Introduction: Portable Skype Phone

Picture of Portable Skype Phone

how to make a portable skype phone from an old cordless phone.
You need an old cordless phone. (one that you dont care about.. because you might break it) try and get one that has an "intercom" because they are much easier..

IMPORTANT- unplug this from your phoneline.. you dont want your telephone company after you.. also you can get a nasty shock.. when the phone rings.. a 110v signal passes through your phone line..

Step 1: Open Her Up..

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remove all of the screws. try not to loose too many of them..

Step 2: Have a Look Around

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look around for any labeling that might help you. My phone had some labels.

If you have a phone that had an intercom- there will be a microphone and speaker wired into the cicuit board.. you can snip and strip these wires and go onto the next step.

If you didnt have an intercom.. youre going to have to guess and check.. i used a cd player to put sound signals into various places to find an input.. and listen on the cordless part.. (you have to press "phone" or "on" or whatever on the phone) then do the same thing with some battery powered speakers (or maybe headphones) to find the output. If something gets hot, then find a new spot.

Step 3: Sabotage Some Headphones.

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you need two miniplug cords for this- i used ipod headphone cords because they look really nice.. but they were a pain to use and solder to, becasue they are insulated with some kind of lacquer. you need to use sandpaper to remove it or annihilate it with the soldering iron and tin it.

Then solder the cords to the places that you found inputs and outputs. (or the wires to the speaker and mic if you had an intercom)

you may want to try this with crocodile clips first.. becasue i found that i could only attach 3 wires.. if i grounded it twice with the 4th.. my sound card got angry.. again- guess and check, sorry!

Step 4: Test It

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plug it into your computer.. dont blame me if it goes up in smoke.. (try it on an older one first maybe) but it shouldn't if you checked it with your walkman and speakers. (make sure that you plug the right cord into output, and the right cord into input.. )

You can use skype test call, or windows sound recorder if you're on a PC.

try adjusting your sound.. i turned WAV way down for better sound quality.

again you sound card might only want you to have 3 wires connected.. so try that out, and switch them around etc..

Step 5: Re-assembly

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find some of those screws you lost and screw it back together. if you lost all of them- use glue or something.. chewing gum even.. it doesnt really matter..

feed the new wires through any available hole, or drill a new one.

if it all works, your done!.


EdsWastedLife (author)2006-05-15

This guy's got a schematic for a simple circuit to wire a traditional RJ11 phone jack to your computer's speaker out and mic in jacks. I haven't tried it yet, so can't really endorse it, but it's worth a look.

sam (author)EdsWastedLife2006-05-18

i tested the circuit and it works - I'll post an update soon as the instructions aren't exatly clear on the website.

dudeeemc2 (author)sam2011-06-21

Could you re post the "simple circuit to wire a traditional RJ11 phone jack" schematic for me it is exactly what i need for a project im working on?

i am pacman (author)2009-11-29


RapidMustang (author)2008-10-18

About the lacquer insulation, all you have to do is separate the wires and use a lighter to burn of the lacquer.

kyle4w (author)2008-10-14

if your phone has intercom, can't you just change the mic into one 3.5mm headphone jack and the speaker into another, plug them into your computer, and then just pick up the wireless phone as if it were a conference call?

Jason in Bermuda (author)2008-04-24

Dear All, I wish to ad Skype phones to my small 34 room resort. I already have wireless internet through out the property. Is this possible. If any one could please advise. Thank you Jason

Not really, you would be better off using V2 of this instructable

jrift (author)2006-08-19

Quick tip: Lacquered wires can be stripped with an ordinary cigarrete lighter. Light the tip, let it burn down to the desired length then blow out the flame. After a quick wipe with a bit of tissue to remove the soot, the wire is ready for tinning.

sam (author)jrift2006-10-25

thats great. thanks!

sam (author)2006-06-07

if you're trying to go wired, the the circuit on this site amy help:

i think the problem may be that you need a power source..

debben (author)2006-06-04

Am I just dumb? I can't even get this to work analog, non-wireless. Do I need to connect all three wires in each head phone plug?

