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WHY NOT BUILD YOUR OWN RETRO SMARTPHONE?

Date: 2018-10-17



Albert Gajšak has created an ambitious Kickstarter project featuring a DIY kit called MAKERphone that lets anyone build a retro smartphone.

The 20-year-old developer hopes it will teach investors a little about programming in environments such as Python and Scratch whilst schooling them in the basics of electronics. This educational Kickstarter project is an evolution of one launched by Gajšak earlier this year which similarly offered investors the chance to build their own 8-bit, Arduino-based gaming console – the MAKERbuino, and the project was a huge success exceeding its funding goal 10 times over.

MAKERphone, as its inventors explain, is not a LEGO-like kit where you simply stack components; you’ll need to get your hands dirty with soldering irons and screwdrivers. 

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The kit comes with all the components you need to build the phone, starting with Markerphone circuit board, which is the base onto which you’ll attach the rest of the electronics needed to create this DIY thingamajig.

It is an Arduino-based, DIY mobile phone which comes disassembled. Some of the parts include a circuit board, a GSM module, a dual-core processor, a 128×160 pixel colour LCD, antenna and a sound module complete with a headphone jack.

Once the smartphone is assembled it will work as a fully functional mobile phone that will also let you run apps or play games.

The kit starts at $89, with other packages offering various perks including an additional set of tools, a fully assembled phone for those who want to skip the tough bit, or bundles of two or more MAKERphones at discounted prices. The additional set of tools include a USB soldering iron, a stand for the soldering iron made of metal and a USB power brick to power it, a screwdriver, nose pliers, and diagonal cutter pliers.

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If you've never assembled electronics, you're missing out on a lot of fun. Plus, it demonstrates that our phones do not simply materialise from "robots and lizard people from Silicon Valley," as Gajšak says in the video, but its real people who manufacture them.

In any case, the process will give you an increasingly unusual skill set today that will come in handy during the zombie apocalypse, when you have to fix the broken radio you found in an abandoned shack.

Check out the video below, believe us when we say, it will put a smile on your face.



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