Spectrum analyzer wedged into a cellphone

[Miguel A. Vallejo] wanted a portable spectrum analyzer for the 2.4GHz ISM band. No problem, there’s modules for that are easy to interface with a microcontroller and LCD screen. But carrying around a black project box doesn’t exactly scream ‘cool’ so he fit his spectrum analyzer inside of a cell phone. This made a lot of things easier for him; he already had a few old phones, he was able to use both the original battery and the original LCD screen, and a lot of the mounting work is already done for you. The only challenge was to fit his custom circuitry inside. By hacking off part of the CYWM6935 module and cutting some protoboard in the same shape as the original PCB he managed to get everything into this tiny portable package. Now he’s looking for a way to incorporate a charger, and an on/off switch.

If you don’t have an old cell phone sitting around you can try building a spectrum analyzer that uses a character display. But we’d suggest hitting up your friends for their old cellphones.  The screens are used in all kinds of fun projects.

Comments

  1. tim says:

    wow that’s really cool!

  2. Chris says:

    Miguel –
    You might want to check with Dallas Semiconductor. They have a variety of charge controller chips for li-ion and lipo cells. You might have to work with surface mount chips to use them. They usually have reference schematics in their datasheets, and are fairly hobbiest friendly with their sample policies.

  3. googfan says:

    I could really use one. Ill put it on my to-do list.

  4. markii says:

    i love it. i am also planning to put something else inside a nokia’s casing :)

  5. Wonko says:

    IP 192.168.0.1 – Not a public address – Most home routers use 192.168.0.254 and issue addresses in the range 192.168.0.xxx

  6. Wonko says:

    Arggh! – put comment next to wrong item….

  7. Brian says:

    I find this rather impressive, that’s a pretty small package to put perf board in. Also notable is that wireless module is capable of ~60 kbit communication with another module (although he did cut the TX antenna off) so this device could easily be modified to do all sorts of stuff.

  8. Tachikoma says:

    This project looks like a lot of fun! Two thumbs up! :)

  9. MS3FGX says:

    Outstanding. Excellent presentation, nobody would ever suspect it was anything but a standard phone unless they were right over your shoulder.

  10. AnthonyDi says:

    LOL my favorite part “But carrying around a black project box doesn’t exactly scream ‘cool’”. Carrying around a spectrum analyzer over all doesn’t scream cool, never the less what its enclosed in.

    But, overall very impressive project.

  11. bothersaidpooh says:

    10 out of 10 for ingenuity.
    Who’d have thought a >10 year old phone would be that useful?
    btw I acquired three new 3310 screens from Sparkfun on my last order, but they can be had from any old broken phone even if it has minor water damage.

    watch out for the elastomer variety, as they are a pain to connect to. i recommend keeping the display front panel intact and custom building an adaptor using shapelock + a section from a calculator pcb to reduce strain on the delicate springs.

  12. arrangemonk says:

    his problems are weird, he could simply inferface one of his buttons in the front for thurning the device on/off, i mean there are shitloads of useless buttons there

  13. Zom-B says:

    This looks an awful lot like a similar project published in the Wlwkrot magazine. It uses exactly the same 2.4GHz module although with (almost) the same Nokia display, a smaller atmel controller, and the software looks a lot different (more elegant).

    http://www.elektor.com/magazines/2010/february/the-2-4-ghz-bandalyser.1222156.lynkx

  14. Zom-B says:

    (typo, scrap that previous comment, and this line)

    This looks an awful lot like a similar project published in the Elektor magazine. It uses exactly the same 2.4GHz module although with (almost) the same Nokia display, a smaller atmel controller, and the software looks a lot different (more elegant).

    http://www.elektor.com/magazines/2010/february/the-2-4-ghz-bandalyser.1222156.lynkx

  15. MS3FGX says:

    Well to be fair, there are a number of analyzer projects based on that same module, it is cheap and easy to interface with. In fact I believe HaD has covered at least 2 of them.

  16. asdf says:

    Great work! I’d love to see it mass produced for those of us who don’t need it hidden in a cell phone at an affordable price like this pocket frequency counter.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/GE-FC-1-Portable-Frequency-Counter-10Hz-2-6GHz_W0QQitemZ260544671092QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0

    (btw, I have no affiliation whatsoever with that shop, that counter is sold by a dozen ebay shops at least and that one was the first coming up in my search.)

  17. jeditalian says:

    coolest hack i’ve seen in a while. doesnt seem too hard to put in a small lithium-ion pack and use the factory charger& plug. but idk how many volts a spectrum analyzer runs on..
    idk how small they make LiFeP04 but the ones i’ve seen are too big for that. but they are for electric bikes so theygonna be big

  18. jeditalian says:

    i just read the.. stuff provided.
    he is using a Nokia 3330 battery and charges it in a working phone, so all he needs is the proper charging circuit, and he is running at 3.3v and 900mah

  19. Achmed says:

    Try to get this through airport security…

  20. strider_mt2k says:

    meme is meme…y

  21. adamastor says:

    Very interesting project :) and he is not using an arduino :P

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