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How To Set Up a RUT 240 for an Off Grid Helium Hotspot — Prepare for Challenge!

With a gen­er­ous assist from the folks over at HNTen­na, here’s a step by step method for set­ting up your RUT 240 (the cell modem that allows an off grid Heli­um Hotspot to con­nect to the internet.)

I’ll start by say­ing that off grid set ups are not for the faint of heart, the eas­i­ly dis­cour­aged, or folks who avoid chal­lenges. You WILL run into chal­lenges. Bat­ter­ies will go bad. Min­ers will over­heat. Your data plan is prob­a­bly going to be too small at some point. Don’t do off grids unless you’re will­ing to proac­tive­ly solve those, usu­al­ly on your own.

Off grid set ups ARE for folks who love rad projects, who are will­ing to prob­lem solve, and who get more joy out of fig­ur­ing shit out rather than hav­ing a plug ‘n play solu­tion hand­ed to ’em. Noth­ing wrong with either one, but there’s a def­i­nite suc­cess for­mu­la here that does not favor “Please do this for me” mindsets.

Before we dig in, let me make a semi-offi­cial dis­claimer: This post is a set of guide­lines that have been suc­cess­ful­ly used to set up a RUT 240. No one involved in this is offer­ing any offi­cial sup­port, though I’ll help as best I can via the Com­ments sec­tion at the bot­tom of the post. If this set­up does­n’t work for you, please do NOT DM me. Post to com­ments so we can all learn from your challenges.

Start by turn­ing off your com­put­er WiFi, then con­nect­ing your com­put­er via an eth­er­net cable to the RUT240’s LAN port. I used an adap­tor to get from Eth­er­net to USB‑C; you can get those on Amazon.

Pow­er up the RUT 240. Wait.

On your com­put­er, nav­i­gate to 192.168.1.1 in your URL.

Enter admin01 for the pass­word and click the LOGIN button.

You will be prompt­ed to enter a new pass­word. Do it, then click SAVE. Keep in mind that the modem can take a while to “think”, so just be patient after you hit SAVE on this, and any oth­er screen. 

You now have 2 options, one sim­ple, one com­pli­cat­ed. They have both worked. Try the sim­ple one and see if it works. If it does­n’t, try the com­pli­cat­ed one.

Option 1 — Setup Wizard

Sys­tem —> Set­up Wizard —> 

Step 1 

Set local time, enter password

Step 2

Uncheck Auto APN

APN —> Cus­tom—> [enter your APN if you got a sta­t­ic IP]

Step 3 —> Skip

Step 4 Wifi —>

WiFi SSID: [Name it what­ev­er you want]

Pass­word: [your password]

Leave WiFi enabled for now, it’ll make set­up eas­i­er lat­er on when the sys­tem is installed, you’ll just need the lap­top to access it.

Write down the Router Ser­i­al & MAC address, then log into to rms.teltonika.lt

Add Device using the MAC address & Ser­i­al number

Go to Sys­tem Man­age­ment and look for:

Reboot

Select auto-reboot every 24 hours by check­ing every day of the week.

Log out. You’re done.

Option 2 — Let’s Get Geeky

Start from just after you set the pass­word on your RUT 240, above. Now, on the top menu bar, nav­i­gate to Net­work –> WAN. You’ll see a screen like this, usu­al­ly with Wired (WAN) selected. 

Select Mobile as the Main WAN, then SAVE.

Next, in the top menu bar go to Net­work –> LAN and select the Advanced Settings tab.

Select Use WAN port as LAN, then SAVE.

Now nav­i­gate to Net­work –> Wire­less, where you’ll dis­able the WiFi. This’ll dis­able the wire­less access point and save you pow­er, which is impor­tant for off-grid setups 🙂

You’re crush­ing it. Just keep going. Ready for the next part? Read it care­ful­ly first, then execute.

Before con­tin­u­ing, do the fol­low­ing in order:

  • Unplug the eth­er­net cable that is con­nect­ed to your com­put­er from the LAN port on the RUT240
  • Plug the eth­er­net cable into the WAN port on the RUT240
  • Con­nect the Heli­um Hotspot to the LAN port on the RUT240 with the eth­er­net cable supplied 
  • Pow­er on the Hotspot. 

