Posts with «rotary phone» label

Rotary Phone Takes You Around The World And Through Time – With Music

Purposely choosing obsoleted technology combines all the joy of simpler times with the comfort of knowing you’re not actually stuck with outdated (and oftentimes inferior) technology. The rotary phone is a great example here, and while rarely anyone would want to go back to the lenghty, error-prone way of dialing a number on it on an everyday basis, it can definitely add a certain charm to a project. [Caroline Buttet] thought so as well, and turned her grandma’s old rotary phone into a time-traveling, globe-trotting web radio.

The main idea is fairly simple: a Raspberry Pi connects via browser to a web radio site that plays music throughout the decades from places all over the world. [Caroline]’s implementation has a few nice twists added though. First of all, the phone of course, which doesn’t only house the Raspberry Pi, but serves both as actual listening device via handset speaker, and as input device to select the decade with the rotary dial. For a headless setup, she wrote a Chromium extension that maps key events to virtual clicks on the corresponding DOM element of the web site — like the ones that change the decade — and a Python script that turns the rotary dial pulses into those key events.

However, the phone is only half the story here, and the country selection is just as fascinating — which involves an actual world map. An audio connector is attached to each selectable country and connected to an Arduino. If the matching jack is plugged into it, the Arduino informs the Raspberry Pi via serial line about the new selection, and the same Chromium extension then triggers the country change in the underlying web site. You can check all the code in the project’s GitHub repository, and watch a demo and brief explanation in the videos after the break.

Sure, listening radio through a telephone may not be the most convenient way — unless it’s the appropriate genre — but that clearly wasn’t the goal here anyway. It’s definitely an interesting concept, and we could easily see it transferred to some travel- or spy-themed escape room setting. And speaking of spying, if [Caroline]’s name sounds familiar to you, you may remember her virtual peephole from a few months back.


You can make your own rotary cellphone

As convenient as modern cellphones are, there's a certain charm to spinning an old-fashioned rotary dial to make a call -- and now, there's a cellphone that caters to that nostalgia. Brookhaven National Lab engineer Justine Haupt has developed a rotary cellphone that's not only functional, but available to make with the help of a $240 do-it-yourself kit. It's effectively a throwback to the days when phones were for calling and nothing else, plus a few present-day creature comforts.

Source: Justine Haupt, Sky's Edge

You can make your own rotary cellphone

As convenient as modern cellphones are, there's a certain charm to spinning an old-fashioned rotary dial to make a call -- and now, there's a cellphone that caters to that nostalgia. Brookhaven National Lab engineer Justine Haupt has developed a rotary cellphone that's not only functional, but available to make with the help of a $240 do-it-yourself kit. It's effectively a throwback to the days when phones were for calling and nothing else, plus a few present-day creature comforts.

This retro-looking rotary cellphone is free of modern-day distractions

What we carry today in our pockets is nominally called a “phone,” but more often than not we’re using it to do various other computing tasks. Justine Haupt, however, wanted an actual phone that “goes as far from having a touchscreen as [she could] imagine.”

What she came up with is a rotary cellphone that’s not just a show-and-tell piece, but is intended to be her primary mobile device. It’s reasonably portable, has a removable antenna for excellent reception, a 10-increment signal meter, and, perhaps most importantly, doesn’t make her go through a bunch of menus to actually use it as a phone. Other features include number storage for those she calls most often and a curved ePaper display that naturally doesn’t use any power when revealing a fixed message.

The project was prototyped using an Arduino Micro. It was then laid out of a PCB with an an Adafruit FONA 3G board and an ATmega2560V, programmed in the Arduino IDE.

Haupt has published a detailed look at the build process here.

Rotary phone transformed into home automation device

While once an essential communication tool, rotary phones in the wild are quite a rarity today. Still, they do hold a certain charm, and hacker Kristiaan N. decided to turn one of these units into a clever home automation interface.

