decent amount and lost texts in it from time to time. So how reliable is the modem for the Librem 5? I live in the US and use T-Mobile, for what that’s worth.
I live in Europe, but I can share my experience.
I receive 100% of the calls and SMS, no issues whatsoever. MMS I don’t know, because I never managed to understand my carrier documentation properly.
In my home country, sometimes the data connection goes stale and requires a full modem hard switch (rarely data restarts after switching data off and on in Settings). Careful observation made me think that the issue happens after exchanging a few SMS.
When data is dead, I still can make and receive calls and SMS.
I spend a good part of the year abroad in Germany and in Slovakia and in both countries data connection is rock solid.
Once I got in touch with my carrier’s support hotline and, well, they have no idea what a Librem 5 is. When I go to the support portal, my phone is listed as “Unknown device”. When I had an iphone, it was correctly identified, including generation.
The provider said they can’t help troubleshoot an unsupported device and that was the end of it.
Thanks for the info! I forgot about MMS, which is super important here. I send/receive at least a dozen a week. So if anyone has MMS info that would be great as well! I know it’s baked into chatty now but how well does the modem do with it?
That’s very detailed, I’ll read through it. Thanks!
For me I have never had a problem with MMS after I got the settings right for Ting Wireless. Other people have had trouble finding the right settings but it seems that after you find them it all works.
I have people sending me images all the time, no issues.
Thanks for this. I have set it up on my Pinephone so I know how to setup MMS, just making sure everything worked!
When driving in a car, the modem has difficulty transitioning from one cell tower to the next, causing any streaming data to stop. So if you are streaming music while driving, frequently the music will stop and you have to reset the modem. This is a longstanding, frustrating deficiency, and I don’t know if a fix will ever come.
This isn’t in any way to detract from your issue Zimmy, just dropping in to comment that I have been driving and streaming for 5+ weeks now with no issue. I am curious how many others have this issue and whether or not there is a solution to the problem.
I’m remnded of the old Bell Telephone policy on modem reliability, no modem was guaranteed above 300bps!
I have the BM818-A1 modem on T-Mobile with up-to-date modem firmware and up-to-date Byzantium. The data drop-outs happen so frequently I don’t bother streaming while driving anymore. Too frustrating.
That’s because of a bug in the kernel that causes it to suspend the USB bus. This is not just isolated to you. You can fix it by running this on boot (every boot… though you could probably make it run on startup):
echo 'on' | sudo tee /sys/bus/usb/devices/1-1.2/power/control
cron has a special time of @reboot for startup so yeah a cron job with that schedule should work.
Oh wow, interesting. Thanks for dropping into all the threads to post this. Interesting. Zimmy / Xeda, does that help you guys?
I will try it for a week and report back.
My first modem was the Texas Instruments modem chipset, a speaker and a mic in yogurt cups with the telephone receiver placed into said cups. Dialed into the BBS and it worked. As a teenager I was so pumped it worked. Of course you could read way faster than 300 baud, but that was my first foray into going on the line…literally…lol.
Is the suspension a bug, or rather a badly implemented power-saving feature? The default setting for that USB power control is “auto”, which sounds as though the power should come on when needed. Evidently it doesn’t reliably do so, and your fix does put a stop to the modem suspensions.
Should the developers look at making the auto setting more reliable? It seems a good idea to shut off the power when it is not needed, but obviously it should also turn on again at the right time.
SMS was unreliable for me for a while, but now works great.
MMS still does not seem 100% reliable.
LTE is requires a workaround to work reliably. It will disconnect multiple times per day for me and I need to manually switch the modem off and on (via hardware kill switches) to get it to work again. But, after doing this whenever I have any internet issue I have no trouble using its internet all day all across the greater Los Angeles area, other than the very annoying periodic restarts needed.
Edit: Looks like @Aberts10 has a fix in this very thread!
Now I just need to figure out how to set up the cron job to run this upon reboot rather than needing to manually run
echo 'on' > /sys/bus/usb/devices/1-1.2/power/control as root…
cron supports the special string
@reboot instead of the first five fields.