Nice work! Now, nav­i­gate to Sta­tus –> Net­work and click on the LAN tab. Find the MAC address of the Heli­um hotspot, high­light the MAC and copy it. 

With the MAC address copied, nav­i­gate to Net­work –> Mobile. Look for Mode and select Passthrough.

New fields will appear. Locate the MAC Address field and paste the copied MAC address of the heli­um hotspot. Click SAVE.

One more thing…you have to enter your APN. I had to do this, but for­got to take screen­shots of it. See where it says Auto APN on that screen, and the box is checked? Uncheck that, then fol­low what makes sense and enter in your APN (your SIM card provider will be where you get that.)

If that becomes a huge PITA and a stick­ing point, I’ll update this tutorial.

How Much Data Will Your Off Grid Hotspot Need?

Here’s a graph of the net­work data traf­fic for a group of hotspots on a 10 minute average:

Yep, that high­est of high spikes is 450 kbps, and almost every­thing is below 300 kpbs. So, while data is impor­tant (you need a lot of it), speed is usu­al­ly not. With that said, I’m get­ting reports in the field of 650 kbps and above spikes that tem­porar­i­ly shut down hotspots. Be ready with patience when that happens.

Recent­ly I’ve heard from folks test­ing 4G speeds report­ing that a 15 Mbit up/down (vs 10 down and .8 up) gave a 250% increase in HNT rewards, so speed may mat­ter more than we thought. This is def­i­nite­ly worth fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion, and the T‑mobile planned called out below may not be fast enough for you, depend­ing on the local speed of your 4G connection.

What SIM card should you use? 

T‑mobile has a BUSINESS (NOT per­son­al) plan that’s $50 for 50GB at 4G speed, then unlim­it­ed data at 3G speed, which is sup­posed to be 3 mbps min­i­mum. That should work MOST of the time for us. If you have a plan that’s work­ing for you ALL the time, please add it to the Com­ments sec­tion below. 

I’ve got a T‑mobile rep who is clued into what we need, his details follow.

The plan is avail­able nation­wide in the US, and as far as the rep knows it’s not going away any time soon. 

T‑Mobile does­n’t guar­an­tee the speed (appar­ent­ly there are no speed guar­an­tees in the world of tel­co wire­less), but I’ve got clients who’ve been using this and it’s work­ing fine most of the time.

Here’s the rep I talked to. We went through the whole Heli­um sce­nario, so when you call him he’ll be prepped. Just tell him Nik from Gristlek­ing sent ya, that should jog his memory.

Abu McLean
In order to pro­tect his email from the bots: ABUBAKAR.MCLEAN17 then use the lit­tle @ sym­bol then put in T‑Mobile.com
Direct: 615–445-4008
Hours: 9:15AM to 6:15PM CST (Mon – Fri)

  • You’ll need a busi­ness account. You can’t (as far as I know) run this off your social secu­ri­ty number.
  • Ask for the 50 GB at $50/month plan with unlim­it­ed data at 3G after the 50. 
  • You can (and should) get a Sta­t­ic IP for $5 more, ask for a “SOC Sta­t­ic Pub­lic IP”.
  • SIM card price is the same: $20 + sales tax (~$2) per SIM card

If you email him, would you cc me (my first name, which is Nik, then @ and this web­site) so I can keep track of how it’s going and any snags that come up?

Oh, you’re in Cana­da? Here’s what a client sent me:

FYI — I found a cell car­ri­er with a sta­t­ic IP that does­n’t get relayed in Cana­da. If you call Rogers, get a hold of their small biz depart­ment and ask for a sta­t­ic IP, they’ll mail you a SIM card that works with the RUT240 instruc­tions on your blog. The only prob­lem is that because this is Cana­da, its $120/month for 50 GB + $20/month for every 10 GB after that, and it’s $12/month for the sta­t­ic IP. Ouch!

-M in the great Canadia

This guide was almost entire­ly writ­ten by the crew at HNTen­na and passed on to me. With their per­mis­sion and with a few changes, I’m mak­ing it avail­able to you. Rock on!

30 thoughts on “How To Set Up a <span class="caps">RUT</span> 240 for an Off Grid Helium Hotspot — Prepare for Challenge!”

