Start with a couple of old phones.  Rotary ones suck for this because they won’t make fun noises in the finished product, but newer phones have a few more wires and are confusing.  The ones we used are ‘80’s vintage NT and worked well.


OK!  start taking them apart!  Your first phone will be for dialling.  As it’ll be upside-down on your face you should probably upside-downify (reverse) the speaker and earpiece.  Simply unscrew the handset caps, take out the speakers, pull the top wires to the bottom and stuff the bottom wires to the top.  Put the speaker and earpiece back on their original (now relocated) wires and you’ve got yourself an upside down phone.  The red wires and their speaker used to be at the bottom of this phone.


Now solder a ¼” jack inline with the wires that lead to what was the earpiece of the phone.  The speaker is a powered device and requires a little more work than the earpiece, so we’ll leave it more or less alone.  It’s a good idea to add a good length of wire between the phone base and the handset, so while you’re sticking that jack inline toss a few feet of wire on it, too.


Don’t forget to lengthen the wires for the phone’s speaker as well.  We cannibalized the wiring harness of a Supra MKIV for this because it’s cool, but you can use anything, really.  That’s shrink tubing on the wires in the photo, and it’s your best friend.  Cut and strip the phone wire, slip two pieces of shrink tubing on a length of wire, solder that wire between the two ends of your phone wire, pop the tubing on the exposed solders and heat-shrink it on.  No more crappy electrical tape for this guy!


Let’s move on to phone #2, AKA the mic/monitor phone.  Gut the handset like the first time, and move the earpiece to the bottom again.  Make your life exciting by cutting the speaker for this phone right out.  Make sure to put safety ends on the loose speaker wires or you’ll start a fire on your face!  Solder a ¼” jack inline with the earpiece wires like you did last time, too.  Don’t forget to lengthen these wires as well!


This is a beautiful face.  On this beautiful face is a kid’s walkie-talkie headset that we’re going to repurpose as a mic.  Take apart the headset and get rid of everything that is not the mic, power supply and circuit board.


This is what you should have left over.  Drill a small hole into the phone and mount the mic on the inside, stringing the mic wires out through the hole.  If your hole is smaller than the mic you’ll have to cut the wires, thread them through and then stick ‘em back together.

  Now solder lines of wire onto both points of the circuit board where the mic is ported.  Make sure that these wires are as long as the ones extending from the phone base to the earpiece, and stick a jack at the end of these wires.

By soldering your mic jack output to the circuit board’s mic input you didn’t disrupt the power supply, which is probably for the best.  Make a bracket for the mic’s battery with some flashing that you had lying around by bending it into shape on the vice made by your machinist roommate.  It helps if the vice is painted to look like a Windwalker prop but it’s not necessary.


Now grab a helmet that you had kicking about and drill two holes the size of the outer diameter of your handsets’ threaded bits that the earpiece caps go on.  The thing I’m talking about is pointed out by an orange arrow in the first photo of this tutorial.  You’ll have to use a hole-saw for this so it’s best to ask an adult for help.


See?  If you do it right the holes look like this.


Now mount the power supply bracket to the helmet.

  Mount the circuit board somewhere close to the helmet’s face-hole so you can switch the mic on and off at will. Finally, take the caps off of the bottom of your handsets and put the handsets through the holes you drilled.  Now put the caps back on.  See how clever that is?

Your last bit of cleanup work is to drill holes in your phone bases for the jacks.  One hole for the dialling phone, and two for the mic/monitor phone.

Tada!  Now you can play phone conversations over a PA system.  When the dialing phone is hung up (you’ll have to use a stick or something to manually hang it up ’cuz the phone is now stuck to your face) you can turn on your mic in the other phone and sing folk songs, and “monitor” your band’s sound through the monitor!



© 2007 The Arbour Lake Sghool