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Imagine this situation; a global pandemic is underway, people around the world are dying in their millions, civil unrest all around the globe, the powers of police and politicians are expanding to combat these new challenges being faced. What will the consequences of this seismic change in the world be? Are we slowly descending back into the dark ages? What will the world look like in a years time? What about 10 years time??

Surely one of the consequences of such an event would be a global shortage of "Touchstone® CM8200 DOCSIS® 3.1 Ultra Fast Cable Modem" 's due to supply chain issues at the factory in China. This would surely cause widespread issues, especially if a country was rely on the availability of such boxes for 30% of all of it's internet services.

Now imagine that you just moved house into a place that is "NBN ready" (but not installed yet 🙂), place an order for internet to be setup 1 week before the shortage was official and then had to wait over 3 months (and counting) for internet availability at your new place. (Update hehe) (16/8/21 Update 2 this title is missing the word "allegedly") Now that would be truly unfortunate... Imagine that they also (hypothetically of course) turned off all the ADSL in the area because the area is "NBN ready". And then also imagine that, hypothetically, the 4G signal strength in the whole of the new place was max 1 bar. Now that would be truly unfortunate.

If you were to find yourself in this situation you would ideally find an Aircard 320u 4G modem in your mums office buried underneath a pile of other 2011 era technology. Imagine if you could pair that with a modern router and run your whole network through this???

---- ok here's the actual info ----


  • OpenWrt (tested on 21.02rc1)
  • AirCard 320U Telstra - Sierra wireless - this guide probably works for a bunch of 4G/LTE sierra cards


You need to have internet somehow on the router to install these packages, I did this by running the 4G stick on another router that i had running "rooter" firmware, which worked but the connection quality was really really shit. I connected the "rooter" router to the wan of the router i was using for the proper setup (triple NAT, nice). To do this with no spare router you could run the 4G stick on a pc and build a firmware image with these packages pre-installed. (not as hard as it sounds, use the build presets and go from there) Alternatively take it to your friends house and do it there.

  1. Install stock OpenWrt on the router
  2. Set an admin password or add your ssh public key to System->Administration->SSH-Keys
  3. SSH into the router root@
  4. opkg update
  5. opkg install usb-modeswitch kmod-mii kmod-usb-net kmod-usb-wdm kmod-usb-net-qmi-wwan uqmi kmod-usb-serial-sierrawireless kmod-usb-net-sierrawireless modemmanager luci-proto-modemmanager
  6. Reboot the router
  7. (update: with the bigpond firmware it's just a dhcp interface for me???) Plug 4G stick into router usb port, go to Network->Interfaces, "add new interface", choose protocol as "ModemManager" and give it a name - click create
  8. Choose your 4G card as your device - if it doesn't show up, just wait a minute or so, takes time sometimes
  9. Type in your APN (different for every network provider, google it), you might need pin and auth depending on your provider. For telstra australia you only need APN, telstra.internet for me.
  10. Press save and see if you get an ip
  11. Edit the new interface you just made, go to the firewall settings tab and add it to the WAN firewall zone
  12. DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (the virtual interfaces should just magically appear)


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