Someone Built a Distraction-Free Cellphone With a Working Old-School Rotary Dial

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  • #268743

    eridani
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    @eridani

    https://gizmodo.com/someone-built-a-distraction-free-cellphone-with-a-worki-1841636089

    There’s an entire generation that probably won’t be able to make sense of Haupt’s Rotary Cellphone or why it has a bizarre circular wheel affixed to the top. For the rest of us who suffered through a time when placing calls meant spinning a plastic wheel, Haupt’s creation seems like it was brought to Earth from a parallel dimension where mobile phones took an entirely different evolutionary route, and where technologies like touchscreens never came to fruition.

    According to Haupt’s website where she provides lots of details on how this creation came to be, the dial itself was salvaged from a Western Electric Trimline telephone which featured hardware that was more compact than other rotary phones from decades back. That, along with the necessary electronics needed to make the dial interface with modern cellular chipsets, was integrated with a custom-designed board that was manufactured in China, and then stuffed into a 3D printed enclosure. The Rotary Cellphone is far from pocketable (unless you’re wearing an oversized novelty trenchcoat) but it’s compact and light enough to pick up and hold to your ear for the length of the average phone call.

    Despite looking somewhat primitive, Haupt did integrate some useful features borrowed from modern smartphones, including a 10-LED signal meter, programmable shortcut buttons for calling specific people, a power switch that physically slides on and off, and a curved e-paper screen with two sections so that information like missed calls can be displayed on the side like an old-school pager would.

    Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

  • #268773

    surrealAmerican
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    • Total Posts: 447
    @surrealamerican

    It would have been more impressive without the external antenna, though.

  • #268826

    NV Wino
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    • Total Posts: 3,648
    @nvwino

    But, I have to admit, I like this phone. 😁

    “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
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  • #268835

    Ohio Barbarian
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    @ohiobarbarian

    I’ve been a fan of touch-tone phones since 1975. Not going back to rotary.

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