I'm just about to leave St. Paul for New Haven. My office is all packed up -- about fifty boxes of books waiting for UPS. The movers arrive on Friday to take everything away. My little cottage is going on the market next Tuesday. It's the end of a nice period for me in the mid-West.
Since I'm driving to Connecticut from Minnesota and because I'll be doing a lot of traveling this summer as I wrap up my fieldwork, I thought I would get a 3G cell-phone that would allow me to connect to the internet while on the road. After a lot of research, I decided on the Motorola v330 from T-Mobile, which has a $19.99 unlimited internet plan (unlike the other vendors who are metered or much more expensive). The v330 has built-in bluetooth and can operate as a wireless modem for the 3G/GPRS service.
The phone arrived today. The hard bit was setting it up for dial-up-networking (DUN) on MacOS X. It took some figuring out. Here are my notes:
MacOS X 10.4 doesn't ship with the proper modem scripts to control the Motorola v330. You need to download the script and then set it up properly. Ignore T-Mobile's online instructions, they weren't any help.
- First make sure that T-Zones is working on your phone. It takes between 2 - 72 hours for internet connectivity to be activated and using T-zones is an easy way to make sure that you are properly subscribed and the service is working. If you can access the web through T-zones, your phone should work as a GPRS modem for the internet.
- Download Ross Barkman's GPRS scripts at http://www.taniwha.org.uk. He has both generic and manufacturer specific scripts. First, I got the "Generic 3G Scripts (16kB)" working, then I switched to using the "Motorola GPRS" script, then migrated to using the "Motorola 3G" when EDGE was introduced.
- Turn on the bluetooth feature on both your mac and motorola. Pair the two.
I then used the iSync script here to transfer my Mac phone book and appointments to the phone.As of OS 10.4.2 you don't need a special script since iSync supports the v330 natively. Just pair the two, add the v330 to iSync, and synchronize your schedule and phonebook to the phone. Beats typing in phone numbers any time and allows you to make sure that bluetooth is working properly.
- In MacOS X, open the app "Internet Connection"
- Click on the bluetooth connection
- Add a new connection:
Motorola GPRS CID1Motorola 3G CID1
- Phone number: internet2.voicestream.com
- Account: guest
- Password: guest
- In the PPP connection tab, be sure to turn off "Send PPP echo packets"
If you get stuck, post a comment and we'll try to figure out what went wrong. This blog entry was posted using my v330 in GPRS mode.
Thanks to Matt Hamrick for his notes on 3G/EDGE service below. I hadn't used my T-Mobile DUN for a while and had my PBG4 serviced, so I lost all my settings. Revisiting this page gave me a chance to try out your advice.
With the standard "Motorola GPRS CID" script, I got 43kb/s in New Haven. Switching to "Motorola 3G CID1" gave me 82 kb/s, quite an increase! I mistakenly forgot to turn off "PPP Echo Packets" the first time, so I retested with it off. Turning it off gave me another kick up to 116 kb/s.
Now, this isn't an across-the-board increase. If you hit an older tower, you'll get very slow speeds. Visiting rural Pennsylvania, I only got 21 kb/s right off the freeway near Hershey (2006.04.27).
|129 kbit/sec; 1.93s latency; 38.896s d/l time||116 down / 27 up|
|128 kbit/sec; 2.13s latency; 39.279s d/l time||82 down / 24 up|
|GPRS||41 kbit/sec; 2.337s latency; 116.647s d/l time||43 down / 20 up|
For folks that don't know, Matt Hamrick is the author of the wonderful Vuescan software -- the best 3rd party scanning software on the Mac, LInux, or Windows platform.