Project : Mobira Dataman

"Tutorial" on how to mod a 25 years old mobile phone to work as a HTPC.
Author: Jani 'Japala' Pönkkö
Published: 25.08.2009
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi



Mobira Dataman

Everything put together and taking some time to pose for the photographers.


Mobira Dataman

Size comparison with the Nokia E71.


Mobira Dataman

In a way I like those scratches that the phone had when I received it. They make the Dataman look more "industrial" and enchance the feeling that the piece is meant to be used.


Mobira Dataman


Mobira Dataman


Mobira Dataman

Here is a video taken from the OLED screen. Those running bars are not visible to a naked eye but the timing on the camera brings them visible. Also, the camera that I was using did not allow one to alter the exposure values. This makes the image bit too bright. Level that the eye sees is the one at the picure before this video:


The actual modding process took around 40 hours to complete. Was it worth it? Actually yes and no. As a HTPC the CPU fan is bit too noisy and when I was putting the machine together I noticed that I could have propably used the large heatsink on the side of the phone to cool down the CPU and the chipset. On the other hand the mod was worth the time as this has been a long time dream for me - The mobile phone that is now the most powerful in terms of raw CPU power in the world! Mission complete, time to move on to a next dream.

My goal was to keep the external appearance of the phone as stock as possible. Cooling ended up being a big challenge and I had to cut that opening to the side panel. But in the end I believe it still looks very stylish and doesn't alter the looks that much.

So, this is something that one might put together from the components that he/she finds from their desk drawers and miscellaneous cardboard boxes. At least that is what happened to me. I would like to thank Corsair for the SO-Dimms that I used, Patriot for their SSD unit, Mvix for the tiny WiFi module and 4D Systems for their great OLED modules. Also Commell deserves a big thanks for their support. And finally, thank you Esko for the mobile phone and for the trust towards me that I could make something useful out from it.

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Questions, Comments?. Visit the topic about this article on our forum.
  • 26.08.2009 17:33 Jyrchi

  • Very nice indeed, this made an impression instantly when I saw it at Assembly. The scratches make the phone look rugged, I like it ^^ Waiting for a Mobira Dataman Gaming Rig :lol:

    Hemmetin hieno, teki vaikutuksen ensisekunnilla kun näin Assemblyillä. Nuo naarmut saavat puhelimen näyttämään hieman karulta, josta pidän ^^ Mobira Dataman-pelikonetta odotellessa :lol:
  • 28.08.2009 06:46 BenaH

  • Good job. ;) I like it.

    Was that only test in the pic with the TV? The one where's only 256-color XP. Just thought that will it get up to 32-bit colors?

    Mahtava modaus.
  • 28.08.2009 11:23 japala

  • First test, no proper drivers installed yet. I'll update the article to reflect that. :)
  • 01.09.2009 03:38 gio91ber

  • 8O that's incredible...
    I'd like to ask you one thing: I'm interested in creating a mod inside motorola 8700 ( ... G_0847.JPG) so I'd like to know how did you put symbian on the "phone"...

    Do you know anything i could buy to build the internal hardware (like gsm/gprs/umts chips, "motherboards" for mobile phones and so on)?

    Thanks. Gio (I'm sorry for my bad english)
  • 01.09.2009 07:46 japala

  • gio91ber: Sorry to disappoint you, the computer does not run Symbian. They are just screencaptures that are running on the screen.
  • 02.09.2009 02:33 solibayo

  • pls does anybody know hw 2 mod a sonyericsson p1i wit wuindows mobile professional 6.1 cooked rom as the fones' hardware is powerful enough.
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