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Innovate old mobile phone

  1. Feb 10, 2010 #1
    ALCATEL OT511 launched around 2001,

    While Alcatel no longer support this product, there are still heaps of user still want to use it.
    I want to reproduce the electronic circuit for this mobile phone using new components, thus making it simpler, and if possible I would place colour OLED instead of monochrome LCD.

    Where can I get schematics for this mobile phone, and what company would you suggest to do prototype job for the PCB + the components


    Thank you
    Niran
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Welcome to the PF, Niran. What other mixed signal RF circuits have you designed and built? Do you understand that phones like these are generally based on proprietary ASICS?
     
  4. Feb 10, 2010 #3
    no RF so far, only pure digital. I can enlist a few friend who are lecturer in electronics to help me with this.

    I would agree with you about the ASICS things, that would be very expensive to create new ASICS wouldn't it.

    Hmmm perhaps we can reuse the old ASICS chips and simplify the circuit with new off the self programmable device.

    thanks berkeman.
     
  5. Feb 10, 2010 #4

    berkeman

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    Yeah, and some of the ASICS in the phone will be mixed signal, which complicates things even more. I think it would be pretty hard to "simplify" the circuit. You might be able to build it out of more standard components (assuming you can find RF building blocks that will suit the need), but the volume of the circuit will probably grow 2x-4x. If that's okay, it would certainly be a challenging project.
     
  6. Feb 10, 2010 #5
    I'm almost sure I can find spare unused ASICS chips for this particular model.
    But I'm not sure how to find the schematics for it though :smile:
     
  7. Feb 10, 2010 #6

    berkeman

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    Almost certainly the schematics are proprietary. You can try to "reverse engineer" the schematic, but that would be very difficult given the multi-layer nature of the PCB (unless it's just 2-layer, but I doubt that).

    If you thought there was a market for the phone still, you might be able to approach ALCATEL and see if they might be interested in a business deal. That's probably the only realistic way you will be able to make more of these phones.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2010 #7
    I don't know how to talk to them, I'm afraid if I send them letter they would just ignore it.

    Actually local mobile telephone company are bundling really cheap ZTE phone (and ugly too) with their subsciption service. Perhaps they can bundle OT511 instead.

    I heard of a company in china which allowing custom manufacturing of a mobile phone even custom brand for it. The problem is I don't know exactly which company is it.

    I still need the schematics because I want to add more functionality with it like color OLED display. How to do deal with ALCATEL if I want to innovate instead of plain copy their design.
     
  9. Feb 11, 2010 #8

    berkeman

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    Please understand that your thread is sounding less and less like a bright engineering student, and more and more like a reverse engineering leech. What exactly are your intentions? Do you understand how much money and effort went into the ASIC designs on that phone?
     
  10. Feb 11, 2010 #9
    I don't want to know and care about those ASICS things. I care about those phone user who can no longer use their old phone.

    I've just been contacted by a chip manufacturer , lets see if their chip can do the job.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2010 #10

    sophiecentaur

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    Is there a huge potential customer base out there, then?
    Why don't they just buy a cheap modern one. You won't be able to supply anything as cheap as that.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2010 #11
    nope.

    You're absolutely correct. But with 1M$ accessible budget I can do custom ordering using modern component.

    You may not believe that quiete a few of my colleagues really like to stick with "BANANA" nokia. even though they can afford to get a Vertu.
     
  13. Feb 17, 2010 #12

    sophiecentaur

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    "1M$" can very easily become 0$, with a bad business decision.
     
  14. Feb 17, 2010 #13

    MATLABdude

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    Despite my thoughts that this isn't a realistic endeavour, if this company has contacted you in regards to their chip, then you may be going somewhat somewhere. You don't mention what it is, but I know that there are single-chip all-in-one (DSP, amplifier, display driver, RF driver, etc) ICs put out for the low-cost/end market segment (at least, I think I remember reading of TI's announcement of such a product a few years back). Even if you aren't using a complete all-in-one solution, you should be able to find or license a reference design from the manufacturer which utilizes mostly their products.

    Even with a reference design and, if you're lucky, core software, the task of producing a cell phone prototype is not easy or trivial (especially for a team of four undergrad students), but it's a whole lot easier and more realistic than trying to reverse engineer and produce someone else's product.

    Now then, getting any carriers to allow you on their network and getting your phone certified for use on cell phone bands (which are highly regulated by nearly every country) those too are non-trivial.
     
  15. Feb 17, 2010 #14
    :biggrin:
     
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