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X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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Puppy
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X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#1 Post by Puppy » Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:37 am

Has anyone tried Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN in X220 ? I guess it will end up with classic BIOS blacklist error :( On the other hand Lenovo already have Gobi 4000 cards MC7750/MC7700 branded for X230. Unfortunately both of them does not support LTE frequencies used in Europe (1800 Mhz), only the MC7710 does.

Edit: according this discussion "The fact that you are not receiving an error on boot makes me wonder if there is something wrong in the connection between the laptop and the card, and/or on the card itself. I did a quick search to find out if the x220 laptops had a different behavior from previous generations of machines and silently disabled the WWAN cards instead of halting on boot. " it seems as impossible :x
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#2 Post by bmork » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:46 am

Puppy wrote:Has anyone tried Sierra Wireless MC7710 WWAN in X220 ? I guess it will end up with classic BIOS blacklist error :( On the other hand Lenovo already have Gobi 4000 cards MC7750/MC7700 branded for X230. Unfortunately both of them does not support LTE frequencies used in Europe (1800 Mhz), only the MC7710 does.
I assume Lenovo eventually will add the MC7710 to european models.

Yuck :( I was going to be smart here. All the MC77xx cards normally use the exact same USB device IDs, depending only on the driver interface and feature set the firmware supports. So I thought that if the MC7750 was whitelisted then that would imply that the MC7710 was whitelisted as well!

But then I inspected the Windows drivers from the support link you posted, and found this:

Code: Select all

%gobiwwan.Sierra9013%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_1199&PID_9013&MI_00
%gobiwwan.Sierra9019%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_1199&PID_9019&MI_00
%gobiwwan.Sierra901B%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_1199&PID_901B&MI_00
%gobiwwan.Sierra7700%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_0F3D&PID_68A2&MI_08
%gobiwwan.Sierra7750%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_114F&PID_68A2&MI_08
%gobiwwan.Sierra901C%    = gobiwwan.ndi, USB\VID_1199&PID_901C&MI_08
Notice how the PID is the same for the 7700 and 7750 (as expected), but the VID has been changed from the default Sierra Wireless ID. FWIW, this is my MC7710 in QMI mode:

Code: Select all

T:  Bus=02 Lev=01 Prnt=01 Port=03 Cnt=02 Dev#= 48 Spd=480  MxCh= 0
D:  Ver= 2.00 Cls=00(>ifc ) Sub=00 Prot=00 MxPS=64 #Cfgs=  1
P:  Vendor=1199 ProdID=68a2 Rev= 0.06
S:  Manufacturer=Sierra Wireless, Incorporated
S:  Product=MC7710
VID 0F3D is "Airprime, Incorporated", and VID 114F is "Wavecom". AFAIK both of these are Sierra Wireless brands, but that does not help much unless you can get hold of a MC7710 with the same vendor ID. And all the MC7710 examples I have seen had the 1199 vendor ID.
Edit: according this discussion "The fact that you are not receiving an error on boot makes me wonder if there is something wrong in the connection between the laptop and the card, and/or on the card itself. I did a quick search to find out if the x220 laptops had a different behavior from previous generations of machines and silently disabled the WWAN cards instead of halting on boot. " it seems as impossible :x
You never know. But this could also be due to the card matching the whitelist.

Removing the whitelist is of course also an option, for older Thinkpads at least. Don't know if this is possible for the newer ones with UEFI? FWIW, I have done this on my X301 and am successfully using a MC7710 in that one. A few installation pics for anyone interested (before modifying the BIOS): http://www.mork.no/~bjorn/thinkpad-lte/

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#3 Post by Puppy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:57 am

Thanks, it is interesting. Where did you get the three-wire WWAN antenna ? The one in X220 is two-wire only.
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#4 Post by bmork » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:36 am

Puppy wrote:Thanks, it is interesting. Where did you get the three-wire WWAN antenna ? The one in X220 is two-wire only.
The X301 came with 6 antennas. I don't think there were any other options, but I could be wrong.

3 antennas are used for the wlan card, 2 for the original wwan card, and the last one was intented for the wusb card which I don't have. I found the cable taped between the RAM slots. Even if that is on the other side of the main board, that is not a problem on the X301. The antenna cables are routed through a hole next to all three mini-PCIe slots, so all 6 of them are available for use in any of the slots. A really nice and flexible design IMHO. I am extremely impressed by the hardware design of this laptop. So compact and feature packed, but yet easy to service. There has been some serious thinking behind this design!

I really have no clue wrt the frequency characteristics of the antennas, but the card seems to work very well on the 2.6 GHz band (LTE B7). I am outdoors at the moment, so these numbers are even better than usual:

Code: Select all

at!gstatus?
!GSTATUS: 
Current Time:  2689             Temperature: 39
Bootup Time:   1                Mode:        ONLINE         
System mode:   LTE              PS state:    Attached     
LTE band:      B7               LTE bw:      20 MHz  
LTE Rx chan:   3050             LTE Tx chan: 21050
EMM state:     Registered       Normal Service 
EMM connection:RRC Connected  

RSSI (dBm):    -75
RSRP (dBm):    -98              TAC:         78B5 (30901)
RSRQ (dB):     -4               Cell ID:     0103B200 (17019392)
SINR (dB):     22.0


OK
I don't care much about the GPS. It's a useless gizmo. So it wouldn't have been a problem for me if I didn't have the extra antenna. But with it in place, GPS reception is far better than it was with the original Ericsson card. I assume that is expected based on GPS receiver development the last 4 years.

