So after spending a considerable amount of time using Sakis – the 3G dongle software. I feel I need to write a better post on how to connect your Debian based system / Raspberry Pi to the internet using a 3G connection.
– Be warned, Data on the 3G network is RARELY all you can eat, ensure you have an appropriate data plan before you let your Pi loose.
– 2nd Warning.. 3G dongles consume huge quantities of power, if your running the project off a battery setup, write some code to disconnect the 3G stick when not in use to prevent it from eating all the power just staying connected.
With that being said, to download and install the 3G software:
sudo apt-get -y update
sudo apt-get -y upgrade
sudo apt-get -y install ppp
Once the updates have taken route and ppp has been installed you will need to download sakis;
chmod +x sakis3g
sudo ./sakis3g –interactive
This will take you to the interactive window used by Sakis, you can configure the 3G dongle here and then issue the connect command. The software has been set out to be easy to interact with.
Depending on the Simcard you have in the dongle, it may attempt to download the latest settings automatically and then offer them to you as a connection method.
If you don’t get that luxury you can manually enter your APN, username and password manually in the prompts.
One feature that I LOVE about Sakis is that you can call the connect command from within another program, lets say my Pi gathers some data up and then needs to send it somewhere on the net, you can tell the program to connect to Sakis like this:
./sakis3g connect APN=”CUSTOM_APN” CUSTOM_APN=”giffgaff.com” APN_USER=”giffgaff” APN_PASS=”password”
This string tells Sakis to connect to the Giffgaff network and can be followed by:
sudo ./sakis3g disconnect
How to add a custom APN to the sakis config file:
Using Nano create a file called sakis3g.conf stored in /etc/
sudo nano /etc/sakis3g.conf
Here you can add the APN details like this:
and then connect the 3G dongle by doing this:
sudo ./sakis3g connect
Super handy if you need to bring some 3G connectivity to your project! 🙂