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Author Topic: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device  (Read 1869 times)

Weaver

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Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« on: May 06, 2022, 08:32:38 AM »

Iím trying to work out how to configure my Firebrick FB2900 to a Mikrotik 4G device. I can of course get some help from AA about this but they are going to say, sorry donít speak Mikrotik. Various problems:
  • Iím used to setting up FB config for PPPoE devices, but I havenít any experience with other types of interface
  • Mikrotik config  :no: ??
  • This is to be used as a failover device only. A Firebrick supports 3G USB Ďdongleí-type devices with automagical failover; it just works - and with trivial config. Doing failover with any other type of device will entail complex FB config, although AA may be able to help me with this. I have some ideas.
Meritez gave me this device last year but due to grave illness of my wife and relatively minor more recent illness of myself we havenít yet been able to test the device. I have the following docs and resourcesRegarding Firebrick failover behaviour, this is something that AA will be able to help me with. I have an idea though; use Firebrick Ďprofilesí - these are predicates / tests / if-conditional config attrib attributes. You define a named predicate or Ďprofileí  and mark certain config elements with an XML attribute that reads <some_element profile=Ďprofile_nameí/> and that makes the element become active if the predicate becomes true. A very clumsy way of doing failover would be to define a predicate that is true if all of the lines are down, done by ANDing several individual predicates. I have done something vaguely like this before and I can get help as needed.

I next need to understand the architecture of the Mikrotik network interface, so some reading to do.

Burakkucat gave me some tips concerning minimal tests to see if I have coverage and tests that the SXT works.

I have an AA SIM that I can steal from my 3G USB NIC, or I could order another one for convenience.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2022, 08:56:46 AM by Weaver »
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meritez

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2022, 03:30:42 PM »

Hi Weaver,

I cannot help with the FB configuration, but to access the Tik, I would recommend https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1323064830 on your iPad.
The above app should allow you to connect to the Tik via Mac Address, if it's plugged into your local network.
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2022, 04:18:56 PM »

Wow, thanks. I can use that to test, immediately.
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meritez

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 12:26:22 PM »

Wow, thanks. I can use that to test, immediately.

Hi Weaver, have you been able to access the Tik?
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 01:00:48 PM »

My wife and I have still been too ill, although weíre improving. I have to pick a day when sheís not too ill and not too busy. Played her the video the other day so now she Ďgets ití.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 01:05:05 PM by Weaver »
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2022, 06:53:07 PM »

Iíve now set the Tik up physically but have just realised I donít have a SIM that fits. The socket looks much larger than that for any of the microSIMs that I have so I canít just steal a SIM out of something. Iíve ordered a SIM from AA that comes with one real static global IPv4.

I ran the iOS app hoping that it might do something without any SIM installed, but I didnít get anywhere. It mentioned some random IPv4 address 192.168.88.1 which I suppose I could use temporarily. Iím confused that itís not just finding the Tik by MAC address as mentioned earlier (is that right?), or using my DHCPv4 server to get an IPv4 address.

What should I be doing - setting my iPad to something in 192.168.88.*/24 temporarily or trying again when I have a SIM, or getting find-by-MAC to work?
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burakkucat

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2022, 08:18:28 PM »

I ran the iOS app hoping that it might do something without any SIM installed, but I didnít get anywhere. It mentioned some random IPv4 address 192.168.88.1 which I suppose I could use temporarily.

I believe the IPv4 address 192.168.88.1 is that of the SXT itself . . .
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2022, 12:43:22 AM »

Agreed.  Sorry, I didnít mean to use that specific address for my iPad, but rather to use an address in that /24 as my iPad, as normal. I donít understand the choice of address - can I just overwrite that with something of my choosing? - something in my existing /24 which would not then need to be very very short-term. I have no idea about choice of addresses longer term.

Is that address supposed to be an admin UI IPv4 address long term? Or is it just used very short term and then discarded?

The instructions that I read donít make much sense if they are aimed at users who donít have the experience to set up routing from whatever LAN IPv4 range theyíre currently using to 192.168.88.1.

I was assuming that as far as routing (not admin UI) goes, I would want to get an additional single additional IPv4 address maybe, Iíll have to check what I did before.
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meritez

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2022, 11:04:39 AM »

Hi Weaver, it takes a standard mini SIM.

Looking at the mikrotik iOS app compared to the android app, it looks like something has changed in iOS to prevent connection via mac address.

The 192.168.88.1 address is designed as access for quick setup, connect to it, change IP to something else, save and apply,
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burakkucat

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2022, 05:28:24 PM »

For the very first test you do not need to establish an IP connection with the SXT. Just --
  • Insert the SIM card.
  • Connect an Ethernet cable to the SXT.
  • Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the power injector and energise the SXT.
  • Slowly pan the SXT in the general direction of the cell tower whilst watching the LEDs on the SXT.
If you get a three LED response then you will know that there is good signal strength through the window pane. In that case, commission "Duncan McBeth" to manufacture an appropriate bracket to mount the SXT with a view through the window. (You would obviously need to obtain clearance from "Senior Management" for such an addition to be made in the office.)
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2022, 07:50:41 PM »

Thankyou, good advice. Waiting for the SIM card to be delivered because all others that we could steal temporarily were cut down to micro sim size, and we donít still have adaptors to Ďenlargeí them back again. Senior management has found a good place to mount the SXT where it looks straight through the window at the basestation.
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burakkucat

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2022, 10:05:35 PM »

So good progress is being made. I look forward to reading the result(s) of the test(s).
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2022, 12:55:14 AM »

It has taken, what, an incredible nine months or so until both Janet and I have been feeling sufficiently well at the same time to be able to accomplish a simple task such as this, but at least weíre getting there now. Janetís still having a number of problems long-term after her breast cancer treatment.

Janet now knows her way round the inside of an SXT.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2022, 05:12:39 AM »

Thankyou, good advice. Waiting for the SIM card to be delivered because all others that we could steal temporarily were cut down to micro sim size, and we donít still have adaptors to Ďenlargeí them back again. Senior management has found a good place to mount the SXT where it looks straight through the window at the basestation.

They are usually multi-sized and you snap out the size you want.  I always keep one or two of the outer pieces knocking around for this reason as you can carefully snap it back in place to go back to a larger size.

I've also sketchily placed a mini/micro-SIM in a larger SIM slot in a phone before WITHOUT an adapter, getting it back out again sure is fun. ;)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2022, 06:00:13 PM by Alex Atkin UK »
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Weaver

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Re: Interfacing Firebrick to MikroTik RB SXT LTE 4G device
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2022, 10:25:23 AM »

Have finally [!] got a SIM plugged into the MikroTik. There was some cockup with AA getting the SIM activated, when I spotted something odd showing in clueless.aa.net.uk regarding the SIM, I got AA tech support on to it who fixed it in a few minutes this morning.

This afternoon will try and get the MikroTik App running. Requires a small amount of fiddling around with things letting the SXT be a DHCP server to my iPad, I think ?

Cannot see any signal strength bars at all on the back of the SXT.

When the SXT is powered up, the signal strength display shows a quick flash.

On my main switch, where the SXT is plugged in every roughly 3 s Janet sees two LAN activity flashes, so there is some life. There is a light-blue power light leaking out from the inside of the SXT.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2022, 10:40:07 AM by Weaver »
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