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Bluetooth "Old-School" Phone Handset

All > Tech > Hacks/Mods > Gadgets > Bluetooth "Old-School" Phone Handset by ejkdreamer
Last summer, I joked to my wife that it would be cool to have a bluetooth handset that looks like an old telephone. She didn't see the cool factor in it, and I dropped the subject. Well, while making a Christmas gift wishlist, I came across the Bluetooth Retro Handset at and my desire was once again sparked. Needless to say, Santa didn't bring me the Thinkgeek phone, so I decided to attempt making my own.

First, I needed an old phone. A quick trip to the Flea Market landed me this old, non-functioning beauty - and cheap, too!
Next, I needed a Bluetooth headset to hack into the handset. This "Soyo FreeStyler 500" was on sale...
and has the added benefit of coming with an extra earpiece with a long extension cord. This made my task a LOT easier, as it meant that there would be NO soldering necessary in the build.
First, I gutted the old phone. The ear and mouthpiece both unscrew from the handset and the old speaker and microphone are easily removed. I also got rid of the coil cord.
Next, I fed the earphone from the bluetooth unit up through the handle. I had to break off the little plastic tube at the end of the earphone to make it fit through.
I used electrical tape to stick the earphone into the earpiece, lining it up with the soundholes.
With the earphone securely fastened, I could screw the earpiece back onto the handle.
Now I had to tinker a little with the bluetooth module. I removed two small screws, and pulled off the cover.
This revealed the board, battery, and mic.
The microphone needed to be pulled out of the case, and a small opening was cut into the side of the case to let the wires pass through. Then the cover was put back on.
Now, I realized that I would need to somehow connect to the button on the bluetooth so that I could turn the handset on and off, and answer the phone. The simplest solution seemed to be adding an extension to the existing button, and sticking it out through the center hole in the mouthpiece. I dug an old plastic rod out of a junk bin, super-glued it to the bluetooth button, and trimmed it to length so it would just stick out through the mouthpiece hole.
I used another bit of electrical tape to hold the microphone to the outside of the case, and placed a felt circle on the back of the module, so that I could use velcro to fasten it to the inside of the phone, but still adjust its position if needed, and also remove it from the handset for battery recharging.
A small velcro hook-and-loop circle was placed inside the handset to hold the bluetooth in place.
The connector end of the earphone extension slides onto the back of the module...
And the whole bluetooth module goes into the handle. the velcro holds it in place, and it is positioned so that the button extension is centered. Note that the mic is at the edge of the handle opening - this will align it with the holes on the edge of the mouthpiece.
The mouthpiece is screwed back into place, with the button extended through the center hole.
A push on the button, and... Success! The LED on the bluetooth even flashes through the holes on the mouthpiece to tell me its on.
The finished handset. Now I can leave my cel phone on the charger, and walk around the house, talking on my "phone".

My wife still doesn't see how this is "cool", but I know better.

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Posted by jesse 8 years ago ( 12-Jan-2007 15:33:39 )

Your wife should read my comment then...It IS REALLY COOL. Why?
1. Because many of us had these in our homes when we were younger and it enlivens a feeling of nostalgia, it helps us remember when we were kids and played kickball in the back lot, or speak with grandma over the old heavy phone back when family still mattered.
2. Its retro, there is an entire industry based on bringing old stuff back into the living spaces of today. Retro shops with old clothing and jewelery alongside antique stores prove that many people love seeing and feeling the past. We see old styles comming back and trendsetters initiate recurring themes pretty often,this is cool.
3. Its a mod...Its just plain cool to have something that pretty much no one else has, like this phone. Its a different shape, its used differently, and its not all shiny chrome with blue LED's all over, so it has a weight and quality and style that we no longer see in mass produced gadgets.

SO I LOVE IT. If he actually brought you (wife) in here to read this realize however that it was because he loves you and really...he wants to share more of himself with you. this was something you didnt share before but now, maybe you will see that the phone is cool and will love him just a little more.

Posted by aliya 8 years ago ( 08-Jun-2007 11:58:40 )

Now THIS is a bluetooth I might actually use. Those earpieces annoy me.

Very cool.

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