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Sierra Wireless MC8781


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This card is the one recommended for use in both Lion and Snow Leopard.



The Sierra UMTS MiniPCI Express card enables Snow Leopard and Lion to establish a stable mobile data connection with your HackDell. You can install this card at a spare PCI Express Card slot in your notebook. An antenna has to be already existing and, in addition to the module, you also need a suitable SIM card slot. I have used this card with success in Latitude D430, D630 and now testing it in E6400.


Technical Details:

Type: Sierra Wireless - MC8781

Slot: Mini PCI Express Card


Frequency: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

Speed: HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 2.0Mbps


Drivers and Software:

Vanilla drivers (AppleWWANSupport2.kext) in Lion and Snow Leopard work excellent.

If You need to have a text messaging (SMS) software, download and install newest AirCard USB 307 Generic Watcher.

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I have found out that You can use Sierra's Watcher software and drivers dedicated to other cards. The newest one I've found is for AirCard 326U witch is a 4G card :)

Go ahead and download it. I have just tested it on Lion 10.7.2 64bit mode with a huge success.

Here are some screen shots:




TIP: Disable AirCard Watcher from auto starting.

You can check/uncheck "Open AirCard Watcher at Login" in Preferences but this didn't worked for me. The sucker started every time, and restarted after wakeup from sleep every time the device was initialized. This is because of /Library/Sierra/SierraDevSupport service running in the background. To solve the problem just delete (or move some place safe)


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how did you get this WWAN card working with native drivers??

I have the same card but needed to use Watcher 2.0.6 (like described on OSXL Wiki). Otherwise I could not see the card.

In general it works with Sierra Watcher 2.0.6 drivers, but in some stages I had issues (endless loops and such). And I have issues connecting to 3G (usually switching to GPRS for no apparent reason).

I would prefer to use the card with vanilla drivers but apparently you found a newer Watcher which work with MC8781. Do they work in 32bit too (D430)?



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OK. I uninstalled my Sierra Watcher 2.6 and rebooted. After the boot there was no WWAN card (or modem or whatever of that ilk) in my network preferences.

I deleted NetworkInterfaces.plist and preferences.plist out of /Library/Preference/SystemConfiguration/ to force Lion to do another HW check and write new plists. Rebooted. Still no WWAN card. Then I installed SierraWatcher. As you said: it works. But I don't know why my D430 does not use AppleWWANSupport2.kext to initialize the WWAN card and offer it for connectivity. Any ideas?



I don't even have AppleWWANSupport2.kext in my S/L/E. Did you have it by default or just installed it yourself?

EDIT: OK, I found it. It is a plugin for IOSerialFamily.kext, which is a part of my /S/L/E kexts. But still, it didn't do anything with my WWAN card.

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How is Your USB Device Tree in System Information? Is the AirCard detected there? Mine looks like this:


USB Bus:

 Host Controller Location:	Built-in USB
 Host Controller Driver:	AppleUSBUHCI
 PCI Device ID:	0x3a36 
 PCI Revision ID:	0x0003 
 PCI Vendor ID:	0x8086 
 Bus Number:	0x5d 


 Product ID:	0x6856
 Vendor ID:	0x1199  (Sierra Wireless Inc.)
 Version:	0,02
 Speed:	Up to 12 Mb/sec
 Manufacturer:	Sierra Wireless, Incorporated
 Location ID:	0x5d200000 / 2
 Current Available (mA):	500
 Current Required (mA):	500

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Now, after I installed Sierra software it looks like this:



Ort für Host-Controller: USB (Integriert)

Treiber für Host-Controller: AppleUSBEHCI

PCI Geräte-ID: 0x27cc

PCI Revisions-ID: 0x0001

PCI Hersteller-ID: 0x8086

Bus-Nummer: 0xfd



Produkt-ID: 0xa005

Hersteller-ID: 0x413c (Dell Inc.)

Version: 50,18

Geschwindigkeit: Bis zu 480 MBit/s

Standort-ID: 0xfd200000 / 2

Verfügbare Stromstärke (mA): 500

Erforderliche Stromstärke (mA): 2



Produkt-ID: 0x7761

Hersteller-ID: 0x0b97 (O2 Micro, Inc.)

Version: 1,10

Geschwindigkeit: Bis zu 12 MBit/s

Standort-ID: 0xfd230000 / 4

Verfügbare Stromstärke (mA): 500

Erforderliche Stromstärke (mA): 200


Biometric Coprocessor:

Produkt-ID: 0x2016

Hersteller-ID: 0x0483 (STMicroelectronics)

Version: 0,01

Geschwindigkeit: Bis zu 12 MBit/s

Hersteller: STMicroelectronics

Standort-ID: 0xfd231000 / 6

Verfügbare Stromstärke (mA): 100

Erforderliche Stromstärke (mA): 100


O2Micro CCID SC Reader:

Produkt-ID: 0x7762

Hersteller-ID: 0x0b97 (O2 Micro, Inc.)

Version: 1,10

Geschwindigkeit: Bis zu 12 MBit/s

Hersteller: O2

Standort-ID: 0xfd232000 / 5

Verfügbare Stromstärke (mA): 200

Erforderliche Stromstärke (mA): 0


USB MMC Storage:

Produkt-ID: 0x0fff

Hersteller-ID: 0x1199 (Sierra Wireless Inc.)

Version: 0,00

Seriennummer: SWOC22905731

Geschwindigkeit: Bis zu 12 MBit/s

Hersteller: Sierra Wireless

Standort-ID: 0xfd220000 / 3

Verfügbare Stromstärke (mA): 500

Erforderliche Stromstärke (mA): 100



Sierra as USB MMC Storage?! Maybe my DSDT. Are you using the EDP one?

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@Zeppo: I think your Card is still in Installation Mode. You are seeing the USB disc with your drivers. Eject the Volume and your Device should be in "Modem mode". As far as I've read the Watcher Software should be able to swich this.

Why is everybody looking for the mc8781 all information i have seen says mc8781 and mc8780 are the same with the exception of gsm frequenzy optimization. mc8781 sould be (north) America and mc8780 should be the european version. So in Poland and Germany I would think the mc8780 is the right choice.

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