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Discussion Starter #1
I have a new 2020 Transit 250, it comes with the Fordpass data system I installed an ATT data plan. Has anyone figured out a way to hard wire this so it can be powered on for more than 30 minutes when the vehicle Is switched off ?

I have dual batteries, dual alternators and a 400AH cross-connectable Lithium house power system, I am not worried about draining the battery. The vehicle is also plugged into shore power when its idle.

Ideally I'd like to run modem power through the upfitter switch up front so I control when the modem is on and off.

Anyone else do this ?
 

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I looked for a long time and found nothing but frustration from many folks that have tried to find a way to do this with other Ford vehicles over the past several years. I gave up and rolled my own solution as I wanted to be on Verizon if possible. I imagine this is controlled deep in the BCM and made difficult on purpose to support their deal with AT&T.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah I am thinking you are right. I am not really sure what use a hotspot is in a vehicle if its on - the entire reason I'd want a hotspot is so I can connect a security camera and monitor the systems remotely. So I guess the vehicle modem is worthless for anything but the occasional comms from Ford. A great idea. but poor execution.

I found a Netgear LTE hotspot for $300 that fits the bill perfectly - even works with T-Mobile instead of ATT which is a plus. I can leave it plugged into house power via the USB cable indefinitely and even shut if off remotely if the battery warning comes on. In case anyone is interested in doing something similar - here is a link :

 

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I have a new 2020 Transit 250, it comes with the Fordpass data system I installed an ATT data plan. Has anyone figured out a way to hard wire this so it can be powered on for more than 30 minutes when the vehicle Is switched off ?

I have dual batteries, dual alternators and a 400AH cross-connectable Lithium house power system, I am not worried about draining the battery. The vehicle is also plugged into shore power when its idle.

Ideally I'd like to run modem power through the upfitter switch up front so I control when the modem is on and off.

Anyone else do this ?
I take delivery in approximately 1 week. Same specs only 350. Lets stay on this .. must be a way to keep it on and I want mine on via upfitter switch. I’ll be able to better help once it’s here. We’ll figure it out!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am still finding it hard to believe that Ford would not have allowed some kind of engine off modem power situation - seems counter intuitive to me . Why would anyone need LTE & Wifi while driving or the vehicle was on when most likely they have their phone with them ? - on the other hand - if one owns a work van full of tools , camper, etc and wants to monitor internal systems and keep it secure, an always on modem / router is a must. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is a perfect fit. Low power consumption and it plugs into USB - I pulled the trigger on Amazon - if the day comes we can find a solution to this , I may revert back to hard wiring the existing in-vehicle modem and use the M1 for something else. For now, I have to have an in-vehicle wi-fi that is always on and the M1 nailed it.
 

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I use Wyzecams to monitor my van. My dealer wonders why I know the status of things before they lie to me. It also allows me to monitor the systems remotely.

142841
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I use Wyzecams to monitor my van. My dealer wonders why I know the status of things before they lie to me. It also allows me to monitor the systems remotely.

View attachment 142841

We use them too - but you need WiFi & Cellular to keep them connected when you are not in the vehicle. SD card recording is cool - but if the van is broken into and the cam stolen or broken - so is the evidence !
 

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We use them too - but you need WiFi & Cellular to keep them connected when you are not in the vehicle. SD card recording is cool - but if the van is broken into and the cam stolen or broken - so is the evidence !
They upload clips to the cloud as soon as they are triggered. This is one reason I wanted the van to have WiFi and it's own Internet connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They upload clips to the cloud as soon as they are triggered. This is one reason I wanted the van to have WiFi and it's own Internet connection.
...right - and cloud access while the vehicle is unoccupied requires Cellular and Wifi to be always on - otherwise the trigger does nothing - The Ford transit modem is ONLY live when the van is running, or up to 30 minutes after its shut down , hence my original post asking if there was a way to provide power to the vehicle modem while the vehicle is off via switch instead of via the BCM. I need a solution that will provide wifi to the cams while the owner is away from it so the cameras are connected 24/7. We either find a way to do that via hardwire - or we install another modem that is connected to house battery power so it is always on when the owner wants it on. So far, the latter option seems the only viable plan.
 

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...right -
This is why I told my story pursuing the same thing and finding no viable route so I made my own and supplied the link to my solution. If you find a way to do this with the factory WiFi you will he a hero in all of the Ford forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
This is why I told my story pursuing the same thing and finding no viable route so I made my own and supplied the link to my solution. If you find a way to do this with the factory WiFi you will he a hero in all of the Ford forums.
I am an aviation engineer - I could probably figure it out - but an aftermarket modem is FAR cheaper than the amount of time I'd need to dig through the schematics to1 - find the modem - and 2 - find the wires to cut / splice to get the job done. No doubt its buried deep inside the dash somewhere. Not sure its worth it...

