Router / firewall /vpn hub / light media server project (VIM3+M2X+WifiAP+SSD+LTE)

Hello,

Newbie here, so forgive me if my questions are stupid. :innocent:

I am knew to the SBC and ARM arena, and I have been researching a lot before posting.
I’m hoping to find some support with the following, so I can become a member of the Khadas community.
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At first glance, it seems the Khadas products fit my use cases :
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I need a 4g/LTE hostpot with maximum band coverage to carry around the world.
After investigating, I decided to build my own instead of buying a commercial solution (such as Netgear MR1100).
Why go the easy route, if we can have fun tinkering, heh? :cowboy_hat_face:
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I am looking at acquiring a VIM3 Pro board and an M2X extension, alongside an advanced LTE module, such as a sierra wireless em7511, and play with carrier aggregation.
At the same time, I’d like to deploy an advanced firewall and vpn client on the device.
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Ultimately, I envision using the device as a hotspot when on the move and also as a router / firewall /vpn hub / light media server when at home or staying in hotels for extended periods.
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So at this stage I have several questions:
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1 - Linux options:
a- Can I expect to run Fedora or Ubuntu, with all main drivers working?
b- If so there anything that would prevent using virtualization (eg small router / firewall like openwrt in as guest VM), with maybe passthrough of the Gigabit ethernet port and Wifi card?
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2- Data Throughput
Let us assume my CA-LTE connection can provide peak data throughput of 400 Mbps when torrenting.
a- Can the CPU handle the load?
b- Does the M2X extender use only one PCIe lane or four ?
What would be the maximum data throughput from that extension and into an SSD drive?
c- What real transfer speeds can I reasonably expect from the onboard Wifi AC chip in AP mode?
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3- External Battery, Sizing and Autonomy
Since I will be using the device on the move, I need to think about battery options.
I will be carrying a high end power-bank such as this:
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ61PRW (30W Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD)
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a- Is it enough to power and use the VIM3+M2X+EM7511+WifiAC combo as hotspot ?
b- If so, what kind of autonomy can I expect given the power consumption of the board (the LTE Module requires 1.2A)?
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4- Casing:
I have looked at the DIY Case offered. It does not fit when using the M2X extender.
a) Can you provide schematics of the M2X extender dimensions?
b) Can you provide overall dimensions for the VIM3+M2X Combo?
c) Can anyone suggest a case for the combo?
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Thank you for taking the time to read this long post.
Looking forward to read any suggestions, inputs or answers that would help me, and other potential customers, with the above! :face_with_monocle::nerd_face::slightly_smiling_face:

3 Likes

u can use any simple usb dongle LTE modem with 150Mbit

  1. in real live i have never see any mobile provider who can take more 100Mbit speed)
  2. M2X extension - provide same usb bus for modem )!
2 Likes

Hello and thank you for chiming in @hyphop
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The max theoretical speed that can be obtained by Netgear MR1100 with the same LTE modem technology as EM7511 is 1Gbps thanks to carrier aggregation.

In real life in many countries speeds can reach easily 500Mbs from a single modem with proper setup.

So M2X is capped at USB2 speeds or USB3 speeds?
Single Pcie lane?
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Kind regards.

Hello, see here for specifications(m.2 slot).

2 Likes

Thank you @RDFTKV

After more research here is what I found, pls let me know if this needs corrections: I am posting this in case other customers have the same questions:

1 - Linux options:
a- No, VIM3 is not supported fully in mainline distributions.
b- Theoretically, HW Virtualization is supported.

2- Data Throughput

a- Unknown whether the CPU handle the load.
b- M2X throughput is limited by the m.2 slot to ViM3.
Any SSD or Modem attached will cap at USB2 speeds (i.e. around 30MBs)
c- Wifi AP mode will not work on Ubuntu or Fedora. Driver support is broken

3- External Battery, Sizing and Autonomy
a- Unknown whether an external battery pack enough to power and use the VIM3+M2X+Wifi+LTE.
b- Unknown potential autonomy as detailed data on power consumption unavailable.

4- Casing:
a) M2X detailed specs are available on the Khadas docs repository, although not linked in the product description.
Dimensions are:
88.0 x 57.5 x 16.0MM (PCB only) 109.0 x 57.5 x 16.0MM (with FPC)
b) Dimensions of VIM3 are:
82.0 x 58.0 x 11.5 mm
Therefore the approx overall dimensions of the combo should be:
100mm° x 58 mmm x 28mm
°accounting for FPC connected
c) No case for the combo is available. Would have to be 3D printed with device in hand without precise measurements from Khadas.

1 Like