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Old 06-14-2021, 09:55 AM   #1
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MyronL's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: ..., New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 3,720
Cell phone fun

A couple years ago I bought my first Smart Phone. A neat, modestly expensive Motorola at Costco. Think it was $200. Costco guy did all the programming/contract work (T-Mobil). Walked out happy - took it with me on a 12 day Escape trip to Osoyoos.

But, being a landlines guy my ideal telephone is still a dime and a phone booth.

I had almost never used the Motorola, promptly forgot about it Ė until 3-4 months later got a $150 bill from T-Mobil. Whaaat? Went looking now, but, could not find phone. Quickly deduced it must have fallen out of my pocket somewhere back on that Osoyoos trip.

So, I reported it lost, refused to send T-Mobil any money. It took a few weeks but they finally ate the bill. My contract ended. Then, a week later, I found that phone. It had fallen down under the truck seat. No matter. Iím a landlines guy.

I recently bought a Verizon jet pack. And, a Victron solar controller with remote monitor but, instructions all said program with a smart phone. Friends all swear by the helpful APS inside a smart phone. If you find a phone booth let me know where it is.

The last weeks it has become apparent the smart move is get a smart phone. So I went to the Verizon store to activate my recently found Motorola. But, they told me my old phone was locked into T-Mobil. They said yes, Costco locks all their phones, therefore I needed to buy a new phone. At WalMart the guy spent 10 minutes trying to activate my phone but gave up, said it was totally locked, now an expensive paper weight. WalMart also has a neat robotic kiosk that will evaluate your old cell phone and will offer to buy it from you. Mine was worth ten bucks.

Last resort: go back to Costco where I bought the thing, ask for a refund, or get a trade-in for their cheapest model. The phone guy there said my Motorola was a better phone than any of his cheapest ones. He then proceeded to say yes, we do lock the phones we sell but Ė they are easily un-locked after 30 days!

I didnít want to go back with T-Mobil because I was afraid they would remember I owed them that hundred and fifty bucks. I said add it to my wifeís existing Verizon account. Needed an eight dollar Verizon SIM card. My Costco guy installed it, set me completely up, new Verizon tp number, etc., I am good to go.

Now, only thing is I need to learn how to use them Victron and Google aps, etc etc. Also, the thing is soo touchy.

"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Trailer: "The Roadrunner" 2021 Escape 5.0
Posts: 33
Good luck!

I would suggest keeping your land line. We have zero coverage even after we installed a booster. It would be nice if they could get them to work. We use ours to let Sam's know we're there to pick up our order.

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Old 06-14-2021, 11:55 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2005 Casita 17 Deluxe (original owner)
Posts: 1,125
Just for your consideration, Myron ....

Your 2-year-old Costco smartphone will very likely serve just fine as a 'control device' for things like the Victron Bluetooth-enabled controller. In many such cases you don't actually need a smartphone that's got an active service connection to a cellular provider network; let's call such a device a 'No SIM Pnone' (the SIM card that facilitates cellular-network service is removed). Here's the outline:
  • Use the Wi-Fi capability of the No SIM Phone to connect to the internet via your home network (or the Wi-Fi at McDonalds, etc)
  • Download and install the Victron (or whatever Bluetooth-enabled gizmo) Apps of interest
  • Disconnect from the Wi-Fi internet connection
  • *You can repeat the above steps whenever you want to add an App for a new gizmo or update an App you've installed
Then ...
  • Go to the Bluetooth-enabled gizmo and 'pair' your No SIM Phone with it per the gizmo App instructions
  • Proceed to use the App as intended
  • More often that not this works perfectly fine, you aren't using the No SIM Phone to do anything on the World-Wide-Web or as a cellular device, you're just using it as a Bluetooth controller for the Bluetooth-enabled gizmos like the Victron controller
I've used an old No SIM Phone in this manner for years to control a number of Bluetooth-enabled gizmos. In many ways I prefer having the control for those gizmos totally separate and independent from my daily-use phone that's connected to the cellular network.

Again, just an option you could experiment with, for your consideration, Have Fun!
Alan E.
Soon-to-be Escape 5.0TA Owner (deposit 09/09/2020; GCD 08/18/2021)
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 15,071
I agree that your existing smart phone should work great for you.

Almost everyone I know has given up their landlines as their cell is easier to use and you can easily contact the person you wish to talk or text with.

I have been using smart phones since they came out as many features were needed for work and useful for personal. I use a lot of apps and love being able to.

I have a Samsung S21 Ultra which works great and takes awesome photos and videos. I use a bunch of camping, work, hobby, special interest, and other apps. Not much of a gamer short of Scrabble and Word Feud play and the odd card game.

I just wish I was as smart as a smart phone.
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
ďMost folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.Ē ó Abraham Lincoln
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:09 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Trailer: 2020 - 21NE "JoMoE" (Just our Means of Escape) 2013-15B "R2-E2" (Rent2Escape2...) 1971 Boler (Sold)
Posts: 207
CENTEX...thanks for the tip about using a retired non-SIM smart phone as a controller for Bluetooth gizmos. Saves giving it to a grandkid and eventually being tossed in a junk drawer.

Things you learn from this forum.

Hmmmm...Maybe I can connect the Victron to it since it apparently doesn't like my new phone.
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Old 06-14-2021, 02:32 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Santa Rosa, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 15B sold, 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 326
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
I recently bought a Verizon jet pack.
Myron, if you activate the Version Jet Pack you can use any phone, tablet or laptop to connect to the to the Jet Pack with WIFI and you have your Internet connection. I use a Jet Pack when traveling because Version have better coverage in some areas than my phone service. It can be pricy so I only buy the service when I know I will be traveling.

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