Solution to the shortage of Calypso devices

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Mychaela Falconia mychaela.falconia at
Mon Oct 17 19:07:26 UTC 2016

Hello baseband hacking folks,

I have heard several people complain that they are no longer able to
find/obtain a Motorola C1xx phone or any other Calypso device for
playing with OsmocomBB.  I assume these complaints probably come from
people in the EU and other 900/1800 MHz regions, as US band C139 phones
are still readily available on ebay (63 listings as of right now, all
dirt cheap), but either way, I have what I believe to be the proper
solution to the shortage and the crippled nature of all pre-existing
Calypso devices: a new Calypso board.

Back in 2012 Harald Welte posted here saying that his company was
going to be making a new Calypso board for the very same purpose of
addressing the shortage and the deficiencies of pre-existing devices,
but as far as I know, no such product has ever been produced - nor do
I know if whoever was behind that project even got as far as creating
the design for it.

Fast-forwarding to the present, we now have a ready-to-build design
for a Calypso development board called FCDEV3B, which stands for
FreeCalypso development board, triband.  It is based on a reuse of the
known-working Calypso modem design from Openmoko, reuse at the level
of physical PCB layout, based on the GTA02 design files which Openmoko
founder Mr. Sean Moss-Pultz released in April of 2015 at my urging.

Back in 2012 Harald was saying that he was only going to release PDF
schematics but not the full design files for his board; I feel
differently about such matters, hence the complete design files for
*my* board are free to the world:

Now we need to get these boards physically made, and toward that end I
have started a crowdfunding campaign:

In the interest of transparency, I have to disclose (most people know
it already, but I have to state it anyway) that I do not use OsmocomBB
and will never contribute to Osmocom software because I am working on
my own personally preferred alternative GSM MS firmware implementation,
but when it comes to the hardware I seek to build and offer to the
community, there is no reason why it won't work with OsmocomBB - it
should work just fine.

Because my board is a derivative of Openmoko's modem design and the
part that is different between Openmoko's board and mine (the flash
chip - I will populate a higher-capacity chip on the same footprint)
is not used by OsmocomBB software, the images currently built in
board/gta0x/*.highram.bin should work as-is on my FCDEV3B without
needing any code changes.

Hasta la Victoria, Siempre,

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