Instructables
Picture of Existential Emergency Phone
The Existential Emergency Phone is a multipurpose tool for handling all of life's uncertainties. It can be used for both dialing out and calling in. The way that it works is that when you pick up the handset, the telephone makes a call using a custom cellular module to a list of predefined phone numbers. Whether the phone calls a list of people you know, a list of people you don't know, or randomly dials strangers in your area code, is really up to you. Alternately, the number can be distributed to people with existential emergencies and they can dial in for others to answer. The many manners in which the phone can be used makes it well suited for processing existential emergencies both outgoing and incoming.
 
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Step 1: Go Get Stuff

Picture of Go Get Stuff
You will need:

(x1) red 2500-style no-dial phone
(x1) Arduino Uno
(x1) Cellular Shield
(x1) Ag1170 SLIC
(x1) PC Board
(x4) 1N4004 diodes
(x1) Prepaid SIM card
(x1) BZT03C82 or P6KE82 diode
(x4) 0.1uF ceramic capacitors
(x1) 220uF, 10V, Rubycon ZL capacitor
(x1) 100uF, 6.3v capacitor
(x1) 10uF, 25v capacitor
(x1) 1uF, 25v capacitor
(x1) 10ohm resistor
(x1) 7805 regulator
(x1) quad band antenna
(x1) 6" x 6" x 1/8" acrylic (bracket template below)
(x1) 6" x 6" x 1/8" mat white acrylic (sign template below)
(x1) M-type power socket
(x1) 9V / 1A power supply
(x1) Black acrylic paint
(x1) Double-sided tape
(x1) Contact adhesive
(x1) assorted shrink tube
(x1) assorted zip ties
(x1) assorted nuts and bolts (4-40 and 6-32 ideal)
(x1) 22awg wire (stranded - red, black, and green)
(x1) 22awg wire (solid - red, black, and green)

Step 2: Build the Circuit

Build the circuit as drawn in the schematic.

Do not worry yet about connecting wires to external components.

Step 3: Attach Wires

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Attach a 6" stranded red wire to the Vin pin of the 7805 regulator, and a 6" stranded black wire to ground. This will get attached to the power jack.

Connect a 6" solid core red wire to the circuit's 5V rail. Connect a 6" solid core black wire to ground. These will be used to power the Arduino.

Also attach a 6" stranded red wire to the ring pin of the SLIC. Attach a 6" stranded green wire to the tip pin of the SLIC. These wires will be connect to the ring and tip connections on the phone.

Finally, connect a 6" solid core green wire to the F/R pin of the SLIC , another 6" solid core green wire to the RM pin of the SLIC, and a 6" solid core red wire to the SHK pin of the SLIC. These wires will connect to the Arduino to determine the state of the phone receiver and controlling the telephone ringer.

Step 4: Prepare the Shield

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Prepare the cellular shield as outlined in the Arduino Cellular Shield Instructable.

Step 5: Attach the Antenna

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Attach the antenna to the shield by threading the two together.

Step 6: Audio Wires

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Affix shielded audio wires to the board. The inner wire should go to signal. The shielding and outer wire should go to the corresponding signal ground.

Step 7: Open the Case

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Open up the telephone by removing the screws from the bottom of the case.

Disconnect the handset while you are at it.

Step 8: Remove Brackets

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Remove the brackets that are there for potentially holding a dial pad.

This is easily accomplished by drilling through the metal rivets holding them in place.

Step 9: Wooden Bracket

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Download the attached file.

Make a wooden bracket based on this template.

I laser cut mine, but you can get the same results with a jigsaw and a drill.

Step 10: Drill

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Use the bracket to mark mounting holes on the bottom of the case.

Drill through these marks with a 1/8" drill bit.

Step 11: Mount

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Remove the cellular shield from the Arduino.

Affix the Arduino and the circuit board to the bracket using nuts and bolts.

Step 12: Reattach the Shield

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Reconnect the cellular shield to the Arduino.

