vodafone sure signal with linksys wag54gs router

Fri, Mar 19, 2010

Being a developer in a remote location, without mobile reception, I decided to get a Vodafone Sure Signal (VSS) Femtocell which provides 3G mobile in the house and its environs. The first problem I had was having to register My Account online services with Vodafone as that’s where you register your VSS. Problem is, to register on My Account, they send you a text message with an access code you enter into the page to prove you own the phone! So, yes, that’s correct. In order to setup the VSS, which is for use in areas with no reception, you need, RECEPTION!

So I had a brainwave. The access code was valid for 20mins they said. So I registered, entered my new mobile number and jumped in the car and drove the 5mins to the top of the road, where the signal kicked in and I wrote down the access code on a piece of paper. Yes, a piece of fecking paper. With a pen. Then I drove back to the house. It took 10mins tops but when I entered the code it calmly informed me it had expired. I wasn’t so calm.

So another brainwave. I drove back to the top of the road, after writing down all the info I needed on the piece of paper, with the pen and sat in the car, overlooking wonderful mountainous scenery, the wind gusting and shaking the car, while I surfed to the Vodafone site and registered. The text duly arrived, I wrote it down, entered it and bam, ERROR!, try again, ERROR! again, third time, another ERROR! Then I noticed the rest of the page. It was asking for the same info I’d already entered. Oh well, ho bleedin’ hum. Then the Submit button wouldn’t work in Safari on the iPhone, so I then had to do it all again, only backwards. Entering the access code last and using Go instead of Submit. As I tried again the signal died and the phone disconnected from the rest of the world. So I drove down the road half a mile to a full signal spot, now facing east and sheltered from the storm so at least the car wasn’t rockin’ and rollin’ in the gale.

This time it all went smoothly. I registered for My Account and drove home, fired up the laptop and registered the VSS.

To get it to actually work wasn’t actually that much of a chore once I’d sorted the router. This is how to do it without setting a static IP, which I’m not sure I can do on this router. The first thing you need is the MAC address of the VSS box. It’s on the back next to the serial number, labeled @Mac. Then plug it into the router’s ethernet port and find out what IP the router has assigned it. Go to Status -> Local Network and hit the DHCP Client Table button:

Linksys WAG54GS

this shows you the connected devices. Find the VSS box’s MAC address in the list. It’s the last one in my list:

Linksys WAG54GS DHCP clients

Then open the ports it needs. Go to Application & Gaming -> Single Port Forwarding and add the 3 ports. I only had one spare slot so I reused the two above it as I’ll never need those ports forwarded. You need to open 50 on TCP and 500 and 4500 on UDP:

Vodafone Sure Signal port forwarding

If you’ve been jumping and down before you found this post and all the lights are flashing, just shutdown the VSS and restart it after you’ve made these changes. Go make a cup of coffee and leave your phone on. The text message sound from your phone will announce that the VSS is now working!

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