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Configuring Cell Phone Modem Settings for the WebPort

NOTE

This topic applies only to WebPorts that have the optional cell modem. If you have the Ethernet-only WebPort, the Modem icon is grayed out.

NOTE

When a WebPort is in Data Mode, the default Gateway address is switched to the cellular provider's gateway. This means that while the WebPort is in Data Mode, any routing which is dependent on a Gateway residing on the WAN network will not function because the default Gateway on WebPort is the cellular provider's Gateway.

The WebPort optionally ships with a cell modem. When present, the modem allows you to access the WebPort User Interface via a cellular data connection. Carriers using the 2G and 3G frequency bands are supported and include AT&T, Aeris and T-Mobile. The cellular provider can supply a mini-SIM card with a data plan. To access the number information needed to set up SMS messaging, see Getting an SMS Email Suffix

Monitor your cell phone usage. If you choose leave the cell phone modem in data mode for long periods of time, you may run up large cell phone service charges. WebPort provides several options to reduce cell modem service charges. You may choose to never enable data mode (default option), which means all outbound SMS communications will be routed to your cell provider via email. You may choose to enable data mode for a user-specified amount of time, and you may choose to always disconnect after outbound cell modem activity.

NOTE

WebPort Connects can also make use of the optional cell service. When you connect to the Cloud (Configure:Connects) the software establishes a connection and reports that the WebPort is online. When you then go to the cloud and click on the green button on the virtual WebPort image, the cloud connection sends an SMS to the WebPort and turns on data mode. This only occurs if the cellular option was selected when you registered the WebPort with Connects.

The preferred option is for you to use the Ethernet connection because this does not run up a cell phone bill and is generally faster. Once the cell phone is in data mode, as long as that connection continues, the cell phone modem remains in data mode, unless the Disconnect After Outbound Activity option is selected. If the Disconnect After Outbound Activity is selected, the cell modem goes in and out of data mode on demand. If you do not select the Disconnect After Outbound Activity option, once you no longer need to be connected to the cloud, from WebPort Connects, be sure to use the dropdown button to select Go Offline. This turns off data mode on the cell phone modem. To exit data mode, through the software interface, select Configure:Modem and click Exit Data Mode button. To exit data mode, if you are connected via WebPort Connects, click the Power button on the Connects WebPort console to disconnect.

Keep in mind that the WebPort uses the method you selected for connecting to the Internet when connecting to Connects, regardless of the manner which WebPort used to trigger the connection. Whether it receives an SMS or you click the Connect To Cloud button in the user interface, the WebPort will use your preferred Internet connection method to do so.

To set up the WebPort for cell phone modem access, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Arrange a cell service account with a data plan with a cellular provider such as AT&T. . The cellular provider can supply a mini-SIM card with a data plan.
  2. Obtain a configured Mini-SIM SIM card from the provider. The provider supplies additional information assigned to the SIM card (usually recorded on the associated paperwork) that you should record in a safe place. This information includes the SIM card telephone number, PIN code (if required by your provider), and the Access Point Name (APN: for example wap.cingular) the provider requires when using a data connection. You also need the PIN and APN to configure your WebPort.
  3. With the WebPort powered off, install the SIM card in the WebPort slot (on lower left of the WebPort). When properly installed, SIM card contacts are towards the body of the WebPort and the cut corner of the SIM card is visible and pointing towards the front of the WebPort.
  4. Obtain and connect a cellular antenna to the antenna port on the upper surface of the WebPort. The antenna may be attached directly to the WebPort or positioned remotely using an extender cable, whatever is necessary to ensure you have sufficient signal strength to communicate.
  5. Configure an outbound email service on the WebPort. See Configuring Services Setup for the WebPort

NOTE

For corporate networking, you may wish to obtain a unique APN code from the service provider you use.

To configure cell phone modem communication:

  1. From the Configuration Work Area, select the following icon: This is a picture of the dialog. The Modem Setup dialog appears: This is a picture of the dialog.
  2. View or specify the following options:
    • GSM Pin Code. Specify the pin access for the modem in the WebPort. This pin code is obtained from your service provider. The PIN code is unique to individual providers not commonly found in North America and is grayed out.
    • APN String. Specify the APN for the modem. This pin code is obtained from your service provider. The option is disabled until you select Enable Data Mode. Examples: i2gold, wap.cingular.
    • Enable Data Mode. Turn on this option to allow the cellular modem to connect the WebPort to the Internet via the cellular interface. If this checkbox is selected, then you can send a WakeUp message via SMS and access the WebPort via data mode. If this checkbox is unchecked, then the WebPort does not recognize the WakeUp message. You are then unable to access the WebPort via Data Mode. Once you turn on this option, and the modem is in Data Mode, you cannot deselect this option to turn it off.
    • DNS Override. Turn on this option to specify your own DNS address for Internet access. This might include your cell provider's DNS address if this option is not selected.
    • Alternate DNS. If you specify DNS Override, this DNS will be used as an option for all connections. You must use a public DNS server for this. Public DNS numbers are those such as 8.8.8.8 used by Google.)
    • Outbound Email Server. Specify the outbound email server. The option is disabled until you select Enable Data Mode. Example: smtp.live.com
    • Disconnect After Outbound Activity. Specifies whether to disconnect the data connection as soon as a task is completed. This means the WebPort immediately switches out of data mode as soon as an event is completed.
    • Max Connection Time number and units. If you manually switched the cell modem into data mode, or an SMS message was transmitted, specifies the maximum time in hours, minutes, or seconds that the cell modem remains connected before the software switches the cell modem out of data mode. You may also choose to manually switch the cell modem out of data mode before the maximum connection time specified has passed, or select Disconnect after Outbound Activity. Valid amounts are from 1 to 999999, in units of either Minutes or Hours.
    • Submit. Saves changes on WebPort and exits.
    • Cancel. Exits without saving changes on WebPort.
    • Modem Detected. Shows whether or not modem service is present. For modem service to be present, you have to install the SIM card from your service provider in the WebPort.
    • Signal Level. Shows cell signal strength detected by the modem.
    • Provider. Shows the name of the service provider if your modem is able to connect to a cell service.
    • Monitor Signal. Checks cell phone service signal strength every five seconds. This utility is especially useful when positioning the WebPort cell antenna. Click to check the signal. The following dialog appears: This is a picture of the dialog. When finished viewing signal strength levels, click:
      • Stop. Stops signal monitoring.
      • Close. Closes the signal monitoring window.
    • Enter Data Mode. This is a toggle button. By default, the modem is in command (SMS) mode. When this button is selected (clicked), the modem transitions to data mode. The text on this button then changes to Exit Data Mode. When in data mode, you can access the WebPort via the cell phone as a network-connected device. When you switch the modem into data mode, it will remain in data mode (typically accruing data connection charges) until you turn it off using the Exit Data Mode button here, or because of another setting. Click the Exit Data Mode button to turn off data mode. When you exit data mode, you will no longer be able to access the WebPort as a network-connected device via the cell phone modem.
    • Submit. Saves changes on WebPort and exits. The following message informs you that the network configuration process may time some time: This is a picture of the dialog.
    • Cancel. Exits without saving changes on WebPort.

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