ZTE MF833V

The Austrian discount market Hofer and it’s mobile brand Hofer Telekom (HoT) started to sell a ZTE MF833V broadband usb modem, yesterday.

It is the successor of the MF831 and features a LTE Cat4 device in CDC mode. It was specified for GSM 850/900 @35dBm, GSM 1800/1900 @ 32 dBm, UMTS I/VIII  @28dBm and LTE 3/7/8/20 @25dBm.

As opposed to the „mini“ SIM form factor, it is equipped with  „micro“ SIM card slot.

When plugging the stick into an USB port of my computer, lsusb reports:

Bus 001 Device 074: ID 19d2:1225 ZTE WCDMA Technologies MSM

which is beeing switched to
Bus 001 Device 075: ID 19d2:1405 ZTE WCDMA Technologies MSM

shortly after.

dmesg reports, MAC partially censored here:

[645228.134041] usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 74 using xhci_hcd
[645228.294170] usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=19d2, idProduct=1225, bcdDevice=56.91
[645228.294172] usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[645228.294173] usb 1-2: Product: ZTE Mobile Broadband
[645228.294174] usb 1-2: Manufacturer: ZTE,Incorporated
[645228.294175] usb 1-2: SerialNumber: 1234567890ABCDEF
[645228.298872] usb-storage 1-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[645228.298993] usb-storage 1-2:1.0: Quirks match for vid 19d2 pid 1225: 1
[645228.299069] scsi host3: usb-storage 1-2:1.0
[645229.318504] scsi 3:0:0:0: CD-ROM ZTE USB SCSI CD-ROM 2.31 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[645229.321200] sr 3:0:0:0: Power-on or device reset occurred
[645229.328269] sr 3:0:0:0: [sr0] scsi-1 drive
[645229.328455] sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[645229.328522] sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
[645234.323025] usb 1-2: USB disconnect, device number 74
[645234.669842] usb 1-2: new high-speed USB device number 75 using xhci_hcd
[645234.829914] usb 1-2: New USB device found, idVendor=19d2, idProduct=1405, bcdDevice=56.91
[645234.829916] usb 1-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[645234.829917] usb 1-2: Product: ZTE Mobile Broadband
[645234.829918] usb 1-2: Manufacturer: ZTE,Incorporated
[645234.829919] usb 1-2: SerialNumber: 1234567890ABCDEF
[645234.838214] cdc_ether 1-2:1.0 usb0: register ‘cdc_ether’ at usb-0000:00:14.0-2, ZTE CDC Ethernet Device, 0e:84:5a:xx:xx:xx
[645234.840017] usb-storage 1-2:1.2: USB Mass Storage device detected
[645234.840159] scsi host3: usb-storage 1-2:1.2
[645235.848009] scsi 3:0:0:0: CD-ROM ZTE USB SCSI CD-ROM 2.31 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[645235.849927] scsi 3:0:0:1: Direct-Access ZTE MMC Storage 2.31 PQ: 0 ANSI: 2
[645235.857944] sr 3:0:0:0: [sr0] scsi-1 drive
[645235.858179] sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[645235.858260] sr 3:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
[645235.858417] sd 3:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[645235.864894] sd 3:0:0:1: Power-on or device reset occurred[645235.875941] sd 3:0:0:1: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk

As usual, DHCP is enabled per default – ifconfig shows (partially censored)

usb0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 192.168.0.145 netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 192.168.0.255
inet6 fe80::e540:9fc0:2exx:xxxx prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20<link>
ether 92:0d:ef:xx:xx:xx txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)
RX packets 27 bytes 2637 (2.6 KB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 52 bytes 7333 (7.3 KB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

ip route gives a default route in lower metric – that’s fine:

default via 192.168.0.1 dev usb0 proto dhcp metric 20100

Version information:

Software-Version BD_ATMF833VV1.0.0B02
Hardware-Version MF833V-1.0.0

 

The well known browser based and URI triggered modeswitch commands, that allowed the MF831 to be switched to modem mode, do not work on this model.

You won’t need that anyway: The Web interface has DMZ settings (but no port porward as the MF920 e.g.). The settings for DHCP can easily be adapted, too.

