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Thread: A56>C56 conversion

  1. #331
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    Please allow me to drag this thread kicking and screaming back on topic (though I'm enjoying the international banter, personally ;-]).

    I inherited a Siemens phone stamped Cingular. The phone is in great condition and I plan to sell it with the charger, but I want to know exactly what I'm selling and what it is capable of, so before I resort to calling the AT&T store where I suspect I might not get the whole truth (they are probably not interested in helping me recycle an old phone) I thought I'd ask here. :-)

    Physically it looks to be a C56, but boots up identifying itself as an A56. Cingular was bought by AT&T, and before service with this phone was discontinued the phone would boot up with AT&T's name. Now without service it boots up with Cingular's name, I presume as a default in the original Sim or the hardware perhaps? I have pulled the Sim card and the phone shows restricted (*not* 5 unbarred, darn it) so unless I get it unlocked (not sure I will try) the recipient will have to be an AT&T customer or get it unlocked themselves, correct?

    At any rate, is it the innards of the phone that determines whether it's an A56 or a C56, or is it the Sim card, or is it something else? I had planned on *not* including the Sim card with the sale; am seeing this on most auctions where I looked so figured this is standard... so I wondered if somebody put their own Sim card from a nonfunctioning C56 would this would function as a C56, or did I read correctly somewhere that AT&T does not support C56 so this phone will only function as an A56? I'm not comfortable hacking a working unit and don't have have the right cable anywho, just wondering what this thing can do as is.

    Thanks in advance for any information.

  2. #332
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    Wow... Never thought this thread would come back to life... but I'm glad it is. My C56 is still alive and well; I use it once in a while.

    Props to you on at least attempting to recycle an old phone. It's the right thing to do.

    To identify exactly which model it is, just press *#06#, and you'll get the IMEI of the phone. Press INFO and you'll see the info screen. Scroll down to the second last line and you'll see a line like: "Product: C56". This will tell you the exact model number.

    As you could probably gather from reading this thread, the innards of the A56 and C56 are the same, and the outer cover and keypads are interchangable. Technically it's possible to make an A56 into a C56, and C56 into an A56, but this is only by firmware modification, and not SIM-dependent. A SIM will have the power to lock out access to certain menus, for example, SIM cards from Rogers or Fido here in Canada do not allow access to the call timer menu, I had to use an old AT&T card to get into that menu. However, SIM cards will not have the power to make a C56 function only as an A56, for example.

    I'm not in the US and thus have no idea what exactly happened to the programming of the new AT&T SIMs since the rebranding from Cingular, but here's what I can offer for now: the "AT&T" tag you see when your phone was active was pretty much a "patched" logo sent over the air. With it inactive, the "Cingular" tag simply came from the phone's software. So, we can be pretty sure at this point that the phone is locked to Cingular SIM cards, or what became of them nowadays as the new AT&T network. Thus, it would be safe to say that the receipient would have to be an AT&T customer.

    Perhaps you could borrow an active SIM from someone with a newer AT&T SIM card and try the phone out?
    Phone history:
    Nokia: 5160i, 6160, 8260, 3390, 5190+analog, 8390, 3595 (x2), 6010, 1100b, 6061 (x3), 7250i, 1112b, 1208b, 2760, 3555, C1-01, C3-00
    Samsung: SGH-F266
    Siemens: A56>C56, M55
    SonyEricsson: T28w, Z200, T226, T290a, Z310a, Z520a>Z525, W710i prototype, W300i, T303a
    Motorola: MicroTAC Lite, StarTAC 6500, V547, W233
    VTech: A700
    Huawei: U1250
    LG: GB250g

  3. #333
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    Thanks for the info, Mosquito! I do recycle, and usually use things up - I kept my old Motorola from Tracfone until forced to upgrade when TDMA was lost locally... my kids liked to make fun of my antique phone. At least I never had to worry about anybody stealing it, and it never accidentally made phone calls like this new one has... :-\

    Re the Siemens, *#06# tells me it's an A56. Why did they put the C56 faceplate on an A56, I wonder? Oh well. I guess when I sell, I will note that it can be flashed to a C56 and the right faceplate will already be there. :-)

    I know it works on the new AT&T network with the current Sim card; we simply let it lapse in late October 2007 because the plan my in-laws had signed up for was more expensive than other alternatives we have available now (and the surviving in-law is deaf and can't use this phone). I have deleted the call logs/contact logs/etc. Is there any compelling reason I should or should not include the current Sim card in the sale of this unit?

  4. #334
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    The faceplate is a cosmetic thing; some people like the C56 keys better but IMO the A56 keypad is much more user-friendly.

