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2020-02-22 rotary mobile phone, cellphone, robotics

Rotary Mobile phone

In the past week I have noticed in the news something new and extremely cool: A rotary mobile phone - Cellphone invented by Space Engineer Justine Haupt and made available in an open source fashion including all the schematics to produce it (even the 3D printer designs). Here is how it looks like

Wow, so retro and so cool


The e-ink display adds a touch of modernity whilst keeping with the spirit of the retro-look 

 

missed calls are still visible on the e-ink display

Given my excitement I was immediately interested in build one (or 3). The good news is that there is now a kit available for sale that includes the following:

-ATmega2560v-based Cellphone mainboard -3D printed enclosure and buttons (choice of two colors)




So I immediately ordered the kits and the components (that are available on Adafruit). As of now I received all the components but the kits lead time is now from 6 to 12 weeks. You also need to source a specific type of Western Electric trimphone (as described in the build notes ). I did already ordered some trimphones on eBay (hoping that the rotary mechanism will be what I need).

Since I am a very impatient person I have also used the schematics provided to order PCBs and the relevant components just in case I manage to get this build together a bit before the delivery time of the kits. A colleague of mine has a 3D printer so the case should also be ready soon.

why this is so cool and it matters ?

Because is different and it servers a real purpose: to have a mobile phone without any distraction of a smart phone, a unique look and very tactile feel. I confess that I can't use this as my primary phone like the inventor does but I do plan to use it as a secondary phone. I wonder if there is a market for such a phone. In a small scale the total price to build one is around 400$ but obviously this would be much cheaper if produced in bigger quantities.

I plan to post more about building the rotary cellphone (project code for myself) in the future and hopefully I will have a fully working unit in March.

Support the inventor if you like it!

if you are interested in making your own rotary cellphone just get a buy a kit from skyedge but don't forget to read all the caveats on that page.