Initially we received two Arbor ELIT-1200 PC’s with two MC8705 cards.
The PCs have Win 8.1 Embedded Industry Pro 32 bit and run a custom application as the shell.
We installed the 3G_Watcher_Generic_2523.zip which seems to install the device driver and the Watcher. We were able to use the Windows Connection Manager set to Autoconnect with these devices and this version of the software.
While we had quite a fews comms errors we worked around this by retrying when we got communication exceptions while trying to perform network activities. We retry 3 times before aborting the attempt and there seemed to be only very infrequent occasions when retries failed.
We subsequently ordered a new batch of PCs with 3G cards from Arbor and immediately ran into problems with the PC dropping the network connection and not re-establishing it.
Dropping the connection means that one cannot access the internet so any internet connection attempt results in an error. If you manually select Connect in the Windows Connection Manager then the connection is re-established and things work for a while.
These drop outs typically occurred within 5 or 10 minutes of establishing a connection.
In order to try and fix this we then downloaded and installed the latest AirPrime drivers and Sierra Wireless Connection manager. Files are:
Windows Connection manager was no longer able to see the Mobile Connection after installing the Build3795_DriverInstaller_DIP.exe so we had to use the Sierra Wireless Watcher.
This Watcher has a popup window in the lower right hand side of the screen that appears whenever it connects to the 3G network, this is undesirable for us because we are running a KIOSK application.
This substantially improved the drop off issue, however it still happens occasionally, and sometimes quite frequently. The only way to re-establish the connection is to manually select Connect on the Watcher or to reboot the PC. Obviously for a kiosk application this is not acceptable.
I have no idea what firmware version is on the cards - how can I determine this and how can we upgrade the firmware if that is required. I have been unable to find any reference to doing this on the Sierra Wireless web site.
We are using Optus (Australia), might be an idea if we test using a Telstra or Vodafone sim card…
So we have 3 issues we need addressed:
- new MC8705 driver should work with Windows Connection Manager, it does not display a popup when creating the connections
- Sierra Wireless Watcher should not display a popup when connecting - this is for embedded devices. Alternately provide some configuration option to suppress them. Note that we do no use Windows Shell, we use Embeddedlockdown Manager to launch an application shell so we can’t use Notification settings to disable popups (not that this prevents the popups from displaying anyway)
- Network drop offs should not happen, and if they do connection manager should re-establish the connection
We are also wondering whether the quite frequent comms exceptions we are getting may be a device driver issue.
And finally are there any API’s our application could call to better manage connections?