Introduction: Cheap Headset + Broken Cellphone = "SkypeCell"

Picture of Cheap Headset + Broken Cellphone = "SkypeCell"

For this first Instructable, I'll show you a recent hack I made.

I had a cheap malfunctioning headset and a broken cellphone (cracked screen) and I needed a reliable solution to make calls with Skype... so I combined two ready-for-trash items in a good SkypeCell!

Step 1: What You Need

A) If you are wealthy:


- A brand new cellphone with cool "calling" features: MP3, video, internet, etc.
- A brand new well-performing headset
- Some basic tools (small screw drivers, knife, soldering station, etc.)

And you will end up with a so-so quality PC phone...

A) If you are !wealthy:


- An old and/or broken cellphone (LG in my case)
- A cheap headset (chinese crap bought on eBay in my case)
- Some basic tools (small screw drivers, knife, soldering station, etc.)

And you will end up with a better quality PC phone :)

Step 2: Disassembling the Phone and the Headset

Picture of Disassembling the Phone and the Headset

You'll need to completely dismount the cellphone. I used a small knife to pry the cover and to remove the small rubbers. With a Philips screw driver, I removed all the small screws. Then I forced the opening of the case with a small knife.

What you will do depends a lot on the brand and the model of your phone.

For the headset, it's really simple: just cut the two 3.5mm jack from the rest. Keep as much wire as needed. Strip of the insulators off each wire (about 2mm).

Step 3: Find the Microphone and the Speaker

Picture of Find the Microphone and the Speaker

First, you need to find the speaker in the phone. It's usually located near where you place your ear (what a coincidence!). Then you will find its 2 connections to the PC board.

Second, you need to find the microphone in the phone. It's usually located near where you place your mouth (another coincidence!). Then you will find its 2 connections to the PC board.

Now, you need to examine the phone to locate 1 or 2 places where you can enter the wires in the phone. I used an old tip on my soldering station to melt the case plastic, then I inserted the wires in the phone.

Step 4: Connecting the Speaker

Picture of Connecting the Speaker

I will assume that you now have a dismounted cellphone (PC boards exposed) and a green 3.5mm jack with 2 wires connected.

Solder the 2 wires from the plug on the speaker's PCB connections.

At this time, you can test this half-finished project by plugging in it in a PC. If you can listen phone-quality music by holding the speaker near your ear, it's good!

Step 5: Connecting the Microphone

Picture of Connecting the Microphone

I will assume that you now have a dismounted cellphone (PC boards exposed) and a pink 3.5mm jack with 2 wires connected.

Solder the 2 wires from the plug on the microphone's PCB connections, or directly on the mic.

At this time, you can test this almost-finished project by plugging in it in a PC. I used the free Test Call from Skype to test it. If you're able to talk and listen back, it's working.

Step 6: Completion

Picture of Completion

You can secure the connections with some electrical tape. You then need to reassemble the phone.

It sounds easy... now do it ;)

Step 7: Use It!

Picture of Use It!

There is nothing more to say than: use it. You'll probably be pleased by the enhanced quality (in comparison to the original headset).


Ellen the Generous (author)2011-12-20

So, instead of skyping hands-free, you now get to hold something?!

I think it's about using the phone as a mic and speaker if you don't already have those. Perhaps you can use the speaker-phone capabilities to do it hands-free...

beginnertoday (author)2011-07-05

I dont know whether I will be able to make it ,But was fun reading this part !HAHA:)

jdogtotherescue (author)2010-07-13

i liked your idea so much i made one myself. only i used an old telephone from the thrift store. it works so good. at first i hooked up the mic wires backwards but then i turned them around and bam! it was awesome. im gonna paint the phone black now so it looks proper.

d1ndian (author)jdogtotherescue2010-07-19

hei i saw this Dead Ringer Head Set Hack by tk421dan , he did the exact same thing as u did. Great work guys. However i was thinking if an USB plug can be added instead of jacks into the headset. Can u guys really do that or does it needs some sort of programming?

jdogtotherescue (author)d1ndian2010-07-25

it wouldnt be anything to make it usb instead of the jacks. i just dont have a usb soundcard. you can add a usb soundcard in which case you would need to load the driver for it on each computer you used it with. or you can get one like this. you can also do it like this guy. i liked his usb phone i just made mine with the mic and speaker jack so it didnt need drivers other than what come with the pc that im using the phone with.

jacks place (author)2010-04-15

how did you die man did you even die

jacks place (author)2010-04-15

wwow ya is cool
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maruthi tallam (author)2010-04-15

 is it really works?????????

