Jump to content

Evolve III Maestro - $60 Laptop with Quectel EC25-AF


Trip

Recommended Posts

Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook from an old friend about the Evolve III Maestro, a $60 laptop (at Micro Center) that apparently has an LTE modem in it.  Specifically, the Quectel EC25-AF*.  The nearest Micro Center was sold out of new ones, but offered open box at $48.  So for $51 after tax, I walked out this morning with one.  An absolute steal.

I backed up the Windows product key and then put Kubuntu 22.04 on it.  I spent a lot of time today trying to get the build tools installed so I could get the wifi module installed and running, and once I did that, I pretty quickly got to sending it modem commands, which I've never done before.  I don't have a SIM in it yet, but it does seem to function as it should.  (I figured out the command to get Timing Advance values out of it, but without a SIM, I doubt it would have such values.)

Now I'm trying to puzzle out how to write some kind of script or small program to use it for logging purposes.  I think I've worked out how to send commands to it from bash using socat, but I need to pick specific commands to run.  I'd actually like to replace some of my phones with this if I can get it to record cells, with GPS, and cycle through a set of bands repeatedly. 

My current phone collection consists of 9 phones other than my main S21FE, and they require babysitting while I'm logging.  It'd be nice to pare that down to a more reasonable number and let the computer do the work, hopefully in the back seat with less babysitting.

- Trip

=====

* Per the spec sheet, it supports B2/4/5/12/13/14/66/71.  That'd cover all of Verizon and US Cellular LTE, all but B29/30 on AT&T, and all but B41 and Sprint Keep on B26 for T-Mobile. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Trip said:

Yesterday, I saw a post on Facebook from an old friend about the Evolve III Maestro, a $60 laptop (at Micro Center) that apparently has an LTE modem in it.  Specifically, the Quectel EC25-AF*.  The nearest Micro Center was sold out of new ones, but offered open box at $48.  So for $51 after tax, I walked out this morning with one.  An absolute steal.

I backed up the Windows product key and then put Kubuntu 22.04 on it.  I spent a lot of time today trying to get the build tools installed so I could get the wifi module installed and running, and once I did that, I pretty quickly got to sending it modem commands, which I've never done before.  I don't have a SIM in it yet, but it does seem to function as it should.  (I figured out the command to get Timing Advance values out of it, but without a SIM, I doubt it would have such values.)

Now I'm trying to puzzle out how to write some kind of script or small program to use it for logging purposes.  I think I've worked out how to send commands to it from bash using socat, but I need to pick specific commands to run.  I'd actually like to replace some of my phones with this if I can get it to record cells, with GPS, and cycle through a set of bands repeatedly. 

My current phone collection consists of 9 phones other than my main S21FE, and they require babysitting while I'm logging.  It'd be nice to pare that down to a more reasonable number and let the computer do the work, hopefully in the back seat with less babysitting.

- Trip

=====

* Per the spec sheet, it supports B2/4/5/12/13/14/66/71.  That'd cover all of Verizon and US Cellular LTE, all but B29/30 on AT&T, and all but B41 and Sprint Keep on B26 for T-Mobile. 

Sounds like an awesome project—keep us posted on how it’s going!

Also—if you’re able to figure out logging, I can work with you to get the data uploaded to SignalCheck. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you need any assistance, firmware or drivers with the radio; I am involved in Quectel's US based sales and field application engineer programs. I am working on the x62 reference RM520/N right now. They are a really fun product to work with.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neat!  Thanks.  Most of my issues at the moment are from inexperience.  I've never used AT commands and I'm bad at Python.  I'm not really sure what the best way is to send AT commands to the modem; socat seems to work, and there are Python libraries that should do it, but I don't really know what I'm doing. 

- Trip

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • large.unreadcontent.png.6ef00db54e758d06

  • gallery_1_23_9202.png

  • Posts

    • Luckily, that hasn't arisen in my area where I am, aside from having B14 (well, ALL of AT&T signal) not work at all in Coosa county, Alabama. I wish there was a service for first responders that would go to ANY available carrier, provider, etc..and in the absolute worst case scenario, would give us service. I've been on an ambulance, trying to find an address, and my driver actually had to pull over and we pulled out a map book and tried to find the road using the "old fashioned way".. and that takes valuable time away that sometimes may be vital to someone surviving. BUT, I will say that I've only seen that in Coosa county... both my Tmo and AT&T phones had zero service and I couldn't get GPS, and neither could my driver (VZW service). Maybe satellite will help with that in those times where that occurs.. but that's an extreme example.     Edit to add: Let me add some context to this.. Coosa county isn't regular coverage area for my job.. so it's not a regular thing that we are dispatched to Coosa county.. and actually, there's been a change and that county now has it's own ambulance service that operates.. so the only time we might receive a request is if it's a multiple casualty scenario, or it's a transfer going home from our contracted hospital.  The way that reads above, it may seem like we are just out without some sort of GPS gadget to direct us on where to go, but for the most part, we know our coverage area pretty well. Dispatch can also give us cross streets for reference inside our coverage area (and our home county). Coosa just isn't a regular area for my job to run in. 
    • "Priority" doesn't mean "exclusivity."  When emergency services don't need B14, AT&T can use it for everyone else.  The trade-off is that when it is needed for emergency services, they not only get all of B14, but they have also arranged for priority on the rest of the AT&T network as well.  Beats having spectrum sitting unused most of the time and then not having enough when disaster strikes, as it could be without a partnership with a wireless company like AT&T. - Trip
    • I've wondered if being on the first responder plan has the priority over other 'regular' lines in the same way firstnet does (or, supposed to do with B14...I've seen normal customers on AT&T hit B14 so it's not {specifically} for Firstnet only)...  
    • T-Mobile prices people pay are all over the map. The free lines are key, so take them if ever offered again.  Your priority level would be a key factor for your price.  Only T-Mobile would know the average prices people pay.  Samsung has been offering very good deals at time of new model introductions so I have gone that route for factory unlocked, which allows me to also have a Verizon priority MVNO for when T-Mobile signal fails or I manually override.
    • I also wanted to post a speed test result.. I only do these once in a while from my home area because we are gonna be the last to see changes, like load balancing.  Right now they are digging all over the place for fiber installs, so I'm not sure what the hold-up is on making the upload speed a little more in-line with download speeds, but here is the most recent from my area:   https://www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/10133670525
  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...