Jump to content

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


Trip
 Share

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.

 Share

  • large.unreadcontent.png.6ef00db54e758d06

  • gallery_1_23_9202.png

  • Posts

    • Some recent non-urban new builds in Utah, which are a mix of Sprint conversions and new site builds: Central Cedar City Enoch Parowan Beaver Wallsburg I'm also hearing of future new site builds in places that currently have weak / no signal on all carriers like Fountain Green, Oak City, Woodland, and along Hwy 191 in the canyon north of Helper by the Power Plant. There are also an unbelievable number of Sprint conversions happening in the urban Wasatch Front corridor as well. 
    • Only time I have gotten a free sim from them is when I "purchased" some "free" phones from T-Mobile, unless I go back to when they were a distant 4th carrier.  My four other MVNOs are feast or famine, so I try to keep several hanging around.  I have noticed different versions have different capabilities, and newer is not always better.  They typically force you to upgrade when you need to activate another discount period.  
    • Hard to imagine they're actually worth much as easy as they are to get free though.....they keep sending them out unsolicited like nuts.  We just got like a 3rd packet of them less than a month ago and got another email notifying "SIM card is on the way".  
    • E-bay.  The physical sims do have one advantage: they are not tied to your phone, thus you can change phones mostly without your carriers permission (except Sprint billing). Benefits signal hunters, travellers, and thieves.
    • Maybe in a museum? When the phone manufacturers follow Apple’s lead and go all eSIM it will be a moot point. At least in the states. 
  • Recently Browsing

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