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Vaio P Wireless 802.11b/g/n WiFi, WWAN, GPS, and Bluetooth

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2009, 05:02 PM
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tnkgrl tnkgrl is offline
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Default How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

How to switch the Sony VAIO P WWAN radio from EVDO-only with Verizon to unlocked HSDPA/EDGE by hacking some software and soldering a $1 part!

All pictures for this post are here. This is a live document so come back for updates...


1) Software:

This mod is for Windows XP.

You should be familiar with tinkering in Windows - you do this at your own risk.

You should have already successfully downgraded to Windows XP and your WWAN radio and GPS should already be working.

The steps should be similar for Windows Vista - please try and report back here.

Prepare VZAccess Manager:
- Turn ON the WWAN radio using the SmartWi software
- Run VZAccess Manager at least once (no need to activate with Verizon)
- Quit VZAccess Manager
- Edit the registry and delete the key "\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Smith Micro"
- Navigate to "C:\Program Files\Verizon Wireless\VZAccess Manager Sony"
- Rename the "System" folder (I renamed it "~System")
- Rename the "config.ini" file (I renamed it "~config.ini")
- Rename all "mdm*.inf" files (I renamed them "~mdm*.inf")

Prepare the firmware image:
- Turn OFF the WWAN radio using the SmartWi software
- Navigate to "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\QUALCOMM\QDLService"
- Edit the file "Options.txt" to contain:

C:\QUALCOMM\QDLService\Packages\5\AMSS.mbn
C:\QUALCOMM\QDLService\Packages\5\Apps.mbn

- Save the file "Options.txt"
- Right-click on the file "Options.txt"
- Select Properties (menu item), then Security (tab)
- Select "Everyone"
- UNCHECK the "write" checkbox under "allow" and click [OK]

Load the firmware image:
- Go into Windows services and restart the "Qualcomm Gobi Download Service"
- Turn on the WWAN radio using the SmartWi software
- Run VZAccess Manager
- Follow the wizard
- You should eventually be prompted to insert a Verizon/Vodafone SIM

Congratulations, you have just fooled VZAccess Manager into loading a firmware image supplied by Qualcomm to switch the WWAN radio from EVDO-only to unlocked HSDPA/EDGE!

Now you need a place to insert your SIM, hence the $1 part...


2) Hardware:

This mod is for the Sony VAIO P, US versions (VGN-P530*).

You should be familiar with taking notebooks apart and precision soldering - you do this at your own risk.

This model is one of the first notebooks to feature a WWAN radio (Gobi module) that supports both CDMA and GSM/UMTS.

Some other models (some Asian versions) are missing the mini-PCIe connector, WWAN radio, and the SIM holder. Some models (some European version) already have the mini-PCIe connector, WWAN radio, and the SIM holder.

Crack it open:
- Protect the screen and the top cover with cling wrap
- Remove 2 screws under the battery and 2 screws under the silver pads on the keyboard (front corners)
- Carefully slide the keyboard away from the screen and disconnect the trackstick and keyboard ribbon cables
- Remove 7 screws under the keyboard and 4 screws holding the screen hinges (some screws are under adhesive tape)
- Carefully remove the bottom cover (lookout for plastic tabs) and discard the SIM cover

Install the SIM holder (I used an 8-pin SIMS60 from Major League Electronics, but the 6-pin one should also work):
- Fold the white ribbon cable out of the way
- Remove the black film from the middle circuit board
- Remove all alignment tabs from the plastic base of the SIM holder
- Carefully solder the SIM holder (6 pins)
- Carefully solder the metal cover of the SIM holder to the ground plane (structural)

Test the SIM holder:
- Insert a SIM
- Turn on the WWAN radio using the SmartWi software
- Run VZAccess Manager
- You should see your carrier logo in the bottom corner

Put it back together (beware, the trackstick and keyboard ribbon cables are tricky).

Now it's showtime


3) Configure VZAccess Manager:

You should be using a SIM with a valid data plan from your carrier.

For "Network Selection" in the "Tools" menu:
- Set "Network Mode" to "Global" or better yet, "GSM"
- Set "Network Selection" to "Auto"

For "Mobile Operator" in the "Tools" menu:
- Unckeck "Automatically detect my mobile operator"

For "Preferred Service" in the "Tools" menu:
- Set to "Auto"

Select "Add Connection" in the "Tools" menu:
- Pick an account name
- Enter the APN (depends on your carrier, "wap.cingular" for AT&T MEdia Net)
- Enter the user name and password (optional, depends on your carrier, "WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM" and "CINGULAR1" for AT&T MEdia Net)

Optional, for "Preferences" in the "Tools" menu:
- Unckeck "Do not prompt for user name and password"

You're done... Click [Connect] and celebrate!

