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PowerBook owner reports on SprintPCS/Novatel wireless net accessReturn to News Page

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Sprint PCS/Novatel PCcard Setup Guides/Feedback
Posted: 4/17/2003 (OS 9 user report)
Last Updated: 4/21/2005 (OS X user guides)

(from the 4/21/2005 news page)

" Last week, we got Novatel v620 working with PowerBooks. This week, we added directions for the new Kyocera KPC 650 and the Sierra AirCard 580. Also, since the steps involve patching files via the Terminal, we also built simple installers to do these steps for those not comfortable with the Terminal app. All EVDO cards that ship from Verizon can now be used on a PowerBook. The one card that Sprint uses for their upcoming EVDO (AC580) can also now be used.
- Mike "

(older info from 2004 and 2003 follow)

There's been several news stories at the main site (since 2003) from readers using Sprint/Novatel PCcards/phones for wireless Net access. Here's two of the more detailed ones (most recent first)

(added 8/27/2004)
"I just finished getting my Novatel C201 card to work on my Powerbook 17" w/ OS 10.3.5 and I thought I would pass along some clarifying instructions. The instructions on your site got me started, but I had to rely on other web sites to finish the job.

To get it working on my system, I had to perform the following:

  1. First I had to replace my Qualcomm-based PCS 3200 card with a Novatel C201 card as the 3200 only worked in a PC, not a Mac. The Sierra Wireless AirCard 550 supposedly also works with OS X.

  2. Activate the Novatel C201 card in a PC

  3. Insert the Novatel card in the PC Card slot on your Powerbook (15" or 17", no slot on 12") and OS X should pop up a message that a new serial card is recognized (mine was called pccard-serial)

  4. Go to System Preferences, Network, and create a new location (e.g. SprintPCS or whatever)

  5. You'll need to modify the PPP and Modem settings under the pccard-serial device.

  6. Under PPP, the account name is your full email address for your wireless data account (e.g. youremail@sprintpcs.com)

  7. Password is the password you use to access your account on the www.sprintpcs.com/mypcs site (one reader mentioned last 4 digits of social security, but I'm not sure that works)

  8. Telephone number should be #777 (one reader mentioned #444, but I couldn't get that to work).

  9. Under Modem, choose the Sprint PCS Vision modem from the list of modems

  10. Uncheck the option, "Wait for Dial Tone before Dialing".

  11. Go back to the PPP tab, and click apply now, then click Dial Now.

  12. To end your session, go back to System Preferences, Network, and click on the Disconnect button. Then you can go to the PC Card icon on the top right hand of the screen, click on this icon and then choose "Power off Card" before removing your Novatel card.

Hope this helps other Sprint/Mac users!
Cheers, Dave"

(Earier report from an OS 9 user last year follows)

Buzz McBragg sent a long email with his experience connecting to Sprint's 3G Vision network using OS 9.

" Mike,
Your recent articles (several news page items from the last few weeks - see below for links-Mike) on people connecting their mac laptops to Sprint's 3G Vision network sparked a glimmer of hope for me. I've been able to connect (albeit slowly) with my Pismo to Sprint's 2G Wireless Web network using the Sanyo (4700) phone-to-serial cable and a Belkin serial-to-USB adapter, where the usage comes out of the plan's bucket of minutes. I switched our 3 phones to Sprint's Vision plan a while back, in hopes that I would eventually be able to connect at 3G speeds.

To get the Vision plan, the main phone had to be Vision capable, and was upgraded to a Sanyo 4900. A couple of days ago, I was at Fry's, and they had the FutureDial Sanyo 4900/5300 USB cable, which was too tempting to resist. That night, I searched the web as best I could, trying to find out about OS 9 connectivity on 3G; drivers, software, etc., though everything kept coming up for OS X.

One of the articles I stumbled on said something about a driver not being needed for the user to get his setup to work in OS X, so I (temporarily) gave up trying to find an OS 9 driver, and hooked up the phone and cable to my Pismo, and was quite happily surprised to find "USB Modem 11" as a Modem settings port option. The "Sprint PCS Phone" was already in the Modem Scripts list from before, so I left it selected, though others for OS X had suggested using the "Null Modem 115200" script. I used "web" for both user and password, and set the dial number to #777 (which translates to "PPP") in Remote Access, and turned off header compression in the advanced options settings, hit the connect button and was surfing on 3G from a mac laptop under OS 9!

I built out a 3G Location Manager profile, and as long as I remember to disable sleep mode on the phone, it works great, and it is at least twice as fast as the internal 56K modem, and infinitely more convenient. Also, many of the reports I found for OS X stated it took a long time to connect, though I've now tried it several times the last couple of days, and while it's not as fast as instant broadband, it's way faster than dial up, and actually only takes a few seconds to get online.
Buzz McBragg "

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