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Author Topic: cheap chinese cellphone wristwatches  (Read 3303 times)
Otto Von Pifka
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« on: May 08, 2010, 10:06:18 am »

I have been watching a cheap electronics importer websight for a long while now, they have had wristwatch cellphones for almost 2 years, but they have been gigantic affairs with cheap plastic casings and a rectangular hideousness to them.
lately they have started getting smaller and definitely more rounded. for the most part they all seem to be using the same round electronics package with only minor changes in the camera location and the battery size.
I broke down and ordered one, I hope to either to install the electronics in a proper pocket watch case or heavily modify the wrist watch case to mimic a pocket watch. the case is almost 2 inches across, I hope the innards run a good deal smaller so I have a chance at getting them into a real watch case. chances are it would have to be a case from something like an older key wind, since the depth of the electronics with battery is over a half inch.

the watch in question is here, there are a few other models to be found there but they all seem to be variations on this one.
http://www.chinavasion.com/product_info.php/pName/galactus-cellphone-watch-with-video-camera-media-player/

once it arrives, I will try to get some good pictures of the watch plus a critique of it's function. once I start taking it apart, some post mortem pics too.
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markf
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 02:20:22 pm »

There are some out there which come in round cases which would make the mod a bit easier.  markf
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11226.0.html
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23042.0.html
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 02:26:44 pm »

Just scrounge ebay for the "Cool G108". It's detachable from the wristband and comes with a flip top. markf owns one, I do too. Does its job (being a pocket watch and a phone) and little more, but does its job damn well. Only real point of critique is the short battery time, but that comes with the size.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 11:53:15 pm »

dang, my search-fu is weak!

I didn't find either of those threads before.

I should have given a shout out before I ordered it! Angry

I like the format of your watch but I think the one I bought has a better chance in fitting in a case.
all else fails I will just buy one like that.

108 came up empty handed but 104 did show up and looks pretty much the same.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 08:07:37 am »

got the watch today, my god it's massive! they also hid the speaker and mic in the first links of the watch band, they aren't too large but it's a bump in the road for me.
my plans of dropping it in an unaltered antique case probably won't work. the diameter might be ok but the depth is quite massive.
I plan on bidding on a lot or two of orphaned watch cases. I may be able to do a layer cake of sorts to get the proper room.

In the interim, I think I will buy one of those G104. I should be able to add a chain to one of those easy enough. thank you shoggy and mark, for pointing those out to me!

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elShoggotho
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 01:34:21 pm »

The G104/G108 has means to fix one of these fast opening clips you can attach to a keychain. You don't need to modify it at all to repurpose it into a pocketwatch. Just make sure that you always carry a fully charged spare battery, for emergencies. The retail pack contains two batteries, so that shouldn't be a problem.
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Madame Blue
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 03:34:54 pm »

There are also some wristwatch cell phones available at www.dealextreme.com. I'm a semi-frequent buyer there and have no real complaints.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2010, 07:40:31 am »

does anyone know the importan dimensions of the 104/108? thickness and diameter, and from the corners of the hinge across the body (largest span)

I have the watch completely apart, the electronics are smaller than the case by more than I hoped, it might work out ok for me. all the important bits are either soldered wire or tiny ribbon cables on plugs. the touch screen is on a short ribbon and the camera has a much longer cable, so it can roam a little.

the speaker and mic are just soldered wires, easy to relocate those. there are two wires that make up an external antenna, one is soldered to a piece of tape with a copper trace on it, and the other to a small sticky to hold it to the other end of the strap.

pictures once I decide to drag it all out again.
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 10:35:21 am »

50mm (1 7/8") wide (round part diameter), 57mm (2 3/8") long, 17mm (7/16") thick, with a 1 7/16" screen. Just measured mine.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 08:04:00 am »

thanks for the measurements, its not as big as I thought from the pictures.

