[maemo-users] N800: Notes from the Field - A Successful Radio Workaround

From: Acadia Secure Networks acadiasecurenets at aol.com
Date: Sat May 12 20:46:05 EEST 2007

for many years my Saturday's have been at least partially occupied by 
our childrens' sports activities and in the springtime that means either 
soccer (aka football) or lacrosse. Today was no different except that I 
forgot to bring my FM radio + earbuds to listen while watching the 
contest. Actually what happened was that I got the "bums rush" from my 
daughter who would not tolerate my going back in the house to get one 
more item that I had forgotten because we were pushing the limit 
timewise. My first thought was, hey, no problem, I can use the FM tuner 
on my N800 which I DID bring along as well as my mobile phone. But the 
flaw in that strategy, I then realized  was: no earbuds, therefore no 
antenna, therefore no FM. Bummer. The I realized, wait a minute,   I 
could use my N800 tethered to my mobile phone's EVDO service as a packet 
radio. In the U.S. most of the larger market public radio stations also 
have a Internet feed and sure enough the feed for my favorite station 
came through loud and clear through the semi-cheesy N800 speakers (how 
good can tiny speakers be?) with a volume and clarity sufficient to 
overcome the ambient background noise one would expect at an event like 

Now this experience while satisfying was not perfect. Here are the 
problems I experienced:

    1. As anyone working with these kinds of devices knows, with strong
    daylight it is almost impossible to navigate a screen menu. This is
    true for my mobile phone as well as the N800. I don't know if there
    is a solution for this problem. Sometimes you have to guess from
    memory where the correct checkbox/icon is located.

    2. I dropped the N800 a few times on the grass/dirt and that
    experience reminded me how absurd it is that Nokia has, as far as I
    can tell, STILL has not released the leather case that they show at
    their www site and that would provide better protection for the
    device while it is in use.

 Of  course the bandwidth required for Internet/packet radio does not 
really push the limits of a service like EVDO or HSDPA which explains 
why during an hour of listening I did not perceive any dropouts. On the 
other hand I have no idea of how many other people in the vicinity were 
also contending for EVDO bandwidth. Each season I notice a growing 
proportion of individuals at these events who have some kind of 
smartphone, typified by the RIM Blackberry.


Best Regards,


John Holmblad


Acadia Secure Networks

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*would** you like to know where is Darren on his thru-hike?
you can find out at:    www.whereisdarren.com***


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