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Should my E39 have a telephone?

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Thought I'd give the bloody thing one last chance !

Having located the boot mounted module I've managed to insert the up-to-date 'standard' PAYG SIM utilising my aforementioned fishing line withdrawal method. Having experienced difficulty fully inserting I simply unbolted the retaining frame (one setscrew) & dropped the module down whilst leaving all the wiring connected. Having put £10 credit on the SIM  the 'phone will now scan the SIM & lock on to the network, the incomplete antenna not preventing a good signal … the problem is that when dialling ANY number the 'phone will only connect me to the O2 SIM top-up menu & if I call the 'phone I just get a answerphone message !

I have a instruction manual for the 'phone & am working my way through it, but advice from anyone (5mithy?) who uses one of these devices would be most welcome as I'm delusional enough to think that I'm finally getting somewhere :unsure:

Thanks guys.

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Apologies! I've been on holiday for the last week and a bit so not been online.

 

Good to hear that you've found the module in the boot. FYI my SIM works in both the boot module and the phone cradle, I just prefer it in the boot as I don't want to see the card in the cradle when I lift up the phone. Yes I'm a bit fussy like that...

 

 

The symptoms you're describing sound like how my phone behaved before I'd topped it up. The phone had reception and displayed the network, but was only able to dial the top-up menu, and couldn't receive calls either.

 

I tried to top up using the phone, but each time it would get all the way through the menus only to be told at the last stage that "your top-up has been unsuccessful". Which was annoying, but at least proved that the phone did work.

 

I then topped-up online, which was successful, and after that the phone worked fine.

 

 

So it sounds to me like everything is working for you, but there must be a problem with your top-up. Check the envelope the card came in, the online top-up details are on there. Go through that procedure. It's very simple, and should prove if your card has credit or not.

 

You're at the last hurdle, don't give up now!

Edited by 5mithy

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Thanks '5', reassuring that you've experienced the same problem. I'll call O2 customer services today & post an update.

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1 hour ago, Norseman said:

Thanks '5', reassuring that you've experienced the same problem. I'll call O2 customer services today & post an update.

 

Update (already).

Called O2 customer services & as to be expected they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

First off I was informed that my top-up had bought a 'bundle' then, after a long on hold, they suggested inserting the SIM into another 'phone to try it & when I explained that wasn't an option due to the different card sizes required I was informed, after an even longer wait, that the card didn't support the car-phone. I pressed them for a refund onto the debit card used for the top-up it appears that can only be done by means of a cheque, WTF?

I'm wondering if the lack of support could be that the SIM came from a trader on Ebay?  I'm going into town tomorrow, so whilst there I'll go into the O2 shop & run the situation past them … wish me luck :unsure:

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Philistine :P

I'm only putting myself through all this to try & keep the originality of the car, but I guess we all have our own agenda.

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I don't think there's any point asking O2 customer services or going to the shop, they're not going to have the foggiest idea about 20 year old car phones.

 

And as for customer services telling you the card doesn't support the car-phone, that's BS.

 

It's a GSM phone, so a GSM SIM will work. The physical size of the card has changed (no longer 1FF), but the "brain", the gold bit, hasn't changed since the mid '90s. 

 

This is the card I got. Next day delivery, free, direct from O2- https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/sim-cards/pay-as-you-go#simtype=classicpayasyougo

 

Topped up online, all running fine. Brand new SIM, 21 year old 'phone.

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18 hours ago, Norseman said:

 

Update (already).

Called O2 customer services & as to be expected they were about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

First off I was informed that my top-up had bought a 'bundle' then, after a long on hold, they suggested inserting the SIM into another 'phone to try it & when I explained that wasn't an option due to the different card sizes required I was informed, after an even longer wait, that the card didn't support the car-phone. I pressed them for a refund onto the debit card used for the top-up it appears that can only be done by means of a cheque, WTF?

I'm wondering if the lack of support could be that the SIM came from a trader on Ebay?  I'm going into town tomorrow, so whilst there I'll go into the O2 shop & run the situation past them … wish me luck :unsure:

 

Is it not possible to remove the SIM from the card you've attached it to and try it in another phone?

 

As before- if your phone is only able to go straight to the automated customer services line, you know for a fact that the phone works, but you're unable to use it due to an issue with the top-up.

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4 hours ago, 5mithy said:

I don't think there's any point asking O2 customer services or going to the shop, they're not going to have the foggiest idea about 20 year old car phones.

 

And as for customer services telling you the card doesn't support the car-phone, that's BS.

 

It's a GSM phone, so a GSM SIM will work. The physical size of the card has changed (no longer 1FF), but the "brain", the gold bit, hasn't changed since the mid '90s. 

 

This is the card I got. Next day delivery, free, direct from O2- https://www.o2.co.uk/shop/sim-cards/pay-as-you-go#simtype=classicpayasyougo

 

Topped up online, all running fine. Brand new SIM, 21 year old 'phone.

 

Many thanks yet again '5' for your assistance, I too caught a distinct whiff of BS during my conversation with O2 !

I'll go to the link you've sent, update will follow in due course.

Cheers

N.

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Success at last :)

'Phone now working, thanks to your advice.

Next question > Is it possible to replace the exterior mast as mine has been broken off. I don't really want to replace the entire antenna as that would involve unsticking the base unit from the rear window. There is a knurled section that turns when I twist it, but it doesn't seem to unscrew.

nb:  the signal strength meter shows a good signal, it's just that I'm offended by the sight of a broken antenna !

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10 minutes ago, Norseman said:

Success at last :)

'Phone now working, thanks to your advice.

Next question > Is it possible to replace the exterior mast as mine has been broken off. I don't really want to replace the entire antenna as that would involve unsticking the base unit from the rear window. There is a knurled section that turns when I twist it, but it doesn't seem to unscrew.

nb:  the signal strength meter shows a good signal, it's just that I'm offended by the sight of a broken antenna !

 

On RealOEM - https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=DD42-EUR-05-1998-E39-BMW-523i&diagId=84_1211

 

image.thumb.png.a135cf540d122593e01df7784e872b12.png

 

84508369459

Antenna radiator

D-NETZ 80MM

Not sure is 80mm is correct one though...

 

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Thanks for that KD, item #2 certainly looks like the part. All I've got to do is find a supplier here in the UK, searches so far have revealed outlets in the US & Germany.

nb:  I suppose a used item from a BM breakers would do.

 

Appreciate your help.

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8 hours ago, Norseman said:

Thanks for that KD, item #2 certainly looks like the part. All I've got to do is find a supplier here in the UK, searches so far have revealed outlets in the US & Germany.

nb:  I suppose a used item from a BM breakers would do.

 

Appreciate your help.

Always worth ringing your local BMW dealer...you never know :rolleyes:

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Norseman said:

True enough, if you don't ask ...

Thank you.

 

Speak to BMW Cotswolds on this forum; see if they can help you and you'll get the forum discount too

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16 hours ago, Norseman said:

Success at last :)

'Phone now working, thanks to your advice.

Next question > Is it possible to replace the exterior mast as mine has been broken off. I don't really want to replace the entire antenna as that would involve unsticking the base unit from the rear window. There is a knurled section that turns when I twist it, but it doesn't seem to unscrew.

nb:  the signal strength meter shows a good signal, it's just that I'm offended by the sight of a broken antenna !

 

 

Fantastic! Glad you got it working B)

Now you've got to put in all your phone numbers so you can operate it from the MID too...

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I admire your enthusiasm, but for the use the 'phone will get (we both have mobiles & the Xtron unit will blue-tooth 'ere indoors 'phone) it's not worth bothering.

I'm happy to have the GSM working as it will probably get a signal in places mobiles wont, which could be an advantage in an emergency, so I really appreciate the motivation you guys gave me when I was on the verge of scrapping the thing.

 

nb:  According to a specialist BM breaker a blue interior with my model is rare in the UK, so replacing the centre armrest with a standard version would have been difficult had I removed the 'phone.

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11 hours ago, d_a_n1979 said:

 

Speak to BMW Cotswolds on this forum; see if they can help you and you'll get the forum discount too

 Thank you, I'll try them.

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