Dead Ringer Head Set Hack




About: An artist, maker and tinkerer, recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Arts Interactive Media BFA program.

I really enjoy using Skype but wanted to keep the feel of using an old fangled phone and give my friends a good laugh when they saw me through video chats, so I made this device.

What you'll need is an old telephone (the ones with the big metal ringers inside them and the twirly knobs) but all we're gonna use from that is the "headset" the twisty cable and the female plug from the phone with about two inches of it's wires still attached (mine were red, green, yellow, and black)
and to finish it of you'll need two mono male 1/8 audio jacks if you do what I did, but i imagine you could do this another way to.

right now the receiver is a little quite (cause it's not up to line level, but that's for a later time).

Step 1: Soldering

So really all you have to do is solder the right wires togeather i tested with a mono jack that had been cut from a longer cord and twisted the wires togeather and used some robin williams from my ipod.

for me red and geen when to the speaker (top)
and yellow and black to the reciver (bottom)
hence i have the receiver as a red and the speaker as black port

I promise my next instructable will be more through, but I've been making things for a very long time and just decided on a whime to do this, I'd apreciate any positive feedback, and let me know how this goes if you to make one of these, or already have.



    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure

    14 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    hi, i was looking this Instructable for ages, i saw it years ago and i stored a working printer with fax, i got the headset outta it to use it as a microphone and speaker for voice calls. Btw i always thought u used an USB plug instead of audio video jack. However is it possible if i can add an USB plug instead of jacks?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    i made one but the speaker is very quiet and the microphone didnt work at all please help -thanks


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    then it's too old, and uses a different type of mic. and for the speaker, you need an inline amplifier circuit. i'll take pictures and post e'm later


    10 years ago on Step 1

    thanks! i've done it somehow and it suprisingly works! just haven't foud such a nice phone as you have..


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 1

    Or if you couldn't find one, mock-up one from cardboard, then coat it with fibreglass, to achieve the look and feel.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I have an old Automatic Electric desk phone which I have converted into a cell phone handset. I don't recall needing to bump the mic up to line level to accommodate my cell phone. then again, line-level for phones and line-level for sound cards are two different values, obviously. Also, make sure you amplify the handset and not the modular jack coming from the computer. You may want to convert a conventional computer headset to modular later on. Then, switching out the handset and the headset would literally and figuratively be a snap. You know what I mean by literally: modular plugs make a snapping sound when connected. Clicking, rather.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I think the line level is already supplied with the mic port,multimeter away to find out dial on