TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Setup and configuration for Race Capture Pro real-time telemetry features

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verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

Hello,

I just purchased a racecapture/Pro 3, and added a TMobile sim card. The sim works in a cellphone, full bars, though in race capture I keep seeing Status DENIED, NetworkStatus DENIED. It seems to have the right phone number and IMEI though.

Signal strength is marginal with the antennae, or without it. I expected there to be some improvement with the antennae.

I also tried attaching the racecapture to a portable usb power supply, and walking around outside with the antennae, and no improvement.

Any insights into what I need to do to make this work? Is there something I need to poke on the TMobile side, or known issues with racecapture?

Thanks,
-Chad
Last edited by verbowski on Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by brentp »

Hi,

The type of SIM card you need is specifically for a data-only device, such as for a hotspot, or a tablet. A SIM provisioned for a phone will not work.

We cover it here in our guide: https://wiki.autosportlabs.com/RaceCapt ... _app_guide

Barring that, a Verizon or AT&T prepaid card for a hotspot should also work. Make sure you select the proper cellular provider under Setup / Wireless.

Regards
Brent Picasso
CEO and Founder, Autosport Labs
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verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

I've spent an hour on the phone with TMobile. We switched this to a data / tablet plan - there is no change in the status. It still cycles through Searching then Denied for Status and Network Status.

Any hints on how to debug this?

Also - should the antenna being attached improve the signal strength?

verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

Tmobile told me the IMEI is already activated to some other account, so I cannot activate it on my account.

They tried to put the IMEI in manually on their end, and could not activate it because it is associated with another subscriber.

I was told to go back to the point of purchase and have them cancel the account associated with this IMEI. Apparently it seems the device is locked?

Is there a chance perhaps this IMEI is reused across racecapture devices accidentally - or maybe someone there registered it to test something?

I can bring the device by, I saw you are in Lynwood, if that helps.

verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

If it helps, this is the log I found in the Settings menu, under scripting, by ticking 'poll log'.

[cell] Power cycling modem
[cell] Resetting modem...
[cell] Auto-baud configuration
[cell] auto-baud successful
[cell] manufacturer is u-blox

[cell] model is SARA-R410M-02B

[cell] Loading driver for UBlox Sara R4
[sara_r4] Initializing
[sara_r4] Set APN: true
[sara_r4] Set Profile: true
[sara_r4] Set CMEE: true
[gsm] signal strength rssi: 99
[gsm] signal strength rssi: 4
[Conn task] not connected. retrying
[Conn task] Too many connection attempts

Then the above repeats forever.
e.g.
[cell] Power cycling modem
[cell] Resetting modem...

verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

I spent more time with TMobile on this. They are saying it connected to their network, and named the tower. They also said no data was being transferred.

Is there more telemetry we can find from the racecapture pro mk3, which could describe why it says networkstatus and status denied?

verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

Just got off the phone from even more TMobile debugging.

We narrowed it down to the device connecting to the local 5G tower, then disconnecting after a few seconds. The theory is that the device does not support 5G (I assume racecapture does not) and thus fails out of the call negotiation.

At that point, I assume the device should look for the next tower and try to connect, however it is not. There is 4g and 3g towers nearby (confirmed by the tech) though the most powerful one to my location is the 5G tower. The tech at TMobile tried to force the tower to redirect the device to one of the other 4g/3g towers though did not have access to be able to do so.

Do we happen to know what the tower selection logic is in RaceCapture, and have you tested what happens with 5G connections?

Hope all these details are helpful.

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by brentp »

Hi,

RaceCapture is a 4G device, not 5G. From the RSSI indicator on your log output (4) - this is a very weak signal and could indicate it's not strong enough to connect reliably.

Trying to connect in a different location, closer to a tower, could make a different.

Alternatively, you can try a Verizon data SIM (e.g. for hotspot) and see if that works. Verizon works well with our products, as does AT&T.

verbowski
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:05 pm

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by verbowski »

Thanks - do you know if the included antenna should make the device have as strong of a signal as say a cell phone in the same location? I have very strong tmobile signal where I am (4 - 5 bars). I am also only 100's of feet from the tower, so very close. I don't see a difference in signal quality with or without the antenna. Could there be a problem with the antenna or the racecapture device antenna connection?

brentp
Site Admin
Posts: 5986
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:36 am

Re: TMobile Cell Connection doesn't work

Post by brentp »

From you last message, it sounds like t-mobile says the tower near you is 5G. PodiumConnect is 4G only. So, it could be that the 4G cell tower is further away from you, vs the 5G tower your phone is connecting to.

There's no reason to believe at this point the antenna is defective. Yes, to answer your earlier question, you do want the antenna connected to the top port labeled "CELL". Having the antenna connected will ensure it with the best performance possible.

Additional things to try:

* Try connecting telemetry in a different physical location, such as closer to a different 4G antenna. Example: drive into town and then try connecting.
* Try a different data-only SIM, such as from Verizon or AT&T

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