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 a surprising number of requests from people wanting a ready-built (or nearly ready-built) rotary cell phone, I'm working on a more refined "mark 2" version. So far this is how it's shaping up:

  • 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
  • Contacts are added by editing a text file that's stored on an SD card
  • Will use newly manufactured rotary dial mechanisms
  • Easy-access to SD card slot
  • User-repairable; not planned for obsolescence
  • 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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