ESP32 WiPhone

The WiPhone project is an open source mobile IP phone. WiPhone is intended to be hackable, modular, cheap, and open, while remaining usable.

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WiPhone Prototype
WiPhone Prototype

The WiPhone project is an open source phone capable of making free calls through the internet. It makes calls over WiFi, without the need for a cellular radio.

It's also an open source, self-contained Arduino development platform. It comes in a nice package, with a battery, power supply, and on/off circuitry, unlike most other dev boards. Once your project is done, instead of an eyesore of tangled wires, it's discreet and visually appealing.

The phone is intended to be hackable, modular, cheap, and open, while remaining usable by everyday people.


Modern smartphones are more and more a tool we don't own, we're only allowed to carry around. One that serves the interests of those who allow you to buy it in return for the tentacles that get inserted into your life. You don't own it, it owns you. It tracks you, serves you ads, and sucks away your time with mindless dopamine hits. We want a phone that's firmly in our control, optimized for the convenience of the owner, not various corporate boards, ad and tracking networks and government organizations.

We want a phone that reverses that, and puts us back in control. Maybe even fights back a little. Full control of the firmware to allow us to repurpose the phone into whatever application we want. Hardware with accessible I/O and an easy disassembly process.


  • Completely free calling, as long as you can set up an account and install a SIP/VoIP app on the devices you need to call.
  • International calls are same as local ones. No restrictions based on borders or calling plans.
  • Don’t need to deal with another country’s SIM cards or radio compatibility when traveling.
  • Keep the same address all over the world.
  • Set up your kid with a phone that lets them contact you without the distractions of a smartphone.
  • Give a pre-configured phone to an elderly relation set up with just the numbers they need.
  • Keep a spare in a bag in case your primary phone gets broken or lost. Don’t need to maintain a service plan for the backup.
  • Avoid being tracked by cell tower triangulation or IMSI catching (Stingray).
  • Load your own firmware to implement different calling protocols or completely different use-cases. The firmware is unlocked and freely modifiable.
  • Commercial phone interchange services are available if you need to call someone on a regular phone. Typical plans cost about $25/year (US or Europe providers).

Planned Features

  • polished enough normal (non-hackers) are happy to use it as an everyday phone
  • open source
  • can call other WiPhones using the internet
  • can call smartphones or computers (using an app installed on the device being called)
  • wireless firmware updates
  • Arduino compatible software
  • Espressif ESP32 processor
  • roughly 120 x 65 x 12mm
  • 320 x 240 (2.4“) LCD screen
  • spare I/O broken out to user-accessible header

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View all 71 files

  • Crowdfunding Video Preview

    stupid03/22/2019 at 07:36 6 comments

    Feedback appreciated... please let us know if you see something that could be improved, or clarified.

    Hoping to launch next week.

    Can also check out the Kickstarter preview page here (the campaign won't be live until next week):

  • A Hot New Place for Sexy Pics

    stupid02/28/2019 at 15:32 0 comments

    We added an Instagram account and will probably be posting more of the "finished product" type pics there.  Some uploaded already as we get ready for crowdfunding.

    Nerd pics still go here :).

  • Testing the Keypad Mold

    stupid02/21/2019 at 15:51 0 comments

    Our prototype keypad mold arrived and we made some test parts, and also learned a few things about handling silicone.

    Some pics of the mold:

    Top Surface of Assembled Mold
    Top Surface of Assembled Mold

    This mold is a very simple clamshell type that's only going to be used for manual testing. We just want to figure out if the keypad geometry is correct before moving to a production mold, and also get a few parts to use in the latest batch of testing phones. We will fill it by hand using a syringe.

    Views of the inner surfaces. One side for the buttons, and the other side makes the inner features, including the little pips that push the dome contacts and close the electrical circuit.

    Button Side
    Keypad Inner Surface

    We also had some silicone compatible dye on hand, so later pours were tinted blue. The keypad will probably be black in production, but we didn't have any black dye.

    Before using the dye in a casting we made a few small test batches to make sure it would cure correctly. The supplier said it should work, but since we bought the dye and silicone from different places we wanted to test it first.

    The silicone is a 2 part condensation cure type. The first rubber hardness we tried was Shore 50A, which turned out to be too soft.

    We also learned a few tricks to make the process go smoother.