I bought a few pocket watch cases from the bay of E. three seem to have possibilities to house my phone innards. in fact, it's quite scary how close the measurements work out. they are from defunct keywind watches and the extra depth to them will definitely help out with making it all fit. as a side note, they were purchased empty of clockwork, I too mourn the passing of any antique but they were being sold for their silver content and I think resurrecting them as a phone is much better than seeing them melted down. anyway, I was hoping to add a watch face to the swing away crystal frame, and add the electricals from an ultra thin wrist watch. I haven't sat down and taken difinitive measurements but it probably will come up about .050 too tall to allow for a working clock face. it all depends on finding a crystal with a deep enough dome to get the face away from the phone and leave some room to work.

unfortunately, the cases are without the crystals, but my dad had bought a watch crystal repair cabinet and hopefully there are a few crystals of the right size in it. it has a press to insert the crystals built right into the top of it, I just need to make use of it before it's sold off in the estate sale.

a few sticking points so far, as much as I would like to keep the built in camera, there may not be any room left for it. the microphone is extremely tiny so not a problem but the speaker is a bit thick, I may need to downgrade to a piezo of some sort. the sound quality will suffer, but most calls will be handled bluetooth anyways.

the bluetooth headset turned out to be smaller than the one pictured in the phone advertisement, I'm thinking a nice scarab carapace cover for it. either that or a small brass horn, like it's a victorian hearing aid.
wish me luck! I'm going to need it!


pics of the stuff!


« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 08:22:30 am by Otto Von Pifka » Logged
Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 09:05:37 am »

made some progress on my phone. I ended up with the phone face above the case, just not enough room inside the pocket watch case to sink it in enough. at first I was turning down the outside of the phone body and the front bezel came loose. turns out its just firmly pressed into position.  when I add the plastic inner frame to the bezel, it holds the bezel in place somewhat. I need to find another screw like the one holding the plastic in place, they only have one , even though there is a second hole drilled on the opposite side of the bezel.

I still need to make openings for the buttons and usb cord. the camera should work out and I will be getting a piezo speaker to add to the rear door, mostly to hear it ring.

with the beveled edge and chrome finish, I'm having trouble getting a good picture.



someday I hope I run across an extra deep hunters case, then it all can be hidden and protected in my pocket too. I suppose I could strip the case from the lipo battery or locate a thinner model to adapt to the phone. it's the biggest stumbling block to getting the package smaller.

truth be told the bezel is much thicker and bigger around than needed by a long shot. it could be worked over but I didn't want to deal with the touch screen any more than I had to.
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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2010, 10:04:37 am »

better pic
the case is coin silver, picture doesn't look as good as real life.


clock function on, much left to do to the case.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 07:26:22 am by Otto Von Pifka » Logged
Ben Hudson, Esq.
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 10:03:12 am »

Wow, that's brilliant!
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 10:24:25 am »

That's a great project indeed..  Cheesy
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markf
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 11:45:24 am »

Agreed, it is first rate all the way.  markf
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 09:15:54 am »

Hmm... would I feel awkward talking into a pocketwatch, that's the question Tongue

Moreover, can one send texts on that contraption?
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 10:19:45 am »

from what I can decipher from the awful engrish manual, you can text and do all sorts of things.
I still haven't seen all the menu screens or even thrown in an active sim card, hopefully the damn thing works after all the work I have to do.
it has a stylus and the screen works acceptably with the finger for just basic menu functions.
the phone is bluetooth and came with a small earpiece, so talking into it won't be neccessary most of the time.

I managed to aquire two more cases that will work much better than the cases I was going to use.
they're quite solid nickel silver and I will be able to actually bore holes and use the function buttons from the original wrist watch case.  the down side is the bigger case means the usb adapter/charger won't fit with the large plastic shell on the cord, but I can modify it to work. also the front and rear covers screw on and off, making battery changes very hard. the other cases were hinged and used the release button.

I will be able to make room inside for the original speaker, camera and microphone . it probably won't be too hard to talk into it, as long as the watch chain is long enough to hold it to the face.

