Sunday, December 5, 2021

‘Anti-smartphone’ engineer builds own mobile phone with rotary dial from scratch


An astronomy instrumentation engineer has built her own mobile phone device with an old-school rotary dial from scratch as she hates the smartphone culture and texting people.

The 34-year-old space engineer, Justine Haupt, dislikes for having a smartphone with her, hence, she spent three years building the unique phone from scratch encased in an aquamarine case with a prominent aerial to ensure ample signal which also features a working rotary dial from an old Trimline telephone.

engineer mobile phone rotary dial smartphone

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

engineer mobile phone rotary dial smartphone

‘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.’

Justine Haupt at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York is now selling a kit for others to build their own for $170 (£130).

engineer mobile phone rotary dial smartphone

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

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

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

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.

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