    This particular mold has some critical features on both sides that form natural bubble traps. Button surfaces tend to trap air on the outside, and the pips that press the dome contacts trap air on the inside. So we have to be careful when filling to mold to eliminate bubbles. Since the silicone is thick and not prone to running, we could fill the bubble trap areas using the syringe before closing the mold and pouring the reminder through the main sprue. There were likely still a few bubbles caused by this method, but they all end up in areas we don't care about.

    Filling Bubble-Trap Areas
    Filling Bubble-Trap Areas

    Another trick was to vacuum degas the syringe after loading it with silicone. It's almost impossible to mix silicone by hand without introducing bubbles, but the degas step pulls them back out.

    The pour process:

    Some results:
    This first one was not degassed. As you can see, there were lots of bubbles:

    Next pour went better. We degassed, were careful to fill the critical areas of the mold, and used the blue dye we had tested earlier:

    Some shots of the keypad in the prototype phone:

    The buttons weren't pressing the dome contacts enough to easily make the electrical contact, so we added some foam underneath. With the foam it works better, but is still a little soft. Later we will try some harder silicone. We will also need to modify the shape of the mold to add more silicone near the dome contacts so that the production parts make better contact.:

    Result after using the blue dye:

  • Another Hackaday Blog Writeup

    stupid02/06/2019 at 15:26 0 comments

    On the main page right now (2019/02/06):

    The WiFi Phone That Respects Your Right To Repair

  • Keypad

    stupid01/21/2019 at 02:55 0 comments

    Got some samples in today for the production keypad buttons. We went with dome contacts. These will be positioned over gold plated fingers on the main PCB, and they are held in position with a clear plastic overlay.

    WiPhone Button Array
    WiPhone Button Array

    Also sent out a little mold for the keypad. This is not the production mold, just a quick/cheap one to confirm the keypad geometry works. Should arrive later this week and we can make a few samples by squirting silicone into the mold using a syringe.

    WiPhone Keypad Mold
    WiPhone Keypad Mold
    WiPhone Keypad Mold - Bottom
    WiPhone Keypad Mold - Bottom

  • GUI, Software and Electronics Improvements

    stupid10/19/2018 at 03:44 0 comments

    We've been dialing a lot of things in on the motherboard. The biggest noticeable change is the GUI. It looks much more polished now. We're almost ready to start carrying the phone around for daily use.

    For complete details, read the full post on the WiPhone blog:

    WiPhone Boot Screen
    WiPhone Boot Screen

  • Daughter Boards

    stupid10/08/2018 at 10:10 0 comments

    What's an electronics project without an attempt at modularity? As part of our project goals, we want a phone that can be easily modified and expanded, but still remains something you could actually use every day. How do we balance those requirements?

    For complete details, read the full post on the WiPhone blog:

  • Capacitive Button Panel Testing

    stupid09/21/2018 at 09:38 0 comments

    Original post on the WiPhone blog:

    We wanted to see if it was possible to eliminate the physical buttons on the front of the phone by using a capacitive button panel.

    It has a few advantages:

    • At this point in time, it's what people expect (it looks good)
    • If we do it right, it could be easy to let people swap out a PCB with a different button layout, opening up the ability to adapt the hardware to different purposes.
    • Potentially longer design life, due to no moving parts


    • Somewhat risky. Physical button panel examples are everywhere, but you don't generally see capacitive button panels as dense as we need. There's probably a reason for that, so we expect to have issues with crosstalk/inadvertent triggering of neighboring buttons.

    We made a test panel, shown above, that has buttons of approximately the size and pitch we need for the phone. Overall, the test panel works OK. It is, in fact, easy to accidentally trigger neighboring buttons. But it was interesting enough we'll go ahead and make another panel using our current button layout and see how it performs in the phone.

  • Prototype 2 Assembly Video

    stupid09/18/2018 at 12:56 0 comments

    We wanted to post an assembly video showing how the mechanical parts of the phone go together. It's already a pretty simple process, and should get even easier once we have a single-piece keypad.

    At this stage it's still more of a prototye model than a production unit. The main purpose of this version is to give us something to actually use. Real world use is important for finding all the little issues that show up once a design moves from pictures on a screen to reality. Once we have a list of those we will evaluate what's possible to fix, and incorporate the improvements into the next version.

