Feature: VX8300 Accessory Guide

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Forums, anyone?

Hi everyone, I know I haven't posted in a while, but the VX8300 is ground that has already been fairly well trod upon. Lately, I've been spending most of my freetime working on my other project, As an experiment, I'm starting up some discussion forums on Hellaphone, so from now on I'd love it if people could start posting their questions and comments in the LG VX8300 forum instead of in the comments on this site. Discussion forums are a lot easier to keep track of, and a much better way of getting help from a whole community.

So, once again, feel free to post in the
LG VX8300 discussion forum.
You'll have to register for an account in that forum, but it's quick and painless.

Also, anyone vaguely interested in cell phones should take a look at my Apple iPhone user guide wiki. The iPhone was just announced yesterday, and it's quite an exciting device. I've posted a video showing a demonstration of it's features, which are pretty innovative, as you might expect from Apple. I also started up some iPhone forums that I'd absolutely love for people to participate in, but enough about all that.

I hope everyone's having a happy new year.
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Monday, September 11, 2006

Easily Make Wallpapers for your Phone

You may have noticed the lack of updates to this blog in the last couple of weeks. Well, rest assured that I wasn't letting my guard down, nor have I stopped working for you, kind reader. For in the last two weeks I have been working on a website that will take all the complication out of the most humdrum and mundane of tasks--cropping, resizing, and transferring wallpapers to your phone. It'll even send the wallpaper to you as a picture message (which Verizon will charge you 25 cents for if you don't have a picture messaging plan).

Follow the simple instructions, and quickly and easily create 176x184 wallpapers and images of the ideal size for your VX8300's display. (It'll also make wallpapers for dozens of other phones.) All the instructions are explained right there on the site, so I might as well send you straight there. Be warned, however, that site can still be considered Beta, so not all the kinks have been worked out. Please email me any bugs, questions, and suggestions, as these would be very helpful at this stage.

Without further ado, I present the Hellaphone Wallpaper Maker.

Update: Ok, the site's been up all day now, and I know people have been using it, but I haven't heard a word of feedback. Anyone? How's it working?
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LG Stereo Headphone Adapter

Here's another one from the reader mailbag. Anonymous writes in to ask:
I bought a 2.5 to 3.5 mm (Editor's note: this should read 3.5 to 2.5mm) adapter so I can play WMAs through wired accessories (earbuds, FM xmitter etc.)
BUT I only get right channel sound, and when I plug into the phone, the CONTACT(!) list comes up on the front display.
I suspect it thinks I plugged in a 2way earpiece, and that the left ch. is waiting for mic. input.
Is there some trick wiring in the earbuds that Verizon sells, and can I duplicate it to make the phone jack put out stereo sound???
Dear Anonymous,

You'll need to find a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter with three black bands, not two (indeed, the phone uses the fouth conductor for a microphone). Once you find one, you have to push it in not quite all the way (it will still be snug, however), and you will hear full stereo sound. These four conductor adapters are pretty hard to find. Your best bet is probably eBay, where I got mine. Try a search like "lg headphone adapter" and you'll be fine as long as the picture shows a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter with three, not two, black bands around the plug. (UPDATE: This adapter from Amazon should also work. UPDATE 2: Reader Dash Metro writes in to confirm that this adapter works, but the Left and Right stereo channels are reversed. If you don't think you'd notice the difference, this product should be fine.)

If you have an adapter with only two black bands, such as the ones sold at Radio Shack, you can try pulling it out partially, but it falls out easily and I believe you will only hear mono sound, but through both channels. This is not recommended.

Oh, and I'm not really sure why the Recent Calls list pops up when you plug in headphones.


PS: Would people mind leaving their names from now on when they leave comments? Just click "Other" and type in a name, I don't really care if it actually is yours, it just gets tiring to see Anonymous after Anonymous after Anonymous ad nauseum. Thanks. :)
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Import, Organize, and Catalog Your Photos

The VX8300 is one of the first in the new breed of cameraphones that actually takes decent quality photos. With a camera in your pocket your purse 24/7, you're probably going to be taking a lot more pictures than you once did. While this doesn't create memory problems, with a microSD card holding hundreds upon hundreds of pictures, it does create an organization problem once you get those photos onto your computer. How does one keep track of such a gargantuan load of pictures?

