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Using Your Powerbook to Connect to the Internet
with Your Motorola RAZR V3xx Bluetooth Phone
with 3G High Speed Internet Connection
(Browse the Internet and check your email)

August 25, 2007
by Rich Love

What if you could use your Mac laptop to check your email and get on the Internet wirelessly? Yea sure, you can drive around looking for wireless hotspots, or pay to use the wireless service at Starbucks. But what if you could connect no matter where you are? (as long as you have phone service). That would be great! You could check your email while waiting for your lunch to be served at your favorite restaurant or coffee bar, even if they do not have wireless service.
Well, you can do it using your RAZR V3xx phone and a Mac Powerbook, MacBook or iBook.

You can get on the Internet at fast 3G speeds that are typically 600 kb/s to 950 kb/s .
Open your laptop and get on the Internet. All you have to do is select "Connect" from the Phone Menu on your laptop.
And it is more secure than an open wireless hotspot .
You can also use your phone to make and receive calls while browsing the Internet.

You can use bluetooth 2.0 to make the connection or use a USB cable (more reliable).

You will need:

  • A Powerbook, MacBook or iBook with Mac OS X
  • Bluetooth 2.0 hardware (built-in or using a USB Bluetooth 2.0 Adaptor)
    or USB cable
  • Motorola RAZR V3xx (Other 3G phones may work with this procedure)
  • AT&T MediaNet Plan
  • Ross Barkman's Motorola 3G modem scripts (available here)

 

 

 

 


Two ways to Connect:

1. USB cable

You can use a USB cable to connect your phone to your laptop. This is the most reliable method. After experimenting with bluetooth for a month, I have decided to use a cable instead. I get too many dropped connections using bluetooth with the Motorola V3xx. You may have better luck so I am providing the information for Bluetooth as well. Here is a link for instructions using a cable.

2. Bluetooth

Pairing your Powerbook with your Bluetooth phone.

First, you need to pair your phone with your Powerbook using Bluetooth Preferences. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on in your phone and that Bluetooth is "Discoverable".
Select "Set up Bluetooth Device..." from the Bluetooth Menu on your Powerbook. If this menu is not visible, look in your Application Utilities folder for "Bluetooth Setup Assistant". Follow the instructions for pairing your phone.



NOTE: If you are using a USB 2.0 Bluetooth Adaptor and you have Bluetooth 1.0 built into your Powerbook, do not try to pair the 2.0 adaptor. Your Mac will get about 90% through the pairing process and just hang. Instead, pair your built-in bluetooth 1.0 to the phone. Then just plug in the Bluetooth 2.0 adaptor and it will work, automatically overriding the built-in Bluetooth 1.0

NOTE: If you want to sync your RAZR V3xx using iSync, you need to install a plug-in called RAZRV3xx-phoneplugin-Ver5.zip . You can get the plug-in here.


Belkin USB 2.0 Bluetooth Adaptor plugs into your Powerbook


 

Setting up your Network Preferences

Select System Preferences from the Apple Menu and click on the Network icon.


Click to highlight Bluetooth and then click on the Configure button.

 


With the TCP/IP tab selected, choose "Using PPP" from the Configure IPv4 menu.

 

With the PPP tab highlighted, Enter your account information. The above example works for AT&T Wireless (formerly Cingular) with the MediaNet plan. The password is CINGULAR1. If you are not on the AT&T Wireless plan, ask your carrier what information to enter here.
On Ross Barkman's web site, there is information about many networks and what each uses for account names, passwords, telephone numbers, etc...

 



Uncheck the "Send PPP echo packets" option in PPP Options
to prevent your calls from being dropped intermittently.

With the Bluetooth Modem tab selected, check three boxes:
"Enable error correction and compression in modem"
"Show Bluetooth status in menu bar" and "Show modem status in menu bar"

Choose "Motorola 3G CID2 " from the Modem pop-up menu.

NOTE:
You will need to get the 3G modem scripts from Ross Barkman's site. You should read the instructions with the .sit file, but for the impatient just copy all the files into your Library:Modem Scripts folder.The "Account Name " is what Barkman's page refers to as the User Name. In the Modem pop-up menu, you should be able to find the scripts that you have just installed.

Now you're done. Just hit "Apply Now" and try out your new connection.


Making the Connection

Put a checkmark on "Bluetooth"

Select "Connect" from the Phone Menu at the top of your screen. You are now on the Internet and can check your email or use your browser. You can connect to the Internet anywhere you can use your phone. You can also make and receive calls while connected to the Internet.

A note about Bluetooth 1.0 vs 2.0...
You will need a Mac with Bluetooth 2.0.

The first Powerbook to use Bluetooth 2.0 was the PowerBook G4/1.5 GHz. Powerbooks prior to that used Bluetooth 1.0.
There is a major problem using Bluetooth 1.0 with a 3G cell phone connection. The problem is that you will connect OK but after browsing the internet for a minute or so, you will get disconnected. When you try to re-connect, you will not be able to re-establish a connection. The only way to get a connection again is to reboot your Powerbook. That's not a good thing.
This happens because the speed of Bluetooth 1.0 is approximately 750 kb/s which is not enough to sustain a connection when you get 3G speeds of 950 kb/s and bursts even higher.
If you are in an area where you can only get a EDGE connection, you can use Bluetooth 1.0 with no problem since EDGE is a slower connection (usually below 128 kb/s).

If you don't have bluetooth 2.0 in your Powerbook, you can get a USB Bluetooth adaptor for $20 to $30. It plugs into the USB port on your Powerbook and overrides the built in Bluetooth. I am using the Belkin adaptor.

 

A note about WAP vs ISP Connections...
To use the WAP@CINGULARGPRS account, you need a AT&T MediaNet plan. There are many to choose from but I like the unlimited plan for $19.95 per month. Note that AT&T does not officially support tethered laptops on this plan. They want you to use the more expensive business data plan.
I would not try to use this plan if you are a heavy internet user downloading large files, since a huge amount of data traffic might get their attention.

The data plan is approximately $40 per month for 20 mb of data traffic and $70 per month for unlimited.
When on this plan you use ISPDA@CINGULARGPRS.COM as the account name.

A note about email...
You will need to find out what the SMTP address is for your carrier if you want to use Apple's Mail program to send mail. For Cingular, the address is photo.mycingular.com.
SMTP server information is available at Ross Barkmans GPRS page.
Enter the SMTP address into your Mail program (Preferences / Accounts).
You don't need to worry about the SMTP address if you are using Yahoo Mail or Google Mail.

Other Bluetooth Phone Links...

Using Your Blootooth Phone with Mac iSync and Your BMW

Using MacWise and Your Mac Laptop to Dial Into Your Host Computer with a Bluetooth Phone

 

If you want to sync your RAZR V3xx using iSync, you need to install a plug-in called RAZRV3xx-phoneplugin-Ver5.zip . You can get the plug-in here.

 

Rich Love is President and owner of Carnation Software

 
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