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LoTD: Clean your cell phone

19 February, 2010 (11:39) | Uncategorized

Here’s a good Lesson of The Day: Clean your data off of your cell phones.

I picked up some used c168i cell phones off of ebay to do some integration projects. Hooking up the serial port is just a matter of connecting a 3/32″ audio connector up to a TTL USB serial cable. I was pretty amused by the two hundred SMS messages that were left inside the phones memory. I used a fake – phone number in these samples. Here’s an interesting bit: the phone actually had a pin on the messaging screen! Even without the pin I was able to pull the text messages off the phone. Judging from the content, I’m guessing that this was some kids phone.

+CMGL: 60,"STO SENT","15551111111",,,129,13
O i knew that
+CMGL: 61,"STO SENT","15551111111",,,129,19
Tell her i said hey
+CMGL: 62,"REC READ","15551111111",,"09/01/21,19:03:17-24",129,109
Lol. Im off the phone now. I just got out of the shower. I havent even had time to put my clothes on yet. Lol

Of course, I had to delete every single one with an individual AT+CMGD=62 style command. (62 is the message id).

For those interested in phones with serial ports, here’s how you can hook it up and play with it. The serial port on the c168i is actually a TTL level connection. Perfect for talking to a microcontroller. Soldering the connector is fairly painless, but you’ll want some alligator clip style helping hands and a find tip soldering iron.

Crush everything into the connector sleeve and close it up.

This is the end of a FTDI USB to serial TTL cable. It’s handy for talking to things like boarduinos, and avoids all those repetitive MAX232 circuits. You can get your own from Adafruit. Once I tested the connection, I soldered the wires onto some male header for portability.

The c168i that I bought was locked to AT&T. Since I’ve got some iPhones, I called them up and asked very nicely for the unlock code. They helpfully generated them! To actually use the code, you have to have another service providers sim card. I used T-Mobile because their pay as you go credit expires every three months vs. AT&T’s 30 days.

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