Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Website

Thanks to all of you for your interest!! Due to the high demand of questions and interest in having kits, I decided to move to a new website. It is easier to maintain and to navigate, rather than keeping it all in a blog format. I hope to have most of the website ready by mid the beginning of February, 2010, so please keep checking it. Also, please bear with me since my 'other life' keeps me very busy, too.. :)

Here the new website with more details, status on the kits, updates and the latest SW and HW revisions. 

Thanks again!

P.S.: no worries, I will keep checking this site, too!

Monday, January 4, 2010


I have received many questions about the project. Most of them you will find the answer in this blog. Please make sure that you scroll down and read it. The software has plenty of comments and is very easy to understand. Also, refer to the Software section (December archive).

Feel free to post your questions here in this section, so everybody can read them, including my answers. (Too bad this blogger doesn't allow something more friendly, such as a forum). Oh, well.. :)

Retrofit kit

Wow! I have to admit that I am very impressed about all the attention that this project has caught! Thanks to Hack-A-Day, Engadget, Make Magazine and many more! I also got tons of questions about if I am selling the kits, the assembled PCBs and even the modified phones. Certainly, I could do it, although I would prefer first to hear from you what would you need and come up with good solutions. Unfortunately, the Ericofon sources aren't too many and the phone itself can be expensive. Please post your comments in the Q&A section and I will answer them in the same section. Or feel free to contact me at sqnewton at gmail dot com. Again, thanks to all!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

After Party

I had to add this note. Yesterday I was invited to an elegant party at a Swedish friend's house. I thought "Hey, what better than bringing the Swedish icon phone to a Swedish house." I showed the phone to him and his mom and they couldn't believe it. They started passing it around, telling people about it and showing it off. It was funny seeing many jaw-dropping faces in disbelieve calling their own cell phones and then calling the BT Ericofon back and listening to the mimicked Ericotone ringer. People loved the phone and I got tons of questions about how it works. It was really funny, so it accomplished its main goal! What I also noticed is that it is a great way of collecting phone numbers, especially from the cute women. :) Now, if I could embed a camera in there...  hmm... is it the next project? ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Project Works!

I am glad to see that the Bluetooth Ericofon is ready and working! You can check a short video in YouTube.

The project was fun to build. I doubt that there are any other Bluetooth Ericofon telephones in the world, which makes this project unique and more interesting. Richard Rose was right about not having much space inside the Ericofon to put things in there, however, I accomplished to meet the original goals:
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Use the rotary dial
  • Obtain dial and busy tone
  • Ring (mimicking the original Ericotone ringer)
  • Voice Recognition dial
  • No external components (battery, bluetooth radio, microcontroller and electronics embedded)
Of course, there is room for improvement. New features can be added, such as dial with DTMF (after a connection is established), hold and answer of another incoming call, volume adjustments and others (suggestions welcomed!).

I also noticed that when speaking, the voice sounds a little bit muffled on the other side, as if I was talking in a bathroom. This may be due to having the microphone inside the phone shell. A way to improve it is by adding a cone connecting the microphone to the opening (the holes) in front of the phone. I will also add a foam inside the neck of the phone to reduce the acoustic feedback from the microphone opening to the ear piece.

I will release another SW revision fixing some minor issues that doesn't really affect the operation of the phone. As with any software and hardware project, you will always find some obscure bugs that only happen under certain weird conditions. I am writing them down and will work on them later.

Now I am ready to go with my Ericofon to my favorite coffee shop and get some work done, while enjoying others watching me using this extraordinary piece of art of the 60's. Sure, it will be a piece of conversation.