back to article Adventurer demands -70°C phone for next expedition

Aging adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 65, has hinted that rugged-phone firm Sonim is working on an ultra-hard handset ideal for use on his next jaunt. Sonim_landrover_01 Sonim's S1 Land Rover phone: will work at down to -70°C? During Sonim’s launch of its new S1 Land Rover phone in Birmingham yesterday, Sir Ranulph said that …

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Anonymous Coward

Hope he doesn't phone me...

I can't stand cold callers.

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Boffin

I may be misinformed, but...

...why the heck would you want a mobile phone at one of the poles?!? Its not like there will be phone masts to connect your call there, isit?

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network

might work at -70 but still won't get a signal in parts of East Anglia let alone the ant/artic

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Linux

Masts in Antarctica and Siberia?

Surely the story here is that they have mobile phone masts (with data for maps?) in Siberia and/or Antarctica?

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This may be a stupid question but...

Where is he planning to go that has both -70C temperatures, and meaningful GSM coverage? If this were a satphone I could understand, but it doesn't appear to be.

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Where?

Where does he need such a capability? Where can you go that temperatures get down to -70, but there is still a usable mobile network signal? Surely a sat-phone or walkie-talkie is a much better bet?

Also, why is it branded with Land Rover? If this phone is as rugged as indicated, then it'll certainly outlast one of the cars.

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Anonymous Coward

iPod touch seems to work on Eveerst, maybe iPhone

These Everest climbers used iPod touches and MacBook Pros and raved about them:

http://www.macworld.com/article/140498/2009/05/everest.html

Maybe the iPhone would work too, seeing that it's practically an iPod touch.

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Operates at -70?

Just curious, but does anyone know of a place in the world that is -70°C that has an operational celluar network??

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Another pointless expedition on the cards then

I suppose he's off on yet another pointless expedition up a mountain top or antartic plateau with the usual publicity gimmick extras - perhaps to be the first to hop up everest with one arm tied behind his back , or the first to hand walk across antartica in a smurf outfit carrying a dog on his head - to inflate his planet sized ego but all the while pretending he's attempting some big triumph for humankind.

Quite why this self publicising egotistical narcissist ever earned a knighthood when people who actually do useful things for society (doctors, scientists etc) generally don't beggers belief.

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Pointless

Mobile signal on the top of Everest? The Arctic Circle? The Congo? Do us a favour.

Stick with a Sat-Phone.

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M7S
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Does it do these things in combination?

Surely the real test is if when the unit is at -20 C (not just the air temperature but a thoroughly chilled phone), and therefor a lot more brittle, THEN you drop 2m onto the concrete. If only as thats the time your grip is likely to be less flexible.

The Vulture needs to test these claims to their logical conclusion. We need to know.

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Stop

Crazy??

Am I alone in thinking ... why does he even want a mobile phone there?

There isn't any mobile phone network coverage surely???

Me thinks he was paid a nice amount to "endorse"....

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But...

What happens when you put a -70°C cold phone to your ear?

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pratical?

Umm, are there many basestations in range in locations which get as low as -70 degrees? Admittedly the GPS might be useful...

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How good's the coverage?

OK, so Sir Ran is off to some where that gets to -70, this either has to be somewhere near either of the poles, or up a very high mountain, given he's just been up Everest, then we'll assume the poles.

I can't imagine he's going to find the GSM coverage all that great. Here's a coverage map of Greenland as an example... http://www.gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?cc=gl&net=te

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well

the phone might work at -70 but the battery sure as hell wont.

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Coat

keypad needs adapting

since sir ranulph is all fingers and no thumbs

actually none

mines the one with the keys to the arctic Hilux

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RE: iPod touch seems to work on Eveerst, maybe iPhone

Well I'm fairly sure Clarkson et al suffered a buggered iPod on their drive to the "North Pole" (whichever one they went to, Magnetic, and even then, they went to where the Mag. NP was about 15 years ago...)

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Adventurer?

True adventures in the wild don't come with a cell phone, let alone coverage...

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Publicity seeking ranting....

The top of Everest only gets to -35. Antarctica in the winter is the only place to see -70. There is no mobile coverage in Antarctica and the only reason anyone would want to talk to the twat is to see if they can get the phone to freeze to his ear.

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Sartorial

Who's the tea boy in the mugshot next to Sir Ranulph? And why when he makes the effort to look every inch the English gentleman can't the tea boy at least put on something a bit more pair of jeans?!!

I dunno what's the world coming to... tut!

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Anonymous Coward

cold, but not that cold

-70 deg c is overkill, but -20 is not enough. There are plenty of places in the US and Canada with GSM coverage where temperatures are often in the -20 to -30 range (northern Minnesota, the prairies, Quebec, etc.)

Latitude wireless operates in the Yukon, NT, and Nunavut, but they use CDMA phones. It often gets to -30 or -40 in Tuktoyaktuk, Iqaluit, and Old Crow.

I've used my iPhone below -20, but I keep it in an inside pocket so the handset itself never gets that cold.

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HELLO!!!

I'M AT THE NORTH POLE!

IT'S RUBBISH!!!

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Boffin

Problems

-70C is a bit pushing the envelope. The coldest temperatured in record has been in Vostok, antartice and that was -89.2C. So antarctic is one possible place for it, and it wouldnt surpirce me mutch if there were a gsm base stations in some of the expedition stations. The gsm can't be farther than about 30km from base station as that is the limit in the travel delay factor coded to the signal so you would have to stay fairly close to base station. You cant get past that limit with power or antennas.

Next possible place is Siberia where the temperature goes often close to -70C. In Canada the records are about -55C so not as cold as siberia. Both Canada and Siberia might have some coverage on mountains.

There are several problems with getting a phone working in those temperatures.

First batteries. Lithium and NiMH both work badly in cold, NiCd a bit better but not close enough in that temperature. Even lead-acid has trouble below -40. Sodium-hyroxide battery might work but dont think theres ever made one for that size.

Display. No LCD display works that low, even -20 makes them sluggish. Need to be led or electroluminence. Even them start to have trouble at those temperatures. Plasma would work best but kind of bulky for that use.

Transistors. Even them start to have trouble that low. Bias point changes with temperature and as there isnt that many uses for chips for extreme low temperatures all processors etc would have to be special made for this phone. Even the manufacturing process for these chips would have to be custom made.

Easiest way to do this, replace the regular battery with plutonium one. Works in cold temperatures and heats the electronics to working temperatures. Just have to make a temperature controlled cooling on it.

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Flame

Or

Or you could get the Bear Grylls version that just has to work in a motel in Hawaii.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_Grylls#Criticism

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