I looked at your setup - I think that was state of the art when you installed it - and if you don't have a cell phone hotspot then I understand why you went that route. Total overkill for me. The unit I am looking at does everything - and it is $300 and is the size of an Apple TV - and its portable and very stealthy. Pretty much what people use for laptop hotspots. Current consumption is tiny and at $10 a month to add to my existing t-mobile account - gives me up to 2G of data. Since the only thing I will be doing is monitoring systems and checking the cam once in a while that should be more than enough. If I need more while in the van, I can use my cell phone which is also an LTE hotspot, but unlimited data.

Thanks for the info !
 

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I am an aviation engineer - I could probably figure it out -
Which is why I gave you link to how I did did it. Yes it seems a bummer to have to build out your own Internet infrastructure but it pays off by enabling lots of other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Which is why I gave you link to how I did did it. Yes it seems a bummer to have to build out your own Internet infrastructure but it pays off by enabling lots of other stuff.
And , like a typical engineer - I didn't click on the link after I speed - read the post.. which if I had would have explained everything. All good , we're on the same page !
 

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@Vanpackr Have you done receive level testing with your MoFi with and without the external antenna? My experience has been the line loss has negated any gain from the antenna. Curious to know what your experience is.
 

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@Vanpackr Have you done receive level testing with your MoFi with and without the external antenna? My experience has been the line loss has negated any gain from the antenna. Curious to know what your experience is.
I still need to shorten my cable but I get more signal with the external antenna as it is outside the metal shell and it typically gives significantly more than our handheld phones on the same network.
 

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I have a Peplink Pepwave mobile router on my RV with dual sims, wifi, and external antenna.

It's worlds above a basic Hotspot. It's commercial quality and made for 24/7 wireless functions with full controls remotely including up to the second GPS.

Expensive but they have more simple units as well. Works with all data sims on all providers. Has Wi-Fi over Wan so at the house or shop you can jump off the existing wired wifi and it will repeat it to your vans network (no changing of passwords) and has geo fencing for different functions when entering /exiting certain areas that you set.

You can control usage and everything you can do with a normal router. It runs off 120v ac, 12v DC, or USB C power.

I also has wired ether net so you could theoretically use wired cameras or dvr for maximum reliability.

The external antenna (Poynting) will get you signal in places where no cellphone or Hotspot would ever reach.
 

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Sounds like others are doing similar stuff to what we did. Latest is a GL-E750 unit. Initially on ATT and moving now to Verizon. Powers from USB, has a battery built in. Best is that it's switching quickly between my home WiFi when it's parked here OR the built-in SIM when mobile. Even switches to my cell-phone hotspot if I want it to. Got a VPN up on it at one point (think I broke it recently on the home firewall) to get into the van network remotely. Works fine for cameras and whatever else.

Responds as expected to the weBoost unit - just like other mobile phones. Doesn't make zero signal work but increases signal when there is some.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sounds like others are doing similar stuff to what we did. Latest is a GL-E750 unit. Initially on ATT and moving now to Verizon. Powers from USB, has a battery built in. Best is that it's switching quickly between my home WiFi when it's parked here OR the built-in SIM when mobile. Even switches to my cell-phone hotspot if I want it to. Got a VPN up on it at one point (think I broke it recently on the home firewall) to get into the van network remotely. Works fine for cameras and whatever else.

Responds as expected to the weBoost unit - just like other mobile phones. Doesn't make zero signal work but increases signal when there is some.
Does the GL-E750 have DDNS ? I just paid $300 for a Nighthawk M1 and found it out does not - typical Netgear hobbling their product and charging a high price.

I am close to just giving up on this - there are just too many limitations. My Pico battery monitor only works with DHCP - which means I can't use port forwarding, external DDNS services require a computer connected to the network full time, and larger routers with DDNS are not powered by 12V / USB and consume too much power.

I find it hard to believe Netgear would not have DDNS on their hotspot - its like paying for a sports car and getting a lawmmower engine in it. Pisses me off this would have been a perfect solution.

So what do I do - get a 2nd camera and point it at the Pico... LOL
 

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Excellent post / rec JoeFromGA ... those Peplink devices look really great ... which led me to find a list (of sorts) of such devices:


You don't need FirstNet service to use these devices ... but being FirstNet certified tells me they would all work pretty well.
 
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