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All things pertaining to wireless and RF links
User avatar
By Volkemon
Hi All!!

After misusing the comments section in the port-o-rotary sales section, I finally got it together and started a POR thread.

I LOVE my POR, and am looking to modify it to fit my personal needs. I hope others will post their ideas and hacks here too.

My first two goals?
1) improve voice quality from the POR

2) see if it can be left on charge without disconnecting. That would make it perfect for my 'house' phone, where it spends 95% of its time anyway. As it stands, If I want it to be "ready to ring" the charger must be unplugged. Then it goes dead, and I dont know it until I try it the next time.

Next? maybe a subtle 'low battery' LED on it, mounting the internal components a little better to allow daily potable use, switching to an american/modular phone body to allow cord and handset replacement...

After a few 'birthing' pains, some due to a substandard cell service,(Unicel), I am EXTREMELY satisfied with the Port-O-Rotary.
User avatar
By Volkemon
@ Nate or other support team member...

Been looking around the site for an email address for support..but find phone #'s and links to the forum.

People LOVE the POR and am trying to make it a daily driver for my work at the retirement community. Any help? I read the tutorial on the development of the POR, but that doesn't help me all that much in refinement of the current product.

I have several folks interested once I get the bugs worked out. $200 is pocket money for this crowd... and the fun at the office today generated two interested parties, and I told them I was on the way to working out the final bugs.

Like #1- How do I get the &^%# dial off? It still has a bluetooth logo on it, and everyone thinks it is just an attachment to my other cell, NOT a stand alone.

Well, gonna start with the small requests...

User avatar
By Volkemon
Well, for anyone else that runs into it:

The dial removes in a similar manner to normal 1-hole dials.

The hole between 3-4 has no function that I can see. It hits on top of the locking leg, but has no catch/latch function.

The hole between 9-0 is the release. Rotate the dial fully clockwise until it stops. <do not force> Put a paper clip or other suitable wire into the release hole and depress with mild force. this shouls alow a slight further clockwise rotation of the dial. Allow the dial to rotate CCW to its rest position, then lift and remove dial.

Now there were some pretty cool dial inserts featured on MAKEblog some time back...let me see if I can find them.
I'm ready to fix these bugs on the the port-o-rotary. do you have the schematic for the board.
Specifically I want to fix the mic volume. The Batery charging issue (not being able to receive calls while charging) . And get voicemail to work. It needs touch tones to access your password.

Other things thtat it needs is a phonebook.
So i can check the voice mail automatically.

To summarize. I need a schematic .
Does anyone want to work on this with me. I got this phone for a friend but unfortunately its not really a finished product.

User avatar
By Volkemon

Glad to hear of your ambitions.

I have talked with Jim at sparfun support, and he advised me to email him at with that type of request.

I LOVE my port o rotary, and look forward to having the rough edges polished, so to speak.

Thanks for coming on board!!!!


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
By Volkemon
Sparfun.... D'oh!!!


Note to self....proofread!
User avatar
By Volkemon
Yo JO!
Sent this to tech support, hoping for a response... will post it here when it arrives.

Message follows:

Hi Jim!
I am Randy, the proud owner of a Port-O-Rotary that called you a few weeks back.
It appears that there is someone who also got a POR, and has the knowhow to take on its shortcomings. (Unlike me...)
Can you take a minute and check it out?



User avatar
By Volkemon
And the reply- prompt and full of info:

Hi Randy, Thanks so much for your support of SparkFun! I'm glad you're enjoying the phone so much. We'll be updating the product page

( ... cts_id=286)

with the schematics shortly, check back in thirty minutes or so. There is a link to the firmware on the Port-O-Rotary tutorial page

( ... ials_id=51)

, about halfway down. Hope all this helps. Let us know if there's anything else we can help with.


OK... Ask and ye shall recieve! Now... I must edumacate (thanks Homer!) myself on what to do with this info.

