Add a Headphone Socket to Your Walkie Talkies.





Introduction: Add a Headphone Socket to Your Walkie Talkies.

I've had this pair of Motorola walkie talkies for about a year now. They were cheap and cheerful and perfect for contacting my mates while we were snowboarding.

However I discovered that taking my gloves off and unzipping my jacket pocket to answer my mates calls every 5 minutes can get quite frustrating, and cold. Especially when it turns out not to be my mate but some random talking to his mates on the same channel.

Anyway, long story short, I decided to install a headphone socket so I can hear and respond to my mates without having to remove the radio from my pocket.

Step 1: Crack It Open. (Not Literally).

So here you have the main ingredients for this mod. 1 Motorola walkie talkie and a 3.5mm headphone socket salvaged from an old PCI 56k modem. The socket has two switched contacts so that when a headphone is plugged in it breaks the circuit to the radio's speaker and therefor only plays sound through the headphones. I find this feature particularly useful when I'm playing airsoft/paintball so the loudspeaker doesnt give away my position to the 'enemy'.

If you havent got an old PCI modem to destroy you can buy the sockets from Maplin(79p). I'm sure you guys across the pond can pick them up from RadioShack, and DickSmiths if you're Down Under.

Anyway on with the show. Find the screws, mine were under the battery cover and unscrew them. Put them somewhere safe, I know what you're like!

Gently pull the casing away from the electronics being careful not to rip the wires from the loudspeaker.

Step 2: Prepare the Headphone Socket.

The headphone jack has 5 pins. 2 for the radio, 2 for the loud speaker and a larger one at the front for mounting to the pcb. Cut the big one off, or at least fold it back so it no longer sticks out.

I can't say how you'll need to wire up your socket but the pins on mine were paired side by side. Solder a black wire on one and a red on the other for each pair.

Step 3: Connect the Headphone Socket.

Dettach the loudspeaker from the radio's PCB but keep the wires on the speaker, it'll save a fiddley soldering job later on.

You'll need to do some testing (with batteries installed) to ensure the correct circuit is cut off when a headphone is plugged in before soldering in the socket. Otherwise you'll just end up connecting a speaker to headphones and that just won't do!

Once you know which wires go where, solder it all up good 'n' proper. I left the old leads on the loudspeaker as it was easier to just twist them together, solder and heat shrink tube or electrical tape them.

Note: Sorry about the blurred images. They all seem sharp when you're viewing them on a 2" lcd.

Step 4: Preparing the Case.

Now you need to make a hole for the socket to go. On this little walkie talkie it was a right 'mare. There's very little space but on larger radios you could probably stick it anywhere. I would've like to have had the socket on the top but limited room meant it had to point out the back. Oh well.

I measured the height and width of the headphone socket and using a sharp scalpel, marked where I needed to cut a hole.

Clamp the case down and drill, Dremel, cut, saw, melt that hole right out. I chose the Dremel with a router tip. Messy job but soon tidied up with a scalpel. Please note that the electronics are still out of the radio case at this point, Dremel plus PCB equals whole lot of your time wasted.

You are now good to close the radio back up but first I'd stick the batteries in again and make sure it's all kosher. Nothing worse than screwing it all back up only to find out that you're useless and you have to undo it all again.

Step 5: Close Up the Case and Go Snowboarding!

Screw it and glue it. Well at least screw it. I decided to use a little hot glue to secure the headphone socket in place but if you cut the hole accurately you might not need to do the same.

And that, my friends, is it! Now do it all again for your other walkie talkie otherwise your mate will moan. I managed to do the second one in about 20 - 30 minutes.

I hope you enjoyed my first instructable (there I said it, it's my first!). Feel free to comment all you like.


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    i had doubts cos of the way you did the wirinng, im adding a jack socket to my walkie talkie and im going to put a switch in the cuircuit so that i can plug the jack in then switch between the two functions. :) ps i like cheeze:)

    1 reply

    The jack he uses cuts the speaker (or squeaker, witchever you desire) from the circuit as soon there is a plug (ahem, headphones) in the jack. But if you want, do what you want, it was just an FYI ;)

    After you have completed that could you use a splitter for an audio device to go to the same speakers? Such as one pair of headphones to walkie talkie and to audio device.

    step 5, first image, the tag of the ptt button, yeah that happened to me several times now

    yno u can get those wierd mic jacks, u could use on of them, and a cheap heaset mic.......

    haha totally true about the talk button mate. drives me crazy! great 'ible

    im new so does this mean i could replace my walkie talkies headphone socket and use this to have the same results?

    oh yeah i for got sweet job n liked the way u laid out ur instructable. :)

    Great Mod! When I took apart my walkie talkie, the walkie talkie got F#$#$% UP! There is a ton of static now and I can't use it anymore! Does anyone know whats up with it or how I can fix it?!?!??!

    2 replies

    Sorry to hear that mate. Did you do the mod to your radios or just happen to take them apart and put them back together? If possible, test them without the case. Just lie all the 'guts' out on your workspace just to make sure it's not because some wire is being crushed. Other than that I can only suggest temporarily disonnecting the mod to see if it is actually that causing the static. You're not using isolating headphones with their own power supply or something similar? Let me know. Len.

    yea.... I actually didn't mod it yet.... i'll try it out and see if it works.....

    Awesome I'm goin out to try this tomorrow, oh and id love it if you'd make one for the throat mic too!!!!!

    purfect thos is the ones i have

    nicely done. they must have been real cheap walkie talkies cause even the cheapos that i have already have an earphone jack. i did something similar to an old yamaha keyboard so i didnt have to piss off my neighbours

    2 replies

    most of them have the smallest so that the evil suits sell overpriced earphones even tho my aselsan ones are very nice and are sturdy since they are a standard for cops(mine isnt the cop model)

    Cheers! They were £24 (49USD) last year. Not dirt cheap but cheapest available to me at the time. The next model up was £80 (163USD).

    i love this instructable, makes buying a new walkie talkike obselete for me! do you know when you will build in the throat mic? i really want one for my walkie.

    1 reply

    I'm currently learning to weld (and at the same time build a plastic injection molder using this book). Once I've finished I'll dig out the radios and start on the throat mic upgrade.

    Cheers for the comment btw!

    Hi, nice hack, anyway, I was also considering this for a long time, especially for those times I go paintballing. I was going to make mine slightly different than yours. First of all, I was going to try and put an external mic on it by using the one from the walkie-talkie, I would attach a 3,5 mm male jack on it and thread it through my shirt or something like that. And then I would be attaching 2 female 3,5 jack on the walkie talkie, one for the earphones and one for the mic. I'm a real noob in those kind of stuff, so I don't know yet how things well get along and I'm just trying it with some basic physics knowledge. So if you've got any more instructions for me, PM me if you can. By the way, why did you actually leave the speaker on your walkie-talkie? I mean wouldn't you hear everything through your earphones?

    1 reply

    No, that's the whole beauty of the jacks I used. They are two way, when the head phones are connected it cuts off the main speaker, and when they are removed the main speaker is reconnected.