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Infrared connectivity: PalmPilot and Ericsson Mobile phones

Some Ericsson mobile phones are equiped or can be equiped with an Infrared port.

Most PalmPilot, Sony and HandSpring organizers also have an infrared port.

The PalmPilot (read: PalmOS based organizers) can access the mobile phone for:

  • Synchronising the Addressbook of both the PalmPilot and the Ericsson mobile phone

  • Send/Receive SMS messages

  • Send/Receive e-mail

  • Access the internet (either HTML or WAP based)

On accessing the Internet: Proxiweb used to offer a proxy that converts web-content to a mini HTML version, unfortunally that stopped offering this service.

SMS - Wireless messaging ...

Page overview

Supported equipment

Note: Ericsson, currently offering mobile phones in the Sony-Ericsson venture, keeps producing new models. For all models either an infrared is buildin or an additional module can be added to get infrared.

Note: ALL PalmPilot, Sony and Handspring models carry infrared now a days and are not mentioned in this list any more.

buildin infrared
buildin infrared

buildin infrared


infrared module DI28


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


infrared module DI27


buildin infrared

Most new Sony-Ericsson phones come with infrared or the capability to add infrared.





infrared/memory upgrade module


infrared/memory upgrade module


build in infrared


build in infrared


build in infrared


build in infrared


build in infrared

All new PalmPilot and Sony models come with infrared.




build in infrared

Visor deluxe

build in infrared

All new Handspring models come with infrared.

(for the lastest information, visit www.sonyericsson.com, www.gsmtool.com or www.gsmtool.de)

In order to get communication going, you'll have to install additional software on the PalmPilot.

Software for the PalmPilot

The old and obsolete solution

Owners of the older PalmPilots (with Operating System version < 3.3) should visit the PalmPilot website in order to get an Operating System upgrade.

Alternatively you can download the old software written by Martin Renschler at this location. Note that ALL the PRC files in this ZIP file must be installed on the PalmPilot.

Note that this is the OLD software and not all models are supported by this software, however for the older non-upgradable PalmPilots this might be the only solution to get things going. DI27.PRC is freeware.

Using GSMTOOL, the better solution

Owners of a more recent equipment (OS > 3.2) need the new GSMTOOL also written by Martin Renschler, downloadable at PalmGear.

This program (GSMTOOL.PRC) is shareware and can be tested for a trial period of 30 days. Registering for the full version costs $20 which can be done at the PalmGear website.

Note that this software supports all the Ericsson models mentioned!
DI27.PRC (the old software) for example does not support the T28.

Installing GSMTool

Installation of the GSMTool is rather simple.

1. Unzip the zip file using WinZip or ZipMagic.

2. Double click the file GSMTOOL.PRC, the following window will appear. Click "Add" to complete.

3. Put the PalmPilot, Sony Clieop or HandSpring Visor in the synchronisation craddle and press the "Sync" button. GSMTool will now be installed on your PalmPilot.

Once synchronisation is completed, start the PalmPilot and go to "Application" and look for "GSMtool". Tap the icon once.

The GSMTool will first (if you are using the trail version) notify you about the shareware condition, tap "OK" to continue.

GSMTool: Settings

It's now time to complete the settings of GSMTool.

Note: only changed fields are mentioned here !

The sample data is based on my personal mobile phone, using Telford as a provider. I live in the Netherlands (+31) and in the Netherlands GSM numbers start with "06".

First screen - Sync Preferences:

country code international dial prefix
Pilot area code Area code used by PalmPilot
Mobile area code Area code used by your mobile phone
Keep 0 of area code This will keep the leading zero alive if required

Select "Done" when finished entering data on this screen.

Second screen - SMS Preferences:

SMS Center SMS relay number of your provider (SMCS) +31626000230

Make sure "IrDA connection to phone" is checked.
Select "Done" to continue to the next screen.

Final screen:

In this screen you can use the "MENU" button of your PalmPilot to start GSM related activities.
For example:

- Dial
- Manual Dial
- Sync Address Book
- SMS Mailbox
- SMS Send
- SMS Receive All
- SMS Receive New

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

For solving the most common problems, also visit the FAQ or take a look at these FAQ's which I copied from the original.

