Ever wanted to build you own cellphone? Well now you can with this guide that uses a Raspberry Pi, PiTFT, and a FONA to make a functional cellphone that you can call your friends with!
Things You’ll Need:
Raspberry Pi computer, the Model B or Model B+ is probably easier to set up and get going, but of you are comfortable with the Model A, then that will work fine. You don’t need any USB ports, and once set up, you don’t need the Model B‘s ethernet port. TheModel A save you on power, allowing you to have more talk time 🙂 The Model B+ will also work, if you’re ok with the PiTFT being slightly offset from the Pi, as the GPIO pins are in a slightly different place. It’s also worth noting that the Model B+ uses quite a bit less power than the Model B, so it’s probably better suited to a portable application like the PiPhone.
In some situations a USB to TTL Serial Cable may be the preferred way to log in and configure the Raspberry Pi, if a spare keyboard and monitor are unavailable.
Some additional parts, tools and skills are also required: soldering iron and solder for putting the connectors on the PiTFT display, and connecting the DC-DC converter to the Pi; some means of holding all the pieces together — could be as simple as a few rubber bands, to a drilled-out plastic electronics enclosure, to an elaborate custom 3D-printed case. This all depends on your available resources. Read through to see what’s involved in the project and come up with ideas along the way.
For connectors an wiring, the 26-way pin header is supplied with the PiTFT, but for ease of wiring I’d suggest soldering the needed wires directly rather than using the pin header, as you’ll need to source a connector to go on to it. But if you do have the relevant connector and crimpt tool, thats all good too.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.