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jbcent

Built In Cell Phone

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I have a 1996 LS 400 that has a factory installed phone with a nice hands-free capability. This is an old analog Motorola. Does anyone know if I can replace with a newer digital phone. Hopefully, one could just plug into the wired compnents.

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Based on the lack of response to similar questions on this and other forums, it does not look like anyone has found a solution to this question. The whole factory phone issue seems to be a real thorn for Lexus. The analog system that my local Lexus dealer was having a "fire sale" on in the mid-90's may be the best working system they ever came up with. I am hopeful that Bluetooth will eventually resolve some of the issues. Unfortunately all the the Bluetooth phones that are available from my local providers are GSM only - not a good thing when traveling off the beaten path.

I spent a lot of time searching this and other forums and the Internet looking for a way simply to integrate my tri-mode handheld Nokia's CARK-91 car kit into the audio system on my 2000 LS. Companies in the U.K., Europe and Australia sell "auto mute leads" that interface with a handheld phone's car kit, mute the audio system on an incoming/outgoing call, and play the call through the vehicles front speakers. Apparently the same kit fits just about any Toyota/Lexus made in the 90's although there is no assurance that it will work in a U.S. spec model. Off course you wouldn't be able to use your existing steering wheel phone control.

Coincidentally, I'm about to order an auto mute lead (about $80 including shipping) tomorrow from a U.K. company and will try it first in our Camry. I'm not an electrical guru and my repair shop owner has recommended an auto shop to do the hookup. If the first mute lead works OK in the Camry, I'll order another mute lead for the LS although it having the Nakamichi may be a problem.

I'm planning to report back here on my success or lack thereof or PM me if you want me to let you know. It will probably be a month or two. Heck, I was just happy last night when I found the coax cable for the LS's embedded rear window phone antenna and hooked it to the Nokia car kit - the signal strength meter on the phone zoomed up to maximum!

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i also have a 96 LS with the phone and my search in this field didnt give me any results so far.:( so i guess you stuck with it and should use ur regular mobile phone:)

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Trying to upgrade the phone is impossible, but it can be completely replaced with another system, check out www.cellport.com

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1990LS, I thought that Nokia's car phone system muted the radio when a call comes in. How do you(or anyone else) like Nokia's car phone system?? Any insight you could give would be great because I'm looking to put one of these in my car if it isn't too complicated(or where would I go to have something like this installed?).

:cheers:

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Blake,

Yes, the Nokia car kits, and many kits from other manufacturers, have a wire that in theory can be connected with a car's audio system to mute the radio. But I could not get the phone kit installer to attach the mute wire in either of our cars because of the liability issue. The instructions that come with the Nokia kit are a little hazy on how to connect the mute wire and the Lexus audio system is designed with a direct interface only to the Lexus phones. I am hoping that an auto mute lead (really just a specialized wiring harness) designed for Camry and LS400 will make the connections straight forward. If the call can be routed through the radio speakers, it should be easier to hear than from the Nokia speaker tucked up under the dash. I may be wasting $80 if it doesn't work.

Nokia has quite a few different phone and car kit models. The CARK-91 has been around a long time and is sold world wide. Something to realize - each time we upgrade phones or one of our phones fails, we have to stay with a phone compatible with the car kits. So if you have to have the "latest and greatest" camera/MP3 phone, you might end up buying a car kit each time you change phones. The main reason that I'm trying to interface the CARK-91 kit to the audio system and mute the radio is that there is a design flaw (Cingular calls it a feature!) that causes my new Nokia 6340i phone to ring so softly when it is in the car kit that I can't hear it when the radio/CD is on.

I really don't know how the Nokia car kits compare with those from other companies. We mainly are trying to stretch our dollars by continuing to use the same design phones and kits. It is really not too tough to install a car kit if you have some basic mechanical knowledge and especially if you have the Lexus repair manuals. The installers did not do a very good job on either of our cars and I ended up repositioning most of the components.

If you want to see how variety of manufacturer's car kits are installed (but in a Mini Cooper), there are very detailed instructions in the technical section at www.mini2.com. Most of the concepts are the same as for a Lexus.

