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English :: Nokia8810 & Palm III InfraRed Connection

This article is somewhat outdated, as it regards obsolete hardware. No update planned.
It might apply, however, even for more modern phones and Palm hardware.
Find the original file of ??-??-2000 :xeyeshere.

Palm III Info
H.P. Stroebel
1. Introduction to Palm III and 8810 Connectivity
With this "how-to" I will provide the information necessary to use the 3com PalmIII with the Nokia 8810 for PPP connections via Infrared to access Internet and your POP3-eMail-account as well as a simple fax- machine to send faxes.
I describe the way I managed to use the PalmIII/Nokia 8810 combo; there might be other solutions. There are other software solutions available. I mention only the programs which I have tested without judging others. Some of them are shareware, please respect the programmer`s efforts.
I will not guarantee the proper function of the units and will not be responsible for any damaged hardware, lost data or charges of your internet and/or GSM provider for failed and/or remaining connections etc. Try this at your own risk.
I am using the german version of the PalmIII and don`t know how the settings in the english version are exactly called. It should be possible to set the preferences following my instructions, however...
2. Hardware
a. 3com PalmIII - I don`t know any data cables for the 8810, so you have to use the infrared-equipped PalmIII. I was told that 3com offers an infrared/RAM upgrade for earlier Pilot versions, but I have no experience with it.
b. Nokia 8810 - Be sure to have a GSM account which allows the use of Fax/Data services. I have heard about rumours that the two devices will not connect properly if you are using a 8810 with software version 4.03. Versions 3.01 and 4.05 are reported to work. Some software solutions (e.g. for editing sms messages or phone numbers stored in your SIM card might require software versions higher than 3.01).
Check this by entering:
*#0000# or *#9999# or *#8810# (should work only with earlier versions).
Your 8810 will display the software version and some further information.
It would be a great deal to examine the software version before buying a 8810 phone. If necessary, updates should be an easy to handle for a Nokia service center. I don`t know if they would make a downgrade...
c. Nokia 6110/6150 - The Nokia 6110/6150 has no built-in modem capabilities. You need additional software, which (yet) exists only for Windows, not for the PalmOS.
3. Necessary Downloads
a. Access the 3com`s PalmPilot site:
and get aa. the OS 3.02 Upgrade:
and bb. the Enhanced Infrared Update
b. You need additional software to access the desired services like internet, email, news and so on.
4. Preparing your PalmIII
a. Installing the Software
Follow the Instructions on the PalmPilot site for installing the updates. I recommend to:
aa. BACKUP your PalmIII (HotSync or full backup, if possible)
bb. install the OS Update
cc. SOFT RESET the device
dd. install the Enhanced Infrared Update
ee. SOFT RESET the device
ff. install additional software like web browser, mail agent, ...
b. Preferences
aa. Modem preferences - I have set the modem preferences in the PalmIII`s preferences section to:
speed: 38.400
Flow Control: Standard / Automatic
a) ATZ (see Footnote 1) or,
b) ATZ&K3&D2&S0&C1+DS=3,0;+CBST=0,0,1; is also reported to work; I have not tested this string, or,
c) AT&FX3 is a good idea if you are using the 8810 and an analog modem like the PalmPilot SnapOn (will not wait for a dial tone for international use)
bb. Serial/Infrared
In your PalmIII preferences section you should find a (new ?) menu point called "Serial/IR", where you can switch between a serial connection using the PalmIII`s cradle or the infrared port. Set the serial connection to "Infrared" (it would be a good idea to switch back to "Cradle" before the next HotSync using the cradle...)
cc. Network preferences
Enter your provider`s (or network or whatever) access data in the network preferences. Follow the instructions in the PalmIII manual, if necessary. Depending on your access procedure, you may have to create a login script using the integrated scripting utility.
TIP : If you have a GSM POP (Point of Presence) available, you can set the GSM number in the network preferences / phone number as a prefix while entering another (normal) POP`s number as phone number. To access the GSM POP, activate "prefix" (the other POP number will be attached to the "prefix"). To access the other POP, disactivate "prefix". This might not be possible with all GSM providers because some networks transmit only a limited amount of digits.