Enjoy unlocked quad-band GSM/GPRS/EGDE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA

Last edited by tnkgrl; 02-13-2009 at 12:48 PM. Reason: added Vaio P to title
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2009, 06:45 PM
bluemonq bluemonq is offline
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Default Re: How to: HSDPA mod

Nice! It goes without saying that you'll be voiding your warranty with this
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2009, 07:37 PM
outie outie is offline
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Default Re: How to: HSDPA mod

Wow major props to you. However I'd rather stick with tethering with my phone since swapping sim card is not a very viable option for me.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2009, 11:39 PM
marcoma marcoma is offline
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Default Re: How to: HSDPA mod

First of all: THANK YOU!

Second... I wonder if the software part would be that different in Windows 7... I got the Verizon manager to work while in the US on Win7 and went all the way to the sign up page from Verizon, but didn't press the button (since I am currently not living in the US)... so with the Verizon manager working on the new OS, I'd think the Registry settings should be the same...

If I can get myself convinced of a steady-enough hand to do the soldering, I might give this one a go... otherwise, if someone offers their service (for a fee) to take over the HW part of this mod, I'm happy to be the first customer :-)
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2009, 01:50 AM
marcoma marcoma is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

Actually - while someone opens their P - please check on the clock-generator so we can see if setfsb.exe will do the trick... pretty please??? :-)
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:31 AM
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GeoffreyM GeoffreyM is offline
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Default Re: How to: HSDPA mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoma View Post
First of all: THANK YOU!

Second... I wonder if the software part would be that different in Windows 7... I got the Verizon manager to work while in the US on Win7 and went all the way to the sign up page from Verizon, but didn't press the button (since I am currently not living in the US)... so with the Verizon manager working on the new OS, I'd think the Registry settings should be the same...

If I can get myself convinced of a steady-enough hand to do the soldering, I might give this one a go... otherwise, if someone offers their service (for a fee) to take over the HW part of this mod, I'm happy to be the first customer :-)
I found that Windows 7 doesn't work yet with the Vaio P's Verizon 3G. I wrote about this in another thread--I got some kind of error after hitting connect. Research on the web showed that some people had to update VZAccess Manager to get it to work with 7, but Verizon doesn't even list the P and the version on the P is newer than any other on their site, as well as specific to it. I'm sure we'll see support soon.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:59 AM
marcoma marcoma is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

hmmm... I'm fairly sure that when I got to the Verizon sign-up page the bits came through the WWAN connection as I turned everything off - and it said connected on the Access Manager... I never had anything on the machine running but Windows 7 either, so it had to be that OS... but since I didn't sign up for the service (it was very much like those sign-up pages for Wifi-hotspots - I couldn't browse anywhere but there), I assume the problem you had is because maybe the connection software sends a string at initiation that the Verizon server can't interpret and in turn just 'hangs up'... ?

Which would give me hope that the HSDPA connection would work as we're then talking about a different carrier / implementation on their end :-)

I know... I'm an optimist...
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2009, 08:14 AM
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GeoffreyM GeoffreyM is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

It's difficult to know. Searching found people with Windows 7 solving their issues by updating the software. That wasn't an option for me.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2009, 10:11 AM
bluemonq bluemonq is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

Looks like AndyG figured out how to get a GSM connection working in Windows 7. It's from a European P, but it's still worth a shot if you do the hack in the US.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
Ok good news, I got it working by using a Windows dial up connection instead of using the Globetrotter software (i.e. *99# as the "phone number" with my network provider's APN user name and password).
http://forum.pocketables.net/showthr...?t=1721&page=5
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2009, 10:34 AM
crazy-88 crazy-88 is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

@tnkgrl

Thankyou very much for the sim tutorial. I have a question. I called that company that sell those push sim connectors. Their saying i have to buy a bulk of thease in order to get them. THat bulk is 1,000 peaces. and their a dollar each. So have to spend $1,000 just to get thease. Did you really have to buy that much just to get one? if you did not can you refer to a site that doesnt sell them by the bulk. Or if you have some can you sell me one i'd be happy to pay for the shipping and whatever else.... Thankyou...
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:48 AM
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tnkgrl tnkgrl is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

@crazy-88

Ask for some free samples.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2009, 11:11 AM
crazy-88 crazy-88 is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

Thankyou i will try that right now.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2009, 02:47 PM
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Jenn Jenn is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

Fantastic work, tnkgrl! Thanks for the how-to and all the great pics.

Anyone with Vista give this a try yet?
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2009, 03:40 PM
leletyM3 leletyM3 is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

I am happy with tethering my P with my phone via USB or Bluetooth but this mod on the P is fantastic! THank you for this nice write up, in the long run I really want this option on my P series....

Great work again!!!!
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2009, 05:42 PM
cmw cmw is offline
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Default Re: How to: Vaio P HSDPA mod

It worked! i soldered in the sim connector and booted up and i was able to use my 3g at&t sim to connect. Great hack thanks
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