    We've been playing around with the phone for a few weeks, mostly debugging electronics and software. Once we get the bug situation under control we will start carrying the phones around and collecting improvement opportunities for UI, software, electronics, and hardware.

  • All Components Are Here

    stupid09/07/2018 at 09:26 0 comments

    We have all the components on hand now.

    WiPhone Components
    WiPhone Components

    Parts List:

    Back Panel - FR4, cut to the correct profile
    Motherboard - 4 layers, hand assembled
    Frame - Aluminum, CNC cut and clear anodized
    Front Panel - 2mm thick polycarbonate, CNC cut
    Screws - M2x4, 4x
    ON/OFF Button - Silicone, artisinal hand carved (OK, actually hand-snipped with a pair if dikes)
    Antenna - Whip antenna, we may change to chip or trace antenna after we do some signal strength optimization
    Keypad - Hard plastic, CNC cut. Eventually this will likely be a single cast silicone part.
    Battery - LiPo pouch.

    As the perceptive among you may have noticed, the parts have been assembled and our project pic updated. Later we will post more info, but for now we can say that everything fits with only minor issues. And the overall build looks and feels great, especially given how few revisions there have been.

    Shell, Partially Assembled

View all 19 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Anonymous P wrote 04/04/2019 at 10:42 point

Hello, I am creating a project using a Pi Zero to record audio, playback audio and other features mainly aimed a birdwatchers (search up Pi Portable Recorder). I was seeing if a switch to using an ESP32 would be a great step. However, I don't have the time to code a GUI program from scratch and was wondering if the code is available for the GUI or will be soon as it make a switch to the ESP32 worthwhile. At the moment I am using a good library called ZPUI on the Pi. Also, I notice you have the keypad files on Github, thanks for that! A nice keypad (debounce, rubber overlay etc.) looked to be a hard bit of my project but this looks extremly useful.



  Are you sure? yes | no

stupid wrote 04/04/2019 at 15:50 point

If you just want to quickly get a GUI working I think I'd recommend sticking with the Pi, unless other parts of your system need real time code or you have other constraints I don't know about. Graphics are just easier to make work on Linux than on a lower level system.

If you want some ESP32 GUI stuff that's ready to go now, there are a number of libraries out there for M5Stack that should work well for you, and will be more thoroughly tested than ours is so far (and probably more general purpose). As our project progresses that should change, but I wouldn't recommend trying to take late-prototype level code that's written for a single purpose and use it for a different project unless you just want to spend time playing around and debugging the code.

We haven't released the code yet. It will be open source, but we're going to ship the hardware before releasing it. Right now that's scheduled for around August.

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Anonymous P wrote 04/05/2019 at 07:57 point

Thanks for your reply. Looking into it there are some decent GUI options for the ESP32. The main constraint meaning I want to switch to the ESP32 is the size. Being a portable device, the Pi is just too big and has parts I wouldn't use. Also, it is quite overpowered for the tasks I want it to do. It seems Espressif officially supports µGFX and LittlevGL which look like great tools for building great GUIs.



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Nuncio Bitis wrote 03/29/2019 at 10:28 point

Will this work with Google Voice? I don't want to be limited to only calling other people who have WiPhones

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stupid wrote 03/30/2019 at 06:50 point

The WiPhones work using a standard protocol called SIP. They can call regular phones. If you want to stay on the free side of things, we have a guide for getting a free SIP account. If you use this method, your friend will need a SIP account as well.

If you want the WiPhone to act just like a regular phone, with a regular number, most VoIP providers offer that for a few dollars a month. At that point it's not much different from a regular phone, except you get your signal through WiFi and it's cheaper than a cellphone.

If you really like playing around with servers and installing software on linux I believe there is a Google Voice library for Asterisk... but that would definitely be playing in hard mode, at least for now.

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Magke wrote 03/01/2019 at 14:24 point

Really nice project!
And if the "Mega Battery Pack" and "LoRa", maybe also with a good 868MHz antenna, come together on one board, I would be very happy.
Is a vibration motor installed?

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stupid wrote 03/01/2019 at 17:15 point

It does have a vibration motor. But it overheats if you leave it on for more than a few minutes, so don't you and your mega battery pack be getting any big ideas.

