Convert your old phone into a remote switch

Have some old phones lying around? Thinking what to do with them? Here's how you can use them.....!

Similar projects worth following
Use your old phone as a remote control. You can just give a miscall or text your old phone to activate or deactivate your remote device. The good thing about this switch is it is operable in any part of the world where there is network connectivity.

Ever wondered what to do with your old basic phones? The advent of a smartphone in last decade made all the basic phones obsolete. Even though they had good battery life and decent look they are less when compared to big smartphones which have big screens and lots of features. Even I had lots of these phones lying around. I did this project long back i.e 5 years back when I was in 11th grade. Here I did slight advancement when I saw this old project. In this instructable, I'll use an old basic phone as a remote switch which can be turned on and off from practically anywhere in the world. ( P.S: Where there is cellphone network) In India, the power supply is not 24x7 in many rural areas. Farmers in the rural area have to supply water to their fields consistently otherwise there might be the loss of crops due to water shortage. The fields are situated far away from their houses. Therefore this project aims to provide a solution for switching pump set remotely to help farmers. But this can be used to switch anything. 

ino - 1.05 kB - 07/11/2018 at 18:57


  • 1 × Arduino Nano
  • 1 × LCD 16x2 (Optional)
  • 1 × Relay module
  • 1 × Old mobile phone
  • 1 × Soldering Iron

View all 6 components

View all 5 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1 : Gather everything let's get our hands dirty...!!!

    Gather all required parts. 

    Now you need to disassemble your old phone so that you will have access to the vibration motor connections. I have attached a video of disassembly of Nokia 3310. But the procedure will be same for almost all basic phones.Open one by one till you reach the main PCB. There you can see a vibration motor inside.

  • 2
    Step 2: Disassembly done

    Vibration motor: It is used to provide haptic feedback to the user when a message or call comes. In vibration motors, there are two types,

    1. Coreless motor with an unbalanced weight on the shaft. This results in change in moment of inertia resulting in wobbling and hence the vibration.
    2. Coin cell type vibration motor which is sealed. 

    We have to find the connection points of vibration motors.
    And solder these points with 2 wires for extending it. Pretty much every basic phone has a vibration motor either of two types.

  • 3
    Step 3: Connect everything

    Connect these wires to one of the GPIOs of Arduino. Here I'm using pin number A0. And negative pin to ground. LCD connections are as usual. 
    Relay module signal pin to pin number 4 and VCC, GND to Arduino's VCC and GND. You can use jumper wires for the connection here I have made a perf board circuit by soldering all components.

View all 6 instructions

Enjoy this project?



Marvin wrote 07/22/2018 at 06:25 point

Sometimes an unsolicited text message is sent to the phone. I think this situation should be looked into to prevent unwanted scenarios.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Martin wrote 08/27/2018 at 09:41 point

Perhaps the phone has a whitelist feature, where all other calls are blocked. Some have it. That would be the easiest solution.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Vishwas Navada B wrote 07/13/2018 at 12:56 point

Yeah. In India 2G is still working alomg with 3G and 4G. You can use any old phone like old 3G phone also. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Similar Projects

Does this project spark your interest?

Become a member to follow this project and never miss any updates