Several free applications for your computer will allow you to easily sort, organize, and even add captions to and edit your photos. And as a bonus, possibly the most beneficial feature to the cameraphone user, with one click they'll automatically grab the photos right off your memory card and copy them to folders ordered by date Just pop your memory card into your card reader and a window will pop up asking you if you want to import your photos into your organizer.

One such program is Picasa. Picasa is offered by Google, so you know it's gonna have a slick and easy to use interface. Get Picasa by clicking on the Google Photo Software button on the sidebar at the right. Another option is Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition. Despite its unwieldy name, this is also a fine piece of software. Both applications will help you keep track of your photo collection, and each has its ups and downs. I recommend downloading and trying each, as they're both free, and you can uninstall one when you make your choice.

Keep snapping away!
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How to Get the Pictures Off Your Phone

"How do I get the pictures off my phone?" I think this was probably the first question I asked the Verizon employee when faced with the prospect of upgrading to a VX8300. Since then, quite a few people have come to this site looking for the answer to the same question. I won't go into any lengthy tutorials here, but here's a list of methods to get the pictures off your phone, and onto your computer or uploaded onto the web:
  • With a microSD card: If you own a microSD card and a card reader, the easiest and cheapest way to get your pictures and videos onto your computer is simply copying them over from the my_pix and my_flix directories. See my article on picture organizers for an even easier way to use your card reader to do this.
  • Using BitPim: If you have either a Bluetooth dongle or a VX8300 USB cable, you can download pictures from your phone using BitPim (and you don't even need a memory card for this). Be forewarned that while Bluetooth is terrific for syncing contacts, calendar, and other text data, it is too slow to transfer more than the occasional picture.

  • The way Verizon wants you to do it: When I asked how to get pictures off the phone, they tried to push a $5 monthly minimum texting plan on me. Otherwise, send pictures is $0.25 each! If you want to pay these fees, you can send your pictures individually to your email address, or to Verizon's PixPlace, or to a third party upload site to retrieve later.
That's all for now, but I may be coming up with some other methods in the future. Can anyone suggest any other ways?
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Cheap Accessories for the VX8300

Buying a VX8300, just like any other cell phone purchase, often entails buying a whole bunch of accessories to go with it: a spare battery for longer talk time or as a replacement, a memory card and card reader for storing extra pictures and music, a car charger for those times when you need extra juice on the road, a case to protect the phone or attach it to your belt, and a Bluetooth dongle for data transfer.

There are so many different makers of aftermarket add-ons that it can be a real headache to acquire your accessories without breaking the bank. That's why I've come up with a little guide pointing you to some of the best deals on accessories for your VX8300.

For the best deals on cases, car chargers, wired and Bluetooth hands-free headsets, antennas, and belt clips, go to Wireless Emporium.
  • Their prices are a couple dollars more than Amazon's but they are cheaper in the end because they offer free shipping on all orders.
  • To shop there, go to Wireless Emporium, click LG under "Shop by Brand" on the left, and then click the VX8300 halfway down the page. At checkout, you can skip making an account with them by clicking the "Just Checkout" link.

For better deals on microSD cards, card readers, batteries, Bluetooth dongles, and stereo Bluetooth headphones, go to my VX8300 Accessories Store.
  • The two Bluetooth stereo headphones listed on that page come highly recommended by VX8300 users.
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Free WAP Internet on the VX8300

NEW: Try the Hellaphone Wallpaper Maker to make free wallpapers for any cell phone.

Can't get enough of this blog? Well now you can read it on the toilet, on the train, and on top of the Eiffel tower, thanks to this tutorial on how to get free WAP internet on your VX8300.

The VX8300 has a great WAP browser, which beautifully displays many regular web pages, images and all. To take advantage of WAP internet, however, you must connect to what's called a proxy server. By default, your cell phone is programmed with Verizon's proxy server, which they will charge you to use. With a minor hack, though, you can change the phone to use any proxy you'd like, many of which can be found for free! Here are the steps for free* WAP internet on your VX8300...