Hungry_Myst (author)2006-05-21

Except then you will need to pay for the cell phone calls, witch makes this whole thing compleatly usless. You would be better off just useing your home phone.

leahculver (author)2006-05-19

Great idea! It sure makes using VOIP nicer. Sounds inexpensive, easy to make, and useful!

hombr (author)2006-05-17

Could somebody please explain exactly how many wires go into the telephone... Let's only talk about getting sound from the computer. I cut an earplug from my headphones and saw two wires. Touching telephone with one wire in some locations produces sound in telephone headset. What about the other wire? Why the sound is so noisy? It is louder in some locations but still very noisy. Thank you,

radiorental (author)hombr2006-05-18

Firstly, you actually should have 3 wires, 2 for audio and 1 sheild. noise will come from two places. Firstly you're rubbing a headphone wire over solder points, without a clean connection you'll get static. The second reason is you need a 'circuit' for the audio. Currently the live audio comes out of the computer, in to the phone and down through the phones 'ground' connection, through your houses electrical system and back in to your computer. You need to find the audio ground in the phone, in addtion to the wire connection you have found. So, take the sheilding from the audio cable (the outer protective wire) and solder it to the power ground in the phone. The repeat the proceedure you use to find the audio line you got already. I'm making most of this up, anyone care to correct me?

radiorental (author)radiorental2006-05-18

sorry, to put it another way. You have two circuit you must make. One for the speaker and one for the microphone. These circuits are just like any other electrical system.. electrons flow in one wire and out the other. For audio it doesnt matter which wire is which in each individual circuit. Just dont mix the circuits together. I'm not sure I'm making this clearer. IF you're not really sure about this I would suggest you be prepared to blow something up.. like your computer audio card

Grynx (author)2006-05-16

Great howto - funny enough I made the same almost exactly one year ago
This article has some other ideas on how to find the in and outputs and there's a lot of good comments from my readers also.
There's also a couple of other VoIP related articles at that might be worth having a look at.


sam (author)Grynx2006-05-17

cool. thanks for the links.

da_guy2 (author)2006-05-15

On that site he also has some software that lets you control skype from your phonhe handset! So i guess it is useful to have that handset now!

radiorental (author)da_guy22006-05-15

this is very cool since I'm moving in to a new house and dont want to pay for a phone line, and Skype just went free for a year in the US today

da_guy2 (author)radiorental2006-05-16

Correction, For the REST of the year (ie till Dec 31 2006). Still not bad at all!

radiorental (author)da_guy22006-05-16

yes indeed, rest of the year, but I'm going to talk twice as much now.. so it works out the same (o; I'll bet there isnt free skype in, that'll be how their covering the costs I guess, you call your friend for free... but pay when they call you back. still cool... until they get us hooked (o;

matt (author)2006-05-14

I would just get a bluetooth usb adapter for my PC, and get a cheap bluetooth headset....... since you cant dial anyways, id rather have a nice small headset!

radiorental (author)matt2006-05-14

~$50 for one of them

Junkyard John (author)2006-05-13

What is a skype phone?

think of skye as a virtual phone system on a computer the internet is the phone company the computer speakers and microphone work as the phone headset This project is essentially a wireless speaker and microphone for your computer, plugs in to the speaker/headphone jacks on you audio card. You still need to use your mouse to make and receive calls through the computer's skype phone interface I was just thinking about this this very monring oddly enough. I have an old corporate wireless head set (with the boom mic) I was going to transplant that in to an old-worldy handset and have the corporate headset basestation as a dock/charger. this is a really cool instructable, well done! I hope someone can come up with a way to hook the phone's 'answer' button in to skype

sam (author)radiorental2006-05-13

yep- im working on the answer button thing still. i have a second phone to hack.. so watch out for that soon!

godsdog (author)2006-05-13

Nice idea. Perhaps utilizing a few 1/8in jacks and some patch cables could be a nice touch!

Junkyard John (author)2006-05-13


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