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Making Batphones out of regular Google G1 phones

I have some Google HTC Dream phones. These were ordered via http://www.aliexpress.com - you can find a bunch of Chinese suppliers that have HTC Dreams available. At the time of this writing, HTC Dreams go for about US$250 or above - if you find something much cheaper, it's bound to be a Chinese knock-off, and not usable as a Batphone.

I ordered two of these from one supplier, and Matthew ordered three from another, and the stuff we received was very similar: the HTC Dreams were each delivered with a 4GB microSD card, a separate USB reader for microSD cards, two batteries, a USB external battery charger.

Plugs of the power adaptors vary: sometimes European, sometimes US plugs.

Software installed on the phones varied: some came with the original T-Mobile Android software, some had been rooted and another version of Android installed, with lots of Chinese software.

The first thing I did was bring the phones to a 'known state' - i.e. downgrade/reflash them with the original T1 Mobile software. For that I followed the instructions from the CyanogenMod's wiki:

http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php?title=Full_Update_Guide_-_HTC_Dream

and started at 'Downgrading the Firmware' even though that might not have been be absolutely necessary.

I used the RC29 (US) image for my phones, and I used RC7 (Europe) to do Matthews.

The main reason is that I suspect my phones were US models, and I think Matthews' are European. It's a bit of a guessing game which to use with these Chinese phones.

I came to that conclusion by checking the system info of the phones - as they arrived, Matthews' phones were already 'hacked' and running a baseband version (a.k.a. Radio version) 2.22.19.26I which is used for re-flashing non-US phones - so I assume they're European models. Second hint is the packaging of the phones which is in Dutch, so these phones probably originated somewhere in the Netherlands.

Because I am using a Mac, when formatting and copying stuff to the microSD cards, I use a command line - so I can easily use rm -rf * to empty the SD cards, and after copying also remove any Mac-specific additional files: Macs tend to add some invisible files like .DS_Store, ._Trashes… and the like - I remove these before ejecting the microSD card.

While fiddling with the phones, it is easiest to leave the back cover off, and the microSD card slot open.

Make sure the phone is off, then turn it on by pressing and holding the Power and Camera buttons. Eventually a menu should appear where you are instructed what to do to re-flash the phone (i.e. press the Power button to initiate the flashing).

The easiest way to take the next step is to insert a SIM card - it is not very easy to get beyond the initial screen and connect to the Internet without a SIM installed.

I use a Vodaphone SIM, and before you can do anything else, you need to define a Vodaphone APN.

Hit <Menu>, select APN Settings. Delete all the APN settings listed (touch APN name, hit <Menu>, select Delete APN).

Hit <Menu>, select 'Add new APN'.

Name = Vodafone NZ APN = www.vodafone.net.nz (note the net.nz) MCC = 530 MNC = 01 APN Type = default

<Menu>, select 'Save'.

You might need to reboot the phone.

Sign into a Google account, and follow the instructions on the CyanogenMod web page. You need to be signed in to get access to the Android market. Don't bother with properly setting up the phone for now.

Follow the instructions from 'Rooting the HTC Dream'. You can launch telnetd after installing the Telnet app instead of before; it works both ways.

I've followed the Amon_Ra procedure.

Then follow the procedure to install CyanogenMod 6 - Android 2.2 - which necessitates the DangerSPL installation.

Make sure to flash the Tiny Google apps - it won't work with the full version, the phone does not have enough memory.

The first reboot takes a long time - don't worry.

logbook.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/12 23:12 by kris