Re: NTLK [Long] Qualcomm Data on the Go modem and Newton

From: Doug Fuss (
Date: Sun Jan 09 2000 - 12:23:36 EST

> Hi:
> Anyone with experience with a Qualcomm 820/2700 phone-Data on the go modem
> and a Newton 2100? I'm with Bell Atlantic. Thought I read that they were
> compatible. Looking for a way to get email wirelessly on my Newton.

I also use Bell Atlantic and used to have a QCP-820 phone.

If you look on Qualcomm's web site, you'll see that there are Newton drivers
available for the DOTG modem. Once you install the package, you'll find that
it installs two drivers: one for landline and another for analog cellular.
The landline baud rate is 33600 bps while the analog cellular connection is
at a maximum baud rate of 9600 bps (4800 in reality). These are very slow
speeds, especially considering that you're unloading $299 for the modem,
about 2.5 TIMES the cost of the Megahertz equivalent that works with Nokia
or Motorola phones.

The unique aspect of this modem (in combination with its PC drivers) is its
ability to switch to a serial driver to connect at 19200 (really 14400) via
CDMA digital data. This helps justify its outrageous cost. Unfortunately
Qualcomm never wrote a Newton driver for this capability. I spoke with Jim
George, Qualcomm's head of technical support about this and he said they
have no intension of doing so, but if a programmer or developer in the
Newton community is willing to do it, they are willing to work with him. Avi
Drissman is aware of this, so we'll see. Perhaps someone else would be
willing to take this on as well?!

Another option is to trade in your QCP-820 phone for a QCP-860 slimphone.
Bell Atlantic's CDMA data service is only compatible with this phone. CDMA
data is the "Wireless Web" service that Sprint has been aggressive been
marketing. It is very cool when used on the phone alone via the minibrowser
on the phone's display, allowing you to quickly check stock prices, the
weather, sports scores, check e-mail and look up phone numbers in the white
or yellow pages then have the phone autodial the number directly and/or
download the number to a personal web-based address book.

This address book is accessible by the phone when in digital service areas
or via a standard PC web browser. From the PC you can edit and maintain the
numbers you have stored there. In theory you should be able to upload a tab
or comma delimited names file to this address book, but I haven't been able
to get this to work yet. Also in theory you should be able to download names
from the web-base address book to the phone's built in auto-dialer, but I
haven't been able to get this to work yet either.

CDMA data also allows you to connect to the net using the phone as a modem
(sort of) through your PC (or, if we can get it to work, Newton) serial
port. Actually, in this configuration the phone isn't a modem but a very
long serial cable, connecting to a modem pool on the network side (in our
case Bell Atlantic). If you purchase a data connection kit for your QCP-860
phone from Bell Atlantic for about $80, you are provided with a cable
connecting the phone to your PC and a CD with PC drivers as well as software
allowing you to download your PC-based phone numbers to your phone's
auto-dialer. Unfortunately cables, drivers and connection software are not
available for Mac or Newton.

When I complained to Bell Atlantic that digital data was supposed to be
available for the QCP-820 (Sprint offered an upgrade for its similar phone)
they allowed me to trade in my QCP-820 phone for a QCP-860, costing me only
the difference in price between the two phones -- about $20. I then signed
up for Wireless Web/CDMA Data service for a flat fee of $9.95/month above my
current plan. Unlike Sprint, Bell Atlantic does not charge for the amount of
data transmitted by the kilobyte. You are on the clock against your regular
wireless phone plan when you're online, however.

I have been trying to get my UMP2000 to connect this way, but to date have
been unsuccessful, though very close. Qualcomm's data connection kit comes
with a null modem adapter along with the PC cable. I have used the PC serial
cable that cam with my Newt to connect through the adapter to the phone. I
talked to Jim George at Qualcomm about how to configure the Newton and
entered the init strings that he suggested into Modem Modifier. At this
stage my phone shows that it has dialed out and has connected but the Newt
fails to authenticate.

What I really need now is someone with whom I can troubleshoot this problem.
Another Newt owner who is a Sprint customer, Tim Cahill, has offered to help
in a couple of weeks. It would be great if a Bell Atlantic customer, like
me, could help, too!

IMHO, once we get it working this is the ideal PDA/Wireless configuration.
The phone's minibrowser and address book features provide pocket-sized
organizer and connectivity features when you can't carry your Newt. And you
don't need a pocket-sized PDA, like a Palm Pilot, because the phone provides
many of these features. When you need to do real work (or play) you can
connect with your Newt. CDMA data is the fastest wireless connection (aside
from a local network wireless connection, like Airport), even faster than
GSM used by our friends elsewhere in the world. Also, since you don't need a
PC card modem, connecting through your serial/interconnect port, you don't
burn batteries nearly as fast.

Sorry about the long response, but I really want to get this to work! Maybe
we can do it together!

All the best,


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