encoding problems saving in mysql table

I've had a bad night sleep over this... Can't figure out where it goes wrong.

in a form, the user is entering a field with e.g. "åäö" ,
a (AJAX) javascript is submitting it to a php file using POST submition and using encodeURIComponent
so the characters enter the php page like "%C3%A5%C3%A4%C3%B6" so far so good.
to insert this in the mysql database the php script translates this back with urldecode() (also tried rawurldecode) as far as i can see, the query send to the database contains the carachters "åäö" again. This is also as expected.

Now for the fun part;
when ik look in phpmyadmin what data is saved in the table i see:åäö as a value. NOT AS EXPECTED and certainly not wanted ;) if i display the table values in the front-end HTML page it also displays as: åäö.
If i on the other hand copy my query and paste it into phpmyadmin  and execute it, it all works out well, the åäö are saved properly. The AJAX javascript getting the values from the database in the backend messes up then but is step 2.

As far as i can see my database, tables and fields are encoded "latin1_swedish_ci"

now, where does this go wrong?
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half-a-nerdAsked:
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HMoellendorfConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hello half-a-nerd,

thank you for posting at EE. It seems to be a charset problem. It is more better to convert the charset of the tables to utf8. Further, it could help to set the client_encoding after connecting to mySQL:

http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/charset-connection.html

Then it should work.

If you habe further questions let us know.

Kind regards,
Henning
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shobinsunCommented:
Hi,

check your apache.conf  file for  AddDefaultCharset  variable.

If there is no , add AddDefaultCharset UTF-8.


And try again .hope this will help you.

Regards
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