5. Let`s go...
a. Search for a flat area, the PalmIII and the 8810 should be at the same level.
b. Put the 8810 in front of your PalmIII (the IR ports have to face each other). I have best results with a distance abuot 20-30 cm (ca. 10 inches). Some people recommend to put the 8810 in an angle of about 30 degrees to avoid reflections.
c. Turn on the 8810`s IR-port, following the instructions in your 8810`s manual.
d. Enter the PalmIII`s network preferences, select the current provider and click "Connect" OR start your additional software (see chapter 6). The 8810 should now dial the desired number.
e. Problems :
aa. IMPORTANT : After having finished the desired tasks, CHECK ALWAYS the 8810 if the CALL (not the PalmIII`s connection) is TERMINATED !!! Sometimes you might have to terminate the call manually.
bb. The 8810 searches for an ir-connection only for a relatively short period (about 40 seconds, I think). I advise to launch your desired PalmIII application first, then to activate the 8810`s IR port and then to start the connection.
cc. Remember that bright light or moving the devices may disturb or interrupt the IR connection.
dd. After a failed or closed connection the IR indicator of my 8810 will blink (=waiting for connection), but the phone does not communicate anymore with the PalmIII, so you may have to re-activate the 8810`s IR port for another connection. My phone does not terminate this mode automatically, so I re-activate the port, which will cause the phone to terminate the mode after the predefined stand-by time. I don`t know if the IR-standby mode has negative effects to the standby-time of the phone.
ee. The PalmIII indicates an existing connection by a blinking "cursor" in the upper right edge of the display. If an application does not connect, check first in the PalmIII`s network preferences that there is no existing connection remaining.
6. Recommended/tested Software
You can download the following software at several PalmPilot related sites like PalmGear, PalmCentral and others.
a. Internet Browser
Actually I am using ProxyWeb 3.0 (, which is comfortable and gives you easy access to the network and modem preferences of your PalmIII. TG Wingman is also a web browser that will do fine. Both are freeware.
IMPORTANT Note : My 8810 does not terminate the call automatically.
b. eMail
I use the PalmIII pre-installed mail client. For receiving/delivering mail via POP3 I use the ProxiMail mail agent, simple but works quite well. You will have to enter only the mail preferences which you cand find in the preferences section of your desktop mail client.
IMPORTANT Note : My 8810 does not terminate the call automatically..
c. Fax
You can use your PalmIII/8810 combo even as a simple fax machine, although (at least I think...) that it is not possible yet to receive incoming faxes or faxes stored by your GSM provider. I have tested only DBFax v 0.2b3. (Footnote 2)
In the page settings, set the pre-build option to on.
Modem settings :
Speed = 9600, Modem Type Class = 2, Use CTS/RTS = off, Wait for XON = off, Use XON/XOFF = on, TimeOut = 60, Init String = ATZ (see Footnote 1)
The 8810 should terminate the call automatically after the sending process. Due to the low transmision speed line errors may occur. I use, as a simple and fast alternative, a web-/mail- based fax service which allows you to send faxes, SMS and even voice mails using a web-based desktop with your internet browser or even by sending an email to the providers gateway.
d. Others I have found, but not tested other programs like web browsers, mail clients, news readers, chat clients and software to edit phone numbers and sms messages stored on your SIM card (that software might require higher software versions of the 8810). Others will not work properly work with versions 4.x and higher... If there exists a program to edit the 8810`s calendar entries or to sync them with the PalmIII`s calendar, I would be glad to receive further information about it. This should be possible, I`ve heard about a hidden service menu of the 8810 which allows to transfer data entries via IR to another phone...
Footnote 1)
I have also tried the Nokia 8810 init string from the modem inf-file for MS Win95, which caused the PalmIII to complain about ? (I don`t remember what) and the 8810 to hang... The simple ATZ will do...
Footnote 2)
Sometimes the software did not enter transmission mode with some fax machines, e.g. with my Panasonic KX-F 2700.
H.P. Stroebel
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