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 will need to be far larger than normal (100 GB/month is what you want as of Nov 2021.) Don’t do off grids unless you’re willing to proactively solve those, usually on your own.


UPDATE — OFF GRID DATA PLANS

The latest advice (25Nov2021) is to NOT do any of the below, but to get a standard SIM card plan (I know this doesn’t sound right) of 2 GB @ 4G and unlimited at 3G $15/month T-mobile and let them be relayed.

If you’re determined to still go forward with this, try Proslashers instructions for the 240, over here. If you buy a pre-built VPN from him, use gristleking at checkout for $10 off your order.


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.

Teltonkia (makers of the RUT240) have recently posted a video on how to set it up. I’ll leave our old guide in here for posterity, but here’s how Teltonika recommends you do it:


The “Old” Way (for Posterity only, we no longer recommend this)

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: Not true static IP, but static DHCP lease

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?

UPDATE: For an off grid miner as of November 2021, you’re going to want 100 GB/month, and that still may not be enough. For a long time, the 50 GB/month plan called out below with T-mobile was enough, but with the blockchain size growing, it’s no longer cutting it. I’ll leave the rest of this in here for posterity, but any reference to plans lower than 100 GB/month is outdated and wrong.

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 or large 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 get a Static IP for $5 more, ask for a “SOC Static Public IP”. UPDATE, MAR 21, 2022: You don’t need a static IP for much longer, this may not be worth it.
  • 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!

82 thoughts on “How To Set Up a RUT 240 for an Off Grid Helium Hotspot – Prepare for Challenge!”

  1. solar setup in the lab, Verizon 150gb plan prepaid – I spent a lot of time trying to configure my RUT240 i tried PPP and QMI as suggested here. I have had 0 success. The mobile data will connect, however my miner gets no data. i get data going through it i guess, but max of 5kbs and i have no idea what data is passing. RMS does not work when mobile connected. cannot connect my miner into the front of the device without sending the RUT into immediate, definite cause and effect slow blink of death on my RUT. Tried a syncrobit, Rak and sensecap. I have no idea how any of you guys have this thing working… at all, makes it more frustrating bc i know it can, but not for me. is there a link that has ALL of the correct settings? i tried what was here and also in all of the comments, and it still does not work. ANY help would be amazing! Thanks!

  2. will do, thank you so much, how on Earth you figured this all out on your own baffles me. Truly a pillar-to-post member of our network. I am researching today while my battery charges, will work tonight and update later.

  3. I don’t know if this helps anyone in terms of data usage but I am using a verizon hotspot (relayed) in a high altitude location with lots of traffic. (Southern California) For the first time I have reached over 100gb, I imagine if I wasn’t relayed I might have hit over 100gb sooner.

  4. My RUT240 went offline as soon as I saved after the Passthrough / pasting the miner’s MAC address step. The host reported that wifi is still on so the modem is working, I just can’t connect remotely. Did this happen to you as well?

  5. The issues with this still a thing? I’ve finally pieced together everything I need for an off grid and came back for the instructions on the router and saw this. Just my luck ha!

  6. Seems to be pretty variable; some folks having no problems, some are flatlined. May have connection to the recent uncovering of the denylist Helium was using to combat gaming. I’d expect any off grid right now to present challenges above and beyond a normal hotspot deployment. Proceed if you like solving problems! 🙂

  7. I’m having a similar issue. My RUT240 has internet access but I can’t get the internet to the miner. It’s extremely frustrating. Been working at it for over 3 days. I have followed step by step 50 times and still cant get the miner to connect. Any ideas?

  8. Have several RUT240s with Bobcat miners and T-mobile business static IP addresses. Results from first install in November have been lousy and am thinking of converting the other SIM cards back to regular non-static addresses and monthly low data consumer plans as Nik suggested in late Nov. Doesn’t seem worth paying for $55 monthly plan at this point. Any other suggestion?

  9. Hi Nik, just wondering why you’ve suggested nonstatic IP and the 2GB plan, then 3g unlimited. Will the miner still be using internet from the rut to stay synced? If it’s relayed, I thought it would just borrow internet from other hotspots. If so, why have a router at all? For now I’m going to try your suggestion of the $15/month tmobile plan, but would appreciate any elaboration. Thanks!

