[NTLK] Success! Newton online with Merlin G100 and T-Mobile

From: Steven Frank <stevenf_at_panic.com>
Date: Sun Dec 31 2006 - 15:39:42 EST

Yay, I finally got this to work. :)

The Merlin G100 is a PCMCIA card for cellular (GPRS) data access.
It's pretty old. I got one off eBay, and it's branded "VoiceStream"
which is the company T-Mobile bought when they began operations in
the USA several years ago.

I popped my T-Mobile SIM (with data plan) into the card, and popped
the card into my 2100, which already has NIE and all those goodies
installed. "A communications card has been inserted"! Yay!

Then I went to Internet Setup and made a new "Serial" connection like

Name: GPRS
Protocol: PPP
Password: TMOBILE
When closing, disconnect: <your preference>
Primary DNS:
Domain Name: <None>
Advanced Settings:
   Port: <choose the correct port, mine is Bottom PC Card>
   Data Rate: 57600
   Parity: None
   Stop Bits: 1
   Use Hardware Flow Control: Checked
Login Script:
   Send: ATZ
   Wait For: OK
   Send: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","internet3.voicestream.com"
   Wait For: OK
   Send: ATD*99***1#
   Wait For: CONNECT


1. Specifying a username and password turned out to be critical.
This threw me because usually you do not need to specify a username
and password to get onto T-Mobile's data network. I was getting PPP
authentication errors, so I just put in TMOBILE as the username and
password, and that seemed to make everything work.

2. It may be possible to increase the data rate to 115,200 but I
didn't try it and I doubt it would make much difference.

3. You may need to use "internet2.voicestream.com" instead, depending
on your data plan. internet3 is used for data plans that include the
VPN option.

4. I think it may be significant for "IP" to be in caps.

5. These instructions are specific to T-Mobile's US network, but it
shouldn't be hard to adapt for other networks.

Now my Newton can access the 'net anywhere there's T-Mobile
coverage. For whatever that's worth. :) I was able to get email
with Mail V, and pages with Courier and Raissa.

It puts a bit of a strain on the battery. I have a rebuilt pack, and
it went from 80% to 45% while I was actively using the modem card.
After I disconnected, it gradually creeped back up to around 70%.
So, this is maybe workable for a quick email check, but not extended

The card does protrude about an inch out of the newton and has a
huuuuge antenna, but hey, we're Newton users -- we're not scared of
huge vintage electronics. :)


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Received on Sun Dec 31 15:39:48 2006

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