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This is what happens when you use the Raspberry Pi single-board computer to build a phone

Posted: , by Peter K.

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This is what happens when you use the Raspberry Pi single-board computer to build a phone
Back in January, we told you about a DIY enthusiast who had created his own, fully-functional wooden tablet, powered by the Raspberry Pi single-board computer. This curious news made us think how long it will take before someone else tried to make use of the minimalistic computer and put it in a DIY phone, assembled in their basements. Well, the wait is over – introducing the PiPhone. Created by David Hunt, who is a photographer, engineer, and apparently a DIY devotee, the PiPhone prototype is capable of making calls, hanging up, as well as sending/receiving text messages, AT commands, and data.

Mr. Hunt's homemade phone is powered by the $40 Raspberry Pi Model B computer, which is identical to the one that graces the insides of the PiPad. The PiPhone also houses a SIM900 GSM/GPRS module, which comes with the sole purpose of connecting the device to the carrier's network. The display of the device is a resistive PiTFT touchscreen, which sports a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and comes with a 16-bit color depth.

The creator of the PiPhone uses a 2500mAh Li-poly battery to power his homemade gadget. Although this might seem like an overkill for a gizmo that only comes with the most basic functions, Mr. Hunt suspects that it won't provide more than several hours of life for the PiPhone due to the lack of software optimizations. Speaking of software, the PiPhone runs a custom script, which is written in Python by Mr. Hunt himself.

The whole shebang cost Mr. Hunt some $158 – the GSM module appears to be the most expensive - $48, while the display and the chipset hurt his wallet less - $35 and $40, respectively. Although it looks like it was assembled with Lego blocks by a kid, the PiPhone is a rather curious project, which might teach us to appreciate affordable devices, such as the $62 Nokia Asha 230, a little bit more.




source: David Hunt Photography via Pocket-lint

22 Comments
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posted on 29 Apr 2014, 02:05 4

1. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3410; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


THAT ANTENNA!! Back to 80s

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 13:51 1

20. engineer-1701d (Posts: 1041; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


80s you mean early 2000 remember nextel and nokia and others had that till 2006

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 02:07 10

2. Sauce (unregistered)


Better than WP.

All jokes aside:

THIS. IS. AWESOME!

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 02:12 5

3. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3410; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Bravery eh! You are lucky though not too many nokia fanboys online today.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 05:05 2

13. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 968; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


I'm a Nokia fanboy but I'm in no way a WP fanboy and i have a brain !

going back on topic

THIS. IS. AWESOME!

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:27 1

17. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


Better than blackberry

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 09:45 1

18. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3410; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Why are you so butthurt? You are a disgrace for fandroids.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 02:59 5

4. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3242; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Looks like some sort of detonator. I wouldn't carry this phone into the airport :)

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:30

8. Sauce (unregistered)


Lmao xD

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:04 1

5. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3242; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


And with a can of black spray paint, this could become the new secure "BlackPiPhone". Add a big red LED for "secure mode", and it'd be "BlackCherryPiPhone" :)

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:05

6. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3242; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)


Without a doubt, the top phone of 2014. PiPhone FTW.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:15

7. emadshiny (Posts: 1134; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Just needs a metal chassis!

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:34

9. Killua (Posts: 270; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Compared to the nowadays devices, it looks like Frankenstein's Monster. Well, it might be useful for learning purpose, not sure for what else.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:34 5

10. fireblade (Posts: 708; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


nerd level: over 9000

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 03:45

11. KillerKeyboard (Posts: 307; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)


Cool! MacGyver phone =]

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 04:52

12. malikmoreni (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Apr 2014)


Man!! like my Router's Antenna, cant drop a nokia 3310 for this :D

meandroids.com/

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 05:22

14. Darnelll (Posts: 16; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


But does it play angry birds?

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 06:15 1

15. malikmoreni (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Apr 2014)


No. It plays GTA san andreas :P

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 08:30

16. tokuzumi (Posts: 289; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)


Don't try to take that into the airport.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 10:52 1

19. frustyak (Posts: 158; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)


If Apple made this it would sell it for $500.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 16:29

22. NinjaBanana (Posts: 24; Member since: 20 Apr 2014)


If Android made this is would sell for none because Android sucks.

posted on 29 Apr 2014, 16:28

21. NinjaBanana (Posts: 24; Member since: 20 Apr 2014)


Looks like an Android!

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