Portable Rotary Phone - Red

Replacement: None. We have unfortunately retired this product but you can always read about how we built it! This page is for reference only.

The infamous Portable Rotary Phone is an original rotary phone that has been modified to be a cellular phone. The Port-O-Rotary has a functional rotary dial, rings the original, loud metallic bells when a call is received, and even has a dial tone.

Phone comes fully assembled and tested. All you have to do is open the phone, insert your SIM card, and turn the unit on! The unit will utilize your phone number and account minutes. The internal cellular module works within any country that has one of the 900MHz, 1800MHz, or 1900MHz cellular bands (90% of the world). The Port-O-Rotary is truly international with up to 15-digit dialing, auto-frequency selection, '+' characters, and PIN # entry for pre-paid cards.

Each Port-O-Rotary is an original rotary phone that has been specially modified. There may be small scratches and scraps on the exterior, also known as 'character'. The battery can run the phone for 4-5 days (yes days) and is charged by an external jack on the rear of the phone (charger included).

Phone Includes:

  • Main controller board
  • Ringer module
  • Cellular module
  • 2000mAh Lithium-Polymer battery
  • Built-in fast battery charger (2 hour max charge time)
  • Wall adapter (US spades but is 110-240V rated)
  • Mini-cellular internal antenna (compatible with North American and European Frequencies)

Weight: ~2lbs

  • About the size of a rotary phone...


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #1462161 / about 6 years ago / 1

    Why is it infamous? Did it break frequently?

  • Yep - Red phones are much more unique and were manufactured in much less number than the equivalent black version.

  • w4www / about 12 years ago / 1

    Is there any way to add on a reception LED to this? As in... blink an LED for connected to network and blink another LED for no network service?

    • w4www / about 12 years ago / 1

      Mmm, ok, so I extend D1 and D4 from the in-case daughterboard to something that is visible from outside. grins and nods This will do just fine. Just... fine. :)

  • stauffski / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'm very interested in obtaining red Western Electric model 500 phones like this one for my own "Red Phone" project. I can't seem to find anywhere I can buy them. Does anybody know where they can be bought?

  • EdZilla / about 13 years ago / 1

    It's retro-futuristic!
    Can we supply our own rotory phone?

  • Member #182995 / about 13 years ago / 1

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you modify this to charge off an actual phone line? Having a real phone jack in back would make it more authentic, and you could pretend to be calling on a "POTS" line when you're actually on your super-duper vintage-style cellphone. One could even put in a change-over circuit to allow switching between landline and cellphone use (dial 000 to switch?).

  • havenmaven / about 14 years ago / 1

    What are the emissions levels for this phone?

  • MrGoogfan / about 15 years ago / 1

    probably because red phones are harder to come by

  • trialex / about 16 years ago / 1

    Why is the red model so much more expensive than the black?

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