  1. Hey Nik,
    Fan­tas­tic site, man. I’ve prob­a­bly read every arti­cle about Heli­um here at least twice. Regard­ing the RUT240 and a mobile plan, have you heard of Embed­ded Works/IoTDataWorks? It looks like they offer a 12-mo pre-paid unlim­it­ed data usage but only at 64K speed with an option­al sta­t­ic IP for an extra $20. Looks like this would be per­fect for Heli­um min­ing, but won­der­ing if you had any thoughts on it.
    https://www.embeddedworks.net/wsim4827/

  2. Thanks for the reply, Nik. I had read your arti­cle about light vs full-fat min­ers and you men­tioned month­ly data usage but I did­n’t see any­thing about speed/bandwidth. I did­n’t real­ize the full min­ers need­ed so much band­width so I’m glad I asked.

  3. attempt one … fail… here’s why… after switch­ing wan port to lan port and attemptempt­ing to swith off the wire­less rut says unable to switch do to mul­ti­ple access points if you then go to net­work , wire­less and dis­able the extra AP it will refresh and give anoth­er AP auto­mat­i­cal­ly. I would keep work­ing through this and see if it works right now i dont need to pow­er off my bob­cat when i do i will revis­it and update

  4. Hi Nik:

    It’s great to final­ly have an excuse to write you! It sounds like find­ing a com­pat­i­ble SIM card for the RUT 240 is the prob­lem state­ment here. I’m call­ing around and haven’t found a solu­tion yet. But… I may have found an alternative.

    Ver­i­zon offers a device called the jet­pack 8800L. It costs about $200 and they offered me a month­ly plan for $20.
    https://www.verizon.com/internet-devices/verizon-jetpack-mifi-8800l/

    Is this a viable solu­tion? Are there bet­ter options out there?

  5. Hi Rex, right on! I would­n’t trust a Jet­pack for off-in-the-moun­tains off grids, but a lot of peo­ple are suc­cess­ful­ly using ’em in the city.

  6. Rex / Nik:

    I’m using this set­up in a build­ing where inter­net isn’t avail­able. Ver­i­zon and prob­a­bly the oth­er mobile car­ri­ers are using Car­ri­er-grade NAT. Even after open­ing TCP port 44158 on the jet­pack, my min­er is still relayed. I’m hop­ing that I can get a sta­t­ic IP from Ver­i­zon, will con­tact them and report back. Nik: you say that a lot of peo­ple have been suc­cess­ful with this set­up? how did they resolve the relayed issue?

  7. Hey RG, I’m look­ing for a solu­tion as well; the old T‑mobile one was fine (and worked with this), but T‑mobile no longer offers that pro­gram. I’ve been hear­ing that Mint is a good option, but I haven’t used it yet.

  8. RG and Nik: Oh man. I’m installing my first min­er and after a day of toil­ing around with it got past the relay blues. I spoke with the Tel­toni­ka and Cradle­Point folks yes­ter­day. The Cradle­Point IBR 600 series is mobile car­ri­er agnos­tic but sells for $600 while the IBR 400 you have to pick your ven­dor up front for $400. The Tel­tonkia is $170 and I think is ven­dor agnos­tic. I’m pur­chas­ing one and going to run some tests with it. As a gen­er­al rule, I’d rather pay a few more bucks upfront then be stuck in a per­pet­u­al big month­ly expense tied to an uncer­tain rev­enue stream…

  9. Hel­lo Nik. Aside from the instruc­tions you’ve pro­vid­ed, I’m assum­ing that you still want to cre­ate a sta­t­ic IP for the min­er and port for­ward 44158, right?

    I also saw on Dis­cord that you rec­om­mend pur­chas­ing an “SOC Sta­t­ic Pub­lic IP”. Would this pur­chased IP be for the RUT or for the miner?

  10. Thank you for all the great con­tent on your page! After open­ing 44158, is pur­chas­ing a sta­t­ic IP from the car­ri­er the only way to resolve relayed sta­tus? With Ver­i­zon is looks like $500 to pur­chase sta­t­ic and a busi­ness account is required. Can any­one con­firm this or know of anoth­er option?