*Note: Accessing WAP internet will cost minutes on your phone plan, but will not incur any further fees. With a free nights and weekends plan, this means absolutely free WAP on nights and weekends! Also note: This tutorial is slightly more advanced than the prior ones. It involved directly editing files on your phone's filesystem. If you feel uncomfortable with this, don't do it.
  1. Connect to your phone using BitPim.
  2. Click View > View Filesystem. This will add a filesystem link to the left pane. Click on it.
  3. Navigate to /OWS in your filesystem. Right click on paramtable1.fil and save it to your hard drive. Keep an unmodified backup copy of this file in case something goes wrong.
  4. Open your new copy of paramtable1.fil in a hex editor, such as the free XVI32. Change the third byte from "00" to "20". (Thanks to Rodstree for figuring this out.) Save the copy. (If you want to skip this step, here is a copy of the edited paramtable1.fil, that I've created for this site. It comes with no warantees.)
  5. Right click on paramtable1.fil back in BitPim. Overwrite it with your new modified version.
  6. Once the file is transferred, turn off and turn on your phone.

Previously the settings to change WAP gateways on your VX8300 were locked. You've just unlocked these options. Here's how to access them:
  1. Press OK to open the menu on your phone. Press 0, and then six more zeros to open the service menu.
  2. Press (8)WAP Setting.
  3. Under Proxy Address Setting and Proxy Port Setting, you'll find Primary and Secondary configurations. The Primary Address goes with the Primary Port, and likewise with the secondaries. Edit the Primary and Secondary settings with the gateways of your choice.
  4. Change the Homepage to or another suitable WAP homepage.
  5. Voila! Access the Minibrowser. Free WAP!

OK, OK. I know what you're saying to yourself right now. "Just what proxy settings do I enter?" Well, if you're a very advanced computer user and you leave your computer on always, you can try setting up your own proxy with HoTTProxy. If you're more like me, and you're willing to face a little unreliability, you can try a free anonymous proxy, which can be found in long lists all over the net. You may need to try a few before you find a working one.

With internet access, you've added yet another comfort of your home to your cell phone. Why not go all the way and watch TV, movies, and videos on your VX8300?
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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Make MP3 and MIDI Ringtones

And now what you've all been waiting for: how to turn your favorite song into a ringtone and upload it to your phone, all for free. For this guide, you'll need to use BitPim. Here's my tutorial on how to set up BitPim, if you haven't already done so.

This tutorial is especially useful for VX8300 owners, but it should work for many other models that are BitPim compatible as well. I say that it is especially useful for VX8300 owners because LG (or more likely Verizon) made it somewhat difficult for a user to add ringtones to their phone by themselves. It can only be done with a specialized tool, like BitPim. I repeat, you cannot added ringtones to your VX8300 merely by adding them to some directory on your microSD card, they must be inserted directly into your phone's memory with BitPim. That said, let's begin...

We'll start with adding MIDI ringtones. MIDIs are like digital sheet music that tell your computer or phone how to play a song. MIDIs of many popular songs from old to new can be found for free on the internet.
  1. Open BitPim and connect it to your phone.
  2. Click on the plus sign next to "Media" on the BitPim tree, and then click "ringers" beneath it.
  3. Drag your MIDI files into the large white pane on the right.
  4. Now click the Green Arrow Pointing to the Cell Phone button, select ringtones, hit OK, and wait for the transfer. That's all there is to it, check your "My Ringtones" menu on your VX8300 to see if it worked.

Creating an MP3 ringtone for your phone is a little more involved, as you'll typically need to edit the file down to the short clip that you want as a ringtone. Fortunately, BitPim makes this very easy by providing a simple MP3 editor. (For more advanced audio editing capabilities, I highly recommend Audacity, which is free software.)
  1. Drag your MP3 into the ringers pane, as you would for a MIDI. A simple editor/converter appears.
  2. Press convert to convert your audio into the appropriate format for editing. As you practice making more MP3 ringtones, you'll want to start fiddling with the available options before you convert to improve the quality of your ringtones. A higher bitrate raises audio quality at the expense of greater file size, for instance.
  3. When conversion is complete, you'll wnat to cut the song down to the chunk you want to hear as a ringtone. The blue-grey bar represents the whole length of the song. Drag the pink and red sliders to the beginning and end of the area you want to use. Click play clip as you go to hear the selected area.
  4. After this, you may want to boost the volume of the clip. The VX8300 has a tendency to play homemade ringtones at volume slightly quieter than the supplied ones. Do this by adding a positive value to the decibel (dB) volume adjustment box. Experiment with the amount on different attempts, but remember that the more you increase the volume, the more distortion will be introduced to the clip. I've found 5db to be a rather happy compromise between loudness and distortion.
  5. Press OK when you're done, let it do its thing, and upload it to your phone, same way as the MIDI.