  10. Just reporting what I’m hearing for folks with full fat hotspots deployed in the field. Yes, the miner will still be using internet.

  11. @ BLAIR did you get through the RUT240 setup? I experienced the exact same challenge you described. Yesterday I believe I finally broke through. Yet I still don’t know exactly what caused the issue. I just reconfigured again and again. Finally went with near default settings. I did learn that t-mobile just plain never configured the static IP they sold me and it took contacting the sales rep to get it done. Support was really bad but of course the sales rep was pretty sharp.

  12. @Blair, the RUT240 cord (at least mine) contains only 2 wires (red / black) despite the weird connection to the device. I’ve powered it direct into the wanderer. Also, I only succeeded getting the MINER to connect to the hotspot’s internet upon plugging it directly into the Wanderer. I’ve had it running through a step down / resister usb-thing because I thought that was safer. At least in my case, the miner appeared to power OK but it would give weird errors regarding including “Too many DNS lookups” and others which caused about 1 week of madness on my end. Finally I theorized it was a power issue. Of course, it actually could have been something else I accidentally fixed in the process. But I’m finally online today. The crazy thing is I could have sworn the damn thing worked fine in testing.

  13. Hi. Thanks for the tutorial. I got rut240 and updated the firmware to the latest. I got verizon sim to work on it. It shows that is has data connection. However, I cannot get the internet to go to the sensecap miner. Can you help?

  14. Hi Nik, I am connecting the sensecap to rut via the lan port. I am connecting the laptop to rut via the wan port. I followed the steps to make wan port act as lan. The rut dashboard shows connection and even has up and down packets going thru. However, i cannot ping from it. 100% data loss. and i cannot get the miner up. yesterday the miner was up for a bit but then i still could not ping.

  15. Nik, so after chatting for over 2 hours with verzion i found out that I cannot use my plan with that device. I have to upgrade to a business plan. what plan/provider do u use?

  16. Hmm, for a while it was T-mobile. Abu (the T-mobile rep) has his info at the bottom of the page, I’d start with calling him. Your other option is to check in on the Helium #enclosures-off-grid channel to see what the latest recs are.

  17. Are you suggesting putting the SIM card into the RUT240? I have finestra miner without a SIM card slot. Also, are there any other providers you know who can do this and still offer a static IP?

  18. Wanted to give my experience and see if anyone has any ideas.

    I’ve followed the set up directions over and over again from base factory settings. I currently am using an ATT prepaid card with a 100gigs with a sencap but will switch it unlimited through first net if I can get it working. I have good service when i connect via wifi but i can’t get the port 44158 to show as open using a port checker no matter what i do. I set a static IP and port forwarding rule but nothing works.

    This is what I’ve done over and over again. Please help ??

  19. I’d be curious to see the response for Patrick too. I’m about to purchase the same set-up. On a different note – What about the Cellular antenna and cable? What cable do you use to go from the cellular router to outside the enclosure? Also, what cellular antenna do you use outside the enclosure? Can you use the rut240 factory antenna outside, wrapped in silicone tape at base? If I need to run the cellular cable 40 feet, will that cause any problems?

  20. In San Diego I’ve just run LMR195 or 240 from the cell modem inside the enclosure to the antennas mounted directly into the wall of the enclosure. No problems with that so far. I don’t have a great answer on the port forwarding question.

  21. Im also curious to see if anyone has any solutions or ideas for Patrick’s setup.Ive invested a lot of time and money to have my remote setup up for it to be relayed. I have scoured the internet, but I’m sure I am missing something.
    The only difference for examples I see online is the firmware. I updated to the latest firmware the RUT240 had to offer, could this be affecting the relayed status?

  22. Hi Nik. Quick question, I just noticed the part “select auto reboot every 24 hours” on the RUT240. I don’t think it was always there (months ago). Any particular reason for that and won’t it change the listen ip every 24 hours then..? (option 2 – lets get geeky, not true static ip but static dhcp lease). Thx!

  23. I also forget when that got added in. I had heard from a number of off gridders they felt it helped them avoid relay. Thanks for the correction!

  24. Hey Nik, if we ever actually make it to lite hotspots, what would you estimate the amount of data usage/data plan we would need?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]