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Panasonic KX-TGE273S Link2Cell Review

September 20, 2016 Leave a comment

I have been owning the Panasonic KX-TGE273S Link2Cell for more than a year now and always wanted to put a review of it. This is a smaller review which focuses on its advantages and disadvantages. So here it goes.

Why do I/You need it: If you are staying in a place where the cell phone reception is quite bad then this is a device which you should own as you can keep the cellphone at a place where the range is good and then enable bluetooth on phone and start pairing it with the panasonic base unit. Once paired you can use the panasonic handsets for calling or receiving from your cellphone. Other advantages are

Advantages

  • Convenience: You can connect up to two cell phones via bluetooth and 1 landphone to the base unit.[Keep the cell phone where there is a good signal reception and turn on the bluetooth and cell will get paired with the base unit). So you will have a single cordless phone using which you can call/receive calls from all the three phones at home. When an incoming call comes all the handsets ring and you can attend the call from any of the units.
  • Less Radiation: Since we are now talking over the headset, we dont need to worry about the cellphone radiation as the handsets talk to the base station using the bluetooth technology. Also cellphones gets heated up fast while using for long hours and using this helps in avoiding the heat on the ears as well.
  • Allows simultaneous use of all linked cell phones: This model supports maximum of two cellphones to be paired and when you are attending a call from a handset on CELL1 at the same time you can recieve/call from another handset using CELL2.
  • Intercom: It can be used like a intercom to call from one room to another by keeping handsets in different rooms/floors. This is very useful if you stay in a duplex/two storied appts.
  • Ring as a cell mode feature makes it easy to identify on which cell the call is coming. Ring as a cell feature means, the ringtone of the paired cell phone will be used as the ringtone for the cordless phone.So this way we can differentiate on which cell the call is incoming.
  • Cellphone Address book syncing: Cellphones address book can be imported to the base unit over bluetooth. For this feature, the cellphone needs to support bluetooth PBAP(phonebook access profile) which is common in the current generation smart phones. Even most Nokia feature phones with Bluetooth HSP (hands free profile) supports the same.This helps in searching for names from the handset itself and allows directly calling from the handset.
  • Talking Caller ID: If the incoming caller’s number is saved in the address book of base unit, then while getting a call, handset will announce the name along with the ring tone which is a useful feature. If the name is not there in the address book, then it will call out the number. This can be disabled if you dont want this feature.
  • Inbuilt clock and Alarm: Clock and Alarm features are there on the handset and can be configured independently on each handset.
  • Battery: It uses regular “AA” rechargeable battery and hence its easy to replace one if it goes bad. This was the main reason why I bought this instead of a Vtec (Vtec uses proprietary battery)
  • Build Quality: Build quality is superb as my handsets had fallen down multiple times and still no major issues. One handset suffered a broken display, but still its functional though its difficult to read from it. But overall the quality is superb considering the price which I paid.

Disadvantages

  • Can’t reject the call from the handset: When you get a call on one of the linked cell phones and there is no option from the handset to reject the call. The only way to reject the call is to go and find the cell phone on which the call is coming and reject it from there. In handset you only get the option to silence the handset.This is one of the biggest disadvantages as if you are in the middle of a meeting and then all the handsets around the house will start ringing the moment you get a call and if you want to disconnect the call, only way is to find the cellphone and reject the call from there. Silencing the handset silences only one which we are holding and the remaining handsets and baseunit will still be ringing.
  • Country Code problem: If your address book in the cellphone contains a country code with (+ sign like +1 or +91) then while trying to call from the address book it will not work as it doesn’t understand + sign. This is a big problem as most of my contacts have a country code prefixed for them, so I had to manually remove the  country code (in my case +91.
  • No battery for base unit: It would be great if the base unit came with a battery as in a country like india where power cuts are common, the moment base unit power goes, bluetooth connection between cellphone also goes. To workaround either keep a fully charged handset on the base unit so that the base unit gets the power from the handset. But in my case I connected the base unit to an UPS so that it will always remain up.
  • Power adaptor for base unit and handset: This cannot be a disadvantage as, but it would be great if panasonic could provide a power adaptor which supports 110V and 230V so that it can be used across the globe. Since I bought this from US, it came with a 110V power adaptor. I used a step down transformer adaptor to make it work in India. This product is not yet available in India.

Other things which I couldn’t rate

  • Call Quality: Call quality is Ok . But I think it can be bettered as at times it sounds little muddy.
  • Range (between handset and baseunit): Since I live in a 2 bedroom apartment of 1416sqft, I cannot comment on the range as in my house every room I get a good coverage for the handsets. Base unit is placed in the living room and the handsets are in each bed room.
  • Battery backup: Battery backup is not much of concern and hence I haven’t reviewed the same. But with moderate usage it gives more than a day back up.
  • VoiceMail : It supports storing of voice mails and automatic answering. But I haven’t tested it.

Where to buy

Currently this product is not on sale in India. So you have to get it from US. Following is the amazon link for the same.
Panasonic KX-TGE273S Link2Cell Bluetooth Enabled Phone with Answering Machine & 3 Cordless Handsets

 

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Categories: Gadgets

Configuring ZTE AC2738 3G modem on MAC OS X 10.9.3

May 31, 2014 34 comments

I have recently got  a Mac book Pro and was trying to connect to internet through my Reliance Netconnect Dongle. Since I am new to Mac and since the Reliance software doesnt work on the New Mavericks OS, i had a difficult time trying to configure it up. This post helps in configuring the same.

Note: After I wrote this post, there have been numerous MAC OS updates which came in that can cause the below hack to not work. So please note down the bottom of this page, if you are running the latest MAC OS.

