raymort
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Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:09 am

I had an epiphany in the middle of the night. I have a few phones that I could dismantle, then use some of the key components such as Camera the GPS and if it's possible the Bluetooth as well.

Has anyone tried to do this with the Raspberry PI 3 B+?. I am new to anything electronics and as I am retired and bored, I thought that I would try something that would really clear the cobwebs' and mobilise the brain cells. (I think I have some brain cells left at 68 on 19th this month)

So how do I go about this and are there any projects out there that I could tap into?

So once again help, please?.

Regards raymort

jamesh
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:39 am

Whilst is a good aspiration, this is not for the faint hearted or the non-expert. In fact, even for experts, unless you have access to the datasheets for all the parts and equipment to unsolder and solder some really tiny stuff, almost impossible.

A better bet would be to flog the old phones on Ebay, and use the money to buy a bunch of electronic starter kits for the Pi. Loads of projects in back issues of the MagPi.
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Heater
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:38 pm

raymort,

It's a nice idea but not really practical. I suspect the only part of a modern phone one could recycle is the vibrator motor. For fun you should open up one of your phones, strip it down, take a look inside. I think you will soon conclude you don't want to be trying to do anything with those parts. Then it trash it all.

Have a look at some of the videos on fixing iPhones to see what you are up against: Jessa Jones - iPad Rehab https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPjp41 ... lp1US9TpWA

Meanwhile. You have a Pi. It has GPIO pins, you cannot connect all manner of interesting modules to that. Now is a better time than ever in history to get all kind of interesting electronic components, modules, kids pretty cheaply. Often with very good datasheets, tutorials, example software etc.

Check out:
Adafruit Industries - https://www.adafruit.com/
Sparkfun - https://www.sparkfun.com/
Seeed Studio - https://www.seeedstudio.io/
IC Station - http://www.icstation.com/sensor-module-c-362.html

Andyroo
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:59 pm

Daft as it sounds, the older Nokia 5110 screens can be reused and there are a lot of examples out there with a few libraries.

As technology has gotten more complex it’s reuse capabilities have dropped - inversely proportionate I believe the term is :cry:
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rpdom
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:02 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:59 pm
Daft as it sounds, the older Nokia 5110 screens can be reused
Yes, but it is difficult to use them without a carrier board. Trying to interface to them directly is tricky. Not impossible, but tricky.

hippy
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:13 pm

Andyroo wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:59 pm
Daft as it sounds, the older Nokia 5110 screens can be reused and there are a lot of examples out there with a few libraries.
True, but removed from a phone they are a nightmare to use. It's much easier to buy a Nokia 5110 screen or equivalent already mounted on a break-out board with 0.1" header holes. They are only a couple of dollars and it saves a whole lot of faffing about.

Random example pulled from ebay -

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/84x48-LCD-Mo ... 1672634757

I'm all for recycling old kit and using bits and pieces, but most kit isn't designed with that in mind. Most times it saves very little, is just a lot of effort for very little gain, with no guarantee of success.

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NGC6543
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:44 pm

Most modern electronics things aren't worth the effort of scavenging parts from, and I'm a die-hard component recycler. I used to keep a load of old server and PC boards for parts but only ever took the occasional capacitor, inductor, connector or pried off a chip heatsink. And those multilayer boards can be a real pain to desolder things from even with a hot air workstation.

Most components won't even be marked, and getting them off without damage is difficult.

If you are determined, a hot air gun (paint stripper type) on the underside of the board can melt the solder, followed by a strong tap over a tray to catch all the bits that fly off. Don't do it indoors though, and don't breath the fumes as the PCB starts to scorch!!! (I haven't done that trick for years mostly because I value my lungs and the environment).

One thing this old stuff is useful for, for a beginner, is soldering/desoldering practice.

Some other kit, especially older kit, is useful for scavenging from. Hifi and radio equipment can have some good stuff in, and I often get mains transformers or switching power supplies that are on their own little board from things. Relays, PCB terminal blocks, lots of good stuff to be had depending on your interests.

Old PC cases are great for wires, with pin header connectors on one and often switches or LEDs on the other. I have a bag of those and pulled one out a few weeks back with a switch on and plugged it straight into my Pi as a power off/on switch :D

Only the other week, our security alarm stopped working. Turned out a smoothing capacitor had died short-circuit, and the mains transformer had slowly melted itself from the overload until it shorted too and blew the fuse. In my salvage box, I actually had the very same transformer taken years ago, and luckily even found a suitable (good) capacitor. Yay for salvage!

mrreality13
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:09 pm

NGC6543 wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:44 pm
Most modern electronics things aren't worth the effort of scavenging parts from, and I'm a die-hard component recycler.

One thing this old stuff is useful for, for a beginner, is soldering/desoldering practice.



Old PC cases are great for wires, with pin header connectors on one and often switches or LEDs on the other. I have a bag of those and pulled one out a few weeks back with a switch on and plugged it straight into my Pi as a power off/on switch :D

,
i too, did a old pc switch :D (have tons ive salvaged/saved),,only parts of old cells i have used was the batteries in outdoor solar lights
remember ,never approach a computer thinking this will only take a minute
~~pi zero w and a 3b+

tpylkko
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:21 pm

Reusing a phone doesn't need to include scavenging parts, it is possible to invent uses for them where the entire phone is intact, you just use a part of it or in a new way. For example, they can fairly easily be made into bluetooth "remote controls", audio endpoints that play music in synch from a server, as a "walkie talkie" (i.e peer-to-peer voice over LAN) and what else....

Many people also install so called "custom ROMs" on these to play around with them a bit more

LTolledo
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:38 pm

I used my old android phone (with android 4.2) as:

1. Kodi remote control (controlling Kodi on Raspberry Pi over WiFi)
2. Media player (again running Kodi) accessing media files on RPi based NAS, via WiFi
3. GPS data logger (using Strava) when I roam around with my bikes

Never had a chance (but will look into) to use an old smartphone as VNC viewer/SSH console for RPi/Linux....
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MarkTF
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:08 am

I've a stack of old Android phones. Some have been rooted to run the Linux on Android app and used as mini-file servers. I've used them for time-lapse photography via readily available apps from the playstore. Programmed via AppInventor for special purposes such as a bluetooth terminal, home temperature monitor/logger, and so forth.

There's much that can be done with an old phone without tearing it apart.

http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/

hippy
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Re: Retired old android smartphone's (HELP PLEASE)

Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:43 am

MarkTF wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:08 am
Programmed via AppInventor for special purposes such as a bluetooth terminal, home temperature monitor/logger, and so forth.
+1 for AppInventor.

It's a great way to get simple apps written for Android for those with limited experience of Android development, those who don't want the hassle of a full Android development environment.

I have been acquiring ancient tablets, those with worn-out batteries, broken USB connectors, for just a couple of quid / dollars each; a bargain considering what they contain. Most can be got working using an external PSU with minimal modification. Apps can be downloaded and installed through a browser; a USB connection is not essential.

Write an AppInventor app which can display an image and you've got a Wi-Fi connected picture frame, and that's great for signage and information display once the master PC or Pi can generate an image to throw at it.

AppInventer doesn't allow Home Page / Launcher apps to be written. But it is possible to write an Android Studio app which is and auto-launches an AppInventor app.

It's pretty easy to turn an old Android phone or tablet into a dedicated smart peripheral which can be used with a PC or Pi.

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