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Tired of your phone doing everything? Make a retro pager out of an Arduino

In an attempt to “recreate the glory of the late 90s and early 2000s”, maker Mike Schaus has made a pager out of an Arduino UNO.

Stacked on top of the Arduino, Schaus has also included a GSM shield to connect to a cellular service as well as an LCD display from Adafruit that comes with a few face buttons.

Inside there is a SIM card from the service Hologram. The last time we wrote about this company a worried dad had included one of their SIMs in a unicorn costume to keep track of his kids while they went around to trick-or-treat.

All you need to do is save the number attached to the SIM and you can SMS it, resulting in the text being displayed on the screen.

Those face buttons attached to the display aren’t there just for show. Using them allows you to cycle through a selection of canned responses which can be selected and sent back as an SMS.

It’s kind of funny how this type of limited reply is in fashion again – most wearables, even those with larger touch displays, now have similar options. Time is a flat circle and all that.

If you want to build your own pager or see how this one was pulled off in more detail, Schaus has created a guide you can read on hackster.io. It’s got all the code, schematics and help you’ll need for a bit of tech nostalgia.


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