Sunday, January 18, 2009

circumventing the cricket um100c software on mac

This article describes using the UTStarcom UM100C modem with Cricket's wireless broadband service on the Mac, without using the very flawed software that comes with the device. Well, sort of.

I wasn't the first person to notice that using the software resulted in the computer fans spinning up and sounding like it was clearing for take-off. My girlfriend actually complained about it before I knew myself. Some flaw in the software causes it to use most of the available CPU cycles even when doing nothing. That means your computer gets really slow and hot. Oops.

After I installed it, the Cricket card worked fine, but my Sprint card refused to work at all after that! Thank you, incompatible mess.

Also the interface is ugly. Who knows what else is wrong with it.

Enough already. Here's how to get this done on OS X Leopard. These instructions won't be the same for older versions of the operating system.

DISCLAIMER I can't guarantee that these will work for you or that nothing will go wrong. Performing unofficial hacks on your computer, like this one, can be risky. That said, if there is a problem with any of these instructions, I'd like to know about them so I can fix them. Please let me know if you do not have success.

1. Install the QuickLink software. What?! you say. Don't worry, you'll be removing most of it, but there are a couple pieces that you do need from the package. I recommend that you download this version which I have reposted from the Smith Micro site so that we're all on the same page.

2. Let the installer restart your computer.

3. Use the software to connect up at least once to Cricket's network. Doing this downloads a modem script that is necessary later in the process. Browse to a couple of websites and then verify that it is working. Then disconnect and continue on.

4. Open your System Preferences, select Accounts, choose your account on the left hand side and select the "Login Items" tab. Select "qlmwirelessd" and hit the minus button below the list to remove it. This will keep the software from running automatically.

5. Restart your computer again.

6. Open your System Preferences, and select Network. It should have added two new devices on the left-hand side called "UTStarcom" or the like. I'm not sure why it adds two of them, but it appears that one of them works and one does not. You'll need to identify which one is the working one. Pick one and punch in the following:

Telephone Number: #777
Account Name: [your phone number] (example:
Password: cricket

7. Click the "Advanced..." button and apply the following specifications:

Vendor: Other
Model: Cricket 1xEVDO Modem Script
Enable error correction and compression in modem: Yes

8. Click the PPP tab. For "Settings", select "Session" and note the options. Most of these are up to your personal preferences.

9. Now go back to the "Settings" drop down menu and select "Configuration". Uncheck "Send PPP echo packets" and click "OK".

10. Try connecting by clicking "Connect". If it works, yay! You are in business. If it does not work, try configuring the other "UTStarcom" device using the same instructions.

If still you have no luck, you might also try this hint, which I discovered after toiling with this nonsense myself. The idea listed is similar to what I devised.

If the Cricket card is not your only aircard, simply reinstalling your other aircard's software after all of this ought to get it working again.


steve said...

Hey Colin, Nice solution you came up with! Have you seen the Cradlepoint Mobile Routers? They let you share your Sprint or Cricket broadband card with multiple computers at the same time...and also let you avoid installing software since it turns the cards signal to WiFi. see More Mobile Internet for a lot more info and videos on the routers.

Kendra said...

Hello Colin,
Thanks so much for sharing your expertise! My mom and I just completed the instructions you outlined and now our mac is working great with the cricket mobile broadband. No more whirring fan noise. We are very happy. God bless.

katie said...

when i click on your link to download the software, nothing happens. could you repost it for me?

nels said...

I just purchased the cricket A600 modem from cricket for $9.99. I got a coupon for the modem plus I already have cricket cell phone service so I get broad band service for $30 a month. I do not travel only use the internet service here at home so I have no complaints at all

Government Jobs India said...

I got the information i was looking for.I will try with the steps mentioned.Hope it works.

Codes said...

It is good to know that there is a great post about broadband card. I am always online almost everyday. This is important for me. Thanks for the post!