Note: Some mobile providers require you to activate a data-number in order to (for example) Internet via GSM !!! For example the Dutch provider Telfort !!!

Which models are supported?

GSMtool works with phones that have a built in modem supporting GSM AT-commands.
It has been tested with Ericsson's DI27 or DI28 IrDA snap on modem for the phones T68, T39, T18s, T28s, A1018s, S868, GF788, CF788, GF788c, CF768, CF688, PF768, GF788e, CA638, GF768, GF768c, GH688, GA628. The R320, SH888 and I888 are also supported. They don't need an external modem (IrDA modem is built-in).

Why doesn't it work with Nokia and other brands?

GSMtool currently does not support Nokia or other non-Ericsson phones due to the different AT command set.

GSMtool cannot establish a connection to my mobile phone, but other programs can, e.g. internet network dial in.

Since GSMtool does not make a full reset to the modem function in the phone to save time, it can happen that other programs spoil the modem settings. Since GSMtool does not build up an external connection, it doesn't care so much, but some programs are nasty and turn the Echo of Commands off. Then GSMtool thinks, the phone is dead. To get going again, you can switch off the phone in order to reset the modem functionality in it, or if provided, you can disable the IrDA reception and enable it again. If this is a problem and you can't wait for my next published relase, send me a mail (m.r@mail.com) and I will send you an intermediate version which switches Echo on before every command.

I want to acess the Internet with my GSM phone. What do I need?

The Pilot has everything built-in to access the Internet on IP level (basic ability to send and receive packets over the Internet) over a modem, connected to it's serial port (cradle connection). To connect the Pilot with your mobile phone via Infrared, you need to update to Palm OS 3.3 or the following additional software: The enhanced IrDA driver from 3COM (see below). You don't really need commercial software like IrLink, they add only convenience functions. To try out this basic ability to connect to the internet, go to the Modem and Network preferences and enter the necessary parameters about your mobile phone and your Internet access and try to connect from the Network preferneces dialog. If you don't know how to set the parameters, ask 3COM, your mobile phone shop or your Internet Service Provider.

What for do I need the GSMtool program then?

With GSMtool, you can send and receive Short Messages (SMS) and you can synchronise the phone book of your Pilot with the phone book of your mobile phone. These functions do not use the Internet, the Pilot talks directly to the phone. For SMS, the phone itself connects directly to a Sort Message Service Center via GSM internal messages. You do not need to enter any parameter in the modem or network preferences of the Pilot to get GSMtool working.

When I try to connect to the Internet, nothing happens on the phone and I get error messages on the Pilot.

If you don't have Palm OS 3.3 or newer, you have to tell the Pilot, that you want to use the Infrared connector instead of the serial cradle port. Look into the Pilot's preferences. There is a Serial/IR dialog where you can do this switch. You have to switch back to cradle in order to sync to your PC afterwards.

Can I read and write E-mail with GSMtool?

GSMtool only helps you to send and receive SMS messages. There are E-Mail Gateways in the mobile networks which translate SMS messages to E-mails and vice versa. Ask your operator about these Gateways. If you want to directly access your Internet E-mail account from the Pilot, you need to install POP3 or IMAP mail clients on your Pilot. Look at e.g. www.pilotgear.com for those programs.

Why can't I use the mail software that is built into the Pilot to access my Internet E-mail account?

Yes, you can, but not directly. The concept is that you sync remotely to your PC via modem (of course, this is also possible with your GSM mobile phone) and exchange mails with your PC. It is the PCs task to exchange mail with the Internet automatically in your absence.

What do I have to download and install GSMtool?

Pre OS 3.3:
Pilot's update 3.02
Pilot's enhaced IrDA driver
The GSMtool.prc program.

Any Pilot with OS 3.3 or better:
Only install the GSMtool.prc program. Make sure, you don't have the old enhanced IrDA driver from the older OS installed. When you upgrade, these files are not deleted automatically. Since some of the files load automatically, they are locked, so you cannot delete them. Hold the "up" key and at the same time press the reset button on the back side of the pilot. Then you are able to delete those files. Press reset button again without "up" key pressed when you are done.