Kudos, you can now go out into the world and annoy people with your taste in music everytime you receive a phone call. Remember, if you're having trouble with connecting to your phone, see my guide on how to configure BitPim.

Want to make your phone even easier to use? Read my tutorial on VX8300 shortcuts.
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

One Touch V-mail: Skip the Password

Inquisitive reader Richard writes in to ask, "Is it possible to create a one key fast dial contact to my voice mail ... include my password ... so I wouldn't have to enter it fresh each time I access my voice mail .. ?" Good question Richard, and thanks for writing in.

Yes, in fact, it appears that you can indeed access your messages on your VX8300 using a speed dial, bypassing that pesky password step. Here's how to do it:

  1. From the main screen, press OK twice to make a new contact.

  2. Name your contact something along the lines of Voicemail.

  3. In one of the phone number fields, enter your cell phone's 10-digit cell phone, and don't press SAVE. Instead press Options, choose (3)Add Pause, and (2)2-Sec Pause. Don't press save yet.

  4. Now enter your voicemail password and a pound sign (#).

  5. To add this contact as a speed dial, press Options again, and choose Speed Dial. Pick an unused Speed Dial number. Now, confirm and save.

  6. To listen to your voicemails without typing in your password, simply press and hold your new speed dial number.

The way this works is your speed dial calls your phone, which provides access to your voicemail. Your phone then waits for the password prompt with the 2-second pause, and automatically enters your password and a pound to confirm, just as if you entered it yourself. Remember to be careful with this method, as anybody with access to your VX8300 potentially has access to your voicemail password by looking through your contacts. If you haven't read it already, here's another article about adding shortcuts to make using your VX8300 even easier.

Addendum (8/18/05): If you'd prefer to use the speed dial "1" to call your voicemail without a password, see the anonymous comment below for instructions. Thanks for the contribution, and I encourage other people to write in with tips.
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TV, Movies, and Videos on Your Cell Phone

You're probably asking yourself right now: how did he get that scene from Sifl & Olly on his VX8300, is that some kind of crazy photoshop trick? "No," I answer, "it's every bit as real as the very robot that Sifl built to do his bidding in Episode 12 of Season 1."

So what if I told you that you can carry any TV show, movie, or home video around in your VX8300, and watch it whenever you please? Sound's too good to be true, right? Well it's true, and it's quite easy. Here are the steps to convert and copy any video of your liking onto your cell phone...

  1. Find some videos you want to convert. Most .AVIs and .MPG/.MPEGs should work, .MOVs might not.

  2. Download and install this 3GP converter program.

  3. Open Setup.exe in the program's directory. Choose 3GPP+AAC General Setting and the language of your preference. Press Apply.

  4. Open the main program, 3GP_Converter.exe. Under "Output Directory" click Browse, and choose the my_flix directory of your memory card, using a card reader, or another directory if you'd rather copy the files to your phone later.

  5. Choose one of the QCIF Normal Quality conversion settings, mono or stereo sound, whichever you prefer. (Mono sound should slightly reduce the file size.)

  6. Drag and drop your video files into the white box. Now sit back and relax, the conversion process takes a while, but you're done! You'll be watching videos on your VX8300 in no time flat. Access them through My Flix on your Pix and Flix menu.

Oh, and if you want to play the video fullscreen (or nearly fullscreen), and sideways, as seen in the picture, press the Up button while it's playing.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Set Shortcuts to Music, Pictures, Videos on VX8300

It's a great thing that the LG VX-8300 is loaded with features. If you're looking at this site, that's probably the reason you bought the phone. But having all these features comes at a price: you many of them can only be accessed after wading through numerous lengthy menus. The calculator alone can take 11 keystrokes to open! But that can be changed. Your phone has four shortcut keys that can each be assigned to instantly access one of a lengthy list of features and menus.

