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Challenges in building a Linux cell phone | Surj

Challenges in building a Linux cell phone

Deva Seetharam

as one could observe, building a linux phone prototype doesn't take more than the following (rather common) skills:
1. basic hardware skills
2. linux programming and device driver development skills
3. basic mechanical design skills

even the idea of building a cellular phone is not innovative.; the SparkFun guys have built a portable rotary phone using the same gm862 cellular module and a pic microcontroller.

the primary task involved in building this cell phone is assembling different components together. although it sounds simple, it is not an easy task since these components were not expected to operate/interface together.

let me give you a few examples:


  • SparkFun sells this convenient USB breakout boards for gm862 modules. this board works great, but, there is a mechanical problem - there is no space for antenna connector on the board, if headers are soldered on to the board.
  • gumstix breakout-gs board has 0.5 mm pitch holes. headers and connectors at this pitch size are hard to get.
  • gumstix recommends several nice LCD modules. many of these modules have ribbon cables. these cables require surface mount connectors for soldering onto boards. as you know, soldering smt parts by hand with no soldering microscope is not fun.

i have a few more to list. but, i dont want to whine anymore ... let me let you enjoy the holiday mood ;)