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3G Dongle & iPod Touch
March 30, 2009 8:34 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to connect a 3G Dongle (from "3" in my case) to a 2nd Generation iPod Touch (do not want and/or can't afford an iPhone) to simulate a Wifi connection?

I know this may be impossible, however, I keep thinking about how I could get mobile broadband for my iPod Touch and I am paying a monthly fee (£15) for the 3G Dongle.

For example, could I get a cable that goes from my 3G Dongle and plug it into my Wireless Router and generate a Wifi signal from it?

(I accept I would need a power supply for this, but lets assume I have this (eg DC to AC converter in the car for example)).

I have bought a USB connector that reverses the connection on the 3G dongle so I can plug it in to the iPod sync cable, however, this does not generate a connection so I suspect that the iPod Touch requires some 3G hardware or software component?

I know that the iPhone does this by itself but I want to stick with my iPod Touch and JUST the £15 a month for the mobile dongle if it is possible.

If it can't be done, is it possible to explain why not?

Thanks for any suggestions...
posted by pettins to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
The Touch will not be able to drive a dongle itself, no.

It's not likely the device is compatible with any router on the market either.

The only way I can think of to get it to work would be to connect the dongle to a PC that has a WiFi card, configure the WiFi card to operate an Ad Hoc network or act as a base station, and enable Internet Connection Sharing to share the 3G card to WiFi connections.
posted by Rendus at 8:38 AM on March 30, 2009


The only way I can think of to get it to work would be to connect the dongle to a PC that has a WiFi card, configure the WiFi card to operate an Ad Hoc network or act as a base station, and enable Internet Connection Sharing to share the 3G card to WiFi connections.

Yep. I have a friend who essentially built a 3G card into a wireless router and slapped a power inverter on the whole thing, so now he has a box he can just plug into his car and get a "wireless WiFi" signal anywhere he goes.
posted by niles at 8:49 AM on March 30, 2009


I am pretty sure that it's impossible - USB distinguishes between "host devices" (usually a PC) and "gadgets" (the stuff you plug in). Your Touch and the 3G stick are both very likely driven by gadget-only controllers, so you can't connect them even if you tweak the connectors and manage to write the software (AFAIR, iPhone Linux is not in a usable state yet).
posted by themel at 8:51 AM on March 30, 2009


Cradlepoint has the PHS-3000 which sort of does that. I'm not sure what exact cards/dongles it supports but it's worth looking into.
posted by polexa at 8:55 AM on March 30, 2009


There are a variety of wireless routers which will support USB, ExpressCard or PCMCIA data cards. This will allow any WiFi device to connect to the router and use the USB modem as the 'internet source'. I'm not sure which router would support one from 3UK, but EVDOinfo.com has a bunch of them for you to check out.

Here's one I've seen great reviews about: http://3gstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=137_176&products_id=765
posted by cgomez at 9:38 AM on March 30, 2009


A potential longer-term option. The 2nd Gen iPod Touch has Bluetooth hidden away that Apple sounds like they will enable in the next version of the software due this summer.. This brings with it the possibility of tethering your iTouch to a mobile phone for Internet access. No telling though whether Apple will go this far themselves, or allow a 3rd party app to do it. On the one hand, it might be a way to pick up customers who are stuck with other carriers. On the other hand, it could cut into iPhone sales.
posted by Good Brain at 11:31 AM on March 30, 2009


You can do the router method with DD-WRT and a supported router with USB capability. You can probably pick up an Asus WL-500 series router for around $70-80 if you shop around. Flash it with DD-WRT v24-sp1 mega or above and you're in business. Here's a howto:

http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Cellular_Phone/USB_Modem_as_WAN_connection

For this to work, your 3G device will need to work with the Linux ACM driver, so research that before you buy anything.

If you don't want to tinker, there are devices called "travel routers", designed to be plugged into a socket in a hotel room and provide a personal WiFi connection, and some of them will allow you to use a 3G device for the Internet connection. They cost about twice what the DD-WRT/WL-500 series method would, though, and you don't get the sense of accomplishment from doing it yourself.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:38 AM on March 30, 2009


Thanks all - Really good answers, very much appreciated.

I was in town today and popped into the "3" shop and hey presto, they sell a Wireless Router with a 3G Dongle (Key Drive) socket for £68 :-)

And even better, I got a new phone (£9 a month) and they gave me the Wireless Router for £34. Bargain!

WiFi in the car here we come :-)

Thanks again,

pettins
posted by pettins at 8:02 AM on April 1, 2009


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