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This wiki page is dedicated to getting new Telstra and Bigpond users online with their NextG modems in Gentoo Linux.

In this Howto I will cover:

Option GX0202 with 7.2 firmaware patch (ID 0af0:6711)

Sierra 880U USB 7.2 modem (ID 1199:6855)

There are are a few other modems provided by Telstra/Bigpond but there are many other documents available that cover their installation and use in Linux.

A great resource for Maxon modems under Linux:

Some of this Howto is based on knowledge borrowed from:



Whirlpool Forums

Thanks go out to McHenry (WP), 3x0dus (WP) and also Kevin from Sierra.

Pre-requisites: - Gentoo Linux amd64 or x86 running a 2.6.18 or newer kernel

- net-dialup/ppp

- Dial script helper/maker: pppconfig or wvdial or kppp (otherwise edit your own by hand)

- Latest patch from Sierra website (for Sierra card)

- Latest HSO driver from Pharscape website (for Option card)


Option GX0202 PCMCIA Modem (GT Max)


This modem comes from Telstra/Bigpond as a 3 series modem capable of 3.2Mbps. There are other documents on the web that describe how to connect with the original firmware models (see the Quozl BP3 guide) . As I understand it, the firmware update to enable the 7 series speeds of 7.2Mbps disables the standard AT modem interface so using the usual ppp and chat scripts is not possible anymore. The solution is to use the custom "" scripts along with the hso.ko kernel module available in the driver download from Pharscape. Please make sure you run "lsusb" (part of sys-apps/usbutils) and check the device ID is the same as mine (0af0:6711). If it's not you may be able to make it work with usbserial/airprime/sierra as per Quozl's guide instead.


1) Download latest hso driver (Mar08 is 1.1) 2) Run all the following as "Root" or "Sudo" 3) Unpack and read the README 3) Run "make" and copy the resultant hso.ko to /lib/modules/2.6.??-gentoo-r?/kernel/drivers/usb/serial/hso.ko (check kernel version) 4) Run "update-modules --force" 5) Run "modinfo hso" to check the module is available 6) Move the unpacked hso folder somewhere safe like /root 7) Edit the file and fix the top to look correct for your settings (typically just these 3 lines. # out any unwanted copies):

export APN="telstra.bigpond" export USR="" export PAS="your_password"

8) Insert the GX0202 card into the slot and hope it doesn't lock up your system ;) If your system is still alive (good) then run a couple of checks to see if the hso module loaded: 9) Run "lsmod |grep hso" and look for a listing, also "tail -100 /var/log/messages" (for syslog-ng) to look for stuff like "hso: Multiplexed Application channel present" and "hso: QXDM port present" etc. 10) Connect by running "./ up" 11) If you see "Error" anywhere in the script output then check your APN/USR/PAS from before and run it again. If you don't have good reception it will also error here. If there is no error then the connection worked and you will have a hso0 network interface, a default route and to hso0 and new entry in /etc/resolv for DNS.

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Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 08:00:00 +0000 Hits: 1,258