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dk90103
Punch Card
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎09-13-2011
Location: DK
Views: 1,491
Message 21 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - is Lenovo going to fix its poor performance?

I managed to get my EM7455 planted into a T460s this afternoon and it installed the Aug 08 2017 Lenovo Release. The firmware included is now the 02.24.03.00_GENERIC - Same as the Sierra Public release.

 

I bet lenovo read this thread and finally got it bundled into a "new" release.

 

And if it works - don't fix it.

Community SuperMod
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Posts: 4,769
Registered: ‎04-25-2008
Location: US
Views: 1,490
Message 22 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - is Lenovo going to fix its poor performance?

Just so there's no confusion, dk90103's link points to the latest software for the EM7455 in the last generation X1 Carbon Gen 4.

 

The new software for the EM7455 in the X1 Carbon Gen 5, T470s, X1 Yoga Gen 2, and other current generation systems is here:

 

http://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/products/LAPTOPS-AND-NETBOOKS/THINKPAD-T-SERIES-LAPTOPS/THINKPAD-T...

 

I've been using this in my T470s for the last two weks (posting over LTE right now). Performance is good - I'm showing 4/5 bars signal strength and speedtest.net is showing over 40Mbps down and 30Mbps up.

I don't work for Lenovo. I'm a crazy volunteer!
sxc5678
Serial Port
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-11-2016
Location: CH
Views: 1,485
Message 23 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - is Lenovo going to fix its poor performance?


@bananaman wrote:

I've been using this in my T470s for the last two weks (posting over LTE right now). Performance is good - I'm showing 4/5 bars signal strength and speedtest.net is showing over 40Mbps down and 30Mbps up.


Well maybe it's just the X1c series that have a dodgy wiring (my old X1c3 with an EM7345 was a fair bit better than my X1c5 but certainly not flawless either).  As I'm posting this, my EM7455 shows 2/5 whereas my old iPhone 6+ next to it is on 5/5. I still get disconnections from the EM7455, maybe once/twice a week, so it's not unusable, just not what I'd epxect from top of range hardware... sigh

drrossum
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,386
Message 24 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - is Lenovo going to fix its poor performance?


@sxc5678 wrote:

I'd be interested in hearing experiences from users with the *EM*7455 (ideally in an X1c5) so I can figure out whether I have a lemon - and it's just an unfortunate coincidence that it mirrors my poor experience with the X1c3/EM7345... 

 

Suggestions on how to improve wake-up time are most welcome too!  Hopefully they can be made to work on any O/S...


I have the same experience on a X1c5 with a EM7455 on linux: it takes about 30 seconds to reconnect after resume. On my T460s with EM7345 this used to take 10s. I had never updated the firmware on that card. Hearing your experience with the EM7345 this could have been improved with firmware updates.

 

The reception is OK. How do you measure the signal strenght? The ModemManager does not seem to have access to signal strength info, but I do get a signal quality number:

# mmcli -m 21 --signal-get
error: modem has no extended signal capabilities
# mmcli -m21 | grep signal

signal quality: '16' (recent)

drrossum
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,381
Message 25 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - is Lenovo going to fix its poor performance?


@drrossum wrote:


How do you measure the signal strenght?

I see this is accessible with mbimcli:

# mbimcli -pd /dev/cdc-wdm0 --query-signal-state

 

I'll keep an eye on these numbers in the train. Maybe I'll plug in my good old EM7345 to be able to directly compare the signal strength.

sxc5678
Serial Port
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-11-2016
Location: CH
Views: 1,357
Message 26 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - how to inspect and upgrade its firmware under Linux

You probably know this already @drrossum but in case others find their way here (this is for Linux users btw):

It is worth trying to upgrade the EM7455's firmware unless you've already done so, as newer firmwares do seem to yield improvements over time, modest though these may be.  I've found the following a reliable way to yield the identification of the firmware currently in use:

sudo mmcli -m 1 | grep revision

(substitute your suitable modem index found using mmcli -L).  There is a more detailed command that uses Qualcomm's native APIs but seems to have an issue wrt showing the firmware currently in use (the modem can store up to 4 of those and you can switch between them), at least on my Ubuntu 17.04, which has qmicli 1.16.2:

sudo qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --device-open-mbim --dms-list-stored-images


Compare your current version against those made available by Sierra here: https://source.sierrawireless.com/resources/airprime/minicard/74xx/airprime-em_mc74xx-approved-fw-pa.... You'll have to register to download new firmwares/release notes but it's free and painless.

So far, I've been booting Windows 10 to upgrade my modem firmware using Sierra's packages; however there is some help on the way for Linux users in the form of an upgraded libqmi package that allows upgrading the firmware directly under Linux: https://sigquit.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/qmi-firmware-update-with-libqmi/.  You'll need a version of libqmi >= 1.17(?); I've built the latest version successfully on my X1c5 running Ubuntu 17.04 but somehow can't get qmi-firmware-update to work (tried to run it without installing it); I suspect this is due to cross-dependencies with the ModemManager package (which I also tried to build and run...); so I may just have to upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 or later to get the benefit of qmi-firmware-update.  I have to say, I'm mightily impressed by the work of the community (Aleksander and Bjørn in particular) in bringing us these powerful tools!

