Thursday, 14 November 2013

Belt & Braces

I dislike not having an alternative with boat systems.  Two water tanks; two toilets; two forms of heating, two energy sources, etc.  However when it comes to our communications we allowed the monthly contract for the internet usb dongle to lapse as the monthly contract only had a small data allowance and, frankly, it was expensive.  Our sole means of communication is the Samsung Galaxy S1 phone which has the functionality to provide voice calls and ‘tether (act as a wireless internet router).  My concern is that should the phone fail we will have no means of communication.  The Samsung was chosen because it had an external aerial socket which enables us to connect the phone to the powerful mobile phone aerial on the cabin roof.  So some time ago I decided we needed a backup (spare) phone for the day when the current phone fails.  Finding a phone with an external aerial socket can be difficult so I decided to stay with Samsung. 

We could purchase a new phone on a monthly plan, but I dislike the idea of being financially committed to a specific provider for an extended period.  Of course time passes and phones get superseded. The Samsung Galaxy S1 has been replaced by the S2 then S3 and now S4.  New phones usually have more functions and different applications; most of which we neither need nor want. What we need is a new Samsung Galaxy S1.  Finding a ‘new’ phone of a model that has already been superseded four times is difficult.  They start to become rare and eventually become a collectors item actually rising in value rather than falling.  Therefore the strategy has been to watch the price of S1 phones and judge when they have reached their lowest price, then buy!

The strategy appears to have worked as we have been able to buy an S1 at a price less than 25% the cost of a new S4.  We now have two phones of the same model.

The new phone needed to have its settings adjusted in order for it to act as a wireless router.  sometimes this automatically occurs when first switched on but I discovered on arriving in the UK with the original phone it was better to know the manual configuration settings.  I have found the following  settings work on an Android phone using the Three network.  This next part is boring if you don’t have an Android phone with Three UK as your provider.

Go to


Wireless & network

Mobile network settings

        Access point names (APN)

              3 WAP (

              Name 3 WAP

                       APN (3internet)

                       Proxy not set

                       Port not set

             User name user

             Password not set

             Server not set

             mmsc " " (blank)

             mms proxy " " (blank)

             mms port " " (blank)

             mcc 234

             mnc 20

             Authentication type PAP

            APN type    internet

Then go back to the Access Point Names (APN) and select the second option

Name 3mms

      name 3mms


      Proxy not set

      Port not set

      User name not set

      Password not set

      Server not set

      mmsc mmsc

      mms proxy or try

      mms port 8799

      mcc 234

      mnc 20

      Auth type PAP

      APN type mms

In the afternoon I attempted to paint the gunwale area below the cratch for the third time.  I think it’s my worst painting effort to date and have now relegated all painting to Jan!  However I also painted the tiller arm and bike rack at the stern and it will be interesting to see what they look like tomorrow.  Other identified maintenance tasks include:

  • Removing the propulsion diesel tank gauge sender unit and returning it to the manufacturer for repair.
  • Wire brushing down the flaking paint and rust in the engine bay and repainting.
  • Fitting a waterproof 12v socket in the cockpit for the navigation unit. 

Meanwhile Jan made the slow gin and has also made a start on the rosehip syrup.


Catherine VK4GH said...

After reading your blog this morning, we did a little "google research" and found that our Samsung S4 also has this external antenna socket (and also the S2 & S3). It is not listed as having one by Samsung as it is under a piece of plastic, and you need to take off the back cover or make a hole in it to use it. We have even found a business selling a fitting and patch lead kit for this purpose (in Australia). We are especially thrilled as that was one of our requirements when looking for our new phone, and we ended up giving up, as it is, like you say, rare or non-existent now. Thanks

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Catherine,

I knew the S2 had the external aerial socket, but not the S4. So thanks for the information. I guess you found Telco in Australia sells the patch lead. I didn't want to go to the expense of purchasing an S2,3, or 4 when the S1 does what we need!

Catherine VK4GH said...

Yes Tom, we found the telcoantennas site, it is a great site with lots of helpful information & video clips about phones, antennas, etc. Luckily their business is not far from home, so I think I may be taking a drive by...

Tom and Jan said...

LOL.... We arrived in the UK from Adelaide complete with the bullbar aerial but not realising the pigtail was required. After searching the world for a 'source' I finally found Telco back in Oz! :-)