Making-of: Wearable DIY Cellphone

Based on Dave Mellis’s DIY Cellphone.

PCB Assembly

Front and Back:


Datasheet >>

1) Clone DIY Cellphone Repositories:
Software (Arduino code and libraries) >>
(run “git submodule update –init” from the terminal in the cellphone2 directory to get github to clone the sub-modules too)
Hardware (Eagle and Illustrator files) >>

Additional libraries to download and save in Arduino libraries folder (not necessary, see above):
GSM stuff (save in GSM Extras folder) >>
MemoryFree.h (save in GSM Extras folder) >>
Adafruit-PCD8544 >>
Adafruit-GFX >>

2) Set the sketchbook folder (in the preferences dialog) to the cellphone2 directory. Then it should pick up the needed libraries and (Sanguino) hardware folder.

3) Use the “DIY Cellphone” board menu option.

4) Burn the bootloader using USBtiny does not work. Also could not get it to work with an avrdragon. MKII worked.

5) Upload the “cellphone” sketch. Make sure you have most recent version of arduino installed with GSM stuff. Trying to upload with 3.3V FTDI programmer did not work until we also added battery power supply.

6) Insert sim card. Power with battery. Screen says “connecting…” and nothing happened. Tried turning off sim lock on sim card from regular phone. Still nothing. Screen background starts off bright and grows increasingly darker.

Here is the movie of “it works!” (until the “connecting…” point)

Programming with AVRDragon

add following lines to programmers.txt file: Dragon ISP


Evan Roth “Free Speech”:

Making-of Photos on Flickr:

Here are some new development. The main jacket shape with embroidered capacitive sensor on sleeves and Origami collar.

The collar will open/close with zipper allowing the speaker and microphone embedded in the collar to held in place for the use.

These pictures are after placing the zipper. The collar got a bit stiff and does not fold as nice.. The kind of zipper used here is called “open end zipper”

Try out of the felt speaker. The plan is to replace one of the rectangular in the color embedded in the black translucent fabric. The magnet is held in the hole on the felt. It is small, but loud enough to hear if you hold it close to your ear.

There are 12 conductive thread lines which end is exposed to the outer side with chain stitch embroidery. This will be connected to sensor pin and ground to be used as capacitive sensor. It will act as button for the cellphone.

Below is the sleeve pattern. It was developed by making a normal sleeve that fits to the jacket body, cut open it in diagonal direction, retracing it and refining the angle. The cool thing about this pattern is that the conductive trace can be sewn in straight way, and it appears as spiral around the sleeve.

DIY cellphone board placement test

Looking at origami fashion for folding wearable cell-phone collar:



Tara Keens-Douglas