  11. Hi Bran­don, it *might* be the best way to resolve that. I’d look into T‑mobile, they seem to have plans for busi­ness­es (not sole pro­pri­etors) that are $55/month for 100 GB. That seems to not be reli­ably there, depend­ing on the sales asso­ciate you talk to. Some­times they’ll do it, some­times you just have to hang up and call back to get anoth­er one. 🙂

  12. Hey Riley,
    Yep, the sta­t­ic IP and port for­ward are rec­om­mend­ed. The sta­t­ic IP would be for the RUT.

  13. Great arti­cle thanks! Set­ting up my first remote set­up 🙂 Regard­ing the APN, can we leave it on auto APN? Or do we absolute­ly need to set­up it up manually?

  14. Hi Marie,
    Some­times the auto APN seems to work, some­times it does­n’t. This whole busi­ness is tricky with lots of tri­al and error, please let us know what ends up work­ing for you so we can share the suc­cess knowledge. 🙂

  15. Hey Nik,

    I fol­lowed this tuto­r­i­al (thanks for that) and my speeds are gross­ly slow.. Accord­ing to speedtest, the best i got down­load was 1.6mbps and upload was .01 (believe it or not). I did the busi­ness account with Tmo­bile so we should be good there.. I was think­ing maybe the anten­nas that came with the RUT are lousy so I ordered the Qus­pot one. What min­i­mum dl/ul speeds do you think are nec­es­sary for the hotspots? Also I may test out some QoS set­tings, that might help.. I noticed there are some exist­ing ones there, any thoughts on chang­ing those to normal?

  16. Hi Drew, you’ll need 300 kbps for the min­er, that’s most­ly for down­load. Sounds like the upload side is a prob­lem for that. Dou­ble check with T‑mobile, it may just be the cov­er­age in your area (though I’m not sure about that at all.)

  17. Using a mint sim in a MiFi card will work but isn’t viable.

    Mint’s unlim­it­ed data plan caps Mobile Hotspot use at 5GB.
    The next plan under unlim­it­ed has free mobile hotspot but is only 15GB a month. Hotspot data is drawn from the month­ly allot­ment and speeds are slowed until the next cycle. I could­n’t test port for­ward­ing: The Ala­ca­tel Mifi card bought from Ama­zon does­n’t have port for­ward­ing on its dash­board, just Mac fil­ter and some oth­er basic stuff. If oth­er Mint MiFi folks have a dif­fer­ent set­up, I’m all ears.

  18. I think I am pur­pose of this tutorial.
    Questions:
    1. Why not run the min­er off the LAN port with­out any configuration?
    2. Why do you need to con­fig­ure the WAN port as a LAN port?
    3. Any guess as to how much bat­tery pow­er is be saved by turn­ing off the WIFI on the router?
    ‑I was think­ing I would want to leave it on so I can eas­i­ly sur­vey the inter­net speed and con­nec­tiv­i­ty of my off-grid hotspot.

    *FYI- I am able to use my Google Fi sim on the Rut 240 (RUTRUT24001U000).

  19. Thank you Nik for this nice arti­cle. I have read many on your web­site and am impressed by your work.

    I am using a RUT240 and RUT950 (240‘s were out of stock).

    The main chal­lenge get­ting rid of relayed is that most mobile car­ri­ers run CGNAT which means you do not have a pub­lic IP address but get one which is already in their NAT. To receive such a card in Switzer­land I only found one car­ri­er (Sun­rise) and they charge you 60$ and you need a busi­ness account. 

    I see many relayed devices in my area which earn decent amount of HNT. Since Fri­day morn­ing I am hav­ing the same issue as many oth­ers… my min­ers are ful­ly synced since more than 8 hours. When I use the dis­cov­ery mode I see many hotspots but I haven‘t issued a PoC or wit­nessed one in more than 3333 blocks…. Hope this gets sort­ed out by Heli­um soon.

  20. Yeah, the net­work is still strug­gling to keep up. Glo­ri­ous oppor­tu­ni­ty, but lots of chaos. Might check with Andreas Spiess for SIM card options; he’s the only Swiss guy I can think of who’s prob­a­bly help­ful with IoT stuff, though he’s skep­ti­cal of Helium. 🙂

  21. Hi Nik,
    just get­ting accus­tomed with the RUT240 remote man­age­ment and need a bit of guid­ance. I just stum­bled upon man­age­ment-deviceac­cess where “This func­tion pro­vides you with the pos­si­bil­i­ty to set up remote HTTP access to devices that are con­nect­ed to a device’s LAN, pro­vid­ed that the device in ques­tion has been reg­is­tered to RMS.” 