Bjørn

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#5 Post by EOMtp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Puppy wrote:Where did you get the three-wire WWAN antenna ?
The third wire is for Wireless USB, not WWAN. Note that the picture below has the antennas connected incorrectly. The correct associations are: red to MAIN, blue to AUX, and yellow to Wireless USB device -- but, of course, nobody has such a device! Perhaps the yellow antenna can help the GPS part the MC7710 ... but, at the very least, the yellow and blue wires should be reversed:
http://www.mork.no/~bjorn/thinkpad-lte/ ... _2300.html

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#6 Post by bmork » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:14 pm

EOMtp wrote:Note that the picture below has the antennas connected incorrectly. The correct associations are: red to MAIN, blue to AUX, and yellow to Wireless USB device -- but, of course, nobody has such a device! Perhaps the yellow antenna can help the GPS part the MC7710 ... but, at the very least, the yellow and blue wires should be reversed:
http://www.mork.no/~bjorn/thinkpad-lte/ ... _2300.html
No, I don't think so. It's not a random choice. It's connected based on function and not label.

The AUX label does not mean the same on the MC7710 and the F3507g. It marks the GPS connector on the F3507g. That's why the blue (GPS) antenna is connected to the GPS connector on the MC7710. But I don't think it really matters much as the antennas are most likely identical. But their relative position can be important. The AUX connector on the MC7710 is used for RX diversity and MIMO (and also GPS if no standalone antenna is available), and therefore it makes sense to maximize the distance between the MAIN antenna and the AUX antenna. So if I were to do this properly then I should have checked which of the yellow and blue antennas are farthest from the red antenna.

I didn't do that. I just noted that both are located on the right side of the screen while the red is on the left. So I assume both will do pretty well, and it does not really matter much.

Well, long story to explain that it doesn't matter... The important part is that this setup is verified to give excellent signal quality :)

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#7 Post by EOMtp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:01 pm

bmork wrote:... It's connected based on function and not label.
Thank you -- I see, and I agree. Since you have only 2 antennas tuned specifically for WWAN/GPS frequencies, better to allocate them to MAIN and GPS than to MAIN and AUX.

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#8 Post by bretahrnek » Thu Sep 20, 2012 1:50 pm

A really nice and flexible design IMHO. I am extremely impressed by the hardware design of this laptop. So compact and feature packed, but yet easy to service. There has been some serious thinking behind this design!
Bjørn

replacing LCD panel is nightmare on this one. everything is so tight...
not easy to service.
however nicely designed
mainly in use : X201.i5.8GB.**AFFS**.120GBVertex4.Intel6300.GOBI2000.NMD.Ultrabase.w7Pro64
other : T410s.i5.8GB.120GBVertex4.Intel6300.GOBI2000.NMD.w7Pro64
others : X60 | T43p.UXGA.sata | 600e | X300 | T61p
ex : Edge.11 | T60.UXGA.T9500

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#9 Post by u751920 » Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:07 pm

I see from your pictures that the WUSB slot is empty. I stuck a micro SD card reader in that slot. It holds 2 micro sd cards thus increasing my memory by 128GB. Worth the effort especially as you have modified the BIOS.
X301 SU9600 1.6Ghz 256SSD 8Gb RAM WWAN&GPS BT Windows 7 Pro 64bit Batteries 6 Cell & Bay

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#10 Post by AJN » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:09 am

I borrow this read for a wwan question:

I have a T520 with ericsson 5521gw and a X220 with Gobi 3000. I'd like to swap these to get a wwan with linux support to X220. Is there any change that these would be locked somehow to their original laptops and wouldn't work if swapped to another?

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#11 Post by Puppy » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:01 am

AJN wrote:I have a T520 with ericsson 5521gw and a X220 with Gobi 3000. I'd like to swap these to get a wwan with linux support to X220. Is there any change that these would be locked somehow to their original laptops and wouldn't work if swapped to another?
It is supposed to work, both modules are x20 models compatible. I'd uninstall its actual drivers before the swap and install new ones after the swap.
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#12 Post by AJN » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:55 pm

Thanks Puppy, they seem to work :P

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#13 Post by dammie.ru » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:20 pm

Hello.
The information for everybody, who cannot sleep, thinking about to use Sierra Wireless MC7710 on Lenovo X220 notebook:
This Air Prime card is NOT compatible with X220 without modifications. My experience is to install it in the notebook has failed mainly due to different size of the contacts on MC7710 I think:
I have 4286CTO with MC8355 preinstalled for AT&T (as I remember or may be for Verizon - it doesn't matter). The notebook was ordered via Lenovo web-store. The card was used in Russia for using 3G HSPDA networks and WiMAX. This card was SIM locked and successfully cracked by me with dc-unlocker so I have been using it many years till now, when WiMAX was closed and LTE is used now in Russia.
I have ordered MC7710 on ebay for $268 recently. I also have received the X230 2306CTO from Lenovo web-store with MC7750 preinstalled. I was thinking, that these 2 cards are same in the hardware configuration so may be Lenovo whitelist checker will not see the difference :) It sees, and X230 do not want to start with the good known whitelist error.

