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Interfacing and/or programming a cell phone

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I'm currently working on a school research projet where I need to do this:

1) Buy a cell phone AND get all the schematics and software code that is in it. I mean, not only the service manual but all the design data!

Then, either:

2) Reprogram the phone itself (with a language like J2ME) to be able to add new functions and to make it a "test phone" for telecommunications networks. By "test phone", I mean a phone that is statistically programmed (with a stochastic distribution) to be self-automated and make the calls without human intervention.


3) Build an interface between a computer or a microcontroller (PIC) and the phone itself so I can command the phone entirely from the computer and make the automation of the tests on the computer.

Problems are:

1) The availability of the schematics and of the software code. And EVEN THEN, can anybody tell me if it is realistic to think that I can reprogram a cell phone by myself, with no knowledge of JAVA (this surely means buying another EPROM and starting from the ground up and learning a new language!) :shock:

2) Problems with interfacing the computer to the phone. I thought of soldering a bus to every key contact of the phone and activate them through a latch controlled by the parallel port and a low level language. Then I could program the entire software in my favourite language and make the tests happen. What is the feasability of that kind of interface? Do you think it will be easy to control the keypad buttons electronically by closing and opening the path between the two contacts?

Thanks for any help!

I have seen a lot of software available to re-program cell phones and etc., but I do not have it on my computer. If you give me a model of phone, I might be able to do a little searching for you. This will defeat all of the work involved in doing what you propose though.

To get the schematics and code for anything relatively new, you are dreaming... This is the companie's intellectual property of which they have spent a ton of money to produce. If you want to reverse engineer the phone, also, good luck.. Usually these are 4-layers, and you do not have xray vision. Also, the density of the board will be a problem.

The processors on-board are also secure, to prevent people from reading their code. I have seen people disabling the protections on some processors, but I am not sure that it will work.

Are you sure this wasn't a self-elected project? I cannot see a teacher assigning this as a project, because it is nearly impossible without actual code and schematics.

Sorry to be negative, but it is extremely difficult to do what you are proposing,

No this isn't a self-elected project, I assure you that I wouldn't put myself in those kind of shoes! Yes, the teacher seemed to assume that I could "easily" get documentation about new cell phones!

What about the idea of controlling it by a computer? From the beginning, this is what I wanted to do, but the teacher would really like me to do it "softwise", unless impossible !

Thanx a lot for your reply!

Hey ,

I am sure that you will not find schematics or any code for anything within the last two years. Sometimes teachers do not know what they are talking about, perhaps this is what is happening. I know that there is a lot of software for 're-programming' phones, but I am not sure to what extent these programs can control the phone.

You can tediously take over all of the buttons on the phone. I think you can solder in some FETs across the contacts on the buttons, this should allow you to control each button. You could control the phone's function like this, but you will need to make some careful consideration to the menus and etc., which change what each button means in a lot of cases.

Your teacher is asking a lot of you, but I guess he is trying to push you. Try to get more details of what he actually wants you to do, then post it here.

The teacher wants to be able to test his digital microwave communication networks using radomized calling processes. To do so, he has to manually take a cell phone and make the calls whenever he wants to, according to a randomised or controlled distribution (i.e. 3 calls per minute for 15 minutes). He finds that this is boring and he wants me to design an interface and some software that would allow the phone to run by itself on a programmed basis. For example, the teacher would enter "Wait time: 3 minutes Total time: 15 minutes" followed by the number(s) to be dialed and then the software would do all the finger dancing on the keypad at the right time (this must be precise timing, of course).

When I begun the project, he told me that he wanted me to actually program the cell-phone itself, before even thinking about doing something like interfacing the phone and the computer (which is feasible I believe, but it's gonne take a long long time just for getting the interface right).

Actually, I think this project started as an idea and it's now time to gain consciousness about the limitations we are facing. This may be what he wanted me to realize!


Hey Phil,

Hmmm, hey must be intelligent to design what he did, perhaps he just expects a lot from you..

I think it is a lot easier, as I said, to make your own interface via the keypads. This will not be too difficult after a bit of understanding of the phone's functionality. You need to make sure you measure the delays between the pressing of a key and when it actually is finished, this way you can optimise your dialing speed.

I do not have much more to say about this, because I am limited on my programming skills and there isn't specifics to the phone and etc.

Goodluck to you!,

project to use cell phone as remote

actually this is my first project in my core department .....i have to use cell phone to control home appliances like switchin on tv,ac etc., and view the status of it by sendin msgg and receivin some sort of info......(may be msg),
and ofcourse i have to use 2 cell phone, in transmitter side (with me) and one attached to home appliances to check its status and controllin.... i have sony ericcson 618i phone..... is there any possibility of doin it usin at commands (explain wat is at command)
moreover i thought of usin dtmf tech..... i worry if sound signal can be received as it is and decoded to control the appliances.... i thought of usin kt 3170 or mt 8870.... which is best???..........which method of controllin is best.....will any one help mee plzzz more thin don know python or any other language.......... i know only(c and c++)........:
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i,m usin micro processor

thanx for replyin...... actually i have to use micro controller for controllin the phone..... will phone accept microcontroller program .....plz help me ...where can i get more details abt this....shall i send and receive data in single pin of data cable o/p....... wat abt phone protocol for serial communication.......plz explain me clearly.......
You need to find a phone that will accept commands on its serial port. I don't know what phone you can use for that. It might be better to look at older ones.
I know that some phones use TTL level serial communications, so you can connect directly to the USART of a microcontroller.

You will not be programming the phone. You program the microcontroller to send commands to the phone. The command set is usually similar for all phones. Have a look at
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