Open Mobile Gadgets

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This is a description of a project to create an open software, open hardware mobile communications device. Initial iterations will be very simple, but will progress to having full smartphone-like functionality and beyond.
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== The Open Mobile Gadgets Architecture ==
== The Open Mobile Gadgets Architecture ==

Revision as of 20:56, 17 December 2007

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The Open Mobile Gadgets Architecture

Here's a quick block diagram of the device that I want to build. More details to come about the specific hardware implementation.

Open Gadgets Architecture (Block Diagram)

If you're interested, contact me (chazegh @

-- Chazegh 14:12, 26 January 2006 (PST)

the Open Phone

Is this the same as the "Open Phone" ?
"The Complete Open Phone" by Matthew Hamrick, 2006-09-05
("Matthew Hamrick is the co-founder of the Silicon Valley Homebrew Mobile Phone Club ... Matthew ... proposes a truly open mobile phone platform.")
Even if it is not, would it be a good idea to join forces, share resources, etc. ?
Is it really possible to build a cell phone with "reasonable" weight and battery lifetime using mostly generic hardware (a FPGA, a Kilocore, off-the-shelf ADCs and DACs, etc.) and lots of software, rather than hard-wiring everything with custom hardware?
... See wikipedia:Software-defined_radio ...
--DavidCary 13:01, 24 September 2006 (PDT)
  • Nope... this isn't the same as the "Open Phone" stuff I'm doing.
But... "Complete Open Phone" is more of a concept than a project really. So if you're designing mobile-phone like hardware that you release with an "open" license like Creative Commons or Gnu Public License, to be used with "open" mobile phone software like Familiar Linux or LIBGSMC, then you're doing the same thing I'm talking about.
I'm the first person I know who's called for opening up hardware and software for mobile devices. I hardly belive I'm the first person to come up with the idea, though. It's a good idea and given the number of highly capable geeks out there, it's an idea that you won't be able to put "back in the box." In other words... "Complete Open Phone" is just the name I came up with for a "movement" that I and other people have been working on (people like Surj Patel (who runs the Open Cell Phone site.), Casey Halverson up at Seattle Wireless, and Nathan and all the gang at SparkFun.) And now that I've finally browsed over here, I can tell other people that the "Open Circuits" community are also interested.
Some of us at the Homebrew Mobile Phone Club are (in our copious spare time) designing and building "open" phone designs. We're more interested in building phones than web-pages, unfortunately. But, I'm hoping to have the time over the holidays to post a few pictures and designs. You'll find more information at the Homebrew Mobile Phone Club Wiki and we'll probably post instructions at the Instructables web site. Heck, we'll probably also post some designs here, that what it seems to be setup for.
--msh 07:41, 18 December 2006 (PST)
  • I'm interested in putting together an open phone too, but I'm more into a basics first-grow later using the GSM Module from Telit, the GM862-GPS. My idea is to use just the module by itself, code in a very basic "operating system" using the module's python capabilities, and a Nokia LCD that they have in sparkfun. I wish to buy this module because I think that every cellphone should have GPS capabilities even if it's an add-on. I also like this module because you can use it from the start without a lot of external components (it's got a battery charger, IIC, SPI interfaces, AT Command set, integrated SIM reader, etc etc).
I *do* have a problem to create the PCB and buy/place some of the components, so, would any of you guys interested in collaboration with this project ? I can come up with the initial desing/PCB and we can go from there. One of the ideas is to have the module as an add-on to the Palm TX pda. I intend to use a gumstix later on too maybe (if I don't go the TX way). Let me know if you're interested. BTW, shouldn't a *discussion* on this page be more interesting ?
--Diogownunes 08:36, 18 December 2006 (PST)
  • Yup... we probably should move this stuff to the discussion page. I have one of the Python enabled modules, but I've got to admit, I never thought to use its capabilities. I'm currently developing a "build your own SMT prototype board" course for the TechShop, and I'm also going to post some of it at Instructables. It's likely not going to be ready until mid-January, though. I don't know that I can help too much more than that, though. One of the things I'm currently working on is the "Albion" phone. It's a successor to TuxPhone. When the design and debugging is finished, I'm going to post everything to the web and possibly make a few boards that are populated with the SMDs (so the only thing you have to add is a power brick, telit module, gumstix, keypad and LCD.


According to this press release, "2006.11.7: OpenMoko Announces the World’s First Integrated Open Source Mobile Communications Platform" The OpenMoko Development Community Server looks like it's not quite online yet. someone else writes about OpenMoki. is a wiki.

TuxPhone at is a wiki.

GSM modules

  • XT56 GSM modem from Siemens
  • "gsm" stuff at SparkFun (currently GE863 Module with GPS; and GM862 Module with GPS, and some antennas)
    • GM862-GPS GSM Module and GPS receiver from Telit.
  • GPRS/GSM modem from Rabbit Semiconductor [1][2]
  • ...
  • (Add to this list)

alternate keyboards for mobile phones

Near the end of [ "Improving Novice Performance on the Twiddler One–Handed Chording Keyboard" by Kent Lyons, Brian Gane, Thad Starner, Richard Catrambone (2004 ?), there's a picture of a prototype mobile phone design that has slighly-modified keys to enable much more rapid text-messaging.

If an adequately open-source mobile phone were already available, these people could have already tweaked the software and be using their proposed technique already. Rather than speculating that it "seems to be a viable mechanism for text entry on future mobile devices".

What is the best way to start collaborating with alternate-keyboard people?

- I would suggest you start by integrating USB on-the-go functionality (USB host functionality); that way, you only need an adapter to use any USB-based alterna-keyboard. You may also be able to then integrate the keyboard into the device as an attached USB-connected device with little fuss.

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