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April 28, 2014 AT 9:00 am

How To Make A Working Cell Phone Out Of Cardboard

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Arduino co-creator David Mellis has developed open-source designs for a DIY Cellphone. From FastcoExist.

No one would confuse Mellis’s handiwork for Samsung’s or Apple’s. The dozen or so versions he’s built are not Internet-connected smartphones. Rather, they are feature phones, with simple black and white old-Nokia-style LCD screens or a red-on-black matrix LED. But thanks to Mellis’s open-source designs, they’re “dumbphones” you can build yourself, from scratch, with about $200 in parts. Mellis offers a method for making the enclosure that holds the electronics out of laser-cut plywood, though others have created their own from cardboard and 3-D-printed plastic.

The process is not exactly papier mâché. You have to solder 60 components, many of them tiny, some of them hazardous. (“Be careful of the polarity on the large (1000 uF) capacitors,” his directions note. “They may explode if you solder them backwards.”) But Mellis says a half dozen or so have emailed him the results of their labor, in addition to those who’ve built them at workshops at MIT and in Sweden.

Read more.


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