3G Rotary Cell Phone Partial Kit

Comes with just the stuff you can't otherwise buy

This started as a project that I posted on my personal website here. Why a rotary cellphone? Because in a finicky, annoying, touchscreen world of hyperconnected people using phones they have no control over or understanding of, I wanted something that would be entirely mine, personal, and absolutely tactile, while also giving me an excuse for not texting. Here's a video.

The point isn't to be anachronistic. It's to show that it's possible to have a perfectly usable phone that goes as far from having a touchscreen as I can imagine, and which in some ways may actually be more functional. More functional how?

  • Real, removable antenna with an SMA connector. Receptions is excellent, and if I really want to I could always attach a directional antenna.
  • When I want a phone I don't have to navigate through menus to get to the phone "application". That's bullshit.
  • If I want to call my husband, I can do so by pressing a single dedicated physical key which is dedicated to him. No menus. The point isn't to use the rotary dial every single time I want
  • to make a call, which would get tiresome for daily use. The people I call most often are stored, and if I have to dial a new number or do something like set the volume, then I can use
  • the fun and satisfying-to-use rotary dial.
  • Nearly instantaneous, high resolution display of signal strength and battery level. No signal metering lag, and my LED bargraph gives 10 increments of resolution instead of just 4.
  • The ePaper display is bistatic, meaning it doesn't take any energy to display a fixed message.
  • When I want to change something about the phone's behavior, I just do it.
  • The power switch is an actual slide switch. No holding down a stupid button to make it turn off and not being sure it really is turning off or what.

    4G Rotary Cell Phone

    Due to the surprising number of requests from people wanting their own rotary cellphone, I'm working on a much more refined "mark 2" version that should meet the highest expectations of usability and robustness. The initial offering will be as a complete easy-built kit, with a ready-built version coming in the future:

  • Connects to the 4G network, which will be active for at least the next decade
  • Real, mechanical ringer bell
  • Silent vibration mode (no "vibrate hum")
  • Larger ePaper display than on the current version
  • New, separate OLED display on the front for realtime display of numbers entered and received
  • Contacts are added by editing a text file that's stored on an SD card
  • "Rabbit ears" antenna for better-than-smartphones reception and 4G polarization diversity
  • Will use newly manufactured rotary dial mechanisms
  • Incandescent-like amber LEDs on the side meter
  • LED incandescent filament call status indicator
  • USB-C charging port
  • Easy-access to SD card slot
  • Significantly thinner than the 3G version
  • Colors: 50s Teal, Atomic Hotline Red, Black, Beige, and White.
  • User-repairable; not planned for obsolescence
  • Mechanical power switch
  • Mechanical microphone switch
  • Injection-molded casing
  • Separate USB port for direct-access to the cell transciever via AT commands (for those who are interested in such things).


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