HTC Evo + Turbo ROM + SYNC bluetooth = chaos, phone book problem

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I have broken the primary rule of programming (and electronics/software use):

If something is working well, do not touch it with your bare hands.

Especially if hands are growing out of, shall we say, wrong places, which certainly is the case here. I am a complete noob in ROM/Android developer. Technically, almost nothing is wrong with stock EVO 4G software. Except for annoying Amazon MP3 store thing, that you can’t remove. And very annoying Sprint Navigation, which, even though I don’t use, kept on trying to start.

So, I’ve read up on XDA Developers forum, rooted the phone, killed all the pre-installed junk (goodbye, Nascar, you belong on TV, not my phone). And then I did that wrong step. I decided to upgrade to one of the “better, faster” ROMs. Specifically Stock Turbo.

ROMs for EVO are plentiful. Except most of them are somewhat crippled — some have no 4G, some don’t get GPS etc etc. But they serve their purpose — if someone is not in 4G area, there’s no point in limiting oneself to a 4G-capable firmware.

I’ve chosen Turbo because it was pretty much what I wanted — faster, with everything (4G/GPS) working. Cleaned up roms, flashed, rebooted. Ah… fast bliss.

Everything was fine. Except then I tried to re-pair my phone with SYNC in Ford Fiesta. Phone did pair, SYNC would try to download phonebook and then mayhem and chaos would happen. Phone would slow down to a crawl, then disconnect from car bluetooth. Turning bluetooth off would take a long time, with it hanging with “disconnecting SYNC” message. Car would still shine the bluetooth indicator, until about a minute later when it’d give up and fembot voice would announce that “Phone has disconnected”.

Bluetooth hell went on for several days. I wiped the phone, reconnected with SYNC in different combinations, each time the whole process would go haywire after address book download. So, today I have finally tried to do a simple thing — when after 23rd pairing with SYNC car offered to download address book, I clicked no.

EVO connected to the headsed and audio system. Headset did not drop immediately. I turned on Pandora and… voila… it works. Music streamed via car audio for a couple minutes without phone descending into crawl-till-bluetooth-dies mode. I placed a call, and it stayed connected for couple minutes too, instead of dropping back into handset mode in half a minute.

Yes, it’s not a complete solution — address book is not in the car, which means I can’t use voice command to call someone. But I can still answer the phone, and listen to my radio, and get warnings from Waze, which is good enough.

While I’m tempted to try to download the address book later, I just keep reminding myself: “It’s working for now, don’t you dare touching it now“. Not until I get better Android/Bluetooth skills, and perform a transplant of my hands back to the shoulders, and be capable of troubleshooting and fixing things on the fly, instead of trial and error.

p.s. To sum up: new Turbo ROM works fine, but if you suddenly run into this inexplicable problem with Bluetooth and SYNC, just decline the offer to download phone book and see if that helps. I’ll write another post if/when I get everything fully working again.

p.s. also see the next post about using App Link with Pandora and follow-up on my phone book problems which are now resolved.

6 Responses to “HTC Evo + Turbo ROM + SYNC bluetooth = chaos, phone book problem”

  1. Scott

    My Fiesta goes into “Pandora not available at this time” voice over and over and sticks in Bluetooth audio. Sometimes locking out the USB audio. Sometimes it says “Thumb up not available with USB”. The voice command almost never understands the word “Pandora” but can find it manually through the screen menus.
    Sometimes it does get the names wrong in the address book and also will try and dial from other menus.

    Before I upgraded the Sync to 3 it was hanging the phone so bad I had to take the battery out of my LG Ally. It would no go out of a hung screen of Pandora with the Ford logo. I’ve got into of habit of putting Pandora into pause before taking the phone out of the car. Now it just plays through the phone speaker when I turn the car off.

    • Max Smolev

      A couple questions:
      1. Do you have Sync 3.0 or Sync 3.1? I believe the latest version is 3.1, but there’s conflicting information on the web. I’m surprised that you had version below 3 on Fiesta — I thought they all were shipped with at least 3.0.
      2. Is your phone running on Android 2.1 or 2.2 (my EVO is 2.2 now)? I also saw some people complain that wrong numbers were dialed in general. Have you tried to re-download phone book? So far mine seems to be working fine — when I say “call so and so” it does exactly that.

      My Pandora sometimes re-starts playing if I put it on pause and turn off car. I believe it’s just noticing a trigger on “bluetooth audio disconnected” and flips current state (if it was playing something it’ll stop, if it was paused it resumes with sound going over the speakerphone)

  2. mswlogo

    I just read on anotherte that if your contacts have duplicates, android will “Link” them together and cause havoc on the Sync. Fix all contacts that show “Link” and then download contacts to the sync.


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