Beat electronics companies at own game by building a cellphone

If you despair at the thought of Chinese factory workers being exploited by cellphone manufacturers, then you might want to consider building this cellphone from a kit designed by David Mellis.

The phone accepts SIM cards, and will run on GSM networks allowing you to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. Of course, reading those texts may be a bit slow with its old-school calculator-style display (no retina display here), but it certainly gives the phone a nice retro look and feel. The phone will also store your contact list, display the time, and work as an alarm clock.

To build the phone, you need to buy a kit of parts on Github, then assemble them in the funky wooden case. Luckily, it's way bigger than an iPhone, so you won't drive yourself crazy trying to stuff all of those parts in.

Back in the 1970s, electronics geeks would save money by building their own gear from kits made by companies like Heathkit. These days you can get a basic cellphone for free with a two year contract, or a contract-free phone for about $10, so saving money isn't really the goal. It's more about having something you can say you made yourself, even if it does look like you carved it from a log.

Check out the gallery to see the various parts of the DIY phone, along with the finished product.

David Mellis (Flickr), via DesignBoom

 

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