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[Q] HTC Wildfire + Radio image question

OP inaxeon

15th February 2011, 02:10 PM   |  #1  
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Hi

I have recently purchased an HTC Wildfire A3335. For those of you don't know, this is a special version of the Wildfire which has a UMTS 850/2100 Radio. Anyway this phone seems only to be available heavily branded through an Australian operator, Telstra.

Due to the hideousness of the branding, I naturally wanted to get rid of it. This was pretty easy-- Cool-- I now have an unbranded wildfire A3335.

Now, when it was flashing (using an HTC RUU exe) I noticed that it was "Reflashing the radio". I freaked out. I know this phone has a special radio in it and of course the unbranded RUU is for the 900/2100 UMTS version (A3333).

So as expected the phone has lost its very special 850MHz UMTS and now only works at 2100MHz (I doubt the phone has suddenly gained the ability to use 900MHz UMTS as it has the wrong chips in it)

The Radio image for this phone is available inside the Telstra RUU on shipped-roms.

My question. Is it possible to extract the radio image out of that and flash it in with the rest of the unbranded system? And hopefully get my 850MHz UMTS back. Currently it appears that the answer to this is no due to the lack of signing?

Current HBOOT: 0.80-0007
Current ROM HTC Standard (Eclair 2.1) 1.37
18th February 2011, 07:01 AM   |  #2  
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You can't lose or gain any frequencies by flashing the radio, it's in the hardware...
21st February 2011, 03:20 PM   |  #3  
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OK firstly, I did lose 850MHz when flashing the standard image on, so you definitely can lose (but never gain)

The Radio PHY in the phone will be split into two parts, the 2100MHz part and the 850MHz part (or a 900MHz part).

So on the normal wildfire radio image, there's a driver which is likely compiled to drive a 2100/900 radio, and when we run that image on the 2100/850 phone, 2100 remains working because this part of the chip is identical. The 850MHz part dies completely because this driver is not expecting it.

I know how lazy microcode developers are - it's very rare for anyone to go to the effort to make microcode images to support two subtley different chips, instead they will compile two versions of the microcode with subtle changes for each one. Only one bit in a register need be set wrong and the whole lot comes crashing down!

Now there could be a scenario where the radio is a 100% hardware solution, and there is no microcode for the UMTS radio, in which case there's a better chance that having the wrong radio image is not an issue, as the chips themselves are more autonomous. But then - What does the radio image do? In my experience of working with 802.11 Radio PHYs: Not likely. These chips are almost always highly software driven and must be running the correct code to fully function.
Last edited by inaxeon; 12th September 2011 at 11:30 AM.
22nd February 2011, 11:38 PM   |  #4  
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Okay so it looks like I just became the "expert" on this one and can now answer my own question.

It is possible to restore the original Telstra radio image, without rebranding the phone using the Telstra RUU.

This is what I did:

1) Download Telstra RUU from shipped-roms
2) Extract radio.img using this process: http://lukasz.szmit.eu/2010/04/extra...c-android.html
3) Repacked radio.img into an update.zip
4) Signed update.zip using http://android.modaco.com/content/so.../#entry1348449
5) Manually added com/google/android directory into META-INF directory in ZIP file (Copied from someone else's radio image.
6) Flashed image using clockworkmod "update sdcard" menu (unrevoked had already installed clockworkmod)

Done! I've got my 850MHz back again!

I've included the update.zip with the Telstra wildfire radio image here: http://xpander.inaxeon.com/data/files/update.zip

It's interesting looking around the various forums, I think a lot of people have been willy nilly flashing the wrong radios onto their special 850MHz devices then not fully understanding why their phones are without 3G coverage a lot of the time. Oops!
Last edited by inaxeon; 1st November 2011 at 09:23 AM.
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25th February 2011, 07:21 AM   |  #5  
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Interesting, last time I checked the radios were identical. I must have missed something. I'll try cross flashing the Telstra A3335 radio on the 900/2100mhz A3333 and see what happens, 3G up here in Canada runs on 850/1900, getting 3G on one of the 2 bands would be nice.

Edit: It's the same as the other radio of the same version 13.45.55.24/3.35.15.31 , did a checksum against the HK_CHT one (cid HTC__622, a A3333)
Maybe the "H" in the version have something to do with the frequencies? ie: Radio_13.55.55.24H_3.35.20.10 from the Froyo WWE rom.
Last edited by Kwen; 25th February 2011 at 07:51 AM.
1st March 2011, 09:06 AM   |  #6  
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Did you not read my second message!

