Possible reasons for failure to connect include:

  • Lack of cellular signal
  • Bad batteries
    • If the batteries are flat, or one is inserted backwards, there might be just enough power to make the LED blink, but not enough to complete a connection
  • Server misconfiguration
    • Connector not set to correct backend on www.oemserver.com
    • Device not set up, or disabled, on the backend (for instance, in Telematics Guru)
  • SIM card issues
    • Oxides or grime on the SIM connector
    • In firmware versions < 1.30, oxides on the SIM presence switch
    • No airtime on the SIM, or SIM not activated with network
    • Occasionally, a SIM card itself is found to be faulty (heat warped, invalid, or simply dead)
  • APN issues
  • Damaged main board or antenna
    • If the antenna is damaged, the device will only connect in very strong signal
    • If the main board is damaged, the device will usually not connect at all

Checking the batteries

Measure the batteries with a multimeter. New alkaline batteries should read between 1.55 and 1.63 V. With some brands and suppliers, it is not uncommon for a single battery to be faulty right out the box. Make sure you've inserted them correctly, and that the LED starts blinking when they are inserted. If the LED doesn't start blinking, disconnect the batteries for 60 seconds, then try again. If you still can't see any activity, please contact your distributor for help with further debugging, repair, or replacement.

Checking the server configuration

Log in to www.oemserver.com, and search for your device:

Check the connector. In this example, it hasn't been set:

You can set the connector using Device Operations:

If you are using Telematics Guru, you want TCP_TG_Live_Flexi:

You should also ensure that the device is configured on target platform. In Telematics Guru, search for it on the Manage Assets page, and check that it is enabled and has the correct serial number. In this example, the exclamation icon indicates that the device is disabled. You can re-enable it using the cog icon on the right:

If you need to edit the serial number, click on the asset name, and use the Edit Asset dialog:

Checking For SIM Card Issues

  1. Remove the batteries before handling the SIM or cleaning the SIM holder.
  2. First, remove and visually inspect the SIM card for warpage due to heat. If the SIM is warped enough for you to notice, it might not be making proper contact. Damaged SIMs should be replaced.
  3. Gently scrub the contacts of the SIM holder with a damp paper towel. An isopropyl alcohol solution is ideal for this. You can also scrape them lightly with a metal implement (clean keys / screwdriver), but be sure to discharge any static buildup first, by touching the negative battery terminal.
  4. In firmware versions < 1.30, the SIM presence switch is enabled. If oxides have built up on the SIM presence switch, you will need to clean them off before you can connect to the server and upgrade the firmware. Press down gently on the switch, several times. The wiping action of the switch contact will scrape off any oxides:
  5. If the Remora still won't connect, try a known-good SIM from your phone, or another device

  6. Check that the SIM has airtime, if possible, using your SIM provider's website
  7. Visually inspect the solder on both sides of the holder for latent defects, or rough handling damage

Checking for APN Issues

Cellular networks provide Internet connectivity to their SIM cards through an APN. By default, the Remora will automatically look up the correct APN for your network, and you won't have to configure anything. However, if you are using a network that is not yet on the Remora's network list, or you have made a mistake while manually setting the APN, the Remora won't be able to connect to the server. In this case, it will still register on the network. So if your SIM provider has a management website, you'll be able to see that it is registering. However, no connections will be shown in www.oemserver.com. You can learn more about SIM cards and APN settings in the SIM Cards, APN Details, and SMS Commands articles.

In this article, we will only cover the steps required to turn the Auto-APN feature back on. You only need to do this if you know that the APN is incorrect. In normal use, most people will never need to configure an APN, or send an SMS command.

  1. Find your device on www.oemserver.com, and make sure the Admin Parameters are not set. Remove all tabs from the dialog, and click Update:
  2. Determine the phone number associated with the SIM card you want to use, or find a SIM card to use temporarily, whose number you know.
    • Note that some M2M SIM cards cannot receive text messages from regular mobile phones. In this case, you may be able to send the message using your M2M provider's website. Otherwise, you will need to use a regular SIM card for the reset procedure.
  3. Insert the SIM card into the Remora, but leave it powered off.
  4. Send the SIM card an APN Reset text message. The contents of the message should be #*,APN (that's hash, star, comma, and the letters APN, with no spaces, in upper case).
  5. Power the Remora on, and wait for it to start up and register on the network. After about 10 minutes, it should have received the text message, and connected successfully to www.oemserver.com.

Checking For Hardware Damage

The most common cause of hardware problems is water damage after improper sealing. If water has entered the Remora, you will usually be able to tell immediately by looking for white corrosion marks on the screws. Close scrutiny of the tiny electronic components, and the casing of the modem, will show similar white marks and rust. Water damage can cause various symptoms, from incorrect battery voltage readings, to short battery life or total failure.

Examples of water damage:

While water damage is by far the most common hardware issue, we occasionally see damage to the SIM card holder (mentioned above), and damage to the cellular antenna. The cellular antenna is a bulky part, and can be subject to mechanical stresses, particularly if the unit is dropped. Check that the antenna is flush with the board, and inspect the solder at the antenna feed point for cracks: