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US VAIO Z: Using SIM card (There is a sim card slot)

Discussion in 'Sony' started by aljebreensh, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. aljebreensh

    aljebreensh Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello,

    Hello everyone,

    I am considering buying a Vaio Z series laptop and I am very interested in using the Gobi 2000 card for 3G using a SIM card. So, I went to SonyStyle store to find if the US Z will allow me to do so.

    I asked the agent and he told me there is no SIM card slot, but I found it under the battery. I inserted my international SIM card and it clicked meaning it was in place, but did not find any way to use it, and the agent really had no idea how to get it to work.

    So, I contacted 2 Sony tech support agent, and they confirmed that I can use an international SIM card in the Vaio Z.

    The problem is, what software do I use to connect?

    The Z laptop has a Verizon software that I can use to connect to its CDMA network, but I could not find anyway to work on the sim card.


    I searched the forum for a solution, and it seemed that all the posts say that the Z series does not have a SIM card slot, and I work have to solder one or change the WWAN module. However, all the 3 units I found at SonyStyle store had SIM card slots under the battery.

    Can anyone please advise me how to get it working. I do not have a Verizon account and I am not planning to have one. (THE MACHINE HAS WINDOWS 7 INSTALLED)


    My best regards,
    Saad
     
  2. Rachel

    Rachel Busy Bee

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    Not all VPC-Z's are sold with built in WWAN. The North American Z1 models that did come with built in WWAN did not have a sim card holder. Z2+ models on that did come with built in WWAN did come with a sim card holder.

    All models have a sim card slot but some may be covered over. I don't think there any posts saying that it doesn't have a sim card slot but may be there are posts saying some earlier models didn't have a sim card holder which is different.

    {removed}
     
  3. aljebreensh

    aljebreensh Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the reply Rachel.

    The Z13 model I am talking about is customized and sold by Sony USA and comes with Gobi 2000 built in with its antennas.

    Specs: VAIO Z Series PC | Sony | SonyStyle USA

    There is a SIM card slot, and it is not covered. In fact, when i push in the SIM card, it clicks and is secured in place.

    I can connect to Verizon's CDMA network using Verison's software. There was no clear option to connect using the SIM card.

    Provided the info above, shouldn't I be able to use a SIM card?

    Best regards,
    Saad
     
  4. Rachel

    Rachel Busy Bee

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  5. aljebreensh

    aljebreensh Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks again Rachel for the quick reply.

    I think those posts provide exactly what i wanted, the software. I have a 3G-enabled international SIM card that also works on At&t network, so I will go to a Sony store and try it for myself to see if work.

    I'll post my results back here.

    Best regards,
    Saad
     
  6. Achusaysblessyou

    Achusaysblessyou eecs geek ftw :D

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    For the VPCZ models, if you got a Z with the WWAN module, it also comes with a daughterboard that connects the WWAN card to the mobo and that also holds a SIM card slot as shown in the last two pictures here:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/6080220-post326.html

    The reason no one has tried to add a WWAN module to a VPCZ without one is because you'd have to buy both the daughterboard AND the Gobi 2000 card, as well as threading all the antennae through the LCD yourself, but i think it's mostly because it's not really cost efficient. With that being said, in the early days of the VPCZ owners thread (part 1) there was discussion on how to unlock the Gobi Card in the VPCZ in the US, which is locked to verizon, and i think the solution was to uninstall the drivers and install the European drivers for the Gobi Card because the VPCZ models in the Europe with the Gobi card come with it unlocked. This is from what i remember as i don't actually have the card myself, so I'd advise you to maybe search in that thread as it was discussed a bit.
     
  7. kvnchg

    kvnchg Notebook Guru

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    Hey aljebreensh or anyone who's Z didn't come with the WWAN module, so what did you do to get mobile broadband to work on your Z. USB WWAN Modem? mini-PCI-e WWAN Modem? I currently have a Three (A Hong Kong mobile phone service provider) 3G sim card lying around because a relative signed a 2 years contract with Three and she no longer needs it. Anyone happen to know Where I can get my hands on a WWAN modem that will work with my VPCZ117 preferably from somewhere that I don't have to pay international shipping fees to ship to Hong Kong?
     
  8. ota-con

    ota-con Notebook Deity

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    Did you try the Wanchai computer center?
    There are shops there that sells parts.
     
  9. kvnchg

    kvnchg Notebook Guru

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    Oh, I didn't really go there for that specifically yet. I have walked around in it a few times for other stuff, but didn't see any on display. I guess I have to ask around for a Mobile Broadband modem since its really not a popular item.

    Thanks Ota-con.
     
  10. Achusaysblessyou

    Achusaysblessyou eecs geek ftw :D

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    Yeah just find some expresscard 34 card WWAN modules you can just slide into the side of your laptop, that's the easiest and fastest solution.
     
  11. aljebreensh

    aljebreensh Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Achusaysblessyou: Well, I am not trying to connect a WWAN module bc the Z13 I am planning to buy actually comes with it built-in. The problem is that I am not sure that my SIM card will work because the module maybe locked to Verizon's network. Rachel, in a reply, suggested that i use the European driver for Gobi2000, but SonyStyle employees wouldn't let me try it on a display unit, so i guess i'll buy it and try it. Thanks for the reply.

    @kvnchg: If the WWAN is not built-in, the easiest way is to use an external module in a usb or mini-pci form. I have a US Toshiba Portege M700, and the Euroean variant comes with a built-in WWAN module. I called Toshiba and asked if they would sell and install the module, but they said no. I am no expert in opening laptops and installing modules, so I opted to use a Sierra Aircard that i bought off Ebay, and it is perfect. You can find those usb or mini-pci cards on Amazon, Ebay, or Newegg to name a few.
     
  12. Movendi

    Movendi Notebook Guru

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    i bought the US z1190x customized with built in verizon gobi card. I'm wondering where the sim card slot is? i have the same thing as described here http://forum.notebookreview.com/att...i7-official-owners-thread-part-2-sim-slot.jpg

    I'm trying to insert it horizontally or parallel to the mother board and it seems like im forcing it in. The problem is it looks like it's not securely insert because if i push it in too far i wont be able to retrieve it out. Is that the case with anyone else? Do i have to mod something? Just want to insert sim card and be able to remove it. Doesnt seem like it has that eject type mechanism that is in the SD memory slot. I try prying open the plastic flap but it's hard to see whether there is something inside that will hold the sim card. I've been searching all over and i can't find if the US z11 prebuilt verizon vaio's can accept sim cards???
     
  13. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    I still think this is the simplest solution, which someone famous once said is always the best (called "______'s law" but I can't remember the name!).

    Famous sayings aside, every alternative solution sounds too complex and too risky in terms of internal installations and such. The only reason I can see for not using the ExpressCard approach is if you have something else permanently requiring the EC slot.
     
  14. Movendi

    Movendi Notebook Guru

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    do you mean an express card with a sim card which can use the prebuilt gobi modem? I'd hate to just buy another extra modem and wasted money on the prebuilt for nothing.
     
  15. ComputerCowboy

    ComputerCowboy Sony Fanboy

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    If you have a plastic flap, the you have a daughterboard without the SIM slot, You can add a SIM slot to it for $5 but you need to be good at soldering

    There is a lot of info in my thread here http://forum.notebookreview.com/sony/581493-vpc-z1-wwan-ffc-alternatives.html

    all you need is the SIM slot from DigiKey, look through the thread, I have links in there.

    Also you could just get a different daughterboard, on that already has the SIM, that would be easier but more expensive, they are hard to find.
     
  16. Movendi

    Movendi Notebook Guru

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    ah yes i was reading your posts about that and afraid that i'll have to do that. The problem is i'm in australia and digikey won't ship it here. I noticed you bought some in bulk, any chance you have any available ? Thanks
     
  17. chroma_cg

    chroma_cg Notebook Consultant

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    just curious, are there any expresscard 3g modems that doesn't stick out from the slot?
     
  18. ComputerCowboy

    ComputerCowboy Sony Fanboy

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    Yea I have some, I can always order more. They are only like $5.

    They are on eBay also, I've seen them, more expensive but they might ship to you.
    I'd mail you one, no big deal.

    there is one that doesn't stick out much
    super expensive though
    Amazon.com: GlobeTrotter® Express 442 - Unlocked 3G Card [Electronics]: Electronics

    you pull it out when you use it, then it slides back to almost nothing
     
  19. anytimer

    anytimer Notebook Deity

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