Space engineer designs a rotary cell phone that actually works - Maker Faire Rome

Space engineer designs a rotary cell phone that actually works

Justine Haupt rotary cell phone

It’s hard not to be distracted by all of the tricked out smartphones available today…

Especially when they’re always right at our fingertips.


That’s why engineer Justine Haupt of the Cosmology Instrumentation Group at Brookhaven National Laboratory spent three years on a personal pet project. The result of her efforts is a fully functional rotary cell phone that Haupt believes has all of the pros of portable communication without the unnecessary bells and whistles.

The engineer documented her process of building the object on her website. “Why a rotary cell phone?” she asks. “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.” Haupt went through two different versions of the cell phone before she created the final product that she uses today. It uses a rotary dial from a Trimline telephone, as well as an Arduino interface and Adafruit parts for the body. Additionally, in the current version, Haupt included curved ePaper to the back of the cell phone which displays relevant messages (i.e. missed calls) like a pager.

Among the novelty phone’s many other virtues is excellent reception (courtesy of a removable antenna with SMA connector), compact design, and almost 24-hour battery life. More importantly, however, this tactile rotary cell phone provides Haupt all she needs without the trappings of a modern touchscreen.

Scroll down to see all three versions of Haupt’s rotary cell phone, and, to read more about the development, you can visit her website.

A three-year project

That’s the time it took to to make a no-nonsense cell phone that would do its job with no distractions.



Haupt went through three versions of the project until she finally made a working rotary cell phone with long-lasting battery life.



source: MyModernMet. Read the full story.


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