Reliance Netconnect 3g dongle which I am using was a ZTE AC2738 model and this post is mainly for that though it may be applicable for other 3g dongles provided you have the driver for the same.

Issue: Reliance Netconnect provides MAC drivers and dialer software, but the dialer software doesn’t work on OS X Mavericks version, Which is what this post is trying to solve

Solution: Mac supports inbuilt dialer software and this post is basically making use of that to get connected. But this works only if the driver for the 3G modem is successfully installed

Step by Step guide

  1. Connect Reliance connect to the USB port of the MAC
  2. Automatically a virtual CD drive will appear and open the zip file corresponding to mac installer and follow the instructions.
    Note: You can download the MAC driver package directly from my dropbox link as well. Dropbox link
  3. Double click the installer and follow the installation process until complete.
  4. Once installed you will have a “Reliance Netconnect+” icon in your desktop. This is the dialer and its of no use. So you can move it to trash.
  5. Now open “Network Preferences page” from system Preferences->Network
  6. There on the left pane you will be able to see some new entries corresponding to “ZTE”
  7. Select the ZTE Wireless Terminal in that list and put the below info
    Telephone Number: #777
    Account Name: net
    Password: net
  8. Keep the Other values as it is and click on apply and select connect. Once connected you should be able to browse.

ZTE 2738 on MAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maverick users for whom the above hack didnt work or the dongle stopped working after getting updates.

Courtesy: The below hack is originally provided by ruchirs in the apple community and I am posting it here. Original thread can be found at Apple community thread for Mavericks

Solution: 

  1. Go to network preferences
  2. Lookup ZTE wireless terminal
  3. enter on right side: telephone no as #777
  4. account name and password as your dongles mobile number.
  5. and click connect!!.

Elcapitan users for whom the Dongle stopped working after upgrade.

Courtesy: The below hack is originally provided by rochishnudutta in the apple community and I am posting it here. Original thread can be found at Apple Community thread for Elcapitan . Also special thanks to Anuj Gupta who mentioned the same in the comments.

Solution:

  1. Boot into Mac by pressing CMD + R (Recovery Mode)
  2. Go to Terminal under Utilities.
  3. Type in csrutil disable. A comment will be displayed that your csrutil has been disabled.
  4. Reboot
  5.  Install the driver as usual and it will require a reboot again.
  6. Then go to network preference. Fill in all details (account and password) by selecting the driver name (in my case, ZTE Wireless Terminal) on the left panel. Save it and connect.
Categories: Gadgets, MAC

Configuring Reliance Netconnect(ZTE AC2738) with TP-Link TL-MR3020 3G Wireless Router

August 12, 2013 177 comments

This post is about how to configure a Reliance Netconnect (USB 3G/4G dongle) with a TP-Link TL-MR3020 Wireless 3G router.

Prelude:  TP-Link MR3030 3G/4G wireless router is a small portable device which helps in sharing an internet connection from 3g/4G USB sticks/connections like Reliance Netconnect/Tata Photon/BSNL EVDO/Airtel etc over a Wifi network.

Some of the highlights of this produce are

  • Very small and lightweight and aesthetics are pretty good (Have the looks of a apple product 🙂 )
  • Powered via a mini USB port and the charger cable is a mini USB to regular USB which means you can power it by simply connecting it a laptop. Also if you have a car mobile charger you can power it up in the car and make your car a mobile wifi hotspot
  • Have a RJ45 Ethernet port which can act as a wan port as well as a lan port depending on the mode of operation
  • Supports 3 modes of operation
    3G/4G only mode: Primary internet connection is from the 3G/4G dongle connected to the USB port of the router and the RJ45 port will act as a LAN port.
    WAN/3G/4G mode: Primary internet connection is from the WAN and if its not working then it will fall back to the 3g/4g usb dongle. Note in this mode the RJ45 port will act like a WAN port.
    Note: This can be used in home as a always connected internet redundancy option
    WAN only mode: Primary internet connection is from the WAN port and 3g/4G is not used In this mode the RJ45 port works as a WAN port.

Out of the box, this router doesn’t support Reliance Netconnect (ZTE AC2738). The router will keep on identifying the device and then say conencting to it and then will get disconnected.   Following are the steps which I followed to make it work. Thought of sharing it as it may help others.

  1. Firmware Upgrade: The default firmware which came with the device needs to be upgraded to the latest one for this to work.(
    Default Firmware which I got was: 3.14.2 Build 120817 Rel.55520n
    Upgraded firmware version : 3.15.2 Build 130326 Rel.58517
    Date of release of the new firmware: 18th April 2013
    Firmware Download Link:  http://www.tp-link.us/support/download/?model=TL-MR3020&version=V1 (if the site is down you get the same from here.
    Firmware file name: TL-MR3020_V1_130326
    Installing the firmware: Unzip/extract the downloaded firmware to a folder. Now go to the the TR3929 websetup click on SystemTools->Firmwareupgrade->and point to the extracted firmware image location.  Upgrade will take about 1 minute, wait for it to be complete and then proceed to step 2.
  2. Configuring the 3G router: Now in the TR3020 websetup, click on Quicksetup, select 3G/4G router only mode ->Next->Select Country as India->Select the Service provider as “Reliance Netconnect” (there are multiple reliance profiles, so select the one with Dial number as #777 and APN is blank (read blank as nothing)”, Select manual option of entering username and password and put username as “net” and password as “net”->Next->Click next until you get finish

Thats it you are done, Now you should be able to connect to the internet.

Categories: Gadgets, Technical