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Can you make a cellphone with an old-school rotary dial?

Answer: Yes!

by / February 14, 2020

This invention harkens back to an earlier time, before phones became pocket-sized and wildly distracting. It’s a cellphone designed for one thing and one thing only: making, and receiving, phone calls.

Justine Haupt created her old-school cellphone using a dial taken from an old Western Electric Trimline rotary phone. She then added modern cellular chipsets and some electronics so that they could interface with the old dial, as well as a custom-designed board. It’s all enclosed in a 3-D-printed case that includes a few speed dial buttons.

There are some more modern aspects, like a sliding power switch, 10-LED signal meter, and ePaper screen for displaying small notifications like missed calls. Haupt meticulously documented the entire creative process on her website, as well as open source copies of the schematics and other files so that anyone with the means can attempt to create their own rotary cellphone.

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