Step 13: Wire it Up

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Connect the red solid core wire that is connected to the 5V rail on the circuit board is the 5V pin on the Arduino.

Connect the black solid core wire connected to ground on the circuit board to the ground pin on the Arduino.

Connect the green wire connected to the F/R pin on the SLIC to pin 7 on the Arduino.

Connect the green wire connected to the RM pin on the SLIC to pin 8 on the Arduino.

Connect the red wire connected to the SHK pin on the SLIC to pin 12 on the Arduino.

Step 14: Attach to Case

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Using the mounting holes drilled earlier, fasten the wooden bracket to the metal base of the telephone using nuts and bolts.

Make certain that the bolts pass upwards and that the nuts will be located on the inside of the case.

Step 15: Prep the Jack

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Cut the handset jack free from the telephone.

For all four handset wires, leave about an inch to work with. If you keep it too long, you may end up with static or audio interference.

Step 16: Attach the Jack

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Before you start, place shrink tube onto all of the jack's wires and also the shielded audio cables. You will obviously not be able to slide on the shrink tube after it is soldered.

Connect the shielded signal wire from the microphone to the black wire on the jack. Connect the microphone's shielding to the green wire.

Connect the shielded signal wire from the speaker to the red wire on the jack. Connect the speaker's shielding to the white wire.

Slide shrink tube over all of the exposed connections, and shrink it with a heat gun to keep it protected.

Step 17: Wire the Ringer

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On the inside of the telephone, figure out which wire is the green wire coming from the telephone's line jack. Cut this wire, slide some shrink tube over the telephone end (not the jack end), and solder the end connected to the phone to the stranded green wire on the circuit board.

Repeat the same process for the incoming red wire.

Slide the shrink tube over both connections and secure it in place with a heat gun.

Step 18: Mark and Drill

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Make a mark about an inch to the left of the handset jack. The idea here is to install the power jack in a location where it is not going to bump into stuff.

Drill this mark with a 5/16" drill bit.

Step 19: Power Jack

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Remove the power jack's mounting nut, pass it through the hole, and then tightly re-thread the mounting nut.

Step 20: Paint the Sign

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Laser cut and etch the sign if you have not done so already using the attached template. Make sure to leave the acrylic's protective coating on.

If you don't have a laser cutter, cut it out the old fashioned way and then stencil the writing, or create a sticker on transparent printer media.

Anyhow... assuming that you have a laser cutter...

Now is time to paint over the etched writing with black acrylic paint. Put one coat horizontally, wait for it to dry, and put another coat vertically.

When the paint has fully dried, peel off the coating. To remove the coating from the islands inside the letters, you can gently use a toothpick or craft knife, while being careful not to scratch the paint.

Step 21: Glue the Plate

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Coat the front panel of the phone with contact adhesive and the back side of the acrylic panel.

Wait for both to dry.

Align them, and then press them firmly together for a strong bond.

Step 22: Solder the Power Jack

Picture of Solder the Power Jack
Solder the black stranded wire from ground on the circuit board to the central terminal on the power jack.

Solder the red stranded wire connected to Vin on the voltage regulator the terminal to the right of the power jack (as pictured).

To be certain that you get it right before connecting it to the circuit board, you may want to plug in the power and test the voltage of these terminals with a multimeter.

Step 23: Affix the Antenna

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Stick the cellular antenna to the backside of the front panel with strong double-sided tape.

Step 24: Clean Up Wires

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It is generally good form not to have a rats nest of wires inside of this thing.

Tidy up the wiring as best you can by zip tying the wires together.

Step 25: Program the Arduino

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Upload the following code to the Arduino:

To change who is getting called take a look at where it says "//List of phone numbers to call."

Step 26: Put it Back Together

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Close the case, reinsert the screws, reattach the handset, and place it back on the hook.

To get started, plug it in, wait a minute or two for the cellular network to initialize, and you should be good to go.
lankdaddy4 months ago

This is a great instructables, but as an electronics NOOB, I'm having problems with the circuit.

