CDMA antenna issue

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:17
ThreadID: 29611 Views:1594 Replies:12 FollowUps:15
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Hi all,

I have just fitted a car kit for my Nokia CDMA phone, and the kit appears to have no effect on gaining an increased signal. I have an RFI CDMA antenna mounted on the back of my ute, and have had plenty of experience fitting UHF radios, so I don't believe I have done anything 'stupid'.

I'm wondering if other people with an external antenna have noticed a difference. The kit is a standard Nokia item, and the antenna is not amplified, rather it just picks up the feed from the phone thru proximity. Seems odd not to be amplified.

Any help will be much appreciated,

Thanks

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:41

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:41
I have a car kit for my Nokia CDMA phone and I am positive that it gives far greater reception than without it.

I find it great travelling along most highways and even if just passing through a town the range tells me I am approaching town and gives time to organise and send calls.

SMS seems to work well as it seems it doesn't need much of signal to work.

The external antenna seems to increase range. No difference if in the middle of town except it makes it legal to answer the phone.

Had mine for a while now so I might be fooling myself as coverage is getting better I hope. (CDMA works in Boulia)
AnswerID: 148060

Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:53

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 15:53
I have the same set up except that the aerial is on my bull bar . Even though often I cannot see a difference in the bars showing on the phone when it is in or out of the cradle , I have noticed that in really marginal areas ( one or no bars ) the phone will often work in the cradle , but not out of it .
I don't think I am imagining it and yet it is not something that I can quantify .
Cheers ,
Willie .
AnswerID: 148063

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:32

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:32
trolute,

You haven't said how the external aerial connects to the phone.

Unless you have an aerial connector on the phone/cradle you need a phone coupler that sits behind the phone cradle and re-radiates the signal from the phone's internal aerial.

Although Nokia doesn't list a coupler for the CDMA phone, they definitely work.
Just buy one suitable for a GSM phone and it will work with the CDMA one.

Bill


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AnswerID: 148079

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:45

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:45
I agree with Sand Man. I have a Nokia 6225 with full car kit and when in the garage (roller door down - double brick walls and concrete roof) I get 1/7 bar signal strength. Put the phone in the cradle and it goes to 6/7 bar strength.

Cheers

Captain
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FollowupID: 401342

Follow Up By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:58

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 16:58
Hey Captain,I purchased a 6225 CDMA phone with full car kit and external aerial coupler,wired it all up and hey presto,nothen,no differance with bar strength.Checked out to make sure everything was right then got on the web to check out phone and right at the bottom of the page it states that this phone isnt compatable with external aerials.wired back in my old kit for 6385 and was back to full strength signal.
Am I missing something with these phones.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 17:08

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 17:08
Hi Nick,

I got my 6225 right when they were released, had it ordered prior to release. At that time they stated on the website about the proximity coupler was available for it thus I bought the lot and installed it. A few months later I heard Nokia had removed it from their website, don't know if they changed anything inside the phone or whether people had different levels of success with it.

My experience has been a noticeable increase in bar strength if in a low signal area. In fact, it outperformed my mates older CDMA Nokia with plug in antenae. I had some ~20 kms greater range (approx 90-100 kms south east of Coolgardie). Given I can get ranges >100km from a base station, I am more than happy with its performance. Does lead me to think Nokia have changed something inside the phone on later models ???

Cheers

Captain

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FollowupID: 401351

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 19:33

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 19:33
Very interesting Cap'n. I've got the 6225 with the Nokia cradle and RFI 1795 external aerial. Now I had one of the first one's too but lost it recently (Christmas party....DOH!) so I went out and bought a brand spanking new one.

I have been a bit dissapointed with it dropping out in area's that I'd consider 'suburban Perth' such as Pinjar, but at other times it seems to work a treat.

Something's up. Next long trip I might do some comparisons between in and out of cradle performance levels. Come to think of it, we have a huge shed at work, might drive in there and try it out this arvo.
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FollowupID: 401385

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:52

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:52
Sandman,

Trolute said 'picks up the feed from the phone thru proximity' which would indicate he's using the coupler.

Leroy
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Reply By: Member - Omaroo (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:01

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:01
Nokia calims that no Nokia CDMA device currently supports an external aerial. If you reckon you have one connected - it probably isn't doing anything for you at all...

http://www.nokia.com.au/nokia/0,,58334,00.html

(look near the bottom of the page)
AnswerID: 148156

Reply By: rolande- Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:24

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:24
If it is a 6225 you can buy a patch lead to connect the RFI to the phone for $19. I bought mine from the Telstra shop when I got the phone, plugs straight into the service port on the back of the phone.

Difference very noticeable

Regards

Rolande
AnswerID: 148164

Reply By: BenSpoon - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:25

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:25
mine makes bugger all difference in town- go out bush into a fringe area and test it. It had "Searching for network" when out of the cradle, plug it in the cradle and leave it for 20 sec and its up to 50% signal and you can SMS and call people fine.
Actually its a pain in the ass sometimes- I forgot to take it out of the cradle over new years break and was woken up by work calls in the middle of D'entrecasteaux NP.
AnswerID: 148187

Reply By: chips59 - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:31

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:31
I am on the road all the time state to state and when I looked into a new phone I found that Kyocera is the only phone that benifits from a car kit. It has better range than nokia. Telstra will tell you apart from hands free there is no benifit in having car kit for nokia. IF you look at the coverage maps no gain in nokia. Kyocera are the company that developed CDMA.
AnswerID: 148189

Follow Up By: Utemad - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:55

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:55
Actually Qualcomm did but Kyocera have since bought them out.