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munchausen wrote 02/13/2019 at 13:45 point

Hi, great project! I was wondering if you've considered an alternative keypad layout using half qwerty like the nokia E55 ( So you would have a 5 by 4 button grid at the bottom instead of 4 by 4. It makes T9 input work really really well because it massively reduces the possible words the user could have been trying to enter. I know that moulds are expensive things, but perhaps it could be an optional layout? Cheers!

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stupid wrote 02/14/2019 at 00:50 point

That makes a lot of sense.

The production mold hasn't been made yet. The one shown in the build log is only for prototyping and was relatively cheap. But after thinking about it, it might not be possible for this design without increasing the phone width. We'd like to keep the overall phone size as small as we can, and the buttons can only be so small before they are hard to use. And also the electrical contacts need a certain amount of space.

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munchausen wrote 02/14/2019 at 10:11 point

It does look as though you have the space (I don't know about routing, but the PCB button footprints and pop domes look like they would fit). Also the E55 was a very similar sized device - I can assure you it works really well with that size of button! But I know that ultimately I have a niche opinion about this and perhaps most people prefer larger buttons, especially for older people etc. So no worries!

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stupid wrote 02/14/2019 at 10:53 point

I had a look at the mechanical parts again, and actually a different part of the system is the limiter here (though for the manufacturing processes available to us, the other factors I already mentioned are significant).

We are using relatively low tech manufacturing processes compared to a typical mass-produced phone: Our front face is a die cut sheet of polycarbonate, and the keypad is silicone.

We need a certain amount of polycarbonate between each key to keep the mechanical parts stiff and strong enough. The silicone buttons also have a minimum size that's related to the minimum wall thickness you can cast silicone and the geometry necessary to make the button collapse correctly when pressed, but still have a strong enough of a pip over the dome contacts to actuate it. But they also need to be wide enough to sink down into the hole in the front face when pressed by a typical finger. All that together drives the horizontal pitch to 11mm, which is bigger than the E55.

The frame/shell of our phone is also thicker than a mass produced Nokia, and making the buttons a little bigger just makes sense when we don't have a team of people large enough to spend a lot of time getting the actuation of the keypad right.

Anyway, if it was earlier in the design cycle I'd probably see about making it happen since it does make sense to me, it's just not viable right now. Not due to the mold, but just the general amount of design work that's done, but would need to be re-done to make it work.

(reply is to munchausen's other message, it's just not possible to reply to a 3rd level comment on this site)

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doanerock wrote 02/07/2019 at 15:48 point

Are there plans to support SRTP and ZRTP?

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stupid wrote 02/08/2019 at 05:31 point

It really depends on how well the crowdfunding goes. If we only make a few hundred units we can't. But if we make lots, and many people express interest in security we'll be able to do more. So far we've seen feedback/interest in making the phone more secure so it's probably down to how many units get made to decide if we'll have the resources to make it happen.

After the crowdfunding we may do a backer survey and/or talk with people whose opinions we respect to help us choose what's most important to make the phone more secure.

(Also, seems like everyone who has contacted us about security has a different opinion of what should be done to make the phone more secure, so there will likely be some work involved in figuring out what's the most effective thing to start with, and what the roadmap might look like for later features.)

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doanerock wrote 02/07/2019 at 01:14 point

I noticed that the antenna is just soldered to the PCB.  It would be much more robust if the antenna was attached to a u.fl connector so you did not have to worry about the solder join breaking.  

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stupid wrote 02/07/2019 at 01:30 point

There's a connector on the latest rev board, we just haven't had time to post pics yet.

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doanerock wrote 02/07/2019 at 15:45 point

That's awesome.  

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Renne wrote 11/11/2018 at 13:07 point

Which SIP-stack/library does WiPhone use?

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stupid wrote 11/12/2018 at 02:06 point

We wrote our own. There doesn't appear to be any existing available libraries that met our needs.

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Renne wrote 11/13/2018 at 11:13 point

SIP will be implemented in the next release of the ESP32-ADF (

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stupid wrote 11/14/2018 at 00:41 point

Thanks for the heads-up about the upcoming SIP library. (replied to wrong message since doesn't allow 3rd level replies)

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virusleader324 wrote 11/08/2018 at 00:58 point

maybe you can add some app?