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Something to realize - each time we upgrade phones or one of our phones fails, we have to stay with a phone compatible with the car kits. So if you have to have the "latest and greatest" camera/MP3 phone, you might end up buying a car kit each time you change phones.

Thats why you should check out www.cellport.com they have a similar system to the Nokia, but its upgradeable to whatever phone you upgrade to.

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My '99 LS has the Lexus phone in the center console as well. I'd like to remove it so that I can use the upper part of the console for additional storage. I looked at it briefly the other day and couldn't immediately see how to remove the phone. Has anyone done this, and if so do you have any tips or suggestions?

Thanks

:)

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SW03ES, thanks for the information on Cellport. How long have you had your Cellport in your Lexus and how well does it work? A feature of the Nokia car kit system that would be hard to do without is the "privacy handset" which is used by my wife in the front passenger seat and by rear seat passengers. In gives you the best of both worlds - hands-free speaker phone and household type corded handset so that I am not distracted when people are talking on the phone while I am driving.

K9crew, I'm hoping that the insert in the upper console tray in the 90-00 LS can be pried out like the entire console insert did in my 90 LS (I had to remove about 4 screws first in the 90 LS). I have not yet bought the repair manuals for the 2000 LS (been too lazy) and I did not want to try removing the upper console tray insert without instructions. I'm planning to put the Nokia privacy handset in the upper console tray where your Lexus handset is now.

Our Nokia car kit installations are a temporary measure until GSM-only phones works better in the U.S. or until Bluetooth is used on more than just GSM-only phones. I'd love to just buy Bluetooth phones and CK Parrot or Nokia Bluetooth car kits but GSM-only phones do not work at all in some rural areas where we travel. My current tri-mode Nokia phone does everything - GSM, old style digital and also analog (I forget all those TDMA, etc. initials) and I'm surprised how much time it spends in analog mode while traveling 300 miles to Iowa football games. (My nephew plays tight end. GO HAWKEYES!) All that will change in the next few years as GSM becomes the standard like it has always been in Europe.

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I dont have a cellport but I've seen them installed and they're pretty slick. I did forget about Nokia's handset, thats a great feature...

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1990LS400,

Thanks for the tip. The OEM phone mounting system is slick and I couldn't see any easy way to remove it. There's no access from underneath which makes me think the base is held in with clips. I'll take a closer look at it tomorrow and let you know if I manage to get it out without breaking anything.

:)

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K9 do you have the portable plus or the fixed unit? If its the portable then its really easy to remove (my dad's 98 had the Portable).

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The unit is fixed as far as I'm aware. I don't have any service for it but I played with some of the features ... it's a very nice set up. Too bad there isn't an easy way to use my T616 with all of those built in goodies! :(

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K9Crew, that is a wonderful picture of your phone handset and the photo will help me position my similarly sized Nokia privacy handset better than what I had planned. Thanks for going to all the trouble. It is a shame that Lexus phone can't be used in conjuction with your Sony Ericsson T616 or that Lexus didn't help with conversion to a newew technology.

The upholstery color in your Lexus is the same color as mine but I like yours more than the "lizard-leather" grain used in the seat cushions of my Platinum Series.

SW03ES, I called the Kansas City installer, listed on Cellport.com. He was unwilling to hook up the mute wire from the Cellport to the Lexus audio system or to any other car audio system because of the liability issue.

If I can stuggle out of bed early enough tomorrow morning before the U.K. company closes for its extended lunch hour, I'm going to phone order the radio interface harness for my Nokia phone's car kit.

I ordered several items including the repair manuals from Sewell in Texas this afternoon. I'll be all ready to "disasemble" the LS soon! Heck, I've always like taking cars apart just for the fun of it.

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I did - finally - get a radio mute lead harness ordered early this morning from Dashmount in the U.K. for about $80 US. Whether or not it will properly interface with the audio system in our U.S spec. Camry and LS400 or come with adequate installation instructions is still unknown. A local phone installer I spoke with yesterday seems very enthusiastic about doing the installation but will require me to sign a damage waiver. The Dashmount rep said that the reason I have been getting their voice mailbox when I called was that they are being inundated with calls because a new laws there provide for very large fines for using a handheld phone while driving. I'll post the results although I expect it will be a few weeks at best.

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