I plan to set it up so the stem is to the side and not the top when looking at the phone. then the usb port will be opposite the stem at the very bottom and the buttons will be to either side of the port. the speaker will be on one edge and the microphone on the opposite edge. the camera will be looking out a pinhole out the rear just by the stem.
one concern is the pinhole will be in the rear cover which screws on, so I may add a second hole and make a spanner to tighten the cover and line it up correctly.

there is another phone out there called a burg watchphone. looks like a rotary dial around a quarts watch. very skimpy on features but would probably look good in one of the other cases. it doesn't even have a screen of any sort to see who is calling or to see what you dialed, talk about retro.
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2010, 01:24:36 am »

I'll be interested to see if it works on the American system. IIRC, the Chinese phone system uses different frequencies to the Americans (but similar to the Australian and British ones). I hope it works for you.
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2010, 08:57:52 am »

worked on the usb port and buttons.

I messed up and made the holes for the buttons too loose but I will be epoxying them into place so not a deal breaker.
they are sitting in a little too far in the picture, I'm making a plastic spacer to fill between the buttons and the actual switches on the circuit board.
even with the big honking opening I made for the usb cable, it won't fit as is. I need to remove the plastic around the cable end and encase it with epoxy of smaller girth.

it's hard to see but this is the newer case I'm using on this phone.
I have some extra fine chain from jewelry, I think I will make a stainless steel filler plug for the hole I made and put it on a bit of chain so I won't lose it.
I changed my mind about the orientation of the phone. the camera will also point out the side opposite the usb port, so no holes in the back cover. the stupid speaker is still going to be a problem, everything else is working out just fine.
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Armored Rah
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 09:16:59 am »

I like what I'm seeing so far.  Cool
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2010, 07:38:13 am »

borrowed a sim card and successfully dialed out today.

a bit suprizing considering the antenna sticker was missing and I had even accidentally tore away the inch of wire leading to it (sure hope I can find the correct spot on the circuit board to reconnect it)
a little better pic.


had to use the earbuds and mic on the cord, I still haven't got the speaker and mic mounted in the case yet.
I am so tempted to just skip them and the camera and just use the bluetooth, but its steampunk!
must guild the lilly!!!! Grin

a quick question though, would the stem be soldered in place? I can see a bit of a rim inside of the case, like it has a sleeve down into the case. I just wonder if it's possible screwed in and soldered, or pressed in or just slipped in and soldered. 
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Abslomrob
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2010, 04:40:49 pm »

The stem sits inside a sleeve (and fits into it from the bottom, inside the case).  This inner sleeve has is screwed into the outer sleeve using a special sleeve screwdriver (which looks a lot like a phillips).  The crown screws onto the top of the stem (but you knew that).

I saw another project once where they figured out a way to connect the stem to something that allowed them to use the crown for some of the functions (mind you, this was a simple watch-adapation, not a cell, so he likely had a lot more room to work with).
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 01:18:04 pm by Abslomrob » Logged

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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2010, 08:26:06 pm »

I thought about adding function to the crown but the solder work on the main board is way beyond my abilities, even though the two switches are surface mounted and have pretty large solder pads. I already dremeled off the stem tip to make room for the phone, but there still is a bit left to work with.

I ordered a bunch of replacement cellphone speakers from hong kong. shipping was more than the speakers, but it's still cheaper than anything here. the good thing about their online descriptions was the fact they show them pictured on someones fingertip for scale. 5 different shapes and sizes should yield at least one that works out. one looks skinny enough to slide up the inside of the stem, that would work out great if it did.

I bought a couple of tiny steel D rings and cut one to fit the stem. its chrome plated and doesn't look that bad really. it will have to do until I find a proper ring.

I still can't figure out the stem and crown, I need to use the microscope at work to see up inside the thing I guess. I would like to be able to remove it and see if I can modify it to my needs but no luck so far.
lefty loosey, righty tighty, correct? I don't want to mangle the crown with pliars but it doesn't seem to want to turn at all.
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watch_guy
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 08:42:50 pm »

Grab the square end of the stem with pliers, and screw the crown off with your fingers.

Once you get the crown off, you can remove the sleeve, and with it the stem, with a sleeve wrench.
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Madame Blue
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« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2010, 04:57:58 pm »

Wow. just.... wow.

*in awe of your wicked making skillz*
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