Mercedes A Class failing to unlock using key fob

The wifi fix didn’t last long as a solution. On the next heavy rainfall the central locking system wouldn’t unlock the doors when using the remote fob. Luckily it appears to now be fixed, well it’s been working fine for the past 5 months.

Given that it appeared to be a signal degradation problem I open the fob and used electrical tape to strap the 2 batteries together and to the contact. This appears to have cured the problem. My reasoning is based on the supposition that only a single battery of the two was being used and consequently more susceptible to interference. Strapping them ensures more signal strength from the fob and less signal inference from wifi or environment issues such as rain.

Laters,
Matt

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iPhone 4 unlock without Jailbreak

I purchased a used iPhone from eBay last week. I had an HTC Desire HD but managed to break it (sweat got under the seal while I was in the gym) and the old iPhone 3G in our house was just too slow. The main reason for the purchase is that my wife also had an iPhone 4 which means FaceTime is a convenient way of seeing the kids when I work away.

The phone was locked to O2 but I didn’t want to Jailbreak it like the 3G, I wanted a network provider unlock to maintain that vanilla/legal feeling.

I got a pay as you go sim from the local O2 shop (has to be a micro to fit in the 4, whereas the 3G takes a mini sim) with £15 credit on it – this is what O2 charge their PAYG customers to perform an unlock. I put it into the phone and got the O2 service. My first attempt to use the unlock online form by O2 resulted required a couple of bits of information, IMEI number, email address and two phone numbers called from the phone. I just dialled the numbers and put down. As a consequence the procedure failed, I got an email from I2 saying that the phone number wasn’t registered to the IMEI number.

I rang the O2 Pay as you go help line and went through to the iPhone help option. They advised that I needed to make a chargeable call to register the phone number to the IMEI and wait for 24 hours. This I did and went through the online form to request an unlock again. This time I got an automated email saying that the information I had provided failed their security checks, so at least the phone was registered.

I rang the same helpdesk again and they advised that the security process can take a little while to action but that they would take me through a separate process which involved texting a verification code to the phone and reading to back to the Agent and telling them the amount of credit on the phone (and the model as apparently 8GB phones have a different procedure). I was told that they would contact Apple to get their registration records updated, I would then receive a confirmation email telling me the process had completed with instructions on what to do next. This would take up to 10 working days but more likely be only 3.

The process only took 3 hours in the end. The email told me to swap in a non O2 sim and connect the phone to iTunes which would tell me the unlock had worked. On doing this iTunes and the phone showed an “Activation Failed” message. So I unplugged the phone and re-connected after which my new network provider service burst into life. Fab!

Laters.

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Firefox crashing on start

A friends Windows Vista 32-bit PC couldn’t start Firefox, every time it started Firefox notified that an error had been  encountered and had to close generating the error code bp-5de0aa9f-db00-407b-ad63-e8e8b2120916. A quick look at Add/Remove programs to see if there were any obvious culprits brought to light the “Searchqu Toolbar” by Bandoo Media. I’d never heard of this before so I removed it. Luckily Firefox sprang back into life…

Laters,

Matt

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Left 4 Dead – Done

Nuff said

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Mercedes A-Class remote key fob doesn’t unlock the car – fixed

My wife has just taken dleivery of a used Mercedes A-Class Classic. It’s a nice little car but after a while we couldn’t open the central locking system using the key fob. We took the car back to the dealer and the fob started working again. The dealer took the car to a Mercedes specialist garage who diagnosed the problem as a faulty aerial unit which was replaced. All was good until after a few days it started failing again. On arriving at the garage it was all working normally again but the mechanic fixed a problem with the drivers door locak mechanism which wasn’t fitted properly allow the door to be opened using the handle even when locked.

Back home the car remote fob failed again. Well the mechanic had asked if we had any mobile phone aerials near us that could be causing RFI but we don’t. However, we tried turning off the Wifi which is located close to the vehicle (the car is parked on the front drive) – hurrah, we could unlock the car using the fob!

We have two Wifi installations in different parts of the house on channels 6 & 13 sharing the same SSID to allow complete signal coverage and have the units configured to allow seamless roaming. The unit nearest the front-door (and thus the car) was configured to use Channel 13, change it to Channel 1 and it all works without problem. In conclusion, the signal frequency of the remote key fob and must be very close to that of Wifi Channel 13 (which is allowed in the U.K.) which uses 2472 MHz and so the latter was blocking/masking the fob to car signal.

Laters,

Matt

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Halo:Reach – Done

Nuff said

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iPhone 3G Unlock woes – Redsn0w and Ultrsn0w versions

I have my wife’s old iPhone 3G having bust my Android based HTC Desire HD. It was an eBay purchase that we had jailbroken by some bloke in a shop, it came with IOS 3.x and we were warned to never let iTunes upgrade the OS. I’ve got a bit bored of that so wanted to install the latest IOS version that works on the iPhone 3G which is 4.2.1.

My thought process was to sync the phone with iTunes and let that upgrade it to 4.2.1 then jailbreak it. The first part went ok then came the jailbreak. Stupidly I visited one of the online guaranteed jailbreak/unlock sites and duly handed over my £15 to obtain the Redsn0w and Ultrasn0w software that would respectively jailbreak and unlock the phone. I followed the instructions to the letter – run Redsn0w to jailbreak use the installed Cydia app to install Ultrasn0w and run that to unlock. However I wound up with a phone that would not pick up my mobile network provider – 3.  I got nowhere with support from the download website, I threatened to ask for a refund and cited their “guaranteed money back  if it doesn’t work” to which I got  1 lousy email saying “what do you want” and nothing more (sigh).

I resorted to searching the Internet more thoroughly which is what I should have done in the first place. It turns out that all the software is freely downloadable but that’s my fault for which I got hit for £15. Irritating but more worrying was why the phone refused to pick up the carrier.

It turns out that the iTunes upgrade to 4.2.1 had also upgraded the modem/baseband software to 5.15.04 which doesn’t work with the Ultrasn0w unlock. There were all sorts of instructions around SIM burning and software which would only work with IOS bootloader v5.8 which of course mine wasn’t. However, I did stumble across this link which noted that Ultasn0w would unlock the baseband v6.15 which comes with the iPad and that this baseband is compatible with the 3G.

It turns out that Redsn0w 0.9.6.b6 has an option to upgrade the baseband to 6.15 so I re-installed Redsn0w selecting this option and hey presto! My network provider is picked up (presumably the previous Ultrasn0w unlock was still in effect).

Marvellous.

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