Keeper phone

We moved from France and brought our mobile phone numbers with us. Here's a blog post of how we are keeping them alive.

Of course, too much of on-line and off-line life is tied to that number in a SIM card. We just have to keep it active due to various services and people who could contact us.

Since I am automation geek you can already see the direction this post is going to... The first things first, we need a cheap mobile plan. We will not be actively using them for calls or messages but it has to be active and have an option to call from and to abroad. We chose provider and their 2€ plan. So, for 2 phone numbers that totals for 4€. We have been living here in Germany for more than a year and they seem not to care we are constantly in a roaming mode. Good so far.

Next issue is actual mobile device. We needed something cheap and reliable. After some on-line research I chose Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, a device that offers free bootloader unlocking, good performance and 2 SIM slots for less than 100€ refurbished. After having created obligatory Xiaomi account and waiting for few days I unlocked its bootloader and installed LineageOS.

Still, good so far.

Finally, the last question remain, how to make this phone on all the time? Home Assistant to the rescue! Cheap Zigbee enabled socket (of which I have a few laying around at any time) made it possible to create automation to turn on charging when battery level drops below 20%, and to stop it once over 80%. Here is how it looks like:

Home Assistant battery level dashboard

Ideally, I wouldn't even have to deal with all this stuff in physical world just to receive digital information, but I am happy I had another opportunity to play with all of this.