Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Most Awesome Cell Phone

[Tech] It's nearly impossible to buy a phone that doesn't also double as a camera, camcorder, iPod, PDA, GPS and personal hadron collider. Life is so complicated. Sometimes you want a phone that's just a phone.

That's why I love SparkFun Electronics' Port-O-Rotary. It's an old, black, standard rotary phone converted to a cell phone.

In case you've never seen one before, you dial a rotary phone by inserting your index finger in one of those little holes and physically rotating the dial until your finger contacts a little metal capstain at the lower right edge. When you remove your finger, a spring mechanism returns the dial to its original position, producing a number of clicks corresponding to the number dialed.

Equipment at the central office automatically interprets those clicks as numbers, routing your call accordingly. The same "click" can also be generated by briefly pressing down on the switchhook located under the handset. This is a helpful feature during those dramatic moments in life, when you can lift the handset and feverishly tap the switchhook while crying, "Operator? Operator!"

The "ringtone" is produced the way the gods intended ringtones to be produced: by an actuated mallet striking a metal bell. Imagine walking down the street talking on one of these puppies! According to the Website, it weighs two pounds, so you could also use it as a weapon to fend off an attacker. Try that with your fancy iPhone.

(Brandon Burt)


  1. I guess if you have a C note and a half to spare, this might be mildly entertaining.

  2. There's a good chance I would spare three C notes, at least, for this fabulous goodness--

  3. I LOVE it! I could go jogging with this cell phone and I'm sure I'd build up some awesome arm muscles in the process. Sweet!

  4. Very retro cool! Still, I'm holding my breath for the new HTC Dream from T-Mobile next week. Actually, doing more salivating than breath holding...


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