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Last updated 3/5/2003 22:00
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Nokia 3285/3585/5185/6185 programming

The Nokia 5185i and 6185 are tri-mode CDMA1900/CDMA800/AMPS phones that will work on Verizon’s SingleRate plans. They are similar in function to the Motorola StarTac 7868 and the Audiovox CDM 9000. Bell Atlantic Mobile has rejected the 6185 due to poor digital to analog handoffs, however, MCI uses this phone for their resale accounts on BAM’s NY metro network. PrimeCo, nTelos, and Alltel also use the 6185.

The main difference in the 6185i is a rectractable antenna. Apparently, the ‘i’ notation in the model number denotes a retractable antenna.

The Nokia 6188 is a special version of the 6185 made for Clearnet/Telus. This phone is almost identical to the 6185 except that it cannot force an analog call. Clearnet/Telus users have been able to force analog calls by entering *#3872# (*#EVRC#). Since Clearnet/Telus does not use the Enhanced Variable Rate Codec for customers with Nokia phones, the phone will force an analog call, however, Clearnet/Telus has disabled the EVRC code on newer versions of the 6188.

Bill Barsley notes: Clearnet soon to be Telus does use EVRC. They turned it off on the Nokia customer database as the phones sounded horrible. Some improvement on my 6188 with the 540 load in EVRC, but still no where near as good as my Timeport or 7868.

Basic Programming
To use a Nokia 5185i/6185 on Verizon/BAM, you need to have the phone’s MSL to unlock the phone. The MSL (master subsidy lock) is the six digit number that is used to program the phone. This number is NOT to be confused with the six digit one-time Service Programming Code (SPC) number that the provider initally provided you to program the phone. If you need to find out the MSL for your phone, go here: The MSL for each and every 6185 is a unique number known only to the carrier that sold the phone in the first place.

Once you have the six digit MSL, you need to know your cell phone number and the service ID number (SID) for your home network. The quick way to program NAM data is to enter *#6391# (*#NEW1#) for NAM1 data and *#6392# (*#NEW2#) for NAM2 data. In absence of a valid PRL, NAM1 is used for CDMA1900 networks and NAM2 is used for CDMA800 networks. As long as a valid PRL is installed in the respective NAM, the phone will find the proper system, no matter what NAM you are using, just as long as the phone is set to Auto. Also note that the SemiAutoB/SemiAutoA option is only available on NAM2, as that is the only NAM that is able to manually access 800MHz A-side/B-side in absence of a PRL.

Enter the code that corresponds to the NAM you need you use. For example, select NAM2 for Verizon/BAM CDMA800. The phone will prompt you for ‘Service prog. code’. Enter the phone’s six-digit MSL here, press ‘OK’, then enter your 10-digit cell phone number, press ‘OK’, and then finally, enter the SID number that corresponds to your home network.

The phone will display a message if the activation was succesful, and then it will reboot. When the phone turns back on, you may now enter *3001#12345# to begin the advanced programming of your 6185/6188.

Select the appropriate NAM that you wish to program, and scroll down to ‘CDMA settings’ and then go to ‘SID/NID lists’. Enter your home network SID under ‘Home SID/NID’. The Nokia 6185 can have up to 20 CDMA home network SID numbers for each NAM. This can be useful if your home area is comprised of more than one network. For example, my phone has service on the Verizon/BAM Philadelphia market, which includes both the Philadelphia metro and Atlantic City networks. I have programmed the following numbers into my phone:

Home SID 1: 8 <- Philadelphia network
Home SID 2: 250 <- Atlantic City network

Users of the Verizon SingleRate and SingleRate East plans can add the SID numbers of the neighboring systems included on the plan in order to represent the full home coverage area of your phone.

If you back out of the ‘CDMA settings’ to the ‘AMPS settings’, you will also need to set the ‘AMPS home SID’ to your home network SID so you can use analog service on your phone if needed. The 6185 can only have one AMPS home network SID.

Entering the preferred roaming list (PRL)

While still in the ‘SID/NID lists’, you can also update the phone’s preferred roaming list (PRL) in the NAM by entering the SID numbers of other Verizon networks under ‘Preferred SID’. The 6185 can have up to 80 preferred SID numbers for each NAM. This will allow your tri-mode phone to roam on Verizon’s various CDMA800 networks.

Warning: If your 6185 has a pre-programmed PRL for the NAM you are using, it will override any settings you have made to the home/preferred/forbidden PRL list in the NAM. You can check the existence of a pre-programmed PRL by entering *#837#. If the phone says ‘PRL:None’ (like mine for NAM2) then there is no pre-programmed PRL list for that specific NAM.

