Blackberry 8800, Palm TX, Bluetooth, Internet and T-Mobile


  • This setup worked for me as of 2007-04-13 from the Seattle area of Washington, USA.
  • I suspect getting a Linux or Mac laptop to connect over Bluetooth will be basically the same process but I am out of time for that today.

I have been struggling for a few hours to get my Palm TX to use the Blackberry 8800 as a modem to access the Internet. While some may find using a Palm and a Blackberry together it works very well for me. The Blackberry is a Phone / GPS / Messaging device and the Palm handles my heavy lifting for VPN, SSH, EBooks, Reference material (4 GB), and occasional games. While I may move from the Palm to 100% BB it will take a while to replace everything I have on the TX.

As an additional note if I can get a Palm to use the BB 8800 as a modem I am confident I can dot he same with my Linux laptops, but that project awaits another day.

The services you will need from TMobile:

  1. You must have a Blackberry Addon (TMobile $19.95 unlimited)
  2. VPN Only : If you want to use a VPN (PPTPD via MergicVPN for example) you will also need a (T-Mobile Internet $19.95? or Total Internet if you want Wifi for the Palm TX : $29.99)
  1. Yes you will need both for a VPN. You may be able to alter ports but MergicVPN does not allow this for me

Blackberry configuration, tested on an unlocked 8800 only:

  1. Enable the BB to be discovered; Manage connections, Bluetooth options, Menu, Options, Discoverable: Yes.
    1. You can disable this, and probably should, once everything is working
    2. Make sure you can surf the net via the BB browser. I would also make sure that one, or all, of Google’s applications work. This just provides an additional test. If basic Internet does not work do not bother going any further
  1. See Google Mobile for details

Palm TX configuration

  1. The first step is to use Palm’s PhoneLink wizard. THe only reason this has to be done is because I cannot figure out the password the Palm is using, and setting it to blank does not work.
  2. Preferences, Communications
  3. Bluetooth
    1. Setup devices
    2. Phone Setup (this step is required before doing the rest)
      1. Manufacturer: Other
      2. Model: GSM phone
      3. Perform standard bluetooth pairing
      4. OK : Note that while it says the Pilot is configured to talk to the phone using SMS and dialing, it doesn’t work, ignoring
      5. Yes : Continue to the internet and e-mail configuration
      6. Yes : Carrier is high speed GPRS
      7. USA (or whatever country you are in, but I only tested for the USA)
      8. T-Mobile GPRS (do not use the VPN just yet, as the script generate will be wiped by our custom script)
  1. Exit wizard

Palm TX custom scripts

  1. Preferences, Communications
  2. Network
    1. It should default to T-Mobile US GRPS os similar, if not use the drop down to select it
    2. Note what which connection is being used, usually based on the bluetooth name of the paired device, Blackberry 8800 for me.
      1. Using the drop down scroll to edit and edit this connection
        1. Connect to: Local Network
        2. Via: Bluetooth
        3. Device: select your device and pair it as normal. If you do not know how to do this read the manual or do a web search.
        4. Details
          1. Speed: 115,200 bps
          1. Flow Ctrl: Automatic
        1. OK
      1. OK
    3. Username: voicestream
    4. Password: leave as is
    5. Connection: Blackberry IP or the name you entered in Connection, Name above
    6. Details button
      1. Connection type; PPP
      2. Idle timeout: 3 minutes (or whatever you like)
      3. Query DNS: checked
      4. IP Address automatic: checked
      5. Script
        1. Erase the current script, the easy way is to set the first item to END, exit and re-edit the script as follows
          1. Note: Sometimes the Palm does not allow input here, in that case just exit and re-edit
          1. Note: Sometimes the Palm does not keep changes made to existing fields unless new fields were added. Its annoying but to work round it always edit a field type. For example set the End: to Send: then save, re-edit and restore.
          2. Send: ATQ0V1E0
          1. Alpha, Tango, Qubec, digit-0, Victor, digit-1, Echo, digit-0
        2. Send CR:
        3. Wait For: OK
        4. Send: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP", ""
          1. The O is the letter “O”, the 1 is the digit-1
          2. OR for VPN, Send: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP", ""
          1. old notes also show this: Send: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP", "" but that is untested
        5. Send CR:
        6. Delay: 1
          1. NOTE: There is no wait here, because OK is not returned for this command. I find a small delay to be more reliable than nothing.
        7. Send: ATDT*99#
        8. Send CR:
        9. End:
      1. OK
    1. OK
    2. Connect
    3. If this fails examine the log, Menu, Options, Vview log
  1. Remember VPN access requires a T-Mobile Internet service as well as the Blackbery service, or at least it did for me

Trouble shooting:

  • If the script fails check it carefully for errors. Be aware of the Palm TX bug where changes may not be saved unless a field type is also changed. See above for details.
  • Make sure every Send: is followed by a Send CR:, it easy to miss that
  • If does not work for you try But be aware that you may require a separate T-Mobile Internet data plan.
  • I am not sure what the voicestream password is. Blanks did not work, spaces did not work, and using my T-Mobile login did not work. If the password can be deduced then the phone connection wizard sequence could be dropped.

See also the following web site, which has solutions for a variety of carriers and blackberrys

HOWTO: BlackBerry As Modem For Laptop