Science and Tech


You Can Now Build Your Own Cellphone

Co-founder of the Arduino platform has released blueprints for a DIY cellphone. It consists of about 60 electronic pieces and will cost about $200.
Posted at 2:37 PM, Nov 28, 2013

You might want to think twice about waiting in line for a deal on a new phone.

Because you can now build your own. David Mellis, who’s one of the co-founders of the Arduino platform, has released blueprints for this block of a phone. (Via Flickr / DavidMellis)

Not surprisingly, the DIY device uses theArduino GSM Shield. It’s a little technical, but these chips, when paired with a SIM card, give you the power to make and receive calls and send and receive texts.

​But Mellis’ phone doesn’t stop there. It can also reportedly store names and numbers and display the time. (Via Flickr / David Mellis)

Geeky Gadgets adds, Watch out Apple and Samsung there is a new phone on the Block.”

“It is meticulously designed and crafted.” (Via Apple)

OK, OK,  in our iPhone world, this DIY phone’s features might not seem that impressive. Where’s the GPS? The apps? Siri? (Via Apple)

Of course, that's not the point. Think of the device more like LEGOs.

Only your pieces include the Arduino GSM Shield, SIM card, circuit board, LED display and more. In total, there are about 60 electronic components to the DIY phone. (Via Flickr / David Mellis)

Plus, The Verge adds, “There are detailed instructions for a simple laser-cut plywood case, but several Media Lab members have crafted their own cases in a variety of shapes and hues, using milling, laser cutting, and 3D printing.”

So maybe a bit more complicated than LEGOs. Mellis writes, “Making the DIY cellphone can be a fairly involved process but it doesn't necessarily require specific electronics expertise. … this is a difficult but potentially do-able project.” (Via MIT)

All of the plans you’d need to give it a shot are posted on Github. But the components won’t come free. They reportedly total about $200.

Which, well, might make those Black Friday deals — like this $50 iPhone 5C — sound a little better. (Via Best Buy)