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I would like to create a white noise generation box. I want it to be as sustainable as possible (within reason), as it will likely be used 24/7.

My thinking so far is to use an old, unused smartphone, and install any one of a number of white noise generation apps. I'm thinking an old smartphone with a removable battery would be best, and then remove the battery so there is no energy waste from the charging circuits. (To prevent the battery from eventually becoming waste, I'll first charge it to 50-60%, and then charge it back up to 50-60% every year or two.) Once the battery is removed, I'll plug it into AC power via its "charger", which at that point, I'll just be using as a compact AC/DC inverter.

To reduce energy consumption, I will keep the phone in airplane mode with all radios disabled (cellular/WiFi/bluetooth). The screen will stay off as well except for a moment here or there if I want to change any settings.

Is that the best solution, or are there better alternatives? If my idea is a good one, does it need any tweaking to improve it?

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    I haven't used them, but you could look for a battery management app that would maintain the battery at 50%, rather than having to do this manually.
    – LShaver
    Feb 19 '21 at 16:36
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    Without getting into a fun electronics project involving scavenged components and likely a whole bunch of tools you don't have, that seems like the best option. Make sure you have a reaconably recent charger rather than the really old transformed-based "brick" ones (don't be tempted to scrounge one, in other words), because they often used 2-3 watts to heat the transformer and 0.1W to run the phone...
    – Móż
    Feb 20 '21 at 9:56
  • @LShaver Interesting idea! If the device is not rooted, do you know if any of those apps actually work to stop the device from charging at a certain point? I use one (AccuBattery), and it alerts me when my battery is charged at x% (you get to define x), but at least without root, it doesn't actually stop the device from charging. Separately, I think that removing the battery will be more energy efficient in the long-haul, but I'm happy to learn something different. Feb 20 '21 at 10:02
  • @Móż Great point about the charger. I have various chargers of all generations... what's a good way to tell how power efficient each one is? I do have a digital multimeter and electrical leads. Actually, let me open a new topic about this because it may help others as well: sustainability.stackexchange.com/questions/10535/… Feb 20 '21 at 10:16
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By installing a white noise generating app do you intend to keep the phone connected to the mobile/cellar telephone network & thus continually use phone bandwidth 24/7?

I would have thought a digital recording of white noise played on a continuous loop would be more sustainable.

It is possible to purchase white noise generating machines. I see some are advertised online for between $20 and $30.

Getting something that is battery powered, and having two sets of batteries, and the batteries can be charged by a solar panel would increase sustainability.

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  • Thank you Fred. I updated my question based on the question you asked in your first sentence. Feb 19 '21 at 15:22

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