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  • Oldest working mobile?

    Posted on October 19th, 2011 Iain No comments

    Friends of mine are planning a “who has the oldest working mobile” event. I have an Orbitel 863 from about 1994 [Edit:] 1992? which I reckon could be a winner. With a bit of searching I found a post in German that gave correct pinouts for the battery. In a quick test the mobile powers up OK without a SIM. Given it is a somewhat powerful radio transmitter and it is missing its antenna I haven’t dared try anything else yet. Anyway, here are some photos.

    Edit: Another source on the web dates this mobile to 1994 without giving any evidence. From the design and what I know of its history I would say it was a very early GSM mobile and 1994 feels a bit late. There are various date codes visible on the boards and body castings. The latest date code I can see is “21 92” (ie week 21, 1992) on the main circuit board. Therefore I believe that this is a phone from 1992.

    Orbitel 863 Phone guts

    Orbitel 863 handset powered up

    Orbitel 863 main board view