As long as your router understands to handle CDC mode LTE-Sticks there should be no problem. If your router uses 192.168.0.1 as it’s default address, you are advised to change either that or the modems default IP before using both together.

The model, I have held in my hands does not support IPv6!

Nice: you can adapt MTU and MSS sizes from the GUI!

 

Conclusion:

A very cheap LTE Class 4 USB modem (30 Euro) with hardware from the year 2017, it’s software carries a copyright notice from 2019. It is easy to handle, but it’s size, which is similar to the MF831 will probably block a neighbored USB port, physically. Better get an extension cable.

If you need a device, which is capable of IPv6 natively, if your ISP/mobile service provider does likewise, this stick is not for you. There simply is no sign of support for IPv6 anywhere in the software. DMZ features may allow you to use an external IP address, which is a most likely necessity for using 6in4 based IPv6 tunnel broker services today (6to4 and Teredo are almost no longer used for having severe disadvantages), if your MSP/ISP provides a public IP with your contract.

14 thoughts on “ZTE MF833V

  1. Hi there,
    I have bought a MF833V to use with an Android device. However, it needs some prior setup, but it is not recognized by Windows 10. How did you make it recognized?

    Thanks!

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    1. The MF833V is completely „driverless“. It should always be plug-n-play. After the insertion of stick, Windows should recognize it as a Network Interface card, that by then already has received a DHCP lease from a virtual router, that is also the gateway (192.168.0.1) as far as I remember. In order to configure the device, point your browser to that IP.

      The part, where you want to use it with an android device isn’t quite clear to me. The MF833V has NO WIFI, if you’d been referring to that. Android devices are often equipped with a simple USB Port. If you’d like to connect the MF833V to such a port, that will most likely only work with a OTG-Cable. Depending on your Android’s output power, this will preferably need to be one with a ‘Y’ connector to insert external power sources.

      If Windows for some reason does not recognize the device, this method could help: Connect Windows to another router that is attached to some internet line. Then plug in that stick. If Windows still does not recognize it, enter the device manager and do a manual search for drivers from Windows Update.

      BTW: The tricks for the MF831 model won’t work here.

      Like

      1. Thanks for answering, even if a bit late.
        I tried with several devices (W10, Linux Mint, Android) to reach the interface as suggested, without success.

        My main goal was to use it as a 4G port for an Android device without simcard port.

        I also tried with serveral PCs (at least 5) already connected to internet to plug the MF833V so the OS can find the drivers, but with the same exact result : nothing.
        The OS keeps saying that it is an unrecognized device. And therefore, I sent it back and gave up.

        Like

  2. Most probably, your device had a defect. I’ve been using the MF833V for about a year and I never experienced anything similar. (Linux, OpenWRT and Windows 10). Sorry for latency in my answer. I answered, when I received the notification of your comment. Seems it got stuck.

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  3. I am trying to get the MF833V to be recognized as a serial modem for Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi. I tried your tutorial for the MF831 and, indeed, the method did not work. Do you know of a means by which I could make this a serial modem? I have Windows 7 laptop, and I have a Pi that I could flash with whatever OS is necessary. I’m a noob but I’m good at following directions.

    Like

    1. No, there isn’t any way I’d currently know. Please consider to use the MF833V as intended by the manufacurer. In contrary to some versions of the MF831, this stick would also support NAT rules and DMZ, which will be quite enough for the purpose of controlling a port based application. It’s probably even more reliable and more performant than the variant with the modem mode.

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      1. Thank you so much for the reply. I would be very happy to get this MF833V to work, but when I install the SMS Modem Integration in Home Assistant I am asked for the device’s location, and I do not see the modem listed as a serial device in the system’s hardware profiles (/dev/tty, etc.). I do see it when I run lsusb. I don’t presume you’d have much experience with adding modems to Home Assistant, but you seem quite knowledgeable. Do you have any idea how I’d discern the modem’s serial location on my Pi?

