Creators of MAKERbuino, the DIY handheld console, announce their new project, a DIY phone

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Mobile phones are an integral part of the lives of many among us. They allow us to be in touch with friends and relatives at the press of a button, keep up with the latest news, interact with fellow internauts on social media and even play games! But the concept of making one's own phone has remained alien to many. Albert Gajšak, founder of CircuitMess the startup company behind the DIY handheld console MAKERbuino, wants you to think differently. Enter the MAKERphone.

makerphone 1.jpg

The MAKERphone is an educational tool aimed at "turning consumers into creators". Once assembled by the DIY enthusiast, the latter will be in possession of a fully functional mobile phone. Sure this phone won't replace the latest iPhone or Android device. But that's not the point. As an educational device, the adventure does not end after the assembly. After building the MAKERphone and learning about electronics in the process, the DIYer can further learn to code apps for the phone via the company's official guide. MAKERphone supports programming languages Python, Adruino and Scratch that enables the device to play games like space invaders, pong, snake and even apps like a custom media player that "only plays cat videos". Moreover, custom cases can be designed and 3D printed to style the MAKERphone with your personal touch. If the MAKERbuino that I recently reviewed is any indication, the MAKERphone promises to offer an experience unlike any other.

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With an estimated build time of 7 hours, Circuit Mess estimates that 11-year-old kid should be able to assemble their own MAKERphone with a tiny bit of help from an adult.

The startup has made some improvements on the electronics side since the MAKERbuino and some notable specs of the MAKERphone as compared to their previous project are as follows:
  • A color screen
  • Better microcontroller with their custom software
  • Dedicated DAC and electronic volume controller for sound regulation and mp3 playback
  • 8 individually programmable RGB LEDs for a lightshow in your palms
  • Better PCB architecture for easier soldering
  • SIM card support
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • RTC (real time clock)
  • 128MB SD card preinstalled with dozens of useful applications, tools and games.
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CircuitMess has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn their MAKERphone project into reality. At the time of writing, the campaign has raised nearly $14,000 of its $15,000 goal. With 43 days remaining, they are well on their way to reach their goal and maybe even some stretch goals. Interested? Check out the Kickstarter campaign below where an early bird pledge of $89 can reward you with a base kit.

If you want to have an idea as to what to expect with CircuitMess' DIY projects, check out our official review of the MAKERbuino linked below.

:arrow: MAKERphone Kickstarter campaign
:arrow: MAKERbuino Official GBAtemp Review
 

Ritsuki

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I'm really excited about all the achievements in the DIY world, it's amazing and a great opportunity to teach and learn skills that will definitely be an asset in the future! Now, just need time and to sell a kidney to buy some books and stuff :P
 
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Joom

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Cool. This reminds me of the DIY land-line phone my grandparents bought me one year for Christmas. Unfortunately, the ringer was super annoying and it flashed multicolored LEDs when it rang, so it wasn't really ever put to practical use for the family.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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I love little DIY electronics projects like these. If introductory stuff like this was widely available when I was younger, I'd probably be much more interested/skilled in making my own DIY electronics and such.

Dunno if I'd buy one of these myself now, though, but I know if I had a kid interested in electronics I'd totally spend the $90-100 for a kit like this.
 

CitizenSnips

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I wonder how airport security would react to someone having a phone like this :lol:

Looks like a neat little project that'd be quite fun to try
 

CitizenSnips

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Something like

"That thing looks weird but it's an electronic so put it in the bin and move along please"

Assuming they grace it with a comment.
Well the thought was it could be mistaken for a bomb type thing or the like if they didn't quite know what it was lol, of course it isn't and could easily be explained if it was mistaken as something bad...
just a bad attempt at a joke i guess
 
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