I am trying to use the AG1170 to send voltage to the ringer of an old rotary phone. I'm getting 5V out from the regulator circuit, but then no voltage appears to be coming out from the Tip / Ring circuit, even when the Arduino is sending High messages to Pins 3&4.

Is there a straightforward way to send a ringing signal from the AG1170 circuit , so that I can test the output to the ringer, without using the Arduino? (I accidently blew up my Arduino last night with a loose wire...)

Also, there are two ceramic capacitors in the description and photos that don't make an appearance in the circuit... what are they for??

robot7978 months ago
another question will this work with the gprs shield?
robot797 robot7978 months ago
the short awnser is no

most at commands do carry over though
BenHarper9 months ago
Classic!
What is the purpose of this?
randofo (author)  The Dark Lord1 year ago
That is a great question.
romanyacik1 year ago
What exactly constitutes an existential emergency?
randofo (author)  romanyacik1 year ago
You will know it when you encounter it. Or perhaps you won't.
Treknology1 year ago
Does anyone have a phone number for Jean-Paul Satre? If I'm having an existential crisis, does this phone also dial back in time so that I can actually speak to JPS? :)
Would this work using a landline instead? It would be silly to pay extra for a device that will be rarely used for outgoing calls, as I tend to get a lot of incoming calls on a landline more than my cell phone.
randofo (author)  AndrewP20091 year ago
i don't see why not. You would just need to build an entirely different circuit.
ardrhi1 year ago
Interesting. I'm not familiar with the ins-and-outs of the cellular shield, but a couple of things occur to me looking at the code. How does this dial people without an account to charge the call to? All cell phones I've ever seen can only dial 911 (by law) unless they have a paid account from a carrier. Should there be a step "Insert SIM card for your cell account" or something similar in this 'ible?

This might be even better programmed to dial only 911 (or an appropriate emergency number, if you know a caped crimefighter). I'd also replace the ringer with a VERY bright LED and a high pitched intermittent beeper, an LED that would light up the entire phone body bright red. Instead of the legend, I'd have a round, blank red faceplate, and put a recessed pushbutton that would dial the emergency number. Then I'd put the entire thing on a pedestal under a glass dome cover on the sideboard...

Sorry, I'm a child of the '60s and a total geek.
batphone.jpg
That's Step #6 of his linked Arduino Cellular Shield 'ible.
Poor practice to do a cold link like that without more background on what it involves, and even moreso when he does it as an ingredient but the ingredient isn't complete.
No chance you could put this together just using the parts list on Step 1.
randofo (author)  evileddead1 year ago
As someone who has written 229 Instructables (on this account alone -- not to mention other accounts), I respectfully have to disagree with your analysis of my instructions.

Nonetheless, I decided to make that step its own project because it useful outside the scope of this project. It makes it easier for people to find the information they need to do their own project without first having to find and Existential Emergency Phone.

I have added the SIM card to the parts list. I don't think any other parts are missing.
randofo (author)  ardrhi1 year ago
Yes there is a SIM card. Follow the link in Step 4.
Wazzupdoc1 year ago
O2cool! IM4U.
iceng1 year ago
Talking to GOD at Burning Man is as Existential as it can get..

A
Talk2GOD.JPG
iceng iceng1 year ago
Voted 4 U
shtranka1 year ago
hi i need a help in this project
http://www.instructables.com/id/Psycho-Scooter-Scramble/?ALLSTEPS
could any body help me please.
wow, they still make phones that look like that? I haven't seen one like that in ~15 years.
rimar20001 year ago
Wow, this is a very useful invent.
Kiteman1 year ago
Er... yes?

When it's on random, who's the oddest person it's called?
Nobody called me... :-(

But great job!!
I got called. But I missed the call. The message was funny!
Something I could do with !!!…
Many many thanks !

(but then if someone answers my call, how will I be able to look at my navel ???…
Gosh ! Life is filled with ambushes)
KingPeter1 year ago
AWESOME!! My next project. THANKS!