Cramming Bluetooth headset circuitry into an analog telephone body has become an extremely popular hack. With declines in the prices of these headsets, and older telephones being seen as storage-room-clutter this hack is just waiting for you to get started. Join us after the break for a look at what others have already accomplished.
The most common Bluetooth handset hack involves standard receivers. This is because they are relatively comfortable to hold and readily available. Chances are someone you know will give you an old phone for free if you just ask. Some of the important things to remember when sandwiching a Bluetooth headset into an old school handset is how to handle the buttons and how to charge the device. Some of these examples have routed the buttons and connector into the case of the phone, others just require the removal of the microphone cap for recharging. There’s no doubt that receivers #1, #2, #3, and #4 all achieve the desired retro look.
We’ve covered both of these hacks before. The whimsical iGiveUp handgun handset is a social disaster waiting to happen. But if you don’t mind court-mandated counseling give it a try yourself. For those who want a phone that can be used at the airport, the NES set is a safe bet and has the added bonus of allowing you to carry around an old school controller.
We were quite surprised that we didn’t find more hacks that involve some really old phones. Then again, these are antiques that most would not dream of cracking open. This candlestick phone looks great, but we image it’s not as comfortable to use as the more common receivers we saw earlier.
These aren’t handsets and one of them doesn’t have any electronics in it at all! But we couldn’t finish this roundup without a mention of the Steam Punk styled Bluetooth headset. The earpiece on the right is a piece of jewelry by designer [Chris Cobalt]. Truthfully, we’re kind of sick of seeing people wearing ugly plastic headsets everywhere they go. Make a statement and use [Chris'] design as inspiration to customize your dongle.
Handset hacks turned out to be so popular that they’ve started to pop up on the commercial market. Above are two of the better renditions. On the left is a rotary phone model from SparkFun. To the right are two examples of Think Geek’s offering. There’s plenty more out there on eBay and the like, but don’t you want to be able to say “actually, I made it” when people ask where you got your geeky peripheral?