PiPhone: A DIY Raspberry Pi Cellphone


When the Raspberry Pi Compute Module was announced ealier this month, a group of us at MAKE discussed what kind of impact it could have. For one, we thought perhaps it could help foster the rise of DIY electronics such as cameras, cellphones, and laptops.

Even without the Compute Module, software engineer and Raspberry Pi enthusiast Dave Hunt made a lot of headway with his own Raspberry Pi-based cellphone. By sandwiching together a Raspberry Pi Model B, TFT touch screen, a lithium polymer battery, and GSM module, Dave has cobbled together a portable GSM phone that can place calls with a headset.

“It’s more of a proof of concept to see what could be done with a relatively small form factor with off-the-shelf (cheap) components,” Dave says. “I don’t expect everyone to be rushing out to build this one, but I had great fun in doing it, as it builds quite nicely on my previous projects.” The total cost of the PiPhone project? Just $158, no contract required! See it in action below:

YouTube player

[via The Official Raspberry Pi Blog]

7 thoughts on “PiPhone: A DIY Raspberry Pi Cellphone

  1. Mark says:

    How does it function without a contract? Is that legal?

    1. Matt Richardson says:

      That was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Unlike many cell phones for sale in the US, you don’t need to make a 2-year commitment to get discount pricing.

      1. Mark says:

        Thanks for the clarification.

    2. Dave Hunt says:

      Mark, Where I live I can go in and buy a SIM card with €10 credit and put it in a phone. I’ve just put that SIM card in the GSM module. Perfectly legal (here).

  2. Armaan Hussain says:

    what wires did he use could you put up a tutorial on how to do it? please

  3. Norm Yeung says:

    Please can you make a tutorial for this?

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

View more articles by Matt Richardson


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