Where are these keys, you ask? Well, they also serve as the directional keys, the four-way button pad enclosing the OK button. They are programmed to access certain shortcuts by default, but you'll probably want to customize them to access the features you use most. For instance, I don't need my Right shortcut button to take me to Get It Now, so I changed it to directly open up my Tunes and Tones menu. Now I can access my music collection by pressing only two keystrokes. (It used to take five.) Here's how to change your shortcut keys...
  1. Press OK to open the main menu.

  2. From the Settings & Tools menu, choose (5)Phone Settings.

  3. Choose (2)Shortcut Key.

  4. Choose the key that you wish to customize.

  5. Select the shortcut of your liking from a list of options.

For another timesaving shortcut, see my tutorial on one-touch, no password voicemail.
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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Enable MP3 Playback on your LG VX8300

[Update 10/28/06: If you have a new version of the VX8300, this method should no longer be necessary. MP3s will now play in the standard music player by default. Just put them in the my_music directory. Here's how to see if you have the new software: Go to Settings & Tools, then (9)Phone Info, then select SW Version. If your SW Version ends with V01, you have the old version, if it ends with V03, you have the new version.]

For some peculiar marketing reason, Verizon has disabled MP3 support by default on the LG VX8300. (Note: on some newer versions of the phone, this may or may not be true.) If I haven't convinced you to use WMAs on your VX8300 instead of MP3s, here's the method for enabling MP3 playback on your VX8300.
  1. Press OK to open the main menu. Press 0 to open the service menu. Enter the service code, which should be 000000.

  2. Select (11)Music Setting. Choose MP3 Enable and press OK. Press END to close the service menu...
MP3s are now enabled. They can be accessed through (8)My MP3s on the Tunes & Tones menu. If you would like to be able to access your MP3 collection through the buttons on the front of your phone:
  1. From the Settings & Tools menus, choose (5)Phone Settings, then (2)Shortcut Key, then (5)Play Key. Choose My MP3s, and press OK.

For your phone to recognize MP3 format music, your MP3 files must be stored in a directory you create yourself called my_mp3 on your microSD card. Also, consider my previous article on why WMAs are better than MP3s on the VX8300.
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Convert Your MP3s to WMAs

The LG VX-8300 has great utility as a music player. Unfortunately, Verizon did not include default support for MP3 format music. There's a lot of talk about how to enable MP3 playback (which I will cover in a later article), and a lot of people do so without first weighing their options. Until Verizon changes the LG VX-8300 to support MP3s by default, I'd recommend to instead convert your MP3s to WMA format. Here's why:

This is what your music collection will look like if you use MP3s. An unordered list of every song you have stored on your phone. It is only sorted by filename, so you can't search by artist or album, or song...

If you use WMA music files, on the other hand, this is what your collection looks like. By going to Tunes & Tones > Manage Music, you are presented with a full featured music organizer. Search through your songs, or browse by artist, album, or even genre. Plus, using this application, your external display will display song information, instead of the ugly brown spectrograph that the MP3 player provides.

But what if you music collection on your computer is in MP3 format. Well, it's easy enough to convert to WMA. I use this free application.
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BitPim: Transfer Contacts, Calendar, Pictures, Ringtones

OK, now that you have set up Bluetooth to connect your PC with your cell phone, or if you have a USB transfer cable for your phone, how do you transfer data between the two? BitPim is a great free application that allows your computer and your phone to share such data as: contacts, calendar, ringtones, music, pictures, text messages, call history, and more. It is also great for backing up this data, in case you lose your cell phone, or upgrade to a newer model. Here's how to get started with BitPim...
  1. Download BitPim and install it.

  2. Start the program and click Edit > Settings. Select your phone type from the list. (LG VX-8300 is supported natively.) Under "Com Port" type in the port your phone is connected to, the one that was listed when you set up Bluetooth. This will be something like "COM4" or "COM5". Click OK. (This should work with a USB cable instead of Bluetooth as long as you select the right COM Port.)

  3. Click the (i) icon or select Edit > Phone Info. If the setup worked, a window should pop up saying some information about your phone. If it didn't work, try changing the Com Port setting to a different number. You can troubleshoot by clicking "Log" in the left column as you continue to try to connect.