I installed the required software, but GSMtool just reports error messages when accessing the mobile phone.

1. You have to press the reset button on the back of the pilot after installing the IrDA libraries (pre OS 3.3). No data is lost on the Pilot.

2. You have to enable the Infrared Port on your mobile phone (not necessary with Ericsson phones using the snap-on DI27 or DI28 Infrared Modem).

3. Make sure the infrared "eyes" see each other in one straight line.

I get error 1281 when accessing the phone. What's wrong?

The Infrared connection is not working. Are you holding the Pilot too close to the phone? (try 30 cm). Is Infrared enabled on the phone? Is the battery of your Pilot weak (<30%)?

I get an error "Error received instead of OK..." when syncing the phone book.

The phone refuses to store the name. It is too long. Usually, the problem is related to some SIM cards which allow only very short names, e.g. 10 characters. Store the numbers in the phone memory instead of the SIM card (tap on the right most column in step 3) or shorten the field lengths in the preferences. Also, some special characters in names are causing problems, e.g. '@', '', or '"'.

When I try to send an SMS message, I get CSM ERROR 300 in the status line or the status line is full of funny numbers, or the status line just shows ERROR.

The mobile phone was not able to send the message to the Sort Message Service Center (SMSC) or the mobile phone rejected the message. Possible reasons are:

You have entered a wrong SMSC number in the preferences or you have included e.g. a space or a dash in the number.

You have entered a wrong mobile phone number as receiver or you have included e.g. a space or dash in the destination number.

You are not authorised to use the configured SMSC for the entered destination number. Please note that not all SMS centers allow to cross the operator's boundry, e.g. to send an SMS from the network you are roaming in to the home network of the receiver. Also some SMS Centers are blocked, so it might not be possible to use your home SMS Center while roaming abroad. You might have to enter the SMS Center number of the local operator. Please look at SMSC list.

You don't have a good radio connection (weak signal strength).
The SMS service is temporarily out of order, or the connection to the server at the operator's network is not working. Change the operator if abroad or use another SMSC number, or try 20 minutes later.

GSMtool reports "message sent", but nothing happens on the phone.

You won't see anything on the phone, but the message has still left the phone. This is normal.

GSMtool reports "message sent", but the message does not arrive at the destination.

Be patient. Sometimes, SMS messages take several hours to be transferred in the operator's network.
Maybe you are not authorised for the SMS Center and the Center silently dropped the message. I can't confirm this behaviour, maybe the ones reporting this problem did not wait long enough.

Can I get a receipt report as soon as the message has reached it's destination?

Not yet supported automatically, but it is on the wish list. Some SMS Centers support a receipt report generation if you start the message with a special character sequence, e.g. "*N#".

I specified a field to be of length e.g. 1, but still more characters of this field are copied to the name.

GSMtool tries to use the available memory per name as much as possible. GSMtool assumes that the sum of all field length that you entered plus the sum of all separators is the available memory per name.
The field lengths in the preferences should be interpreted as:
If the combined name, composed out of the different fields is longer than allowed, how long should then the different parts be?

If the building rule, you configured, leads to a name entry which is not using the whole memory, GSMtool uses longer parts of the different fields.

Blanks are removed from name fields when syncing the phone book. Can I switch this off?

Not yet, this option is on the wish list.

When I enter a search string, the phone numer list does not immediately scroll to the right entry. I have to enter a lot of characters until I see the entry.

GSMtool searches on all fields, even in the notes. You can speed up the search, if you start your search string with a capital letter (default since version 1.22). Then the search string is only matched against the very beginning of a field.

In the SMS send dialog, the lookup function does not show any numbers.

Only numbers of type "mobile" and "fax" are shown in this lookup dialog.

Though, I installed GSMtool only today, the 30 day trial period has already expired.

Did you change the date of the pilot to some future date and back again? Oops, send me a mail and I will send you a special version giving you another chance to try GSMtool.



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