Modding the Acer Aspire One – HSDPA

October 28, 2008

Welcome to part 3 of a multi-part post on moddng the Acer Aspire One!

In part 1, I showed how to take the Aspire One apart, how to upgrade the RAM, and how to add internal Bluetooth. In part 2, I showed how to replace the SSD with a 1.8″ PATA hard drive and how to reassemble the Aspire One…

In this part, I demonstrate how to add internal 3G to the Aspire One (specifically HSDPA). Here’s another video and additional pictures that cover the process – enjoy :)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Vulcan Flipstart HSDPA mod

June 6, 2008

Recently, a member of handtops.com (where I’m a moderator) lent me his Vulcan FlipStart and Fujitsu LifeBook U810 for me play with!

Last year I published an HSDPA mod for the OQO Model 02. Today I bring you an HSDPA mod for the Vulcan FlipStart :)

This time, instead of taking pictures, I decided to stream live video:
Part 1 covers disassembling the FlipStart and replacing EVDO with HSDPA
Part 2 covers reassembling the FlipStart and testing the result

I used the mini-PCIe card from my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U together with the Sierra Wireless 3G Watcher.

Other than my connection (apparently) getting throttled by AT&T, everything ended up working pretty well…

I’d like to publicly thank the intrepid member of handtops.com who lent me both devices!


Cradlepoint PHS300 review

May 31, 2008

A few months ago I wrote about rocking a router in my pocket by running JoikuSpot to share HSDPA over WiFi on my Nokia N95-3

This solution works well enough, but only provides minimal control over routing and wireless setup. Furthermore, WiFi range is limited and battery drain is significant.

Enter the Cradlepoint PHS300, a battery/AC powered, pocketable, mobile wireless router designed to interface with a variety of USB 3G modems and phones.

The PHS300 is a black box resembling a 2.5″ hard drive enclosure, and is equipped with a USB port, a power connector, and power switch. The top features 3 status LEDs (power, 3G, & WiFi) and the bottom hides a Li-ion battery behind a removable cover (see my unboxing pictures).

Initial setup was as simple as inserting my AT&T SIM (MEdia Net data plan) into my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U modem, plugging it into the USB port, and turning on the PSH300.

Within seconds, all 3 LEDs turned green and an additional WiFi network appeared. After connecting my computer to this WiFi network and opening my web browser, I was greeted with a login screen.

Once logged in (using the last 6 digits of the MAC address assigned to the PHS300), the web interface is similar to the one featured on most modern cable/DSL wireless routers. So I personalized the configuration, and I was immediately impressed with the routing features offered by the PHS300.

You see, before this review, I was thinking: “Why bother with a dedicated mobile wireless router when there’s software like JoikuSpot and WMWifiRouter?” Well now I know :)

The PHS300 supports PPP, DHCP, NAT with SPI, SSID enable/disable, Internet access control (services, URL, & MAC), 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK, UPnP, multiple and concurrent VPN pass-through sessions (IPSEC, L2TP, & PPTP)… Hmmm, that’s quite a mouthful!

Performance and stability are top notch. Battery life is about 2 hours, as advertised.

Of course, all this flexibility comes at a cost. The PHS300 is larger and heavier than most mobile devices, and still requires a 3G modem or phone to function. Together with my Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U, it makes for quite a bulky and unwieldy monster beast :)

So, what’s the verdict?

If you need basic mobile routing for personal use, or a truly pocketable solution, I suggest you pick software like JoikuSpot (especially if you own a compatible smartphone).

But if you need advanced mobile routing for a small group, or emergency routing for a small business. I highly recommend the PHS300.


Tasty bits – 35 (holidays edition)

January 7, 2008

Happy new year :)

Here’s last month’s tasty bits, a little behind once again! I’ve decided to stop numbering the column hereafter…

JKK added HSDPA to the Asus 701 (Eee) – I’m working on a similar mod using a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U HSDPA modem…

Also I’ve started using Qik to stream live video with my Nokia N95!

I’m keeping an eye on all the CES madness this week and I’ll be at Macworld next week, so stay tuned :)

Asus 701 (Eee):
WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
How to add internal 3G HSDPA to Asus Eee PC
How to add touch panel to Asus Eee Pc
It’s official: upgrading the Asus Eee PC memory keeps warranty intact
eeeXubuntu: Ubuntu distilled for your Eee
Ubuntu on the Asus Eee PC: Part 1 (or How to run a functional Ubuntu install off a USB drive)

Nokia N810:
Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
Canola2 Now Out!

Nokia N95:
Nokia N95-3 Finally Gets an Update to v 11.2.009
The N95 classic hits v20 firmware
The N95’s camera quality? It just got better…
Hands-on with the Nokia N95 8GB for North America!

Nokia N82:
Nokia N82: impressions after a week…
Nokia N82 hands-on
Nokia N82 preview: First look
Nokia N95, N95 8 GB and N82: The evolution of the multimedia computer

More Nokia:
Cellphones: Alleged Nokia N96 Spy Shots Look Yummypianoblacklicious
New Slider: Nokia’s Patent Reveals Innovative Six- or Eight- Megapixel Slider Phone
Video streaming from your phone QIK-ly, as in: instantly
All About N-Gage – Totally CONFIRMED Star Wars N-Gage Video
emTube – YouTube client for S60 phones
Nokia Internet Radio
Clarification: Upcoming Nokia IS a QWERTY Nseries

Apple iPhone:
Breaking: iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps
How to Install Applications on iPhone 1.1.2 (Video Tutorial)
Syphon lets you save iPhone text messages
Control Pro Tools with your iPhone
Apple doesn’t give us MMS on the iPhone, so the community does
iPhone gets video recording capabilities
Not all is lost: partfoundry developing GPS module for iPhone
Fixing YouTube on your Jailbroken iPhone
Mobile Safari plug-in downloads files to your iPhone/iPod touch
Apple relents, sanctions custom ringtones!

OQO Model 02:
OQO Announces model e2 with Built-In HSDPA Mobile Broadband Capability
OQO does WiMax and 64GB SSDs

Neonode N2:
Neonode N2 officially coming to the US
Review of the unique Neonode N2 multimedia phone

BlackBerry 9000 (aka. BlackBerry 8xxx):
BlackBerry 9000 specs revealed, our early Christmas present to you
BlackBerry 8xxx hails from Rogers!
BlackBerry 9000 series spy shot revealed?

Samsung:
Hands-on with the Samsung G800
Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani
Samsung’s P720, F490 make their video debut

Other:
Google Maps for Mobiles shows your location, even without GPS
Verizon Wireless will open network for non-Verizon devices, services
Photo of the Sony Ericsson P5i Leaked
Wibrain’s B1 UMPC gets showcased on video – Engadget
Hands-on with the LG KU990 Viewty
A teaser shot of Motorola’s 5 megapixel multimedia maven?