Arduino cellphone

Hackaday mentioned some time ago an interesting Arduino cellphone. The fact that you can build a cellphone around an Arduino is pretty neat: An Average Joe can build this thing with a minimum or background knowledge and without breaking the bank. Wow.

The components include and Arduino Uno, GPRS shield from Seeed Studios, a TFT touch screen, Lithium battery and charging circuit, and a few other bobbles. All of it is mounted inside of a 3D printed case. You can get all of the Arduino Phone code from the Github.

Check ArduinoPhone page for more details. Here is a picture of phone from ArduinoPhone page:

This kind of hacks really show that cell phone phone business have evolved to point where even relatively small companies can start to make their own phones if they want. Nowadays when you base your design on some readily available GSM/GPRS/3G communications module, building the phone is pretty simple: just connect the mic + headphone + SIM card to module and then send the right AT commands to start/end the call (or do whatever you want to do). Not very complicated and you do not need a powerful processor to do those basic operations.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Safety warning: Arduino GSM shield may cause fires

    Be careful with those Arduino GSM cards. As [James] reports, they may turn into fire starters. One person has reported a small explosion and fire already on the Arduino forums

    [James] states the problem is a tantalum capacitor used to decouple the GSM radio power supply from the main Arduino supply.
    Tantalum capacitors are great for their low ESR properties. However, they have a well known downside of getting very hot, or even exploding when stressed.

    It’s not the Tantalum Anode that is burning. The Manganese Dioxide used as a cathode in some Tantalum capacitors is the culprit.

    It comes down to voltage rating (or more aptly, derating). The Arduino GSM shield runs at 5 volts. The designers chose a 6.3V rated capacitor. While this close of a tolerance may be good enough for some types of capacitor, it is a no-go for a Tantalum cap with Manganese Dioxide.

    The dielectric material in these capacitors is so thin that the stress of a reflow oven cycle causes cracks. The cracks pass leakage current, and this sets the Manganese Dioxide on the path to destruction.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY cellphone

    Here’s an interesting concept. Lets make a kit to build your own super simple cell phone. Thats basically what a group at the MIT media lab is proposing with this prototype

    At$150, it isn’t really that competitive compared to the phones you’d get from your provider, but it is just a prototype.

    DIY Cellphone

    An exploration into the possibilities for individual construction and customization of the most ubiquitous of electronic devices, the cellphone. By creating and sharing open-source designs for the phone’s circuit board and case, we hope to encourage a proliferation of personalized and diverse mobile phones.

    DIY Cellphone website

    The DIY Cellphone is a working (albeit basic) cellphone that you can make yourself. It can make and receive phone calls and text messages, store names and phone numbers, and display the time. It builds on the hardware and software in the Arduino GSM Shield but extends it with a full interface, including display, buttons, speaker, microphone, etc. The source files for the cellphone are hosted on GitHub (hardware, software), which also includes an issue list where you can file bug reports or request enhancements.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Phoenard: Arduino Phone as Small as An Arduino Mega

    [Sumasta] won the Atmel Hero contest

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arduino Cellphone Drives Self-Balancing Robot and More

    Sumasta was showing off his Arduino Cellphone which he calls Phoenard. It lets you write phone apps the same way you write Arduino sketches. It also has a hardware connector letting you drive external add-ons like the self-balancing robot shown in the video.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Rotary Cell Phone

    [Jaromir] created this astonishingly retro future device as an entry for the NXP LPC810 challenge, a contest to do the most with an ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller in an 8-pin package. Having only six I/O pins for controlling a GSM module, display a few buttons, and the fancy rotary dial meant [Jaromir] needed to expand his I/O some way.

    the rotary cell phone isn’t ready for Think Geek to do a production run quite yet.


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