Project state - prototype batch will soon be built

A project log for ZeroPhone - a Raspberry Pi smartphone

Pi Zero-based open-source mobile phone (that you can assemble for 50$ in parts)

ArsenijsArsenijs 05/10/2017 at 21:466 Comments

Components arrived, PCBs ordered

A week ago I received a box full of goodies:

Most of the parts pictured are ZeroPhone-specific, and some parts are either extras or parts I ordered for myself =) The bag in the bottom center is full of 18650 holders, all three models pictured. Tape with white squares are the coolest BIOS chip holders ever, that I was trying to find for ages until I finally did find them for very reasonable price on TaoBao. Next to the laptop bag you can see a tape of 50 ESP-12 modules, and the bag next to it is full of Arduino Pro Minis. Ziplock bags in the center, to the left, are full of pushbuttons - the biggest of those bags has 750 buttons, and the plastic tube has 30 MCP23017 ICs. And, of course, there are 25 screens and 20 GSM modules - the latter I didn't have problems with, but screens just keep breaking on me.

Today, after I made all the board corrections (mostly related to "components arrived and they're incompatible with boards I'e designed"), I've uploaded 2 different panels to DirtyPCBs - full of both ZeroPhone boards and my personal experiments.

ZeroPhones that I'll be sending out will consist of 4 boards:

  1. Front board - OSHPark
  2. Keypad board - OSHPark
  3. Back board - OSHPark
  4. Dual 18650 holder board - OSHPark

The Li-Ion board is for a simple reason, I still haven't decreased power consumption significantly and, while I'm going to turn off everything that I know affects power consumption, there's still a lot of what I know - that weird board with lots of exposed copper, right on top of the keychain on the front board, is voltage/current sensor breakout which is going to help me actually run benchmarks on power consumption.

There are also 3 mod boards:

I have ideas for some more mod boards:

As I already mentioned, the assembled ZeroPhones will be shipped to 1) reviewers, such as Hackaday, Crowdsupply etc. 2) project contributors and people who have pre-ordered ZeroPhones in order to start tinkering.

Now, after writing some more worklogs and answering all the emails, it's software time.

I do have two important questions:

  1. Do you have any mod board ideas?
  2. I have 5 ZeroPhones that can be sent to reviewers. Do you know of any bloggers/YouTubers who'd be interested in making a review of a ZeroPhone?


kunstenaar wrote 05/11/2017 at 18:52 point

Question #2: Maybe ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Arsenijs wrote 05/14/2017 at 00:02 point

Good pick, thank you! Will contact them =)

  Are you sure? yes | no

octus wrote 05/10/2017 at 23:05 point

Congratulations on the progress so far, looks like it's coming together really well!

For questions (#2):

* Since the project is heavily Free Software/Freedom based I think you would get a good amount of exposure from Phoronix ( Lots of readers who would love to help/contribute.

* Linux Action Show or any show on Jupiter Broadcasting would also be good exposure/people that actually care and want this to be a thing. If I recall I found the project on LAS (ep 452?).

  Are you sure? yes | no

Arsenijs wrote 05/14/2017 at 00:07 point

Phoronix - yes, definitely. I open their page and first news I notice is good news =)

Linux Action Show already reviewed this, indeed, but not with real hardware - added them to my list.  

Thank you for your help! =)

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davedarko wrote 05/10/2017 at 22:15 point

your dirtypcb pics are lost :(

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Arsenijs wrote 05/10/2017 at 22:25 point

Thank you, the pics should be there now =)

  Are you sure? yes | no