A couple of weeks ago I noticed that ONSALE (www.onsale.com) had the
Sharp Zaurus ZR5800 PDA for $89. I "won" the bid on a Sunday and the
5800 arrived on a Thursday. It is a very nice little handheld
"computer", and the files are compatible with Word and Excel. I like
gadgets and gizmos, I really didn't NEED this one, but my secret hope
and goal was to try to use it to program my PRO-64 and PRO-2041.
I faxed in the warranty card for the free file transfer software and
$29.95 for the cable + $6.95 shipping (credit card). It was to
supposedly take 2-4 weeks for delivery...good grief...why not use $3
priority mail and take only 2-3 days? Luckily the cable and software
arrived in about a week. Now came the trial and error.
Using the OUTPUT file (i.e flist.txt) from Ken Plotkins LOAD64 program
or the XXX.prn file from my Excel spreadsheet, I tried to print to the
serial port on the PDA (after transferring the file from the desktop to
the PDA). That is how the spreadsheet works...it does the checksum calculations, saves the file as XXX.prn, then "prints" to COM1 set as "generic/text only" printer, which is really my 64/2041. No
luck...every printer I choose just sent gobblety gook (I monitor what is being sent by hooking up the serial port of the PDA to the serial port
of my desktop, while in direct connect mode using ProComm 2 on the
Next I tried doing a direct connect using the terminal on the PDA
(connect with no phone number provided). This sorta kinda worked,
except I was just getting "returns" but no "line feeds" (i.e. all 400 frequencies/channels were writing on one line, instead of 400 lines. I really wrestled with this one...I tried saving the file on the desktop
with different file formats, adding the control code "^M" to the end of
every line....no good. Then I tried every setting I could think of on
the PDA's terminal program, and every combination of settings. Still everything printing on one line. I FINALLY noticed a little turned up
corner at the bottom right of the PDA screen...yea...two more pages of various settings...and combinations of settings!!!
Well, I finally got the right combination of settings, and started
getting line feeds...very hopeful! But all my 64 could say was "PC
PGM"...no "PC CONNECT"...heavy sighs, frowns and cursing followed!!!!
(The PDA cable is hooked to the homemade cable I use to program the
64/2041 from my computer, from the serial port on the PDA to the
earphone hole on the 64).
Brainstorm - insert a null modem between the two cables....and
POOF..."PC CONNECT"..wait a minute..."FINISH"....yahoooooo! 400
Here are the "secret" settings!!!! In terminal mode-
setup...virtual screen...small font
block, horizontal=40, vertical=8, tab=8, delay=0, send LF/check,
This is a great little machine...2MB of memory, backlight, etc. I
picked up a used PCMCIA 14.4 modem for $25 (that's as fast as it will
take) from EBAY, that will work with a land-line or the cellular. You
need to use an AC adapter (9V 300 mA, negative tip works) or the
optional battery pack (list is $199, available for $120-$150) to use the modem. The two internal "AA" batteries can't run the modem by
themselves, but will run the PDA for 75-100 hours!
I did a little experimenting and built my own battery pack for under $6,
with 3 parts from Radio Shack:
270-407 or 270-387 8 "AA" battery pack $1.49
270-324 5/pk 9V snap connectors $1.89
274-1567 2/pk 5mm X 2.1mm coaxial plugs $1.89
and I already had 8 ni-cads
At Walmart I found a "day planner" by Mead that zips on 3 sides, comes
in various colors, is about one-half the size of a notebook, for $14.88 (there is a smaller one, just bigger than the PDA, for $11.88). The
3-ring binder easily slips out. I put a strip of velcro
(gotta-love-it!) on the bottom-front of the PDA, to hold it in place on
the case, and used two stick-on rubber feet, stuck to the day planner,
at the bottom-back of the PDA to sorta angle it forward and to keep it
from scootching around.
If anyone wants Ken's LOAD64 or my Excel spreadsheet, go to Ken's
I hope this long ramble might be of interest to others, and not just a
waste of space.
I thinks it's pretty COOL, but I'm pretty geeky and easily entertained!
A couple of weeks ago the PRO-64 was on sale for $150. I just picked up
a second PRO-2041 (for the car) for $170 last week.
|Location:||Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK|
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