ATT Hotspot - Keeping it active when engine off

rmrski

New member
I own a 2019 Sprinter 3500XD that was unfitted by Winnebago into an RV product they call the Boldt. I purchased the ATT Hotspot to access the internet and it is good. However when the engine is turned off the hotspot does not work.

Is there a workaround to power the hotspot when the engine is off?
 

GLJones

Member
Since the MBUX system shuts down, I would assume not. You can turn the ignition to accessory (one quick press of the start button without brake pressed) and it should work...but it auto-shuts down after about 15 minutes.
 

Dodgedieselguy

New member
I noticed the same issue and went to the owners manual where it says how to set up hotspot. There are many choices, including forever on when connected, so it should work with dog monitoring devices etcetera. My problem is I haven’t had much luck with coverage from AT&T here in FL. I’d love to hear from you all about how much of the time you get a usable signal!
 

MTGJR1

Member
Anybody figure out how to run MBUX off of auxiliary battery rather than starter battery and eliminate auto off?
 

rmrski

New member
I’ve traveled through most of the east coast and south over the past 4 months and have found the ATT hotspot signal to be pretty good. Much better than what I can get via the Winegard Connect.
 

GLJones

Member
My problem is I haven’t had much luck with coverage from AT&T here in FL. I’d love to hear from you all about how much of the time you get a usable signal!
We travel all over Florida, Georgia and south Alabama. Never had any issues with AT&T converage. Are you speaking of one location, like your house, that may have poor coverage?
 

Dodgedieselguy

New member
Yes. The area I live in does not have much cell service, so I figured I’d ask before I signed up for a year. Thanks for the response.
 

VanGoSki

Active member
Anybody figure out how to run MBUX off of auxiliary battery rather than starter battery and eliminate auto off?
Or is there a way to trickle charge the starter battery from your house battery? Seems that would be useful for running the MBUX stereo all the time as well.
 

FlaJoe

Member
We are just getting into studying about MBUX and the MBPro service. As I understand it and am asking for confirmation, this is a system which requires an ATT contract for cell service to the van for certain functions, like directions, etc. I use Verizon for my cell phone. I assume you would also need Sat for Sirius radio. I am also having Brian at Momentum install a WeBoost Reach Drive cell boosting system in the van, which requires its own SIM card. Sounds to me like this involves 4 service contracts. Am I missing something?
 

GLJones

Member
I have had the MBUX for 3 months now. You are partially correct. MBUX comes with full functionality except for the hotspot. You don't need a subscription for the traffic, directions or software updates. It all comes with MBUX. (for 3 years...who knows the cost after that?). The AT&T contract is only to enable the wi-fi hotspot. It is pretty cheap. I think I pay $5 a month for it, unlimited. AT&T wanted $10 a month to add it to my existing account, so I just set up a seperate account. When you get yours, you go into settings > Hotspot and it gives you the screens to sign up. It made me the special offer of $5 a month, add to existing account and one other. I selected the cheap one. Works great and 10 devices can connect at once.
The cool thing is, to connect, you go to that wi-fi hotspot settings screen and it will display a QR code. On the device you want to connect to the hotspot, open the camera and aim at the QR Code. A dialog box pops up on your device asking if you want to connect. Say YES and it connects. For future connections, it just connects automatically when the van hotspot is available.
 

cacaw

Active member
...The AT&T contract is only to enable the wi-fi hotspot. It is pretty cheap. I think I pay $5 a month for it, unlimited. AT&T wanted $10 a month to add it to my existing account, so I just set up a seperate account. ...
I just went out to the van and signed up for the free month trial. It had a bunch of choices for different plans but the cheapest was about $7.50 per month.

The biggest advantage to the hotspot (for me) would be if the Sprinter antenna gets a significantly better signal than my iPhone does. Right now, they both show three bars but I'll try to check it out more closely in areas with bad reception.
 

cacaw

Active member
Speed test run through the MBUX browser (two bars) 5.74 Down 2.02 Up
Speed test run on my new iPhone (AT&T LTE, two bars, held below dashboard level) 11.6 Down 2.07 Up

Ran the test a few times on each, these are fairly typical results. I didn't compare my phone with cell tower connection to my phone connected to the van's hotspot, because I couldn't find the hotspot WiFi password. :(

If I get better speeds on my handheld phone, I don't see much reason to sign up for the van's internet plan. Hoping that some others will do the same test so we can compare results.
 

GLJones

Member
To connect to the hotspot, go to Settings > WiFi > HotSpot > Connect Device and select the QR Code. Use your phone's camera to view the QR code and it will ask you if you want to connect to the HotSpot.
 

cacaw

Active member
To connect to the hotspot, go to Settings > WiFi > HotSpot > Connect Device and select the QR Code.
Funny, I don't have that option anywhere in the menu system. I have four different choices, Security Key, PIN Input, PIN Generation, WPS PBC. None of these give me the WiFi password my phone wants, and a couple of them refer to the "Push" button on my phone, which I don't understand.

I'll try to find some more detailed instructions on connecting so that I can run that speed test.
 

cacaw

Active member
Is there no Wi-Fi item on the menu at all? If it is off, the other menus might disappear.
Those were the four choices for connecting the hotspot to my iPhone. No QR code option and no simple password option.

The hotspot is visible as an available network connection; just can't figure out an easy way to connect. (I'm sure it will be obvious once I dedicate more than a few minutes to the problem.)

At the park yesterday evening, I was in a place with barely any cell reception. The Mercedes connection seemed to be just about the same as my phone's connection, dropping off every minute or so. Based on that, it would be my guess that the Sprinter doesn't have any kind of special cell signal booster.
 

sailquik

Active member
OK, maybe I'm a complete luddite, but I have so far not been able to get the hot spot to work at all.
Somehow I missed the part about having to call MBUSA Pro (1-877-762-8267) and having them tell me to go
to the website < https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/technology/mercedes-pro> to check the box that
says I'm an individual owner and don't want/need all the invasive "stuff" that I could have if I sign up for the
full "PRO".
So then I had to call MBUSA Customer Service so they could explain " the rest of the story".
I was told that the hot spot would be turned on (at the MBUSA end) in about a week.
The week is now almost past, and still no hot spot.
I originally called ATT and set up the wireless number for my new van so I could use the hot spot.
Got the number, and signed up for a year of unlimited service on that ATT wireless number.
Called ATT when I got a notice that my one month free service on the hot spot was expiring.
Interesting that they say I used a few MB of the allotted data for the free trial period since
I've never been able to connect to the hot spot in any way.
ATT assured me that the entire allotment of free trial data would be extended and used before
the one year unlimited data for the subscription kicks in.
Anyone got any ideas on what to do next?
Thanks in advance!
Roger
 

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