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Cell phone as walkie talkie Answered

Does anyone know whether it's possible to re-purpose old cell phones as walkie talkies? I have some "old" phones (1X Tri-mode - 1.9 GHz and 800 MHz CDMA and 800MHz AMPS), and I'd love to be able to use them for our ski club as a short range back channel for communications in addition to the radios we use when we host races. I'm assuming we'd need to get some sort of base station, not sure where or how. There are probably some laws we'd have to comply with, assuming that something like this is even possible (I'm in Canada). I'd consider activating & using them normally, but the cell coverage on our mountain is very weak and unreliable, hence this post. Any ideas on how to get something like this started? Or is it a non-starter?


Probably a little late to reply. But you can get what's call a "Pico node" or "Pico cell". That MIGHT be what you're looking for.
Try: http://www.ipaccess.com/ they seem to have a product nanoGSM.. I had a brief search, and that might do the trick.

Nortel networks make some stuff along the same line but it seems to be on a bigger scale.

Hmm, seems to me some of the newer units come with this feature (handy when they give you an extra phone, but I don't believe it to be very practical to retrofit anything old in this manner.

Just heard about a company in Europe working on P2P tech to be able to do this, but not with old hardware:

Terranet AB


10 years ago

I tried it with all kinds of cell phones and think it's too hard to do. It can be done with Cordless Phones easily. Look at Engenius-TM or otherwise look for "extended range" sets that include multiple handsets and either paging or intercom ringing. If you don't want to make real calls, connect the base line cords to 30 volts DC in series with a 600 ohm resistor as a fake line. The phones will talk like phones not push-to-talk like walkie talkies. Install an extra good quality outdoor antenna on "the base station". Expect range to drop off around 5km. (Smile if it's better.)

Someone once suggested taping a CB to the cellphone..I can't seem to remember who.. :)

Different context (or different mood). I actually do carry a walkie talkie AND a cell phone.

Thanks Viron, I'll take a look at cordless phones & chuck the cell's into the recycling bin.

Cell phones need networks and base stations. Viron's idea is more practical.