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Discuss [Problem] BIG magnetic field killed the radio! at the Hardware - Hackint0sh.org; I'm kinda new here, but I think this is the right section for this. I ...
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    Default [Problem] BIG magnetic field killed the radio!

    I'm kinda new here, but I think this is the right section for this. I have an iPhone 2G that's been jailbroken for ages (mainly because I need to be able to SSH home). At my workplace, I accidentally exposed it to a magnetic field. Not any magnet field either; this magnet field can, and does occasionally, lift chunks of iron about the same weight as me. So, it's a pretty strong magnet

    The first time it got exposed, EDGE died and never came back. Now, there's no GSM service whatsoever. On some rare occasions I do get a signal, but it can't be used. Everything else, including Wi-Fi, seems to be in order. Also, when I do a manual scan on available GSM networks, I do find them, but, again, I can't establish a connection. Also, a network that's not supposed to exist appears, bearing a five digit name, the first one being "3".

    Clearly, I screwed up. Clearly, it's hardware failure. My question is: what part do I need to replace? Or can I repair it somehow?



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    J to the T. Shaken, not Stirred Array thecompkid's Avatar

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    A hugely powerful magnetic field can do damage to pretty much everything in the phone. If, as you say, the phone appears to be working fine other than the cell receiver, then the comm board should be replaced.

    Just to clarify once again, this doesn't happen with exposure to just any magnet. You need a magnet that's powerful enough to screw with the actual circuit traces or induce an electrical charge. For example, if you've ever had an MRI, the machine itself is usually in a huge room and there are like hundreds of warning signs all over the place to not bring anything ferromagnetic within a 25 foot radius. That's what were talking about, not a refrigerator magnet. The only reason why I say this is because I know that some noob is going to start complaining about poor reception after he got too close to his fridge with his iphone .

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    Actually, I was quite surprised that this magnetic field had any influence on the iPhone at all. It's not an electromagnet, it's a neodymium magnet roughly the size of my fist. Inducing electrical current with a magnet would imply rapid changes to the field, if I recall correctly.

    I'm more inclined to think that the field did actual physical damage inside the phone (e.g wiring came loose, aerial output got shorted to ground etc). This comm board, where is it located? And which part is handling GSM traffic?

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    J to the T. Shaken, not Stirred Array thecompkid's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by konaya View Post
    Actually, I was quite surprised that this magnetic field had any influence on the iPhone at all. It's not an electromagnet, it's a neodymium magnet roughly the size of my fist. Inducing electrical current with a magnet would imply rapid changes to the field, if I recall correctly.

    I'm more inclined to think that the field did actual physical damage inside the phone (e.g wiring came loose, aerial output got shorted to ground etc). This comm board, where is it located? And which part is handling GSM traffic?
    Oh, that's a little different Have you opened the phone yet? Obviously, if you could see any physical damage then that would be a big clue (eg. unplugged or visibly shorted wires). I sincerely doubt that the magnet would cause this to happen as the parts are very small and are only individually subjected to a weak force, even if the magnet is huge. Unless you placed your phone in very close proximity to the magnet, the force exerted on any connector would be nothing compared to, say, the jolt of dropping the phone onto a carpeted floor, which it appears to handle well.

    Inducing any appreciably large current would require rapid movement, but I assume it wouldn't take much current on the right pin to corrupt, say, a couple of bytes of calibration data, which would completely and irrecoverably destroy the phones ability to connect via EDGE/GPRS. I'm honestly going pretty far out on a limb here, and you probably know a lot more about magnets than I do if you handle neodymium ones at work. It shouldn't happen at any rate, there should be absolutely no effect of bringing your phone close to a magnet, perhaps you were just lucky .

    Anyway, the comm board can be purchased at your iphone parts supplier of choice, just google for it. The whole board needs to be replaced I'm not really familiar with the innards of the iPhone 2G since I never had the guts to disassemble mine, but I heard that getting inside can be quite tough.

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    Hm. I just had an idea. I know it's merely speculation, but if this calibration data is in software, why would it be irrecoverable? Wouldn't, say, reflashing the baseband do the trick?

    I'm not currently at home, and probably won't be until Monday. I left my iPhone at home, transmitting all content via SSH to my computer. I'll probably flash it once I get home.

    I did search for a replacement board, only to find what I think is totally outrageous prices. $300 for a part? I bought my (used, jailbroken and unlocked) iPhone for $100, and that was 6 months ago! Even now, iPhones are being sold on eBay for ~$150. Am I missing something, or are these main boards really expensive? Because then I might consider buying a new one and use the other one for developing and experimenting. Or perhaps donating it to a project, who knows.


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    Quote Originally Posted by konaya View Post
    Hm. I just had an idea. I know it's merely speculation, but if this calibration data is in software, why would it be irrecoverable? Wouldn't, say, reflashing the baseband do the trick?

    I'm not currently at home, and probably won't be until Monday. I left my iPhone at home, transmitting all content via SSH to my computer. I'll probably flash it once I get home.

    I did search for a replacement board, only to find what I think is totally outrageous prices. $300 for a part? I bought my (used, jailbroken and unlocked) iPhone for $100, and that was 6 months ago! Even now, iPhones are being sold on eBay for ~$150. Am I missing something, or are these main boards really expensive? Because then I might consider buying a new one and use the other one for developing and experimenting. Or perhaps donating it to a project, who knows.
    well yes the boards are quite expensive and if I were u, i will just go for the internationally unlocked 3G version
    cheers

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    J to the T. Shaken, not Stirred Array thecompkid's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by konaya View Post
    Hm. I just had an idea. I know it's merely speculation, but if this calibration data is in software, why would it be irrecoverable? Wouldn't, say, reflashing the baseband do the trick?
    The calibration data is unique to each individual phone. Unless you have advanced GSM testing equipment available, you won't be able to regenerate it. When the dev team messes around with their test phones, they back up this data before they do anything simply because it's an easy way to kill a phone. Once it's gone, it's gone.

    Now, of course, this is not necessarily the problem with your phone. There is still a small chance that a wire came loose, and that would be a refreshingly simple fix.

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    hussain93: If I buy a new one, I probably won't buy the 3G version. There are many reasons: first, I simply hate 3G it's really a batterykiller. The speed improvement is insignificant, especially compared to WLAN. Which modern city doesn't provide its citizens with full WLAN coverage novadays? One other reason is Apple's implementation of 3G, which doesn't really go well with certain operators in my country.

    thecompkid: Hm, I wish I had known about that before... I'll definitely backup the calibration data on my next iPhone. I guess it's easier said than done, though?

    If it's easy, then maybe one could try some random values and see if things improves. It can't get worse anyway! I wonder if there is some neat iPhone application out there that shows detailed information about signal strength and such, that would really help, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by konaya View Post
    hussain93: If I buy a new one, I probably won't buy the 3G version. There are many reasons: first, I simply hate 3G it's really a batterykiller.
    well u can turn off the 3G function by using SBsettings if that's the issue. I recommend the internationally unlocked version because there is no need to mess around with the baseband, which could be fatal if messed with. Alot of people suffered from problems with the antenna after patching the baseband like wifi issues etc... Am not saying that it happens most of the time but sometimes things do go wrong while unlocking. Anyway it's just my opinion and since u mentioned that there are complication between the 3G version and some operators in ur country then no stay on a 2G.

    cheers mate

 

 

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