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Custom cell phone enclosure

A

Adrian Black

Jan 1, 1970
0
When last I shopped for cellular phones, I couldn't help but notice
that industrial design in the cell biz sucks pretty hard. Everything
seems to look like the same basic design was carved from a bar of soap
by the guy who designs contollers for Nintendo. So, I hatch a plan:

I want to take the guts of some fairly common cell, say an Ericsson
t300, and transplant them into a case of my own design. What to make
the case out of? Ideally I'm thinking milled steel or brass, maybe
anodized aluminum. Rubberize the inside to avoid shorts, and put some
lexan over the display. Very industrial, very rugged. It would look
cool, and you could drive nails with the back in a pinch.

Ah, but the antenna. Here's where you guys help me out. If I used
steel or brass, could those components be used as the antenna, or is
the shape going to be too irregular for anything passable? If I use an
external antenna, will having the components in what amounts to a tiny
metal box still cause me grief? And what would happen if I used
something really obnoxious, like copper, or some strange alloy?

Hints and suggestions are appreciated!
 
N

Neil

Jan 1, 1970
0
Why don't you just make a outer casing that the entire unit can be placed
into, with a hole for the antenna to come out. Just a cool looking clamshell
design.I would be a hell of a lot easier than trying to replace the
antenna...etc...etc.
Kim
 
A

Adrian Black

Jan 1, 1970
0
Because 90% of the phones out there have internal antennas, and don't even
have a plug for an external unit. Besides, making this harder than it needs
to be is half the fun...
 
M

Mark Fergerson

Jan 1, 1970
0
Adrian said:
Because 90% of the phones out there have internal antennas, and don't even
have a plug for an external unit. Besides, making this harder than it needs
to be is half the fun...

See, this is why some folks bitch about top-posting; it
interrupts the natural flow. But I'm not bitching, oh no, I
just thought I'd MENTION it...

Anyway, I agree with the fun part. OTOH I don't see Nokia
or whoever picking up on the idea of Fluke-style cases for
cellphones because they're too inexpensive to justify the
cost. Dammit.

Maybe you'd like to start marketing custom shells? I need
a waterproof one.

A nice polycarb window for a patch antenna (or a polycarb
cylinder for a rubber ducky) should work perfectly.

Those would sell. I know lots of folks whose phones were
killed mechanically.

Water-clear or colored polycarb? The stuff's literally
bulletproof, and the LEDs some like to add on/in to their
phones would add to the cool factor.

You can go with bronze (with added decor) for D&D types;
you know, Celtic knotwork, gargoyles etc, colored plastic
jewels for buttons and so on. Big market I betcha.

What's wrong with an insulating grommet for the antenna?

I'm reminded of the hardware engineer at the systems
integrator shop I used to work at who spec'd a mouse as an
"Industrial Grade Rat" as a joke, which got into the
published specs. We got dozens of bites, and he was
mortified to have to tell them it didn't exist. It would
have had a stainless case, punchout-proof buttons, knurled
steel ball, was waterproof, and had a flex-conduit-covered
cable. Damn but I still want one.

Mark L. Fergerson
 
I

Ian Stirling

Jan 1, 1970
0
Adrian Black said:
When last I shopped for cellular phones, I couldn't help but notice
that industrial design in the cell biz sucks pretty hard. Everything
seems to look like the same basic design was carved from a bar of soap
by the guy who designs contollers for Nintendo. So, I hatch a plan:

I want to take the guts of some fairly common cell, say an Ericsson
t300, and transplant them into a case of my own design. What to make
Ah, but the antenna. Here's where you guys help me out. If I used
steel or brass, could those components be used as the antenna, or is
the shape going to be too irregular for anything passable? If I use an
external antenna, will having the components in what amounts to a tiny
metal box still cause me grief? And what would happen if I used
something really obnoxious, like copper, or some strange alloy?

What about a nice hardwood case?
 
A

Adrian Black

Jan 1, 1970
0
Ian Stirling said:
What about a nice hardwood case?

Thats actually what I'm leaning towards. Kinda a hybrid design - a hardwood
frame and sides, with some laser cut stainless steel wrapped around the
front and back.
 
I

Ian Stirling

Jan 1, 1970
0
Adrian Black said:
Thats actually what I'm leaning towards. Kinda a hybrid design - a hardwood
frame and sides, with some laser cut stainless steel wrapped around the
front and back.

This would somewhat help with the antenna problems.
As an experiment, you can try wrapping some stainless (thick copper wire
would have a similar effect) round the case, to check if the radiation
pattern is unacceptable.

Some artificial gems are relatively inexpensive, and could be made into
buttons.
 
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