Tata Photon+ USB Modem (12d1:1446) configuration in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Legacy Fedora

This post details out the usage of Tata Photon+ USB Broadband Modems in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.X and legacy Fedora Linux. It should be applicable for other derivatives of Red Hat like CentOS and Scientific Linux also.

This USB Modem is not supported out of box in the above said OS. We need a special USB mode setting. To do this there is a tool called USB Mode Switch available. Using this tool, the device should be set with proper mode once it is inserted. This how to narrates how to install this tool, configure, configuring as modem and connecting to internet.

1. Download USB Mode Switch tool and data files from here.

2. Extract the compressed tar ball as shown below:

$ tar jxvf usb-modeswitch-1.2.0.tar.bz2
$ tar jxvf usb-modeswitch-data-20111023.tar.bz2

3. Ensure that you have installed development tools. Installing the usb mode switch tool:

$ cd usb-modeswitch-1.2.0
# make install
$ cd usb-modeswitch-data-20111023
# make install

The above didn’t install the data files properly. I am copying them manuall as shown below:

# cp -R usb_modeswitch.d/* /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/

Ensure that “/lib/udev/rules.d/40-usb_modeswitch.rules” has an entry for your device’s vendor id + product id combination. In our case it is 12d1 and 1446 respectively.

4. Running the USB Mode Switch

# usb_modeswitch -c /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1\:1446

The above command should create three USB devices, like /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1 and /dev/ttyUSB2. Here third one /dev/ttyUSB2 is your modem.

5. Configure USB Modem: Run System->Administration->Network

1. Hardware[Tab] -> New[Toolbar] -> Select Hardware type as Modem

Choose Hardware Type

2. Ensure that following is setup: In my case modem is /dev/ttyUSB2

1. Modem device: /dev/ttyUSB2
2. Baud rate: 115200
3. Flow control: Hardware

Modem Configuration

6. Configure Dial up network

1. Devices[Tab]->New[Toolbar]-> Select Device type as Modem Connection

Add new Device Type

2. Enter the following in Provider screen

1. Phone number: #777
2. Provide name: TataPhoton
3. Login name: internet
4. Password: internet

Configuring new device

3. IP Settings screen – Select Automatically obtain IP address settings

IP Address setting

Except step-4, all other steps are one time activity. Step-4 to be repeated every time you plug in USB Modem. It can be automated with udev rule also.

7. Connecting to internet

Activating internet connection

Connect: Devices[Tab] -> Select TataPhoton device -> Activate[Toolbar]
Disconnect: Devices[Tab] -> Select TataPhoton device -> Deactivate[Toolbar]


USB Mode Switch


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