  4. Once everything is set up properly, click the cell phone icon with the green arrow pointing away from it. This downloads data from your phone. Select the check boxes for the data you would like to sync to your PC, click OK, and sit back watch the Log to see your files being transfered. Now you can browse your transferred infomation using the tree in the left hand column.

  5. If you modify or add data to BitPim (such as contacts or calendar events), click the cell phone icon with the green arrow pointing towards it, select the appropriate check boxes, and click OK to send it to your phone. If you modify or add data to your phone, repeat step 4.

Periodically use BitPim's download function to backup your phone's contacts and calendar data. Now that you know the basics of BitPim, use it to add free MP3 and MIDI ringtones to your VX8300.
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VX-8300 Specifications

The full specs of the LG VX-8300 are available here. Here are some of the most important features of this cell phone:
  • Weight: 3.88 oz (110 g)

  • Dimensions: 3.58" x 1.93" x 0.92" (91 x 49 x 23 mm)

  • Battery life*
    Talk: 3.83 hours (230 minutes)
    Standby: 384 hours (16 days)

  • Display Type: LCD (Color TFT/TFD)
    Colors: 262,144 (18-bit)
    Size: 176 x 220 pixels

  • External Display: 65,000-color OLED / 96 x 96 pixels

  • Memory: 28mb built-in

  • Memory card slot: microSD/TransFlash

  • Camera: 1.3 Megapixel

  • Audio formats: WMA (MP3 is possible with a workaround)

*Battery life estimates are extremely optimistic, and should be taken with a grain of salt.
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Video Longer Than 15 Seconds on the VX8300

By default, the LG VX-8300 only shoots videos (Verizon calls them "FLIX") up to 15 seconds long. If you have a microSD card, however, you can enable it to take videos that are much longer, as long as your card will allow, in fact...

Do this by going to the Settings & Tools menu, selecting Memory, choosing Save Options, choosing FLIX, and switching from Phone Memory to Card Memory. Then, go to Record Flix, press Options, select (3)Time Limit, and switch to Available Memory. The videos you shoot will now be saved to your memory card, and they can be as long as your memory card has space to allow.
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How to Connect to your Cell Phone Using Bluetooth

In a previous post, I told you how to get Bluetooth for about 12 bucks. Now, how do you use Bluetooth to connect your VX8300 to your computer? If your Bluetooth dongle works with Bluesoleil software, here are the steps to set up a Bluetooth connection.
  1. Plug in your USB dongle and start Bluesoleil. Click My Bluetooth > Security. Check "Set default passkey" and type in a short numeric code.

  2. On your LG VX-8300, from the Settings & Tools menu, select Bluetooth. Select Add New Device. The name assigned to your computer show show up. Press "Pair". Enter the security passcode you set in the previous step. Press OK. Choose "Always Connect" if you want to be able to easily connect in the future...

  3. Back in Bluesoliel, a cell phone icon should have appeared. Double click on it and your computer will determine which Bluetooth services your phone is capable of. We are only interested in one of these right now.

  4. Right click on your cell phone icon. Click Connect > Bluetooth Serial Port Service. In the lower right hand corner of your screen, a little yellow box should say "My Bluetooth COM Port * (COM*) is connected to a remote device." Make note of the number (*) of the COM port that has been assigned to your phone. Mine is COM5, for instance.

  5. When you're done using Bluetooth to connect to your PC, press "Off" on the Bluetooth menu of your phone in order to lengthen your battery life. Next time you want to connect, turn it back on through the Bluetooth menu, and repeat steps 3 and 4. If the cell phone icon ever disappears from Bluesoleil, put your cell phone on discoverable mode through Bluetooth > Settings, and click the orange globe in Bluesoleil.

Now your cell phone is hooked up to your computer as a serial port through Bluetooth. The next step is to use BitPim to communicate between your PC and your VX8300.
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

microSD Memory Card for Cell Phone

Update! Click here for the best prices on micro SD cards. Be sure to select a card size that your phone supports.

Many cell phones sold these days tout such features as music players and video recorders. But unfortunately, the amount of storage memory built in to the phones themselves is often insufficient to support these features. The LG VX-8300 comes with a generous 28mb included, which is enough to store several hundred camera phone pictures at medium resolution. But if you're planning on using the phone to listen to songs, or watch movies, you'll want to upgrade. 28mb can only store a handful of media files, maybe a dozen at best.