For example, this is the PRL that I have manually programmed into NAM2 of my phone:

Preferred SID 1: 28 Boston
Preferred SID 2: 18 Washington DC
Preferred SID 3: 119 Connecticut
Preferred SID 4: 22 New York City
Preferred SID 5: 32 Pittsburgh

I recently stopped by a Verizon/PrimeCo store, and the tech there was more than happy to update my 6185 with a Verizon/PrimeCo Singlerate PRL in NAM1. Consequently, I am now able to use NAM1 for my main Verizon/BAM number, and it has no problem finding both Verizon’s CDMA800 and CDMA1900 towers. Additionally, I am now able to program a different number in NAM2, if needed. Please note that knowledge of the MSL for your phone is needed to update the PRL.

Considering that Verizon is now selling the tri-mode 5185i at all of their stores, it is now possible to update a 6185 with a 5185i PRL.

Bill Arbogast reports in:

that he is successfully using Verizon PRL 50000 from a 5185i in his 6185. Since Bill has proved this is possible, owners of all 6185 models can now have a recent Verizon tri-mode PRL in their phone, provided they know the MSL of their phone.

Once you are finished with the advanced programming menu, you will need to power the phone off and back on again for the new settings to take effect.

Changing the Master Subsidy Lock / Service Programming Code

If your 5185/6185 has a MSL/SPC code other than 000000, then it is necessary to enter the MSL/SPC every time the phone needs to be reprogrammed. It is possible to erase this code so that it is not needed every time reprogramming is necessary. Simply select the ‘Change SPC’ option under the *3001#12345# menu, and change the MSL/SPC to 000000.

Knowledge of the current MSL/SPC code is necessary to set the code to 000000, however, the phone will not prompt the user for ‘Service Prog. Code’ once the code is set to 000000.

Sprint PCS Nokia 6185

The Sprint PCS Nokia 6185 is slightly different that the regular version. The main difference in all firmware versions is that Sprint 6185 phone does NOT allow the voice mailbox access number to be changed.

The new firmware upgrade for the Sprint PCS 6185 includes the following:

Added features:
Main screen date display
Louder handset/handfree earbud volume
8 new ringtones (Bee, City Bird , Rocket, Orient, Alamuhan, 12
months, Running horse, Auld Lang Syne)
Clear Voicemail Icon (menu 1-2-3)
Minibrowser messages (menu 1-4, email?)
Time/Date display options under menu 4-2-1

Fixed bugs:
address book sorting algorithm
custom ring tone deletion when call list is cleared
wrong date on field test screen 07
phone number now shown under “PLEASE CALL” when paged, no need to arrow

Deleted features:

The deletion of NAM2 pretty much precludes the use of this phone for use on another network while using SPCS, so keep this in mind if you would like to upgrade your existing Sprint PCS Nokia 6185.

The ONLY way a SprintPCS phone with the minibrowser firmware will work on Verizon, is if such a phone has a Verizon 5185i PRL updated in the firmware, instead of the SprintPCS PRL. See my notes above on how to accomplish this task.

Other Nokia 6185 goodies and codes include:

The 6120/6160/6161/6162/6185 and the 5120/5160/5170/5180/5185i models do not allow the use of user downloadable ringtones, nor is there an actual IR port under the top cover. sorry.

Upon receipt of new mesages, the phone will ask to dial your voice mailbox. Holding down the ’1′ key will also dial your voice mailbox. You can change the access number used to dial your mailbox by doing the following:

messages > voice messages > voice mailbox number

*86 accesses the voice mailbox on BAM, so my number is set to:

*86pp#xxxx# where the ‘pp’ tells the phone to pause twice before entering my access code. the ‘p’ pause is generated by pushing the star key a few times until is says ‘p’. the #xxxx# enters my access code.

NOTE: the firmware in the Sprint 6185 phone does NOT allow the voice mailbox access number to be changed. sorry.

The default security code is 00000. This code can be changed in the *3001#12345# menu.

Under the NAM1/NAM2 menu after you enter *3001#12345#, if you scroll down to ‘Alpha tag’ then you can change the display from the provider’s name to whatever you desire. If your phone is subsidy locked, then this option requires knowledge of the SPC/MSL code which only your provider has. This option will not work for Nokia TDMA IS-136 models such as the 512x/516x/612x/616x/826x phones.

*#92772689# (*#WARRANTY#)
Shows ESN, month/date of phone manufacture, date programmed/upgraded, date repaired, lifetime usage. Also shows option “Transfer user data?”

*#837# (*#VER#)
Shows firmware version, PRL

*#3872# (*#EVRC#)
Enhanced Variable Rate Codec: can force the phone into analog mode if
EVRC is not available.

Only Sprint PCS phones will work on Sprint PCS, however, it is possible to use a SPCS phone on another system, usually, only if the other system sells that identical phone.

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