1. Kimmo Toivanen's Avatar
    Hi! I've been pondering what to do with old phones. Currently I have decent android as personal #1 device and L640 will be "work phone". That leaves L820 (currently running RS1 393.5) and low-end Huawei Y3 free for experimenting.

    So far I have thought about following uses:

    1. Home automation hub/terminal. I'm planning to make heating system automation and control using nRF radios, arduinos, 4G router and web service. Arduino <-> router connection is through either wlan or ethernet shield. BT via phone would be another (weak) link and extra effort, so not that. However, phone could be used to collect and process measured data and post it to web server. Is it possible to run very simple web server in phone or run server in arduino and still make client calls to external server? Control from web server to arduino should propably be direct, also some statistics should go directly from arduino to server. Weak link again in phone.
    Phone could be used as GUI, remote camera * (not necessarily both at the same time though ;) ) or "alarm hub". W10M gives more control over phone functionality than WP8.1, but still it is not possible to send or read text messages (if phone has SIM card) or emails. That is the main reason for web server.
    Phone could be used as wlan hotspot, but getting hotspot automatically on after power down / reset / ??? is not possible, is it?
    W10M could be a bad choice because automatic updates and reboots. Although connected to charger, starting is more or less guaranteed, updates use data (can they be turned off? Connection would be prepaid, 1c/MB with max 1/day) and unexpected reboots after updates are not good either... Y3 does not boot up on power, but it can be set to start at set time.
    I would guess that both platforms start services automatically (WM with live tile?)

    * for detecting movement, I think the image should be processed like PIR sensors: slices around sensor field of view are averaged to one or another of two values, and fast change between them triggers.

    2. Navigator + ODB terminal. L820 would be very good for this. OLED display works however cold it could get, and I have Sygic premium (voice navigation, HUD) for Windows mobile. However keeping phone on all the time might not be a good idea (I haven't tested how long idle without data connection it can stand) and if turned on, it's quite slow to start up - even more so if battery has gone flat. I think that the phone should be connected to a charger all the time. Ignition on -> charger on -> phone on (if was off).
    Internet could be shared from another phone. Would it be possible to attach wireless back up camera to the phone? And automate view switch when reverse gear is set?
    ODB - my car had fuel consumption (and some other) info shown in radio display. Radio did not know what MP3 was, so it had to go ;) Basically I can live without ODB or live fuel metering very well ;)

    What do you think? Did I get something wrong? What have you done with an old phone? What would you use an old phone for?
    08-08-2016 03:50 AM
  2. Daniel Gilbert M's Avatar
    Phone could be used as wlan hotspot, but getting hotspot automatically on after power down / reset / ??? is not possible, is it?
    It's just a switch right ? If you could find the registry key and force it to be on (even without data)

    W10M could be a bad choice because automatic updates and reboots. Although connected to charger, starting is more or less guaranteed, updates use data (can they be turned off? Connection would be prepaid, 1c/MB with max 1/day) and unexpected reboots after updates are not good either...
    Registry should have your answer again

    ODB terminal.
    You meant obd right ? What app are you using to read OBD data on windows phone ?
    I would like to know as I was searching for a reliable one.

    I think that the phone should be connected to a charger all the time. Ignition on -> charger on -> phone on (if was off).
    Check this thread Nexus 7 car dash install + OTG charge + DVB-โ€ฆ | Nexus 7 from XDA. Its android I know.
    I also had a Nexus 7 and wished I could do something similar, but then I didn't want to ruin my car :P
    So i just stuck with OBD and a mount for the tab.
    I think you can come up with something similar for windows phone.


    Would it be possible to attach wireless back up camera to the phone? And automate view switch when reverse gear is set?
    IP camera ? Again play with registry to automate ? All apps are listed under registry I think.

    For taking trigger for reverse, take one input from the reverse lights for your arduino. (reverse lights turn on as soon as you put in reverse gear).


    Everything will depend on how you are going to program your arduino.
    Windows phone alone cannot automate everything.
    08-08-2016 05:02 AM
  3. sensboston's Avatar
    What do you think? Did I get something wrong? What have you done with an old phone? What would you use an old phone for?
    Donate your old handset to the army or poor people (it's not a joke; for example, here in US, we do have a 100% free cell providers like a "MyFreedomPop" and so on.

    To play "home automation" game, you may use one of a countless cheap "single chip" computers like RPi/Arduino etc (these ones are expensive comparing to the less-known brands and companies production) - it will be much easier than reuse old handset (without serious knowledge of electronics and good soldering experience, you can actually do nothing with it. BTW, "homebrew" development in this area also have a very small chances: 99% you'll abandon your project in 15-45% completion stage and it will costs you more - counting your time of course - if you'll choose a professional services and products. Do it just for fun, otherwise it's worthless).
    08-13-2016 10:43 PM
  4. Kimmo Toivanen's Avatar
    To play "home automation" game, you may use one of a countless cheap "single chip" computers like RPi/Arduino etc (these ones are expensive comparing to the less-known brands and companies production) - it will be much easier than reuse old handset (without serious knowledge of electronics and good soldering experience, you can actually do nothing with it. BTW, "homebrew" development in this area also have a very small chances: 99% you'll abandon your project in 15-45% completion stage and it will costs you more - counting your time of course - if you'll choose a professional services and products. Do it just for fun, otherwise it's worthless).
    I'll try first with army of Arduinos (MySensors?) -> ethernet gateway / controller (Arduino or RPi) -> 4G router -> web server.
    Phone does not play major role, it could be even local GUI for the system (gateway web server -> web browser). I had some hopes for W10M-Arduino cooperation, but the limitations on W10M are simply too high for stand-alone system. RPi also runs W10 :)

    A long time ago, I soldered wires to Siemens GSM phone so I could start it with microcontroller. I think I managed to send and receive SMSes with it, but didn't continue. I also experimented with wired (Lin-like) bus between nodes. I have already met your 99% prediction more than twice, but today technology and supporting libraries look like being "good enough" to make something work.

    Commercial systems cost quite a lot of money, and I don't think they can easily manage electric heating, central heating and air-to-air heat pumps at the same time. The target location is usually at low temperature (10 deg C) and warms up pret-ty slow when visited. For more than 10 years simple microcontroller (with week clock for visits) has worked as thermostat for central heating. With current system, there's no benefit from heat pump (reason for not having one yet), unless giving up on central heating and going to electric radiator in every room.
    My primary target is to first monitor temperatures to server and then make central heating and heat pump play together and set target temperature via server. I have no intention to control lights, window blinds and that kind of things.

    I already have some Arduinos and nRF tranceivers and I can use little bit of work time for this project, so it won't cost me much during design and experimenting. My time is free of charge, I'd just use it to something else (e.g. Netflix, Windows Central). Besides it's fun to tinker and learn something new and brush up old skills while doing it - even if the final goal would not be met :D
    08-14-2016 02:23 PM

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