Troubleshooting A ThinkPenguin 4G Modem

These are just some notes and things to check if having problems with getting your ThinkPenguin 4G modem to work. To one extent or another some parts are applicable to ThinkPenguin models on various machines and devices: TPE-EM7455CHIP, TPE-LT4120CHIP, & TPE-USB4GLTE modems. Other parts utilize ThinkPenguin laptops more specifically. Example below is imagery of inserting into a SIM card into a Penguin J3 GNU/Linux Laptop specifically.

Is the SIM card Inserted correctly? Here is how to check that it is...

It'll making a snapping noise when inserted fully and stick out just a little bit. Notice the corner is cut to figure out how it goes in. The top part has branding and the underneath that you can't see has the metal contacts. This picture applies to how to insert a SIM card on the Penguin J3 GNU/Linux Laptop explicitly. If you need an example for our USB 4G modem contact support.

To verify your SIM card is inserted properly run the following commands from a terminal:

dmesg | grep mbim

The output will look something like this:

[ 4.031283] cdc_mbim 1-2:1.4: cdc-wdm0: USB WDM device
[ 4.031423] cdc_mbim 1-2:1.4 wwan0: register 'cdc_mbim' at usb-0000:00:34.0-2, CDC MBIM, e6:58:41:a5:fc:61
[ 4.031354] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_mbim
[ 4.087646] cdc_mbim 1-2:1.4 wwp0s20f0u4i2: renamed from wwan0

Take note of the line that says cdc-wdm0 as this tells us that the modem is at /dev/cdc-wdm0

Then run:

sudo mbimcli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --query-subscriber-ready-status

Output should look like this:

[/dev/cdc-wdm0] Subscriber ready status retrieved:
Ready state: 'initialized'
Subscriber ID: '712415804163631'
SIM ICCID: '19314102578461676631'
Ready info: 'none'
Telephone numbers: (1) '19034303173'

If you see something like this where it says 'sim-not-inserted' it means you have the card in wrong:

[/dev/cdc-wdm0] Subscriber ready status retrieved:
Ready state: 'sim-not-inserted'
Subscriber ID: 'unknown'
SIM ICCID: 'unknown'
Ready info: 'none'
Telephone numbers: (0) 'unknown'

Unable to add a new connection for your modem using your distribution mobile broadband wizard? Try the following...

If "Add new connection" wizard finishes and no new connection is added then you may need to reboot the system and try again. This may also happen if the SIM card is not inserted correctly.

A connection is established but there is no internet? Check your firewall settings...

Most distributions don't firewall by default, but on a rare occasion there is an exception to this. That is the case with Mageia. If you are on Mageia check out our directions which include how to disable the firewall.

Verizon won't activate my device/SIM card/etc or the SIM card isn't compatible with the modem... How to fix this...

Verizon doesn't really know what the right size SIM card is, but because it is particularly picky you must have a 3-in-one SIM card to activate. You also can't just go into a Verizon store to activate. They'll tell it isn't compatible when in reality it is.. BUT you have to follow the online activation proccess. Follow the direction in our Verizon tutorial to activate a Verizon SIM card with one of our computers or devices.

The light on the modem isn't coming on and I'm getting an error message about the radio not being on.. How to fix...

If you get an error message "error: operation failed: RadioPowerOff" when running mbim-network /dev/cdc-wdmX start this will turn the radio on and fix the problem of not being able to connect.

Or if you don't see a blue light on the modem the radio is probably off. To turn it on run the command below and replace X with your /dev/cdc-wdmX device and then run the mbim-network command above again:

sudo mbimcli --device=/dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-proxy --set-radio-state=on

* Replace /dev/cdc-wdmX with your modem's location (ie run ls /dev/cdc-wdm* to find the devices location)

nbimcli -d /dev/cdc-wdmX -p --query-ip-configuration results in "error: couldn't get IP configuration response message: ContextNotActivated"

Make sure your wifi is disconnected and off or you may get this message