New tutorial in the Adafruit Learning System: PiPhone – A Raspberry Pi based Cellphone
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. The Model 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.
- Resistive 2.8″ PiTFT or Capacitive 2.8″ PiTFT – 2.8″ TFT touchscreen for Raspberry Pi. The capacitive version looks nicer and has a glass top that does not require pressing down, but it’s more expensive!
- SD memory card, 4GB or larger.
- 1200mAh Lithium Polymer battery
- DC-DC converter
- FONA + Antenna
- “Hands-free” Headphones with Microphone
- You can use a DC-DC converter to give us 5V for the Raspberry Pi. Or just go with a big USB battery pack such as this one, but it won’t look as tidy.
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.
Check out David Hunt’s blog for more about this project and other great projects!
If you want to see the original PiPhone in action, check out Dave’s video. It uses an older GSM card, but you’ll get the idea.