A 512mb flash memory card will allow you to store 100-200 songs, and a 1GB card will allow you to store twice that. This amount of memory will turn your cell phone into a music player that surpasses even the iPod Shuffle in most respects.

The LG-VX8300 and many other cell phones use the microSD (aka Transflash) format of flash memory card for additional data storage. (NOTE: microSD is a different format than miniSD and regular SD. Only microSD will work in your VX8300.) These cards can be bought for much less than you'd think. A SanDisk 1GB microSD card costs only 39.99 on Amazon, and a SanDisk 512mb microSD card costs only 22.49. These prices are significantly less than what I myself paid just a couple months ago. Both of these microSD cards include an adapter to allow them to fit into regular SD card slots...

The next issue is how to transfer data from your computer to your new microSD card. If you don't want to buy an expensive Verizon USB cable, pick up an SD card reader. At 7.95, they don't come much cheaper than the SanDisk 5-in-1 card reader. Insert the microSD card into the SD adapter, insert the SD adapter into the card reader, and plug the card reader into your USB port. It's a lot easier than it sounds, and it instantly appears as a drive on your PC.
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How to get Cheap Bluetooth for your VX-8300

Bluetooth makes it fairly quick and easy to transfer phone book and calendar information to and from your VX-8300 cell phone. There will be an upcoming tutorial on just how to connect your phone to your PC using Bluetooth, but before you can do this, your computer must be Bluetooth capable.

If you are not lucky enough to have a computer with Bluetooth built in, it can be obtained easily and inexpensively in the form of a Bluetooth dongle. These are small devices that look like flash memory keys which plug into your USB port...

How much does a USB Bluetooth dongle cost? They can typically run for about 20-40 through typical sources. BUT, no-name imported versions can be had much cheaper on eBay, and they will almost certainly get the job done just as well. On eBay they can usually be purchased for just 1 or 2, plus about 10 shipping (this is where they recoup their costs), for a grand total of about 12. To find these devices on eBay, try the searches "bluetooth+usb" snf "bluetooth+dongle".

Many of these devices come licensed for the Bluesoleil software, which I will cover how to set up in a future article.
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Record a Conversation or Voicemail on your VX-8300

Using the voice memo recorder outlined in this previous post, it is possible to record conversations on your VX-8300. Well, one side of them, at least. This technique will record the incoming audio only, that is, the person you are talking to, but not yourself. This can be quite useful when you want to save a voicemail, but don't want to leave it in your voicemail box...

To record a phone call, simply press and hold for a couple seconds the voice command button on the left side of your phone. NOTE: You may have to first clear numbers off the screen by pressing CLR several times. You will know that the recording has begun when a "Record:" counter begins counting off the seconds elapsed. Recording a phone call apparently is not limited to only one minute, as is a normal voice memo.

For more info about playback, and the voice recorder, see the earlier post. NOTE: I have not been able to play back and convert some .qcp files recorded during a phone call using Purevoice. I'll let you know when I solve this problem.
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Record Voice Memos on your VX-8300

There is a quick and easy way to record audio voice memos on the VX-8300. Press and hold the voice command key for about two seconds. (It is located on the left side of the cell phone, and is labled with a microphone.) Press OK to begin recording, speak into the phone, and then press OK again to end the recording...

In order to access your memo later, go to the Tunes & Tones menu and select My Sounds. The memo will usually be titled with the date and time it was recorded.

There is a one minute time limit for recording audio, whether you record to the phone memory or a microSD flash memory card. If you wish to record your messages to a microSD card, go to the Settings & Tools menu, press 8 (Memory), choose Save Options, choose Sounds, and then select Card Memory.

Audio memos recorded by the VX-8300 are stored in the .qcp format developed by Qualcomm. They are held in the my_sounds directory on a memory card. Once tranferred to your computer, they can be easily played back with Purevoice, and easily converted to .wav files using the Purevoice converter. Both products are available for free from Qualcomm. In order to convert your .qcp files to .wav files, simply drag them onto the pvconv.exe program.
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Welcome to LG VX-8300 Tips

Welcome to LG VX-8300 Tips! In the coming days, this blog will feature tips, hints, tricks, reviews, mods, and hacks for the LG VX-8300 cell phone available on Verizon wireless.
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