    As for the SIM, it's toast already as your acct has been cancelled and a new user won't be able to take it over and use it as a new SIM. You can sell it with the SIM so that the new user will know exactly which SIM series works with it... if that matters at all. Otherwise, keep it as a souvenir or perhaps as a tool for unlocking (e.g. some unlocking procedures call for the use of an "other network" SIM - but I'm not going into further detail about this in here).

  5. #335
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    Thanks again, Mosquito. I know of the unlock you are describing, don't need to discuss it here as it's all over the web. :-) Maybe I'll make a tie tack or a brooch out of the old Sim.

    Thanks again for all your help. Now to find this little thing a new home one way or another.
    No, I don't use Boost, I just liked the icon. ;-)

  6. #336
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    I do apologize for resurrecting a dead thread, but trying to work with my phone has been driving me crazy for a while now and I'm hoping someone here can help me.

    Simply put, I bought a used Siemens A56i on eBay after losing my original Siemens A56i. In the past, I was able to download some MIDIs on my old phone to use as custom ringtones, but when I tried to do it with my new phone, I got "content not supported" type messages... I guess the site I used to download from updated their website, and can no longer be accessed by an old phone like mine. I bought a data cable for the phone, but it didn't come with any software and I can't find any that will allow me to transfer data to the phone.

    I haven't read through this entire thread (23 pages is a lot!), but two programs seem to be mentioned a lot: FREIRA and Siemens EEPROM Tool. Would either of these programs be of any help to me? I'm extremely tech-illiterate (hence my love for the simple Siemens A56i), so most of this discussion is way over my head. I would also like to re-install the firmware, if possible, to restore any settings the original owner may have changed on the phone, but if I can't do that, I'll settle for just being able to use my data cable for ringtones.

    Also, if either of those programs will work with my phone and data cable, where can I get them from?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  7. #337
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    Hi there,

    I had a C56 and mosquito helped me a lot with it. See if you can get a hold of him.
    Regarding the original setting, did you try a factory restore? There should be something like that in a menu somewhere, most phones have it.
    Also take a look here, maybe you can find a program to help you transfer the files you need:
    http://www.gsm-technology.com/gsm.ph...d,Siemens.html

  8. #338
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    Luna Lena,

    Hello and welcome to HoFo, and happy new year too!

    A couple of quick comments:

    1. I second Renton's comments that you should try to do a factory reset first. There really is no need to reflash the firmware, especially in light of you being tech illiterate (don't take offence - I'm aiming for a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach). All you need to do is to restore the factory settings by:

    Menu>Setup>Phone setup>Fact. settings>YES

    2. FREIA and EEPROM TOOL are related to flashing and unlocking purposes, for phone browsing, you won't need them.

    3. What you'll need are:
    a. Prolific PL2302 to Serial bridge USB driver:
    http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/downloads.asp?ID=31; get the PL2303_Driver_XP2K_v204102.zip file and unpack
    This driver allows the USB data cable to function as a serial, so you can assign a COM port to it.

    b. Siemens Data Suite:
    http://www.softwarepatch.pl/plik/769...-10076-PL.html
    Install this program so that you can browse your phone.


    As for your MIDIs not working, I suspect the files may be way too big for the phone to handle. If I remember correctly, MIDIs less than 1MB or so in size should work without a hitch on the phone.

    I hope this helps, and please keep us updated on what's going on with your A56i.

  9. #339
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    Hi! Sorry it took so long to respond... I only found time recently to sit down with my phone and try to program it.

    I downloaded and installed the programs you linked to, but the Prolific PL2302 program doesn't work with my computer, because I have Windows Vista. Consequently, the Siemens Data Suite won't even start up because it can't detect my phone. :/ Do you know of any other programs that may work?

    About the MIDIs, it's not that they didn't work, it's just that I wasn't able to get them onto my phone the way I used to. I suspect it's because the phone's browser is simply too low-tech to surf the Internet any more, because I can't really seem to successfully connect to anything now.

    Thanks so much for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.

  10. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Lena
    I downloaded and installed the programs you linked to, but the Prolific PL2302 program doesn't work with my computer, because I have Windows Vista.
    Ha... Vista is evil! Don't use it! I'm still on XP even with my brand-new computer. I guess you're out of luck there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Lena
    About the MIDIs, it's not that they didn't work, it's just that I wasn't able to get them onto my phone the way I used to. I suspect it's because the phone's browser is simply too low-tech to surf the Internet any more, because I can't really seem to successfully connect to anything now.
    The point of using the Siemens Data Suite is that you can download the ringtones directly into your phone from the PC, and not via surfing the net on your phone (which is costly!). I suppose all you can do now is to use a PC with XP loaded onto it and try again.

    Good luck!

  11. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by mosquito_R
    Ha... Vista is evil!
    SERIOUSLY. >_>

    Oh well. If I downgrade to XP (which I've been considering doing anyways) I'll try again. Thanks for all your help!

  12. #342
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    bumpity bump

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