I have a solar-powered RV50 running on the AT&T network using the “High Gain Directional” antenna . Data from my weather station is currently being uploaded and so far I’m pleased.
However, when I enable port forwarding or even the Airmanager for remote access (as a test), I can’t seem to connect to or scan the open ports.
I contacted AT&T and they suggesting that the reason why I can’t access those ports is due to the fact that I don’t have GPS enabled. Since I had no plans for a mobile weather station, I don’t have a GPS antenna installed and the location service is currently turned off. The questions I have are as follows:
(1) Have people been able to remote in or through their RV50 without GPS enabled?
(2) If GPS is required, recommendations on an antenna? Recall: I already have the LTE antenna set up.
(3) Bonus question: tutorial/recommendations on setting up VPN access with your RV50
 sierrawireless.com/-/media/ … .pdf?la=en
Well, here’s an update.
On a lark, I enabled the Location service and the RV50 was able to pick up a lat/lon without an external antenna (yay!). I tried remoting into the RV50 again, but no dice. When I looked at the IP address for the RV50, it appears that the device’s assigned WAN IP is a 10.x.x.x Private IP.
Now I thought I was getting somewhere! I noticed on the AT&T website that they support “Dynamic Public IP” . I assume that my account was set up to use “Dynamic Private IP” by default. All I had to do is contact AT&T and have them enable it, right?
Well, after trying to chat with AT&T for over 5 hrs across multiple departments (Advanced Technical Support, Uverse [for some reason], Advanced Technical “Solutions” [which might have been Advanced Technical Support in disguise]), they finally transferred me to NetGear claiming the problem is with my Sierra Wireless device. No surprise, NetGear doesn’t support the RV50 and they said AT&T should really fix the issue since the problem is on their end.
I’m nearing wits end when it comes to AT&T. Does someone have a super-secret phone number to call within AT&T so that I can start getting public IPs issued to my device?
 wireless.att.com/businessce … essing.jsp
Alright. I’m finally able to connect to my RV50 via a static IP. For people who are new to AT&T, here are some things to keep in mind:
- There are a lot of phone numbers on the AT&T website (even for business) that you can call, but a “Dynamic Public IP”/“Static IP” request will have you transferred at least 4 times before you find someone that “might” be able to help. So far, calling 1-800-331-0500 seemed to yield the best results.
- You can’t have a “Dynamic Public IP” or “Static IP” for a personal account. A personal account will require you to use “broadband” as your APN and there is only Private IP support. You can call up AT&T to make the switch. This was not without pain, but I recommend calling up their wireless business folks, have them create a new business account for you, and then they can move your lines over to your business account. I’m sorry that I don’t have a specific department name… it’s all but a blur now. All I know now is that I have a “Premier Account”.
- Near the end, even the 800 number was starting to fail me. I was getting disconnected a lot and it was a crap shoot on who I spoke with. In a moment of desperation I found a “chat now” button lurking on the side of a page in the business section. After a restrained, emotional plea on my part, my contact info was finally routed to someone who was able to submit a request for me to the team that is responsible for setting up static IPs. An email arrived later with the details.
- The APN I was finally set up with was “i2gold”. Some documentation I posted earlier called this out. Near the end I was relentlessly favoring the “path of least resistance”. When I asked the fellow about “Dynamic Public IP” and how it worked, he was honest and said that he didn’t know. What he did know for certain was how to setup Static IPs and that’s what I got.
Things I may never know/too tired to dig into/but would like to know:
- Why was it even mentioned that GPS was a requirement? I vaguely recall some mention during my first chat session that “Google requires it if a SIM is used” and I thought maybe AT&T was licensing some tech from Google. Wish I saved that transcript.
- “Dynamic Public IPs” are free and “Static IPs” are not. I couldn’t find anyone to talk to about the QOS of “Dynamic Public IPs” and what would happen if an IP switches when there is an active session.
- The AT&T developer site (see link above) says that the “Static IP” is in fact “pseudo-static”. What have I gotten myself into…
- AT&T has some pretty, shiny documentation posted on IoT, how it’s the future, etc. etc. I believe it’s called M2M, but I don’t know if I should care about it (i.e. don’t touch the house of cards). I know “i2gold” is an older, overloaded solution and I think I read that M2M is the future… however M2M does not support “Dynamic Public IPs” or “Static IPs”
It seems that AT&T augments their technical support with contractors on the weekend (perhaps for cost saving measures). I feel bad for them since AT&T doesn’t seem to give them access to any knowledge bases that I don’t have access to. I encountered only one person in Advanced Technical Support who was honest and was willing to give it “the old college try” (despite possibly affecting his metrics). Granted, my case is unique and if AT&T 80/20ed their technical support resolutions, I probably fall in the 0.5% of the 20%.
I invite others to reply to this thread if they can correct any misunderstandings that I may have, or even suggest a better way to set up “Static IPs”. I can’t imagine the level of effort required to roll out a fleet of RV50s.
Like a masochist, I probably clocked in over 20 hours spent chatting across AT&T’s chat tool and telephone switchboard nightmare.
The situation isn’t any better her in the UK; public IP addresses are basically impossible to get on the mobile networks, unless you’re prepared to pay a small fortune for a “special” subscription not available from the main providers. The only sensible option it seems, if you need to be able to access the RV50 (or any equipment behind it) from the “outside”, is to have a cloud server act as your gateway and make the RV50 or some equipment behind it connect up to this. Either using an SSH tunnel or a VPN. I went with the latter, which turned out to be a painful job, but I got it working in the end - if you’re going down this route check this thread first. Good luck!
Sorry to hear about your pain with AT&T!
Unfortunately, the front line support are not technical about the routable, non-static IP’s. Once you go up the technical chain, you’ll get to someone who knows what they are. Which you finally got to.
You don’t need the GPS enabled to connect to the unit.
Make sure to check:
Services->ACEManager->Remote access->select either HTTPS only or both HTTP & HTTPS from the drop down menu.
Click apply and reboot device.
In addition to the above, you’ll need the routable IP.
Or use some Dynamic DNS to access the unit, like IP Manager or noip.org.
You do not need a routable/public IP address, or a fixed IP of any kind. As long as it is the RV50, or a device behind it, which initiates the communication then remote access is perfectly possible without any dynamic IP services (which won’t get you through the NAT anyway) or special subscriptions, and will continue to work while roaming or switching operators. See here for an example of how to set up a reverse SSH tunnel, precisely to overcome this mobile network limitation: blog.hsp.dk/using-reverse-ssh-t … trictions/
And by the way, not providing public/routable IPs is not at all a “stupid restriction” but a perfectly sensible policy by the network providers, for a number of reasons - not least of which is the desperate lack of address space in IPv4. It only becomes an issue in remote M2M/telemetry type scenarios, when you want to put some kind of server on a NATed IP. Fortunately, there are well established methods for dealing with this situation: VPNs and reverse SSH tunnels.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I was AFK for a bit so I wasn’t able to respond sooner.
In my situation, I didn’t have the time to put another device behind the RV50 to implement a reverse SSH tunnel strategy as @JBodlander suggested. I did find some info on Sierra Wireless’ website that talked about it, but my desire to get something working quickly and to continue to work while I was nearby won out (thanks for the external link @JBodlander!).
Besides a battery going out on the last day I was there (thankfully I got it fixed a couple hours before flying out), I haven’t had any issues since. When I had some downtime at the remote site, I was able to read up more on writing applications for the RV50/ACEmanager – perhaps there’s an opportunity there for me to write something that runs on the RV50 that wouldn’t require a separate Raspberrry Pi device.