Rotary phone-light-amp could be filed under bizarre

[Samimy's] latest project is a little strange, but one man’s weird is another man’s wonderful so we’re not about to start criticizing his work. Nope, we’re here to praise the fact that his rotary phone turned reading light and audio amp is very well constructed.

He started by removing the phone housing. Those old enough to have used one of these devices will remember their bulk, and there’s a lot of unused space in both the handset and body housing. [Samimy] started by removing the speaker and microphone from the handset, and drilling a ring of holes to receive white LEDs. The circuit was wired so that lifting the handset turns on the lights.

But he didn’t stop there. A set of speakers and the audio amplifier circuitry from an old tape deck are also hiding inside the base of the phone. If you look closely in the image above you can see that he’s connected his cellphone and is listening to some tunes through the antique hardware. Take a gander at the video after the break to see construction and use of the project.

Comments

  1. aztraph says:

    Nice, I wonder if i could do that with my old snoopy phone?

  2. Guest says:

    Speak into the light, Carol Anne….

  3. oodain says:

    sweet,

    now i only need to find a nice way of coloring the phone police box blue,

    that and audio playing the doctor who theme when i lift it :P

  4. nutwiss says:

    +1 for recycling old mobile phone batteries!!

    -10 for (apparently) failing to include a balancer, PCM or proper LiPo charger. (according to schematic and my eagle-ish eyes). Cue hilarious LiPo fire!

    Other than that, could do with a touch more polish, but a really nice, practical idea! Good stuff!

    • Sven says:

      Most cell phone LiPo have either a protection circuit or are constructed in such a way as to prevent current rush and fire. Most have protection circuits though.

      Charging a protected cell by just plugging it into a 5V wall charger works fairly well, the wall charger will limit it’s current by design, and the battery will cut off as it reaches it’s top voltage. You will only get something like 70% charge if charging at 1C, but it will work.

      • macegr says:

        That protection circuit is a last line of defense, in case the external charger and protection fails. The logic being that both will probably not fail at the same time. Using an internal protection as your primary failsafe is not advised.

    • Whatnot says:

      It’s not a portable phone so why not simply use an adapter without any batteries is what I’m wondering about.

  5. steve says:

    Awesome. I really love that! Really creative!

  6. qwerty says:

    Using that handset like it still was a phone would make a nice effect for some scifi movie.

  7. t&p says:

    Oh wow! There would be bonus points if he taped into free electricity via the phone company! I think that should work even if you don’t have the service.

    • N0LKK says:

      While I’m not %100 on it. I doubt without subscribing for service, that the pair leading to your home would be connect at the exchange end, to have current available at the serviced end. With miles long lines there’s bound to be some leakage, thus unnecessary expense I do have 3 unused pairs on my property, so guess I could go out to see if any of them are “live”, but not this afternoon.

    • N0LKK says:

      I don’t think I’d go as far as labeling it bizarre, different yes, but not bizarre. Not everyone’s project is destined to be duplicate by others. Samimy went whole hog to make this a feature rich hack, something he did here may be bound to be duplicated

  8. Hackerspacer says:

    Hey Sam, your phone in your guest room is broken. Whenever anybody calls, all I get is white noise.

    • NewCommentor1283,ihatetorx says:

      hahahahahahah so funny,

      and way cool creation, i’d throw on at least a resistor on the charging tho.

      PS: tl431c.pdf to me seems like a cheap and simple voltage limiter; assuming u have the above mentioned resistor… it needs < 100ma charge current, can use standard transistor to push that farther into the 200ma-400ma region where it usually sits on cellphones usually I THINK.

      "I THINK" mesans get a bucket of SAND and NOT WATER … youtube it… "lion overcharge" or "lipo overcharge"

      i would assume cellphones also have a miniture fuse that looks like a surfacemount diode, i might be wrong

  9. ss says:

    Really?

  10. I like what he’s done here. Very few of us would choose exactly the same project, but the idea of these kinds of custom mods is inspirational. I also like that this is an attainable mod. A lot of the things on this site are above my skill level, but not all of them. I was once featured on this site for an iPod remote for my blind father-in-law that was fairly simple electronically but super useful and I got huge number of positive comments. I wanted to return the favor. This is a great hack in the spirit of great hardware hacks.

  11. yetihehe says:

    He should add rgb diodes and speech recognition. Then set it up so that when he picks up the handset and asks “Yellow?” he gets proper color ;)

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