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Add a headphone socket to your walkie talkies.

Picture of 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.
 
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Step 1: Crack it open. (Not literally).

Picture of Crack it open. (Not literally).
E:\Projects\Motorola Walkie Talkie Mod for Instructables\100NIKON\DSCN2516.JPG
E:\Projects\Motorola Walkie Talkie Mod for Instructables\100NIKON\DSCN2517.JPG
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.

Picture of Prepare the headphone socket.
E:\Projects\Motorola Walkie Talkie Mod for Instructables\100NIKON\DSCN2522.JPG
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.
freerunnin16 years ago
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:)

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 ;)

ksu264 years ago
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.
beehard444 years ago
step 5, first image, the tag of the ptt button, yeah that happened to me several times now
hedzup4564 years ago
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
roxassora36 years ago
im new so does this mean i could replace my walkie talkies headphone socket and use this to have the same results?
freerunnin16 years ago
oh yeah i for got sweet job n liked the way u laid out ur instructable. :)
jimtran936 years ago
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?!?!??!
poor_leno (author)  jimtran936 years ago
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!!!!!
hornbadoing7 years ago
purfect thos is the ones i have
lennyb8 years ago
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
Derin lennyb7 years ago
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)
poor_leno (author)  lennyb8 years ago
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).
survivor5697 years ago
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.
poor_leno (author)  survivor5697 years ago
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!
Strikah7 years ago
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?
poor_leno (author)  Strikah7 years ago
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.
duck-lemon7 years ago
Awesome ill try that on my pair- they are different brand but look exactly the same. ill post again when done.
Tyromaniac8 years ago
Does that work if you use A microphone too?
poor_leno (author)  Tyromaniac8 years ago
No, but once I've finished making my BB claymore mine I will be upgrading these again so I can use an external mic too...