Build Your Own Intercom or Walkie Talkie Out of Two Old Cordless Phones

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We all have old phones. Why not turn them into an intercom for your kids tree house. Or turn two old cordless phones into home base walkie talkie. Here is how.

Step 1: Materials

In-Line coupler (I got mine at Frys for 1.49)
9 volt connector (radio shack, or cut it out of some old piece of junk)
wire-nippers
milk (helps keep you hydrated and keeps bones strong)
Dremel
Soldering iron
solder
300 ohm resistor or close to it
black electrical tape
two telephones
two telephone cords. (CAT 1 cable)

Step 2: Open Your Coupler

Apply pressure to break it open at the center, in the same way you might break a twig. You may press it up against the side of your desk if it helps. You will see 4 wires, they should be color coded red, green, yellow and black. If they are not, it will be harder. The red and green cables are the one you should worry about. The other two are for the second line; it will not affect this project at all.

Step 3: Cut, Strip and Solder

Cut the red wire in the middle. You now have two red wires. Strip the ends of both red wires. Now you will need some basic soldering skills for the rest of this project.

This sight has some good tips if your new:
http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/04/how_to_solder_resources.html?CMP=OTC-0D6B48984890

Now solder one side of the resistor to one end of the red wire. Solder the other end of the resistor to one end of the 9 volt connector( it doesn t matter witch end). And the last side of the 9 volt connector will connect to the other red wire. It should look something like this. Now when you do this cut off exess wires from your resistor and 9 volt connector before you solder, remember it all has to fit back into the coupler when your done.

Note: int the photo I cut the yellow and black wires because they got in the way.

Note I also used 265 ohm resistor, because it was more handy. I have completed this project much earlier with out any resistor. Be careful if you do this, I am not sure what the implications are.

Step 4: Testing

Quick test, leave it open Plug two phones into both ends of the coupler put in the 9 volt battery and talk. You may use two old wall phones with no problems. If you use cordless you need to make sure you have power going to them before they will work.

If they work Seal the expose wire with black tape. Dremel out a little slit into one of the sides. This will be where the 9 volt connector wires will exit the coupler. Close up the coupler, and be careful not to break any of the soldering you did earlier. Bring the leads of the 9 volt connector out of that slit. See photo.

Step 5: Clean Up

If you use two cordless phones you have just made a makeshift home base walkie talkie. Clean up your area and drink your milk call a friend.

Note: to ring one of the phones you will need a ring generator, but that is another project for another time. Have fun.

Step 6: Troubleshooting

Make sure the cable works:
Find a phone where you can hear the dial tone. Now hang up and replace the line with the cable you plan to use, check to hear a dial tone now. If not then your cable is bad.

Make sure the phones work:
Temporary replace your home phone with one of the project phones, check to hear a dial tone. Then make a call to see if the microphone and the speaker work in the handset. And to see if the handset has a charge if it applicable. If you fail to make a call for any reason the phone is bad.

Make sure the Coupler makes a circuit:
Take the battery out of the coupler. The battery must be out. Then go to a working phone and make the connections in this order

Wall jack------> to cable -------->to the Coupler-------->to another cable------->to phone

This will check if you connected the right wires in the coupler. Pick up the phone and listen you should hear nothing, if you do here a dial tone then the wrong wires are soldered, or you have short in the coupler. If you move the coupler and you hear scratching sounds then you have a bad connection, and must re solder or better insolate.

If you hear nothing that is a good sign so far, now take a screwdriver or something metal and complete the circuit at the 9v battery connector. You should hear a dial tone now. If not then your connection on the red or green is just broken somewhere and you have to find it.

The green wire is just a straight shot; you do nothing with the green. The red wire is in series with the 300 ohm resistor and a 9v battery. Make sure its set up like this. I hpe this was helpful, drink your milk and have fun.

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    155 Discussions

    0
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    shahyan11

    2 years ago

    is there a youtube video on this?

    0
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    yhdesai

    3 years ago

    how to make it wireless?

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    tlizard

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great Instructable. Will be using this to teach phone skills to my Special Education students - AND it was fun for me to make. Thank you.

    0
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    JonathanA22project_builder

    Reply 3 years ago on Step 4

    You could make it wireless, just use two wireless handsets but you would still need to power the receivers, which might be an issue long-term, however I plan to use it to make a cheap reliable walkie talkie kit for airsoft.

    0
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    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    PriyankaP4

    3 years ago on Step 6

    It is real nice n easy way thank you,.. could u also put up such easy methods to make a instructable robot,.. plz,... it s real fun learning here to make things of my choice,..

    4B89.JPG
    0
    None
    chabong

    11 years ago on Introduction

    OMG it actually works. my band has tried different things to talk to each other like walkie talkie and stuffs but this is the best solution. We bought 2 sets of the GE DECT 6.0 follow the instructions above and ..wow.. all 4 handsets can communicate. Now i have to make it some how louder and less noisy. Can I use 12 volt instead? Thanks.

    1 reply
    0
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    M.K1chabong

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    If you're using a set of 4 matching multi-handset DECT 6.0 cordless phones, look in the instructions (if you still have them) for how to set them all up to talk to the same base. If you can do that, you won't need the project this instructable is for...

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    lk-

    12 years ago

    This hack does not qork in Portugal. I think our phones are different from yours. Our phone line power its 47votls. what can i do?

    3 replies
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    staticlk-

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Here in the States the Central Office provides a nominal 48 VDC . Evedently the cordless base units are happy when presented with 9 VDC, I would expect yours should be too, one volt isn't that much. If you have one use a variable DC power supply use it to determine what voltage makes your units happy.