So I have downloaded WhiteList_Removed bios for X220 from good known Spain made web site and tried to install this card into X220. After loading the Windos 7 this card is not even seen in the devices. I've removed it and compared with MC8355 - these cards have different contacts. There is 1-2 mm shift. Thats why (I think) it doesn't contact with motherboard.

So the only way to use LTE without painful hardware modifications is to wait for X230 Whitelist_Removed BIOS.
Sorry that I have forgot to make a snapshot of this difference - I have thought about it after I have closed notebooks.

Other Good news: the backlit keyboard of X230 exactly compatible in size with X220.
Bad news: I was not able to turn on this backlite on X220 - I do not know the key for this.

Regards,
Dammie

I include the common view for evidence of my experience:
Image

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#14 Post by Radioguy » Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:44 pm

u751920 wrote:I see from your pictures that the WUSB slot is empty. I stuck a micro SD card reader in that slot. It holds 2 micro sd cards thus increasing my memory by 128GB. Worth the effort especially as you have modified the BIOS.
Not enough people know this is possible. IMO, the #1 rule of laptop upgrades/expansion, is to always utilize internal ports and spaces before resorting to using external ones. WUSB really didn't catch on, so this is a no-brainer upgrade. I plan on doing it myself, but I've yet to acquire 2 cards of sufficient capacity to make it worthwhile; at least on my current budget. However, if you can do it, you should.
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#15 Post by EOMtp » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:57 pm

u751920 wrote:... I stuck a micro SD card reader in that slot. It holds 2 micro sd cards ...
What does this reader that holds 2 cards look like? Anyone have pictures or details?

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#16 Post by Radioguy » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:18 am

It was discussed in this thread, at least:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=104341
240, 380ED, 760C, 760CD, 760E, 760EL, 760LD, 760LD, 760XD, 760XD, A30, E520, G40, I1300, P53, R31, R40, R51, R52, R61, T20, T30, T40, T41, T42, T43, T43P, T60, T61, T400, T410, T420, T430, T460, X1C2, X30, X40, X220, X301 and on, and on, and on...

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#17 Post by twistero » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:45 am

EOMtp wrote:What does this reader that holds 2 cards look like? Anyone have pictures or details?
Here: http://www.hwtools.net/CardReader/MR15.html

It uses USB lanes on the mini PCIe connector, and I can confirm that my X60 tablet can boot from it. Actually, I have one for sale.
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#18 Post by EOMtp » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:53 am

Thank you, both.

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#19 Post by bretahrnek » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:39 pm

dammie.ru wrote: Other Good news: the backlit keyboard of X230 exactly compatible in size with X220.
Bad news: I was not able to turn on this backlite on X220 - I do not know the key for this.

Hello,

is that mean both keyboard are swappable in both?
mainly in use : X201.i5.8GB.**AFFS**.120GBVertex4.Intel6300.GOBI2000.NMD.Ultrabase.w7Pro64
other : T410s.i5.8GB.120GBVertex4.Intel6300.GOBI2000.NMD.w7Pro64
others : X60 | T43p.UXGA.sata | 600e | X300 | T61p
ex : Edge.11 | T60.UXGA.T9500

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#20 Post by dammie.ru » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:30 pm

Yes it is. Instead of backlit light :)
bretahrnek wrote:
Hello,

is that mean both keyboard are swappable in both?

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#21 Post by Puppy » Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:42 am

Still no success with X220 and MC7710 ? All local mobile providers have stopped to build and expand 3G/HSPA+ network last year (coverage is worse than 50%) in favor of 4G/LTE that is supposed to replace it in two or three years reusing existing 3G frequencies.
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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#22 Post by fsamara » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:14 am

I have an X220 and would like to purchase a mobile boradband module. Can someone let me know which one Gobi 3000, or 4000 is compatible? I am in the US and on AT&T.

Many thanks

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#23 Post by EOMtp » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:46 pm

fsamara wrote:... X220 ... Gobi 3000, or 4000 is compatible?
Welcome to the forum!
Gobi 3000, but only if it is a Lenovo-branded part, i.e., FRU #60Y3257 printed on it. Otherwise, you will need a modified BIOS.

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Re: X220 and Sierra Wireless MC7710 compatibility ?

#24 Post by Puppy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:56 am

dammie.ru wrote:Hello.This Air Prime card is NOT compatible with X220 without modifications.
According information in local ThinkPad forum it works with taped pin 20.
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