Once a new firmware has been loaded onto the modem from Windows or qmi-firmware-update, select the version used at runtime using the following secquence:

 

 

# begin by checking available firmware images (a number of them can co-exist):

sudo qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-mbim --dms-list-stored-images
[/dev/cdc-wdmX] Device list of stored images retrieved:
 [0] Type: 'modem'
 Maximum: '4'

 [modem0]
 Unique ID: '3F:5F:3F:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00'
 Build ID: '02.20.03.00_?'
 Storage index: '1'
 Failure count: '0'
 >>>>>>>>>> [CURRENT] <<<<<<<<<<
 [modem1]
 Unique ID: '3F:5F:3F:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00'
 Build ID: '02.24.03.00_?'
 Storage index: '2'
 Failure count: '0'
 [modem2]
 Unique ID: '3F:5F:3F:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00'
 Build ID: '02.24.05.06_?'
 Storage index: '3'
 Failure count: '0'

 [1] Type: 'pri'
 Maximum: '50'
 >>>>>>>>>> [CURRENT] <<<<<<<<<<
 [pri0]
Unique ID: '30:30:32:2E:30:32:31:5F:30:30:30:00:00:00:00:00'
Build ID: '02.24.03.00_GENERIC'

# then choose the one you require (we want the newest, which is "modem2"; there's only one "pri" image available...)
sudo qmicli -p -d /dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-mbim --dms-select-stored-image=modem2,pri0

# now it's time to reset the device (a reboot would do it too...):
sudo qmicli -p -d /dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-mbim --dms-set-operating-mode=offline
sudo qmicli -p -d /dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-mbim --dms-set-operating-mode=reset
# resetting will take some time (30s or so) to complete asynchronously.  During that time, the /dev/cdc-wdmX device disappears

# Check the operating status; it shouldn't say "pri-version-incompatible":
sudo qmicli -p -d /dev/cdc-wdmX --device-open-mbim --dms-get-operating-mode

# Check the actual firmware in use:
sudo mmcli -m 1 | grep revision

Note: if you re-run '--dms-list-stored-images' after having selected the latest version available as in the above example, you may find that the ">>> CURRENT <<<" indicator is missing from the "modem" section (if you're running v1.16.x of qmicli).  This is likely due to the aforementionned bug.  As mentioned above, mmcli can be used to reliably determine the firmware in use.

One issue I have (perhaps this is due to loading the firmware images from Windows) is that my "pri" (which is the carrier provisioning file), is stuck at a lower version (02.24.03.00_GENERIC), whereas the later firmware I have installed supposedly comes with a newer PRI version.  Not sure what, if any, impact this has or how to fix this...

Obviously, use all the above stuff at your own risk (I never had an issue)

 

drrossum
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,350
Message 27 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - how to inspect and upgrade its firmware under Linux

Thanks! I do indeed have the latest firmware applied. For me, I have the latest firmware listed under 'pri'. I don't know either if that matters. By the way, I did not notice any difference in startup time going from the old to the newest firmware. I just checked my logs for EM7455 startup times after a resume from suspend: - It uses 8s to become available (from 'cdc_mbim unregister' to 'cdc_mbim register'). - It takes 19s to establish a connection after the card is registered. Compare this to the EM7345: - 8s to become available - 3s to establish a connection I'll install the EM7345 later today to check if the X1c5's bios accepts that card, i.e. has the card whitelisted.
sxc5678
Serial Port
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎02-11-2016
Location: CH
Views: 1,335
Message 28 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - how to inspect and upgrade its firmware under Linux

Yes agreed, I miss the 7345 from my old X1c3!  Pretty hard to fathom how Sierra/Lenovo managed to release a model that markedly underperforms their previous product... The firmware improvements I mentioned concern connexion stability and signal strength (all rather subjective but remainining significantly behind EM7345's performance as well as a tethered phone's), not the startup time.

 

Really makes me wonder if there is much benefit in shelling out for these WWAN cards, given that a tethered phone performs better and when you have to wait nearly 30s for the builtin modem to come online the convenience factor is long gone...

drrossum
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎04-02-2016
Location: US
Views: 1,317
Message 29 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - how to inspect and upgrade its firmware under Linux


@sxc5678 wrote:

Pretty hard to fathom how Sierra/Lenovo managed to release a model that markedly underperforms their previous product...


So true!

 

I just installed my good old EM7345 and the machine will not even boot!  It complains about having installed and _unauthorized_ network card...  This is a card with a LENOVO logo on it and it is perfectly compatible!

 

I hate it when I am forced to buy a newer version of an accessory just for the sake of ... revenue? This makes me feel like I bought the apple laptop that I did not want for that very same reason!

 

And having to count to 30 after every resume from suspend is obnoxious!

 

Lenovo, can you please whitelist the EM7345 on these newer laptops???  PLEASE

tkpad
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Posts: 25
Registered: ‎01-31-2018
Location: PL
Views: 1,181
Message 30 of 31

Re: SierraWireless EM7455 (in X1c5) - how to inspect and upgrade its firmware under Linux

On my t460s wake-up after suspend from the moment power button was pressed is ~23sec (network icon with cross is changing to empty gsm bars) and then network connection is established nearly immediately ~0.5sec (signal shown on the bars) and from this moment carrier aggregated connection is just flying (although in ~115Mbps range, not up to 200Mbps unfortunatelly at my location).

Switching selective suspend off is changing nothing.

 

Not the best but acceptable

Yes, phones have changed a lot the way we see things. It is about hardware & software. Wake up should be instant or nearly instant.

 

One can check also signal level switching to UMTS with AT command.. I have "weaker" signal in my LTE B7 2600Mhz band - 89 dBm (but in fact stronger than my Cat6 phone with good dual antennas) and stronger signal on UMTS band.

Here is some software to check bands without messing with AT commands (no info about CA, for that AT command needed)

https://zukota.com/em7455-control-center/

(I don't have any commision from this, use free ver to check)

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