Magnetic Phone attachments


The best I can come up with is:

Sun Blind
Legacy port unit, with phono, optical, co-ax, SCART and off course 3.5mm for headphones


how about an attachment that converts a smartphone into a satellite phone.


How about a compas? :wink:

Or maybe a stand or a stylus, all of these things exist though


Or a gravity particle field detector. I have no idea what a gravity particle field is, but at least, I would be prepared! :smile:


Tee hee, slap a magnet on it and here ya go !

Just make sure not to acknowledge you’re using it :wink:


Is this actually doable? I don’t understand, at all, how satellite phones work.


In principle satellite phones work in much the same way as normal cell phones do. The key differences are:

  • Instead of local access points the signal goes via a satellite so requires more power to transmit and a bigger aerial both to transmit and receive.
  • They work on different frequencies.

In principle a typical mobile phone could be converted into a satellite phone either with a clip on adaptor or by having a separate base station which would give you a local mobile phone network connected to the satellite network.


I was thinking maybe a printer of some kind. You can already accept credit card payments with a phone, it would be neat to be able to print a receipt at the same time!


This would probably be horrible to the battery life but a blue tooth or wifi small printer may be a good idea, if it doesn’t exist already is a good idea but these exist already.


…and relatively cheap too! Nice!


That’s illegal.


Depends on the exact application but I agree its not something most authorities would be happy with. One exception may be for the military: The army may want to set up a local network to allow its staff to continue to use their mobile phones to stay in contact with people at home while they are active in another country.

It may be illegal by local laws but if you are an invading force you may not care about local laws.

Another example may be in very remote areas where there is no existing mobile service.

My post was responding to a technical possibility only not considering legal implications which I suspect may be considerable as you have pointed out.


What specifically’s illegal about it? I’m sure you’re right, but as noted I don’t know anything about this. Walkie talkies aren’t illegal, for example, or CBs, so there’s some allowances for radio transmissions; I don’t know what the boundary is on this stuff?


Hi Stuart there are specific requirements that devices don’t interfere with each other and you have to pay a lot of money to get a license to use particular RF frequencies for communication.

I am assuming that the satellite frequencies are OK in this case because you can buy a satellite phone though to be honest I have not checked this point.

The mobile frequencies however, are definitely an issue because if you are a mobile phone service provider the last thing you want is for someone to create their own network as it may interfere with yours and you have paid a lot of money for the use of that particular frequency range.

If what I suggested were to be made it would almost certainly interfere with another network as mobile phones only work over a narrow frequency range.


It’s unlicensed use of licensed spectrum, which is an offence under the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 2006.

See this and the aforementioned legislation:


How about using amateur radio for VoIP? Don’t know how portable it would be though.


You mean like over packet radio? I know someone who once had a private paging network using that and private/amateur repeaters (back in the 90’s when having a pager was edgy and cool!). Or did you mean like an add on device with an integrated portable scanner? I’m trying my very best not to get super spammy here (these forms are my “Sarah proves she can behave” project and I’ve been annoyingly promoing the sh+t out of the campaign elsewhere) But the Matrix project (which will be stock on the Librem 5) is doing, as far as I can tell, something similar to using an ad hoc rf network.

//edit: sorry, forums (can’t spell worth…)


Maybe we’re thinking along similar lines, I don’t know what over packet radio is. I was thinking of how Ham radio can be used for internet service and then using that, somehow, for phone service. Again, how portable that would be?


I had a Moto Z for 6 months (until it broke), and the Moto Mods dev kit. Moto Mods cover the back, minus a cut out for the camera. The official mods include an optical zoom camera, a projector, a gamepad, a vehicle dock, speakers, power packs, and a 360° camera. There’s a photo printer in the works

Mods in protoype/indiegogo stages include a slide out keyboard, a walkie talkie, a use-it-as-a-computer dock, solar charger, air quality sensor… With possible exception of the keyboard I don’t expect any of those to ship. Moto Mods have the disadvantage that the shape of the phone and the mod are tightly coupled. A mod only works with a Moto Z series and vice versa.

The Essential clip on thingy has a small but non-zero chance of breaking out as a platform. Essential’s design is a) inherently more standardised (just wireless USB + power pins + magnets, b) not tied to the phone’s shape/design. However it’s a tiny market. Unless a third party like LG adopts the standard, then only hobbyists and Essential themselves will care enough to make/sell accessories.

Ultimately I expect USB-C and Bluetooth will be good enough for 80% of people. Particularly if more phones ship with USB alt modes such as DisplayPort - that’s how Samsung’s Dex Dock works. I will miss my Z though.


I think we are. Actually, a very simplistic view, but what you just described sounds a lot like a cellular network (I mean without all the allocated spectrum, regulations, etc. etc.). Ham radio is r/f and so are cell networks (well with satellites, microwave hops, etc. etc. too). Oh, and I just looked it up, mobile voip being used by the industry is a thing. And for those who like privacy, I think you can use Matrix in conjunction with a home server right now (?). I say think because I really haven’t looked into it too closely.

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