A big Yo to the Jo - Here ya go! :\

User avatar
By Volkemon
Ok... starting to become clearer... ... ry-v29.pdf

is the schematic. ALMOST starting to make (oOps... MAKE :) sense to me. Looks like there is a circuit connected to the mic on the phone.

Next step is to open up the POR and look to see how accessible this portion of the circuit is, and how to jumper in.

I may see about the availability of spare populated boards before I try sugery, however...

I see the view counter going up on the forum... If ANYONE has their 'two cents" to contribute, please do. Even if it's just a 'you are nuts to go there' type of comment... 431 (as of today) people looked...

I will post pics, or links to them as things progress. Thanks All!!!!!

Oh.. BTW.. The post on the MAKEblog that started it all: ... lectr.html

and I am still not sure why my email to tech support is on there too.... but what the heck! Check out the MAKEblog... and tell them the Volkemon sent you. I have been a bit of a PITA to them at times, but a supporter where it counts... I subscribe!

By sreyemhtes

ANyone out there know why my new bluetooth port-o-rotary device can receive calls just fine but not actually dial them? I get a dial tone, but then it never actually seems to initiate the call.

It's making me CRAZY. Kinda.

Blackberry Curve, on Verizon if that matters.

Volkeman -- your proposed additions sound great -- the most critical seems to be voicemail access. Remember these? ... 1|294%3A50

User avatar
By Volkemon

Hi!! Welcome to the POR madness :)

Thanks for the link to the tone box- I bought it and it should be here by the end of next week. $6.75... well worth it!

Contact Jim at and I am sure he will help. Sparkfun customer service is the BEST from my experience.

And the reply here to maybe help another POR owner.

HOPEFULLY this weekend I will take the time to take apart thr POR to compare the schematics to the actual item, and see how possible it is to hack..ummm... MAKE it better!

8) :D 8)
User avatar
By Volkemon
Well.... after going crosseyed for a while, I might have an insight:

The schematic is page 1 of 3. May explain the lack of the coil connector. Maybe the other 2 pages offer key information.

The schematic is also v2.9. The board in my POR says v2.6. May not make a rats butt o' difference.

I need some more edumacation on how to read this style of schematic.

Anyone care to enlighten me on the meaning of SL? JP is jumper, I found JP1 on the board, I think JP4 is labled as debug on the board, not heck- I am guessing.

Guess it's not that easy to reverse engineer space age cellular phone conversions... :cry:

Little help? :wink:
Ok I promise when I get back at the end of June i will devote my Engineering Degree to tweak this phone.
I'll put wheels on it and make it race around Sparkfun HQ for next years race if i have to.


P.S> Volkemon
I'll create the last two pages of the schematic if needed. Reverse Engineering is a passion!
User avatar
By Volkemon
Ahhh...summer. HOTTTT!

Been on hold waiting on JO. Safe travels!!!!

Ready to pit crew you for the race:)

Anyone else...POST! Every voice counts.

10-Q. :lol:
By ezflyr
Hi Volkemon,

I've been looking at the POR for a while now, and was going to buy one until recently. Instead, I have decided to "roll my own" based on the Sparkfun design for a number of reasons:

1. I use PIC processors and CCS C, and don't want to buy/learn a different compiler in order to make code modifications.
2. The current hardware has some limitations I'd like to improve on.
3. It seems like a fun project!

I've ported the Sparkfun code to CCS C, and I'm beginning to play with it now. I've made a number of circuit modifications, and re-drawn the schematic using the tool I have available (PADS PowerLogic). I'll be having a PCB made in the next week or so to allow me to keep going with this project. I've already got a WT32 module, and the iWrap protocol makes it a breeze to use. The only downside is the surface-mount package it comes in is not conducive to prototyping.

Without any hands-on experience with POR, can you provide a list of its shortcomings as you see them?

One thing I definitely want to add is DTMF generation capability for voicemail access. I haven't yet determined if this can be done with a simple resistor ladder D/A and the PIC, or if a hardware solution (DTMF generator IC) will be required.

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