$44 5G M.2 to Ethernet and USB “converter” takes M.2 5G PCIe modules

Waveshare “5G M.2 to Gigabit Ethernet converter, 5G M.2 to USB3 converter” is a single device designed to easily and cheaply add 5G connectivity to a LAN through a gigabit Ethernet port or to a specific host like a PC or a Raspberry Pi SBC through a USB 3.1 Type-C port.

The 5G M.2 to Ethernet and USB converter is flexible as by default it does not ship with a 5G module, but features an M.2 Key-B socket for 5G 3042 or 3052 modules allowing it to meet the requirements of a specific location.

5G M.2 to Ethernet and USB converter

5G M.2 to Ethernet and USB converter key features and specifications:

  • Cellular
    • M.2 Key B socket for 3042/3052 5G modules from SIMCom (SIM82XX), Quectel (RM5XX), and Fibocom (FM160XX)
    • Onboard standard SIM card slot
    • 4x 5G omnidirectional high-gain antennas
  • Ethernet – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port using RealTek RTL8125 controller
  • USB – USB 3.1 Type-C port for connection to a PC, Raspberry Pi or Jetson SBC for 5G networking or debugging
  • Misc – Power and Network LEDs, Reset button
  • Power Supply
    • 9-12V DC via 5.5mm power barrel jack
    • 5V/2A power supply via USB-C port
  • Dimensions – 86.2 x 61.5 x 27.20 mm excluding antenna connectors (Aluminum alloy enclosure)

Waveshare 5G converterIf you don’t purchase a variant with a built-in 5G module, you’ll need to select an M.2 5G 3042 or 3052 module that is suitable for your country, and Waveshare recommends various models as shown in the table below.

M.2 3042 3052 5G module selection

Then you’ll need to decide whether you want to use USB for a direct connection to a host device or Ethernet for a direct connection or in router mode, and just use both Ethernet and USB mode as shown in the illustration below.

5G USB Ethernet connection

Using it over USB with a Windows computer appears to just involve installing drivers, but you would need to use some AT commands with Linux platforms such as the Raspberry Pi and Jetson Nano. Ethernet also requires some configuration with AT commands which depends on the exact 5G module installed. The Wiki explains everything including the installation steps, the AT commands list, and instructions to use the 5G converter with Windows, Linux, a Raspberry Pi SBC, or a Jetson developer board.

Waveshare sells the “5G M.2 to gigabit Ethernet converter” with a 12V power supply adapter, a USB-C cable, and antennas for $44.15 including shipping on Aliexpress. You’ll also find bundles there with RM520N-GL (Global), RM500U-CNV (China. EMEA, Asia-Pacific), or SIM8262E-M2 (Global minus Americas) 5G modules with heatsink for $136.15 to $274.15. If you don’t need Ethernet, Waveshare also sells a 5G M.2 to USB converter for $28.51.

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3 Comments
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arbu7as
arbu7as
2 months ago

If anyone is wondering like me how it works, the 5G modems have ability to use PCIe connection directly to PCIe Ethernet chip, without any controller… 🤯

evadim
evadim
2 months ago

Those “modems” in real world small computer running Linux, so nothing really new here. I re-flashed to different OS versions & customizations in web server even on some USB-stick 4G modems 5 years ago. They can be converted to router, but relatively slow one.

In same way, SSD is like 10 channel RAID on flash chips. With it’s own OS, but don’t know which one.

Sajal Kayan
2 months ago

I’ve been looking one that accepts eSIM but can’t seem to find any. Would eSIM be capability of the carrier board or the module itself?

Khadas VIM4 SBC