Ninja1507 (author)2010-03-26

Wow thanks haha i never thought about doing that. I have like 4 busted old cell phones and i have 3.5mm jacks all over.  anyway thanks again

brandegor (author)2008-10-10

So now I will ask the dumbest of the dumb questions, red-faced but determined: Does said dead cellphone have to have service? As in, a SIM card and a contract? Be nice, now.

technodude92 (author)brandegor2008-10-10

nope. In fact, you could use a house phone if you wanted. All he's doing is connecting the speaker of the phone to the green headphone plug and connecting the microphone to the red headphone plug. All the cell-phone is doing is holding the speaker and mic in place. I dont find my cell phone particularly comfortable so i'd probably use a cheapo telephone. It would be nice to get the touchpad to work, and end calls when you close the phone. Any ideas on this?

tuckersaspy (author)technodude922009-11-10

not so much the touchpad, but to get volume and end call support you could splice an old cell with a working bluetooth headset

brandegor (author)technodude922008-10-12

Hey thanks for not making me feel stupid. Oh so cool.

Lots of hacking. :P

Human Being (author)2009-11-06

would this work with AIM?

it will work with anything

XenoMorphPT (author)2008-10-08

GREAAAT!! Just one newbie question... does the phone need to be powered? I have an old cell whose batteries are dead

ReCreate (author)XenoMorphPT2009-06-20

no, it is just utilizing the phones speaker and microphone.

Knucklehead (author)XenoMorphPT2008-10-08

No, I don't think it needs to be powered.

zarta (author)Knucklehead2008-10-08

i think so; it needs to be powered. because the microphone and the speaker wires can't carry voltage. even if, there are no connection between wires and the battery.

XenoMorphPT (author)zarta2008-10-08

Ok I really need this confirmed before I get to work on my dead cell, otherwise all the work might be in vain...

JFDUVAL can you please clarify if the cell must be powered on for this hack to work?

JFDuval (author)XenoMorphPT2008-10-08


zarta (author)JFDuval2008-10-10

ok ok : D you r right!!! i accept my false. i thought wrongly. thanks to stib.

stib (author)XenoMorphPT2008-10-09

You're probably going to struggle with this project if you have to ask that question. The thing about this project is that you are just using the microphone and speaker components, and none of the other circuitry from the phone. You could rip all the other stuff out if you want and it would still work. The power for the speaker comes from your pc via the audio signal coming through the plug, and the microphone doesn't need any power.

srhadaham (author)zarta2008-10-08

mic and speaker wires do carry voltage(never lick an exposed speaker wire, long story) and this phone would not need to be turned on to work

milo0is0hot0 (author)Knucklehead2008-10-09

there's no 'think' about it YOU DO NOT NEED TO POWER THE PHONE!!!

XenoMorphPT (author)Knucklehead2008-10-08

BEST HACK EVER then!!!!! And I'll bet it works with other VoIP softwares as well... (I also use VoIP Buster)

JFDuval (author)XenoMorphPT2008-10-08

Hello! No, the internal circuitry of your PC will take care of everything. In fact, powering the phone may cause problem.

dodo91 (author)2009-03-23

heres an idea. you disconnect the previous connections of the mic and speaker. solder the plugs in. you need a webcam. just plug the mic in the mic jack, and the speaker in the headphone jack. now, you can have a webchat. youll look cool. talking on the phone. this is also cool for other stuff.

rayfalcon (author)2008-10-14

ok let me ask the wierdesst question and certainly the dumbest one is there any way of taking this phone or setting up another type of hone that goes through the computer (PC or Mac) to dial that @#%$* malicious and viral hackers ip address to take and shake them up and to get a physical address to know where to send police to for their cyber crimes?
I recently was hacked myself and had to reformat and reload everything everything that i had including emails passwords and favorites were gone without a trace after reloading thats why i ask this

