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Weekend Project: Retro Wireless Handset

Combine new technology with old for a retro bluetooth handset that will get people talking.
Thanks go to Jeff Keyzer for the original article in MAKE, Volume 20.
To download The Retro Wireless Handset video click here and subscribe in iTunes.
Check out the complete Retro Wireless Handset article in MAKE, Volume 20 and you
can see that in our Digital Edition.

16 thoughts on “Weekend Project: Retro Wireless Handset

  1. Dr. Who says:

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    Volume 21: Make Vol. 21 features a fully-operational Tardis! If you’re looking for a prize-winning New Year’s project, or want to make a fortune in the stock market, or just want to post a blog entry and send it back to last Thursday so you can enjoy the holidays after another solid year of making, hacking, bending and crafting, this special “Become A Time Lord” issue of Make has something for you!

    (On newsstands in three months, and already sold out.)

  2. mightyohm says:

    Great video, clear explanation and nice use of the AA battery holder.

    As for practical value, it does work quite well as a handset and you can still prop it on your shoulder for hands-free mode. (Not recommended while driving!)

    I carried my handset around the Maker Faire this year and got lots of questions about it, so at a minimum it’s a conversation starter. :-)

    Glad the project worked for you!

    – Jeff Keyzer aka mightyohm

  3. Ryan says:

    Nice, it would be great to make the battery rechargeable rather than having to take the whole thing apart every time.

  4. mightyohm says:


    Easily fixed. My version (the one in the magazine) has a rechargeable battery:

    Jeff Keyzer aka mightyohm

  5. Joe says:

    The microphone sounds “loud and distorted” because it’s a carbon microphone, which was designed to have a large output swing (~ volts) without an amplifier at the expense of fidelity and power consumption. You would be better off using the electret microphone from the headset, since this is what the circuit was designed to use (~ millivolts).

    1. mightyohm says:

      Adding a resistor in series with the microphone improves the audio dramatically. I realize that an electret mic would be better (and I mention this in the article), but I just couldn’t resist using the old carbon mic from the handset. People are usually shocked when I unscrew the mic cover and the old carbon mic falls out, just like in a 70s telephone!

  6. Dutchfreak says:

    i’m thinking of making a version of this headset for my mom, she love’s things like that,
    i thout a old stiled wire would look nice on it,
    is it as simple then to take a old headset and wire it up to the phone’s original headset plug? or would it need some kind of convertion?
    thanks anyway and nice project.

    1. mightyohm says:

      Yes, this is possible. You can make your own:

      or buy one already made for the purpose:

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