The original idea was to use the phone as a doorbell. Like many projects, this simple job turned into something much more involved, with an Arduino Nano and a bevy of complimentary electronics being installed in the housing. This allows it to respond to doorbell presses as intended, and it’s now also able to ring in different patterns via wireless input from a smartphone. 

Most impressively, the modified phone can signal up to 10 devices using the rotary input, using the MySensors Arduino library and a Domoticz setup. The system’s capabilities are demonstrated in the video below, switching lights, and showing off its multi-ring capability.

The current version features the following functions:

  • Doorbell function with simple button
  • MySensors integration with NRF24 radio
  • Wirelessly activate 5 different ringtones
  • Alarm signal
  • Working dial with 10 virtual switches

The idea is basically that it will ring just like a old phone when somebody presses the doorbell button. If you don’t want any wires for that, you can just sent a command from any button attached to your Domoticz controller. You can also set your Domoticz controller to ring different ringtones for any events like a door that has open, or a set timer that has passed.

The dial also acts like 10 virtual switches. Your Domitcz controller will see these as 10 different switches that will be turned on and immediately be turned off again. You can use this to trigger events like turning a light on, or set the heating to a different setpoint.

The wireless function is done by the incredible MySensors library. In my opinion its one of the best platforms for home build sensors and actors. Its cheap to build, very reliable, and the possibilities are endless. You will need a MySensors gateway attached to your Domiticz controller. I’m using the USB version. Building one is very easy and doesn’t require knowledge of MySensors, Arduino, or electronics. If you just want the doorbell, don’t worry about all the other functions. Just leave out the radio and the connections to the dial. The Arduino code will work fine without.

Hacking a rotary phone with an Arduino and a GSM shield

While cleaning out his closet, Instructables user “Acmecorporation”  discovered an old rotary telephone. Instead of tossing it away, the Maker decided to give the old-school device some modern-day technology using an Arduino Pro Mini and a SIM900 GSM shield.

Acmecorporation is able to use the aptly named TOWA Phone (There Once Was A Telephone) to make and receive calls, send single DMTF tones, and even program numbers on speed dial. Aside from its classic bell ringer, there’s an RGB LED that indicates GSM status: red for offline, green for online, and blue for an incoming call.

The Maker briefly explains how it works:

To make a phone call you have to pick up the handset and dial the number, that’s all. Terminate call hanging up the handset.

When phone is ringing, pick up the handset to answer. Terminate it hanging up.

If you call to a support center or an office, usually you have to dial numbers to connect a specific department. You can do this because TOWA sends single DMTF tones.

Inside the Arduino script, you can add your favorite telephone numbers and combine it with a specific integer number. For example, I’ve stored my favorites combined with numbers from 1 to 8. So when I pick up the handset and dial 1, it starts a call to my wife. When I dial 2 or 3, it calls one of my sons, and so on.

Although Acmecorporation didn’t design TOWA for everyday use, it has become a permanent fixture on his desk. Do you have a rotary phone lying around? Time to brush off the dust and rig your own!

Tweephone is a rotary phone Twitter client, even your grandma could love

The collectives behind the Tweephone, UP digital Bureau and Unteleported tech agency, claim that it's the first analog Twitter client. We find that hard to believe but, while we've seen rotary phone-based Twitter tools before and analog meters that measure microblogging activity, we couldn't come up with a single example of a client that lets you punch in messages through non-digital means. Even if it's not the first of its kind, the Tweephone is still a pretty neat hack. Inside the old-school chassis is the ubiquitous Arduino, which interprets your pulls of the dial as letters. Like a phone with only a dial pad, you'll have to ring up numbers multiple times to get the right letter (i.e. dial "2" three times to get a "c"). It definitely not the most efficient method for sending out 140-character missives, but certainly one of the more unique. Check out the video after the break to see it in action.

Continue reading Tweephone is a rotary phone Twitter client, even your grandma could love

Tweephone is a rotary phone Twitter client, even your grandma could love originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 19:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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