Fred82664 (author)rayfalcon2008-10-17

Hacker tracking is done by the data packets that was sent by the hacker. how that is done is the packets are captured and dissected with software the Header of the packets holds the path of travel it took to get to your IP , What makes tracking hackers a hard task is the hacker will send it through a mass of routers and other networks all over the world and some countries do not shear help with investigators vary well and many hackers will use open WIFI connections to make eluding the police from finding them. There is lots of software available to make false Mac addresses as well as false IP brad cast to make thing even harder to catch a hacker. All the work and time to do the investigations is enormous . so in less you are a vary rich company or a big government there is not much you can do on the justice for your attacker ! At best you can do is be proactive and secure up your network or computer. Better yet get rid of Microsoft OS and products then switch to SELINUX or just LINUX !

rayfalcon (author)2008-10-14

why not take and also invent a usb charger for the old cell phone in case it has to have a charge and use a listening device or skype so that u can use the kepad on the dead cell phone to dial the number through your computer these musical keyboards that you plug into your computer and play on the keyboards through your pc and its speakers( the pcs sound system) ?

endolith (author)2008-10-13

This is an electret mic capsule. They really need a bias voltage to function correctly. Many sound cards with microphone inputs have three pins, one of which provides the bias supply. You then connect a resistor between the bias supply and the other pins. The supply and resistor might be internal though?

abscam (author)2008-10-10

same question. Do you need to have a charged battery?

JFDuval (author)abscam2008-10-10

Please do the effort of reading the other questions below...

Bratton (author)2008-10-10

Very good! I had no idea that this could be done-or that you would want to! I'd definitely consider giving it a go now though!I take the phone would need to have it's battery charged to work? Cheers Vicky

kg1 (author)2008-10-10

And I thought I had a useless cracked screen Razr! I shall have to borrow a solder piece tho, but it's all good cos my Razr's speakers and mic still work completely fine... Thanks!

jakebuck (author)2008-10-09

If you have abluetooth phone, you can use your regular cell to make and recieve skype calls, you just have to be within distance of your comp.

Bobay (author)jakebuck2008-10-10

so Jake how do I get a blue tooth to work with skype, that would be the answer to why does a dog lick his ... i have not heard of this before!

Tachyon (author)Bobay2008-10-10

BT just works with Skype. At least with 3.x and 4.x versions for Windows.
If your PC has BT setup correctly, then just pair your headset with the PC and choose it in the options, audio settings, speaker device and microphone device settings in Skype.
I've also gotten it to work with SuSE Linux with minimal fuss.

The big issue is not getting BT to work with Skype, but rather getting BT to work with your PC properly. If you have a decent system with built-in BT, it should be no big deal. In fact on my ThinkPad, it was as simple as enabling BT, turning my headset on and pairing them when the requester popped up.

If you don't have BT built in, then get a good brand dongle that includes the BT software, without a full BT driver suite, the dongle is useless, especially for headsets.

Good luck.

metal-matt (author)2008-10-09

awsum ible, 4.5 *'s!!! and 5/5 for photo's, wikid macro's :P

JFDuval (author)metal-matt2008-10-10

Thanks! I took them with my new Canon S5 IS. I'm new to photography, this Instructable is part of my learning. Eventually I'll build a light tent.

AnarchistAsian (author)2008-10-09

ha ha, nice, and just in time! i just broke my normal skype headset...

nelfer (author)2008-10-08

I saw someone do this but with a regular house wireless phone. It was hard finding the sound input and output, but once you get it, you can use the wireless phone around the house to talk in Skype like a regular phone. The concept was similar to this, but instead of finding the mic and speaker, it was to find the sound input/output that will be sent wireless to the headset.

edgeward (author)nelfer2008-10-08

Any way you could let us know how this was done?

nelfer (author)edgeward2008-10-08

Here. But then again, the only suggestions are trial an error. I guess one can build something to "test" for a audio in/out without running the risk of burning your ipod or mp3 player (If you decide to use that as your tester).

joejoerowley (author)nelfer2008-10-09

Well you have install a dtmf decoder I bet if you want to dial.

ecogeeko (author)2008-10-09

That is just too cool! I will definitely have to try this out! Thanks for the awesome idea and 'ible.

sarahbadera (author)2008-10-09

Was it an LG Shine??? I had my phone for less than three months when the faceplace cracked. :)

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