Space engineer builds a mobile phone with an old-school ROTARY DIAL

Space engineer builds a mobile phone from scratch with an old-school ROTARY DIAL ‘because she hates smartphone culture and texting’

  • Justine Haupt, 34, spent three years building the unique phone from scratch 
  • Features a rotary dial from a Trim line phone and has a battery life of 30 hours 
  • The novel device is four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick 
  • A kit is being sold by Mrs Haupt for $130 but does not come with a rotary dial 

A space engineer who despises smartphone culture and modern devices has built her own mobile phone from scratch, featuring a working rotary dial. 

The antiquated keypad is encased in an aquamarine case with a prominent aerial to ensure ample signal.

Justine Haupt, 34, spent three years building the unique phone from scratch and is now selling a kit for others to build their own for $170 (£130).

However, the kits do not include the rotary dial, which Mrs Haupt sourced from an old Trimline telephone.

The device is four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick and operates on an AT&T prepaid sim card. 

The device is four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick and operates on an AT&T prepaid sim card

Justine Haupt, 34, spent three years building the unique phone from scratch and is now selling a kit for others to build their own for $170

ROTARY PHONE FEATURES  

Size: Four inches tall, three inches wide and one inch thick

Price: $170 

Battery life: 24 – 30 hours  

Two speed-dial buttons 

Display: e-paper

Texting: No 

Internet access: No  

The astronomy instrumentation engineer, at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, made the phone because she dislikes the culture of smartphones.

It has a battery life of around 24-30 hours and the popularity of the phone has led to Mrs Haupt putting together a kit for others to build their own handset. 

She said: ‘I didn’t want to sell it at first but everyone was clamouring and I got so many emails from people begging to buy a phone.

‘Finally someone suggested I should at least make a kit. I very quickly put together a new version of the circuit that would be a little more robust.

‘Now I’m looking at making a more inclusive kit that will come with everything you need. In a week, I’ve had around 30 orders.’ 

She claims to have never owned a smartphone or texted, despite loving technology.  

‘I work in technology but I don’t like the culture around smartphones,’ Mrs Haupt said. ‘I don’t like the hyper connected thing.

‘I don’t like the idea of being at someone’s beck and call every moment and I don’t need to have that level of access to the internet.

‘Whenever I want to look something up, I’m more than happy to do so when I am at my computer.

‘I’ve never texted and building this phone was in part so that I would have a good excuse for not texting.

The antiquated keypad is encased in an aquamarine case with a prominent aerial to ensure ample signal

Justine used a 3D printer to create the cell phone case and added speed dialling buttons so she could swiftly call her husband, David Van Popering, 57, and her mother, Lorraine Labate, 60

The Trimline dial was combined with a cell phone radio development board from hardware company Adafruit

When she did once buy a smartphone for her mother, the scientists was less than impressed with the handset.  

She explains: ‘I went back to my flip phone. I’m an engineer, I love technology, but the phone is not the way I want to do it.’

Instead, she opted to manufacture her own device from scratch using her professional expertise. A long-held appreciation of rotary dials inspired her project.

‘Rotary dials are neat and I wanted to include them in a project. I wanted it to fit in my pocket, be sleek, something I could actually use.’

The Trimline dial was combined with a cell phone radio development board from hardware company Adafruit.

The first prototype that was created was very basic with wires showing and was a mere proof-of-concept. 

But the engineer improved and slimmed down the design until it was a neatly encased working device.  

Justine used a 3D printer to create the cell phone case and added speed dialling buttons so she could swiftly call her husband, David Van Popering, 57, and her mother, Lorraine Labate, 60.  

‘If I want to call my husband, I can call him by pushing a single button. I can call people more quickly on this phone than on my old phone.

‘In rare cases when I want to call a new number, I do use the rotary dial and it is a fun, tactile experience.’    

The first prototype that was created was very basic with wires showing and was a mere proof-of-concept. But the engineer improved and slimmed down the design until it was a neatly encased working device

When mrs haupt (pictured) did once buy a smartphone for her mother, the scientists was less than impressed with the handset and got ridof it a month later 

The space engineer made the circuitry herself and added the rotary dial to ensure there is no texting function on the phone at all 

Mrs Haupt manufactured her own device from scratch using her professional expertise. A long-held appreciation of rotary dials inspired her project. ‘Rotary dials are neat and I wanted to include them in a project,’ she said 

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