        Like

      2. Actually I don’t know Home Assistant, but I’d like to suggest to use the modems Web-Gui, which allows for sending sms. I guess you could write a script, that relies on curl to fill in the values an submit SMS this way. The question is, if Home Assistant provides for REST or SOAP or HTTP-URL notifications, too. If it does, forget about addressing the modem through /dev/ttyUSB*, find the API reference corresponding to the notification services and start coding 😉

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      3. I’ve checked some of the code and would like to make an educated guess:
        Submitting a POST containing a JSON object to http://192.168.0.1/index.html#sms (or whatever IP it is in your case) could be of success. Fact is, this module heavily relies on Javascript and jquery, but I am no expert for this. So the URL for the underlying AJAX request may not be correct either. Thanks for that interesting question of yours’. There’s much to learn here.
        Besides, I stumbled upon https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/. I’d suggest you take a closer look at
        https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/notify/
        https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/notify_events/
        https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/tplink_lte/ – Just another guess…

        Please report back whether either of these modules combined with any URL of that modem is an adequate solution.

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  4. It still isn’t working.

    Another thing: Setting up my SIM earlier today, to be able to send SMS, required that I modify the ZTE modem’s APN settings. I did so, and I was then able to send SMS from the ZTE interface at http://192.168.0.1 on my Windows laptop. Perhaps you know, could there be another setting in the ZTE interface that I might need to modify in order to use this modem on my Raspberry Pi? …because I see the USB device listed under lsusb, and I know I have entered the .yaml code correctly. Keep in mind that the Pi has a wlan0 that is live and connected to my Asus router with a static local IP (and I need to it remain connected). This wlan0 connection is how I address the Pi on my home network (there is no desktop interface for Home Assistant as it is installed on my Pi). Perhaps there is some sort of IP conflict with the ZTE modem? Or perhaps there is some command I need to run on the Pi in order to have it recognize the ZTE modem? I can SSH into my Pi from my laptop if needed.

    Like

  5. The device should be detected by any Linux-Kernel, that supports Ethernet-USB. The device will be detected as „usb0“, and will be reachable as 192.168.0.1, usually. Your PC will be assigned an IP address from the range 192.168.0.0/24. Sending sms from the stick will be performed by accessing http://192.168.0.1/index.html#sms. SMS should -in contrary to MMS- never ever depend on the APN. Instead, you will define a message center number. The corresponding setting is to be found at /index.html#sms_setting and is called „Center Number *“.

    If your Wifi was using the same IP Range 192.168.0.1, you certainly will have an address or route conflict. In that case, you can use the stick on your laptop and change the “IP Range” and “DHCP IP Pool” accordingly at http://192.168.0.1/index.html#router_setting. If you save that, unplug an replug the stick, it will be reachable on the assigned address. E.g. If you chose 192.168.100.1 as IP address instead, netmask 255.255.255.0 and DHCP IP Pool Start 192.168.100.100 – 192.168.100.200, your PC should be assigned 192.168.100.100 and the sticks interface will furthermore be available at http://192.168.100.100.

    Also keep in mind, that having an active WIFI connection AND using the stick will result in two conflicting default routes. Hence, you should make sure to override the route metric for either of these. See https://netplan.io/examples/ for examples.

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  6. I really appreciate all the time you’ve spent trying to assist me in this effort. I’m a total noob, as in, I typed my first linux command just over a week ago. I have appended the URL with #sms to no avail. My Asus router assigns 192.168.50.* addresses, so I don’t suspect an IP conflict. I think if someone with your level of knowledge were to sit down next to me we’d have it running in no time, but I don’t have any close friends with that kind of knowledge.

    I think I should take a step back and simplify. Apparently there are Huawei modems that can be modeswitched into serial mode. Thereafter, the modem should work with Home Assistant. I think the best route for me to take is to return the ZTE and spring for a Huawei that users have had success with.

    Like

    1. It’s always your decision and using other hardware may save a lot of time. Nevertheless I believe you are close to solving it. When I was a noob, I tried very hard. Learning by doing is the most important attitude to obtaining skills. RTFM, RTFL and googling around will solve most problems you’ll come across. It’s not always easy, and I still have much to learn myself. If you are trying to understand what is going on, log messages are very important. Read the logs carefully and don’t focus on the last lines. Error tend to show up sequentially – action, cause and reaction…

      Believe me, you’ll soon be the one, you would have wished to sit next to you, when you were a noob. Just don’t give up – whatever you decide to do now, you’ll master it.

      I wonder if you’d like to share the steps you’ve done until here?

      Like

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