Telstra in Gladstone have told me that the 6225 does benefit from the external antenna with the in car kit even though Nokia says it doesn't anymore. Guess it depends on which store you go to.

I have the car kit as it is the same as for my 3200 digital. I haven't got the 6225 yet though.
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Follow Up By: rolande- Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:26

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:26
In the latest choice magazine both Nokia CDMA's outperformed the Kyocera by a long way.

Enough of a difference for me to change from my old Kyocera to a 6225

Old phone, no signal outside front door, 6225, two bars of signal.

Rolande
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:23

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:23
Slightly off topic, but here's another question about the 6225 car kit. I have this set-up too and don't think the car kit makes a huge difference, but it does make a bit.

However, my question relates more to the battery charging facet of these kits. I don't think my phone is charging when it's sitting in it's car-kit's cradle. Quite the contrary in fact; I can put the fully charged phone into the cradle and if I leave it there for 24 hours or so, I have noticed that the battery will be low when I take the phone out. I did have the settings arranged in such a way that the light stays on all the time and the screen saver doesn't cut-out for 60 minutes....but I wouldn't have thought that should have made any difference.

Has anybody else experienced this lack of charging with this car kit? Note; I installed it myself, so that could be half the problem...haha

Cheers

Roachie
AnswerID: 148264

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:51

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:51
Roachie,

Make sure the cable that plugs into the cradle is plugged in fully as they are known to come out if knocked. I have known installers to put a hot glue bead along each side of the connector and cradle to keep it in place.
I have also noticed the contacts are spring loaded and sometimes you need to press on them with your finger to make sure they are all extended fully. When you place your phone in the cradle it should start charging almost straight away. If not I press the contacts and then try again.

Leroy
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FollowupID: 401517

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:58

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:58
Leroy,
That's the strange part about it (and I should have mentioned this earlier too, sorry). When I put it in the cradle, the charge bar starts going up from bottom to top, over and over, just like it should, indicating that it is charging up. However, on one occasion (at least that I can definitely recall) the battery was still empty when i removed the phone. What I can't be sure of is whether on that occasion when the battery was flattened, whether the charging indicator had definitely been going up. Perhaps i should do some more in-depth testing.!!!
Thanks for your response mate
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Reply By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:54

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:54
I have the same set up except I use GSM. Obviously I have the GSM antenna as well. I was a bit sceptical of the proximity/coupler arangement but it is often the difference between being able to make a call and not so it does work.

Leroy
AnswerID: 148268

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 17:37

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 17:37
Similar to Leroy, I have GSM....Actually I have both.

My GSM and CDMA phones both use the same cradle and external aerial connection via the proximity coupler. I use a 6610i GSM and a 2115 CDMA.

The aerial is a high gain CDMA jobbie that the GSM phone has no problem in picking up signals with as well. The Installer explained it to me that the GSM frequency is "close to" the CDMA one, so what works for CDMA, also works for the GSM.
Bill


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Reply By: trolute - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:08

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:08
Thankyou everyone for your feedback, hearing that some other people also find the external antenna to be ineffective or mediocre makes me feel better.

And yes Sandman, mine connects to the antenna via the pickup block just behind the phones antenna, not via any hardwired interface, although I will look into that now.

Rolande, the hardwire interface plug that you bought, where does it plug in? When my phone is in its cradle, the only free connection point is the microphone port on the RHS of the phone. Surely that can't be used for an antenna?

Andrew
AnswerID: 148271

Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:27

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:27
there is no direct connection available for the antenna on a 6225.

Leroy
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Follow Up By: rolande- Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:32

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:32
Andrew and Leroy,

There IS a direct connection point for the 6225.

Many phones have a "service port" where the factory can plug a lead in to simulate phone signal and test the workings of the phone.

On the 6225 it is on the back just next to the antenna, you need to remove a small piece of grey rubber to expose it, the lead plugs in to this. My lead is a CELLNET brand patch lead.

Just be very aware that this increases the likelihood of water ingress into the phone and will void any warranty claims unless the phone is returned with the rubber in place.

My phone came for free so not too woried about it

Regards

Rolande
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Follow Up By: trolute - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 13:02

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 13:02
Rolande,

I'm keen to hook up the antenna via the lead you have mentioned, but I'm can't find any grey rubber plug! My phone is a 6225, and the only place that I can see where there might be an entry is on the top of the phone, on the opposite side of the on/off switch, where there is a blank piece of plastic that is identical to the on/off.

This piece is hard plastic, but is this the point you are saying can be accessed?

thanks for your advise

Andrew
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FollowupID: 401759

Follow Up By: rolande- Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 09:50

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 09:50
G'Day Andrew,

Just double checked the number, seems I have the 6255 CDMA not the 6225.

Sorry 'bout that

Rolande
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Reply By: Leroy - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:54

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:54
Apology acepted Rolande.

Leroy
AnswerID: 148898

Reply By: flora - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:50

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:50
hi everyone,talking about nokia's and car kits...can i ask a Q?? i have a nokia 6235 and want a car kit, does anyone have this phone with the car kit and if so do you have any problems or anymore accessories that you needed to get afterwards?? i have no idea about antenna's - amplified/not amped??huh!!

my friend swears by car kits and has never had a prob.....laura
AnswerID: 148921

Follow Up By: trolute - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:59

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:59
Laura,

As outlined in my original post, I have found the antenna of no real use, but that said, the rest of the car kit is great.

It is nice to be able to use the phone via the external speaker and microphone (not to mention that its legal that way too). The car kit also charges the phone, which is handier than using the cigerette lighter.

Not sure about a 6235, but my 6225 came with a standard nokia car kit, and I needed nothing else to fit it.

Andrew
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FollowupID: 402092

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