    There are four inputs needed:
    1 Name (obvi­ous­ly what­ev­er you want)
    2 Des­ti­na­tion IP (believe 192.xxx.xxx of the Bobcat)
    –> 3 Des­ti­na­tion port? (hmm, tried putting 80 as that’s the default on the Tel­toni­ka wiki and 44158, both did not work).
    4 Pro­to­col (HTTP or HTTPS?)

    Or is it not work­ing because “pro­vid­ed that the device in ques­tion has been reg­is­tered to RMS” means that I some­how would need to reg­is­ter the Bob­cat to RMS for it to work? (sor­ry if this seems silly)

    PS after updat­ing the RUT to the lat­est firmware I am now get­ting tem­per­a­ture updates, which is useful!

  22. Hi Mario. I checked with the author of that guide, here’s what he had to say:
    The default port for the HTTP pro­to­col is 80 and the default port for the HTTPS pro­to­col is 443, so a HTTP serv­er waits for requests on those ports.
    Select the pro­to­col you want to use and then have that port be open for it. So if HTTP then Port 80 or HTTPS then port 443

    Reg­is­ter­ing the bob­cat in the RMS most like­ly means enter­ing its MAC and IP into a table whereev­er the RMS lives

    Hope this guy still has his on the bench and can eas­i­ly test.

  23. Hi Nik, thx for putting in the effort and reach­ing out to the author! 

    Tried all the com­bi­na­tions — no use, not let­ting me into the Bob­cat 300 remote­ly. Can get into RUT240 though through RMS and WEBUI proxy. Guess some­thing extra needs to be done for it to work. So, for now, unfor­tu­nate­ly no remote tem­per­a­ture check­up, no remote OTA & diag­nos­tic, restart­ing the Bob­cat etc. 

    Btw looks like my RUT240s &/or bob­cats keep chang­ing the set­up so hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ty even set­ting them up and mak­ing them sta­ble. It keeps going from NAT:none to NAT: sym­met­ric. Port 44158 stays open, con­nect­ed: yes, dial­able: yes. Even the heli­um api in OTA says “listen_address”: “/ip4/109.xxx.x.xx/tcp/44158” height: 1047354”. So no p2p (relay) which should be right, yes?

    I fol­lowed your guide and added 2 things: 

    (1) NETWORK-LAN-STATIC-LEASES
    Passthrough E8:XX:XX:XX:XX 109:XXX:X:XX (this was added auto­mat­i­cal­ly through the guide NETWORK-MOBILE-PASSTHROUGH-COPYMAC-SAVE)
    Bob­cat E8:XX:XX:XX:XX (192.168.X.XXX) 192.168.X.XXX (this I added because I read I need to do through anoth­er source) 

    (2) NETWORK-FIREWALL-PORTFORWARDING
    Bob­cat TCP 44158 192.169.X.XXX 44158

    Did­n’t work (longterm)… so even tried adding one more port for­ward (again, anoth­er source, )
    NETWORK-FIREWALL-PORTFORWARDING
    Bob­cat TCP 44158 192.169.X.XXX 44158
    Passthrough TCP 44158 109:XXX:X:XX 44158

    And that works (for now), on 1/3 RUT240s… So in light of all this crazi­ness its caus­ing me, do you have an option for remote RUT240 set­up (#Croa­t­ia)? or, what does one after:

    1 call­ing the ISP and ask­ing them to remove CGNAT;
    2 adding the APN they say & following
    3 fol­low­ing “How To Set Up a RUT240 for an Off Grid Heli­um Hotspot — Pre­pare for Challenge!”
    have to do to set the RUT240 all the way? 

    Apolo­gies if I’m being a PITA. Just try­ing to join the Heli­um rev­o­lu­tion from anoth­er coun­try and doing my best.

  24. Mario,
    Thanks for chim­ing in and adding your expe­ri­ences & find­ings, super help­ful! I don’t think there’s an easy way to mon­i­tor the hotspots them­selves yet. I’d look for a net­work­ing expert to get help on the 240 side; they can prob­a­bly walk you through cus­tom set­tings as well as how to inter­pret the results. This blog post is most­ly to get you start­ed and to show one way that has worked.

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