Unless you have an A3335 flashing the Telstra radio is going to make your phone even worse!

The full solution for 850MHz UMTS requires:

A) The right hardware: (Wildfire A3335)
B) With the right software: The Telstra "Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31" is currently the only radio image in existance which can correctly drive the A3335, and in no circumstances should be flashed on anything other than the A3335!

Likewise - If you have an A3333
Do not flash the Telstra radio image on it, as it is the wrong code. You'll end up losing your 900MHz UMTS in the process (OK so that doesn't matter too much in Canada)

To say it even simpler:
  • Every radio image except Telstra is OK for use on the A3333
  • The A3335 must be running the Telstra radio image

Telstra Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31 is a special piece of software for a special piece of hardware!

EDIT: Kwen has checksumed the A3333 and A3335 images of Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31 and found them to be identical. This confirms that this paticular version supports both 850/2100 and 900/2100 phones, whilist newer versions do not. See more recent posts.
Last edited by inaxeon; 11th March 2011 at 10:08 AM.
2nd March 2011, 02:03 AM   |  #7  
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i have a telstra wildfire which i have wildpuzzle v.08 running on, with putting a new rom on i would presume i have a different radio, am i correct. yet i can get 3g and wcdma/hsdpa no problems. or am i confusing myself
2nd March 2011, 09:41 AM   |  #8  
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Thanks for this. I'm going to keep the update.zip safe just incase.

I've just imported an A3335 to use on the Telecom XT network here in NZ and I just flashed it with DK's rom (shame that I'm still stuck with the Telstra splash screen).

Although 850MHz is the primary band Telecom uses for their network they also have 2100MHz fallback in my location, so I'm not 100% sure what band the phone is running on.
Is there a service menu or an app on the marketplace I can use to check the band for peace of mind?

Thanks again.
2nd March 2011, 07:20 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inaxeon

Did you not read my second message!

Unless you have an A3335 flashing the Telstra radio is going to make your phone even worse!

The full solution for 850MHz UMTS requires:

A) The right hardware: (Wildfire A3335)
B) With the right software: The Telstra "Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31" is currently the only radio image in existance which can correctly drive the A3335, and in no circumstances should be flashed on anything other than the A3335!

Likewise - If you have an A3333
Do not flash the Telstra radio image on it, as it is the wrong code. You'll end up losing your 900MHz UMTS in the process (OK so that doesn't matter too much in Canada)

To say it even simpler:

  • Every radio image except Telstra is OK for use on the A3333
  • The A3335 must be running the Telstra radio image

Telstra Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31 is a special piece of software for a special piece of hardware!

It made no difference, couldn't tell if I lost the 900Mhz, couldn't get the 850Mhz for sure.

I tried playing in the Field test menu to switch between GSM Only to WCDMA Prefered/Only and the Band selection menu and completly lost access to GSM, it was stuck on WCDMA Only, had to do a nand restore (nothing to do with the radio version)

I'm not sure if the Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31 is exclusive to the A3335, most of the roms uses it:

Vodafone SPA
H3G ITA
HTC WWE
HTC Asia India
HTC Asia WWE
HTC Asia HK CHT (that's my phone and it'ss a A3333)
H3G UK
HTC Asia TW
HTC FRA Bouygues
HTC WWE Tesco
Vodafone DE

How did you find out which band your Wildfire was using? (or did you just not have any signal?)
3rd March 2011, 09:00 AM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwen

How did you find out which band your Wildfire was using? (or did you just not have any signal?)

Pretty easy. My operator has no GSM (at all) or 2100MHz sites where this phone is most commonly used. When the alternate radio was flashed on, the phone flat out lost all connectivity to the network. It only returned when the phone was driven to a place known to have 2100MHz coverage. That was a pretty damning and poignant confirmation.

About the versions of the Radio, When I was first considering flashing the RUU I had already been concerned about the radio image and checked the version. I saw that it was used in other A3333 targetted images so assumed that the radio images were not phone specific. Turns out I was wrong.

What would be interesting is to checksum compare Radio_13.45.55.24_3.35.15.31 from Telstra vs. other images. If they are identical, then we know that this particular version supports both style of radios, in which case it is safe for both versions. The reason I've always been qualifying that version "Telstra" is in the fear that they are different despite the identical version number.

Short of actually being a hard core hacker or HTC engineer, It's a bit hard to tell really. All one can really do is share their experiences.
Last edited by inaxeon; 3rd March 2011 at 09:13 AM.

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