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stupid wrote 11/08/2018 at 01:25 point

We are adding apps. We actually just finished making a video about the first app we did and we will post it to youtube soon.

We're still deciding the final implementation. Would you prefer apps to be done in something like MicroPython, or in the C/C++ (Arduino) code?

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Renne wrote 11/07/2018 at 12:30 point

Wireless charging would be great, too.

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stupid wrote 11/08/2018 at 01:28 point

That might be possible through a daughter board. I think there's a pin on the connector. I'll need to check if the circuit supports pushing current back into the battery.

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Renne wrote 11/07/2018 at 10:22 point

CardDAV support would be great to synchronize contacts with the cloud.

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Renne wrote 11/07/2018 at 10:18 point

I also suggest to use Invensense ICS-43432 or Knowles SPH0645LM4H-B I2S-MEMS microphones - one for voice and a second one on backside top for noise/echo cancellation. The ESP32 supports PDM audio output. You just need a 20 kHz low-pass filter per channel and MOSFETs  for the speakers. The ESP32 has 2x I2S stereo. This allows up to 4 microphones (e.g. voice + echo/noise cancellation microphones via I2S + stereo headset microphone via I2S codec) and 4 output channels (e.g. stereo headphones and stereo speakers via PDM).

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Ed Wildgoose wrote 03/02/2019 at 14:45 point

Thumbs up for this one! One of the biggest challenges we see for voice quality, especially on lower bandwidth codecs is that the codec wastes a lot of bandwidth compressing background noise and there is a disproportionate drop in quality. I think good echo cancellation is a big ask for an ESP32, but having 2 mics at least offers the option to try...

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stupid wrote 03/03/2019 at 14:05 point

We'll look into this more after the crowdfunding is done. Sounds like it should at least be considered. Need to figure out if the current design could easily support it and what the time+cost impact would be. And seeing how much it improves audio quality.

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Renne wrote 11/07/2018 at 09:48 point

I suggest a ground plane antenna like the RaspberryPi Zero uses (

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stupid wrote 11/08/2018 at 01:21 point

Do you know what the performance of that style antenna is compared to something like a chip antenna? Right now we're using a little flex whip antenna, and we chose it because in our testing it was a nice balance of range/cost. We tested a trace antenna and the result was somewhat mediocre.

That particular Pi Zero antenna looks like it has some IP restrictions... not sure if Proant (the company who licensed it to Raspberry Pi) would be interested in giving a random open source project with no marketing a free license. Without looking at the details of Proant's IP protection and licensing scheme I'm guessing if we did do a ground plane antenna we would need to use a different design.

It would be nice to be able to eliminate the extra component, though.

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Contagious Intellect wrote 10/02/2018 at 13:47 point

You could add a audio jack on the phone

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Andriy Makukha wrote 10/06/2018 at 03:14 point

Great news! WiPhone already has it. You can see it on the prototype assembly video starting at 2:03.

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fabian wrote 09/18/2018 at 16:02 point

One idea for design. please add small hole for phone rope. for  example

second idea to add big arc over top screen for this

arc from left corner top to right corner can be stored antena, what You thing about this idea?

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Christian Berger wrote 09/16/2018 at 12:26 point

I'd add a simple 40x25 character terminal, for example according to the old "Videotex" standards which were used for Bildschirmtext, Prestel or Minitel. That should be simple enough to implement (in fact the simplest version only needs to understand one "command") while enabling a world of applications.

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fabian wrote 09/18/2018 at 16:05 point

USB host  for normal keyboard, router , computer will be better. And normal ssh+terminal I dont know how good it is

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stupid wrote 09/18/2018 at 16:54 point

SSH (or even telnet) could be pretty useful. Are there any existing libraries for an SSH client on ESP32? I'm not seeing any in a quick search.

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Christian Berger wrote 01/24/2019 at 20:13 point

There's actually now a project resurrecting xcept, a 1990s CEPT client for Unix. The code seems fairly portable.

Best thing about this is that the service behind it can be controlled via a telephone keypad, and you actually have a service.

You can try it via this web frontend:

The software can be found here:

And yes, it includes a Wikipedia gateway. At the login press # (or F2) 3 times, then press * (or F1) 550 # (or F2) and you can search for a page.

