Michael Spacefalcon msokolov at ivan.Harhan.ORG
Mon Jul 7 18:46:59 CEST 2014

David wrote:

> Is a GTA02 debug board any use to you? I'd be happy to mail it to you if so.

I already have one. :)

> Excellent - I'm glad you decided to continue.

Yes, I am continuing for the time being, finances etc permitting.

> From what I've seen and heard of the UK supplier 3 (the only 3G only network
> here AFAIK), it's reasonable to think 2G is going to still be around for a
> good long while, at least in some parts of the world.

The 2G service provided by Operator 310260 in my part of the world is
still working OK for now too.

It is really a race: we need to get our Free Dumb Phone working in an
end-user-usable state a year or two before 2G services shut down.  If
Operator 310260 starts shutting down its 2G services when we have a
few hundred (or maybe even a thousand) users with our totally free
phones, they might think twice about losing that many customers, and
could perhaps be convinced to keep a tiny sliver of 2G capacity around
for this segment of their customer base - and if not, if they do shut
their 2G down despite all of our pleas, if we have a thousand users in
our camp, we may be able to pull enough of our own resources together
to set up our own operational 2G network to replace the ones taken
away from us by the mega-carriers.

> In the hope of the project advancing to this stage, I'm interested in picking
> up a dumbphone before I return to SA. Is the C139 the best bet?

It appears to be, as of this moment, subject to change as the project

> I notice that osmocomBB says the C140 is virtually identical to this model.

Yes, C139 and C140 appear to be exactly the same - I have yet to figure
out what the difference is, if any.  I usually say C139 because to the
best of my knowledge, all units with NA bands are C139s, whereas EMEA
band units have been observed with both C139 and C140 branding.

Please note that all C1xx phones are single-region, i.e., either EMEA
only (900+1800 MHz) or NA only (1900+850 MHz).  That's the downside of
these models compared to the triband GTA02 and Pirelli phones.

> What about the other phones oBB list as targets - is it reasonable to hope
> they will usably run freecalypso?

All other targets listed by OsmocomBB are Compal family members.  FC
already runs on the C139/140 and C155/156 subfamilies - these two and
not others because these two are the ones of potential use to me and
my family operating in the USA-occupied territories.  Getting it to
run on other Compal variants goes along the lines of "we'll add support
for model X as soon as at least one user actually needs it".

> I'm guessing though that the gui code might be substantially model specific?

Yes, the UI hardware in general (not just the LCD as implied by your
reference to "gui", but also parts like the ringtone generator) is the
stuff that varies more widely from model to model.  In particular, FC
support for C155/156 may remain a toy, rather than practically usable,
because these models have a ringtone generator chip for which we have
no docs.  OTOH, C139/140 use a piezo buzzer driven directly by the
Calypso, no extra chip.

My advice here is simple: for as long as C139/140 (which variant is
right for your part of the world, in terms of freq bands) are still
available, just grab one to make things easier.  If you can't get this
model, but some other is still available, then let's revisit the issue
at that time.

Of course the ultimate solution is for us to build our own FC phones,
and I already made a start down that path - but my current game plan
is to finish the software part, and then resume the hardware project.


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