Completely (and permanently) disable cell radio?

Discussion in 'ChevyNo1' started by Gunslinger, May 20, 2011.

  1. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    [SOLVED] Completely (and permanently) disable cell radio?

    Does anyone have a method to completely turn off the cell radio, while leaving Wifi and Bluetooth intact?

    To trim expenses, I've just switched my phone service to a "dumb" phone, and intend to keep using my OG Droid (SS 5.2) as a Wifi only device. Airplane mode disables Bluetooth, which doesn't work for my needs. I can use the Phone Info app to turn off the cell radio, but it doesn't stick after a reboot. I saw an XDA post mention renaming /system/app/phone.apk and /system/app telephonyprovider.apk, so I tried it. The phone went into a constant FC loop of the phone app, and pulling the battery didn't help, so I had to restore a backup.

    Is there a better/easier/permanent way to do this?

    Thanks! dancedroid
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  2. redoregon
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    redoregon Member

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    Ok folks, let's not let him hang... I remember a hidden menu accessible through ##REMOTE## or something like that which held a bunch of service parameters.... I remember warnings that if you changed them it would wipe out your service. Sounds like just what the Gunslinger's looking for. Ring any bells?
  3. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    The Phone Info app brings up the menu normally accessed by dialing *#*#4636#*#* - is this what you meant? If so, then the only problem there is it doesn't stick after a reboot...it's not difficult to turn off the radio from there, but it's one more thing I have to remember to do :tongue: A permanent solution would be great...
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  4. redoregon
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    redoregon Member

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    Nope, there's an old old one that you get to by hitting ##program then entering 000000 when it asks for a password. Been digging through threads... haven't found specifically which entry it was, but I'm pretty sure there's a few entries in there that have to do with your service, dork one of them and you're hosed. But you *want* to be hosed, so that might be what you're looking for.

    I'd just write down any current codes before you change them.... I would look them up myself but I can't get to my phone easily from where I am.
  5. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    Neat, another hidden menu I didn't know about :) Now, to find out how to use all the cryptic options there....

    Until today, I had no idea how hard it was to search for something like "##PROGRAM." Apparently every search engine on the planet removes certain symbols from the search string, even if you encase it in quotes :blink:
  6. redoregon
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    redoregon Member

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    Yup. You can thank cross-site scripting and the like for that.
  7. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    Ugh. So I can't find any serious explanations of what all the menu options are in the ##PROGRAM menu. Just about the only thing I can locate is the "voice quality hack". No one seems to know exactly what they all do. So...back to my original question...does anyone have an easy/better/permanent way of disabling the cell radio while leaving Bluetooth, Wifi, and GPS alone?

    Thanks for trying, red :icon_ banana:
  8. redoregon
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    redoregon Member

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    Try wiping out all the "user" fields? Bet you wouldn't have any service with those blank!

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  9. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    *crosses fingers, makes a backup*
  10. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    Bah, no luck. I did get prompted for activation after a reboot, but I bypassed it. Even still, the signal bars show strength, so the radio's on. Back to the drawing board...

    dancedroid
  11. ChevyNo1
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    ChevyNo1 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Well, this is on 5.3, but I wouldn't think it would make a difference - I simply renamed /system/app/Phone.apk to /system/app/Phone.apk.bak - and boom, no cell, but wifi was working. BT turned on but no way to test ... no fc's either
  12. TwoBuells
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    TwoBuells New Member

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    Why turn off the cell radio?
    I have a Droid 2 Global as my only activated phone. My Droid running SS5.2 is not activated but I use it to access email/internet via wifi. The main function I use it for is a mp3/podcast player and use Bluetooth to a speaker and listen to the Stern Show that I record daily. The phone does everything but phone, texts and GPS. Battery lasts forever also.
  13. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    Chevy to the rescue! After rebooting, all is well and I've got a red X. Earlier it must have been renaming TelephonyProvider.apk at the same time as Phone.apk that caused the FC loops.

    And I wanted to turn only the radio off because 1) I need BT, Wifi, and GPS, and 2) I don't want to forget to turn off the radio in Phone Info and eat up my battery unexpectedly. As a side benefit, I can let my gf's daughter play with the Droid and not worry about 911 calls :)

    Big thanks!
  14. Eliteoomph
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    Eliteoomph New Member

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    I am traveling the New Zealand next week and want to disable the radio/data as well and only use wifi. I have a thunderbolt. Would turning off the radio in the *#*#4636#*#* menu do this? Just want to be 100% sure.... I do NOT want to pay over 20 bux per MB...
  15. Phreaker47
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    Phreaker47 Member

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    This is good to know for the future... because when I eventually upgrade my phone, it would be nice to turn the D1 into a media player/wifi device (and get rid of all phone/dialer related apps). Naturally, disabling the phone functionality altogether is the logical first step.
  16. redoregon
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    redoregon Member

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    Fwiw, I've done business trips to Korea, and just went into airplane mode and then turned on wifi. Good to go for the week. I'm running an original Droid, but I'm guessing the software would behave the same on most phones?

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  17. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    So now that I've had some time running without Phone.apk, I have to say I'm pretty pleased. This is exactly what I wanted - a Wifi-only PDA. Thanks to everyone for the help :)

    That said, I checked out my battery stats this morning, since I wiped them the other day after installing 5.3. "Phone Idle" is using about 10% of my battery. Does anyone know what package/process this is, and if I could safely rename it the same way I did the Phone.apk? I just want to save as much battery as possible, by turning off non-essential functions.

    EDIT: I saw a few posts claiming that Phone Idle is actually keeping the hardware running (screen, speaker, CPU, etc), but I'm hesitant to just accept what I read on some other forum :icon_eek: I thought these things would be handled by the Android System process? There's a surprising lack of information on these things...
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  18. ChevyNo1
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    ChevyNo1 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Cool - I THINK also it disables GPS though - have you tried that?

    I think 'Phone Idle' does not refer to the phone itself (ie radio), but Phone as in 'device'
  19. Gunslinger
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    Gunslinger New Member

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    Well crap. You're correct about GPS (naturally). I thought it was a problem with CoPilot Live, that it couldn't get a fix on me without aGPS. I would turn on Wifi, connect to a network, and it would get a fix, and hang on to it for the rest of the trip.

    But just now, I disabled "Use wireless networks" in Location & Security, turned on GPS and fired up Maps, and it couldn't get a fix. I waited for about 10 minutes. So I renamed Phone.apk.bak to Phone.apk and rebooted, and Maps found me within a few seconds.

    In addition, after some testing, disabling the cell radio in Phone Info ALSO disables GPS. It looks like for my needs, I'll have to use Phone Info to turn off the cell radio on every boot, and turn it back on for the few occasions I need GPS.

    So I guess I might be back to my original question (kind of). Is there a way I can bork the phone service, so it won't even try to look for signal (wasting battery), but still keep GPS, Wifi, and Bluetooth? Or at the very least, some kind of script I can have run at boot, to turn off the cell radio like Phone Info does?
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  20. spastickyle
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    spastickyle New Member

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    The GPS seems to work when you start the GPS tracking with the radio is turned on and then turn off the radio (I use the Advanced Settings app to do that). My question is, does that method still work if you are in the middle of nowhere and the phone cannot locate a cell tower? Does the Motorola phone need to locate itself with aGPS first before it will trust GPS on its own?
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