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Christian Berger wrote 01/26/2019 at 11:01 point

Michael Steil recently ported the BTX decoder to iOS:

Historical demo pages look like this:

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fabian wrote 09/15/2018 at 18:16 point

please add mesh and lora communication 

(text,small image,gpg)

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Christian Berger wrote 09/16/2018 at 16:34 point

Lora doesn't have the bandwidth for speech.

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stupid wrote 09/18/2018 at 13:21 point

But it does have the bandwidth for text messages, which is probably what Fabian is interested in.

(For what it's worth, I'd imagine LoRa also has the bandwidth to send Videotex  or whatever other pre-historic text encoded graphic formats get you off)

In any case, we have it on good authority that IP over Avian Carrier is the hottest upcoming protocol and as soon as we get our core functionality working, mesh, LoRa, and Videotex may all need to wait for the IPoAC implementation to go online before we have time to address them.

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fabian wrote 09/18/2018 at 15:43 point

look at or but open source and open protocol (for example AX25). Great communicator for emergency and for small data.

here is project

on aliexpres or gearbest is many esp32+Lora, obly put it together

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James Hall wrote 09/21/2018 at 15:15 point

I wonder if there are modes where Codec2 speech would fit. There's a version of that which works in 700bps. Doing something like a gotenna would be great too. Simple text messages, including sending things like GPS coordinates, over distance would be handy sometimes. There are some TTGO branded dev boards that combine a ESP32 with a LORA chip and stuff for a 18650 lithium battery that might work just as well for that though.

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fabian wrote 01/24/2019 at 11:41 point

please look Pygo

Lora no need voice, only message. Buy independent of internet and wifi.

only add hardware for wifi and lora. everything other people writing himself


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stupid wrote 01/27/2019 at 00:16 point

We did recently design a lora daughterboard since so many people asked for it. It's still in the prototyping stage right now, but may end up being something you can get with the phone later.

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doanerock wrote 02/07/2019 at 01:26 point

Having LoRa encrypted mesh messaging built in would be amazing.  GPS to send location to other WiPhones would be really handy.  

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utf_8x wrote 09/10/2018 at 08:52 point

Is there enough spare GPIO available to hook up a GSM modem (such as this

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stupid wrote 09/10/2018 at 15:11 point

Maybe, depending on your use case.

We are shooting for 10+ pins broke out to the back of the phone. But if you want to do voice calls you may run into issues getting the audio signals where they need to go since a lot of those cell modules expect to directly control the speaker and mic.

I'll post a pinout once we have the next revision ready.

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utf_8x wrote 09/11/2018 at 16:22 point

I hear you... Maybe some sort of a soft/hard switch for the mic and speaker... It would also be cool co connect a Iridium compatible module to this to be able to send text messages from anywhere in the world... 10 GPIOs sounds like a reasonable number for something like that.

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James Hall wrote 09/06/2018 at 14:21 point

The new picture of the project is extremely attractive. How are you doing the buttons? Are those 3D printed?

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stupid wrote 09/06/2018 at 14:37 point

Thanks! I did the mechanical design and model making.

Buttons are CNC + a really light coat of spray paint.

We have a pretty cool video we just put together of the assembly process that's about to go out to the mailing list if mailchimp ever finally decides we aren't Nigerian princes.

Looks like you're already on the email list, but if anyone else wants to see the video (and other early-access stuff) feel free to join. The form is at the top of the project details.

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Neo wrote 08/26/2018 at 19:50 point

Neat project, the hardware is looking really nice. I'm curious about the actual VoIP part: how does it work, what protocols are used, what kind of server does it require? Is it based on some libraries or existing code, or is it an all new implementation?

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stupid wrote 08/28/2018 at 01:06 point

SIP is the protocol used for VoIP. There are a bunch of commercial services that can act as a server, including some free-to-use ones if you don't need a phone number.

It should be possible to run Asterisk if you want to run your own server. We haven't done this yet so I don't have details.

We are not currently using an existing SIP library.

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otstoypuksa wrote 08/26/2018 at 07:05 point

SN7326 seems to be missing from my common chip suppliers. Where should I look for it? Are here any more readily-available alternatives? Thanks! 

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stupid wrote 08/26/2018 at 15:44 point

I believe you can get them on Aliexpress.
As to readily available alternatives, it's hard to say without knowing what you are trying to do. I don't know of any drop in replacements if that's what you're asking.

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