Next-Level Digital Detox: This Kit Lets You Make Your Own Rotary Cell Phone

rotary cellphone diy kit justine haupt

We’ve seen phones with black and white screens, phones the size of a coin and apps that show you how much time you waste on social platforms. The next level when it comes to doing a digital detox?

This DIY kit lets you make your own rotary cell phone, remixing 60s aesthetics for a truly eye-catching piece of tech.

Justine Haupt, a Brookhaven National Lab engineer, developed this charming rotary cell from a Western Electric Trimline phone rotary dial. She used an Adafruit Fona 3G cellular equipment and added a custom ATmega2560v mainboard, then 3D printed a case for it.

The screen is a flexible 2.13 ePaper display that can show texts and calls.  

After mounting interest, she put together a $170 DIY kit but buyers beware! This is not a simple weekend project.


The rotary cell phone kit itself includes just the cellphone mainboard and the 3D printed case and buttons.

Builders will have to source their own retro rotary dial and most of the other components, like the display, battery and GSM antenna.

If you’d still take on this challenge for this charming piece of tech, you can find the full project here

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