Using old phones as an intercom in your VW bus (or anywhere else)

In case you haven’t noticed from my many comments on the subject, I drive a VW bus. It is a 1976 Westfalia camper with sage green paint and green plaid upholstery. I absolutely love it and so does the rest of my family. We go for drives in the country as well as camping regularly. We have found that the kids have a hard time communicating with us while we’re going higher speeds. These things aren’t the quietest automobiles in the world. Pushing this bread loaf shaped hunk of steel down the road with an engine that might top out at 75hp results in wind noise, engine noise, and of course, vibration.

I decided to employ a really old hack to put two functional telephones in the bus so my kids can talk to my wife (or whoever the passenger is) without screaming quite so loud. This hack is extremely easy, fairly cheap, and can be done in just a few minutes. The result is a functional intercom that you could use pretty much anywhere!

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Hacking your car’s multifunction display

attiny_mfa_switcher

[Steve] has an older third generation VW Golf, and as those who have owned one surely know, the beloved VR6 engine is wonderful but finicky. He says that the VR6 is particularly picky when it comes to oil temperature, so his daily routine involves hitting the MFA switch five times upon starting his car to bring up the oil temp in the display. This obviously gets old after awhile, so he rigged up a small circuit to do the switching for him.

He pulled the gauge cluster from the dash and then located the pins that correspond to the MFA display switch. Using an ATtiny12, he put together a small circuit that toggles the switch for him automatically each time he starts the car. Since his solution uses so few parts, he was easily able to tuck his creation behind the gauge cluster before reinstalling it.

Now each time he gets in his car, he is quickly greeted with the engine’s oil temp without having to fuss with his display.

Electric VW mobile photobooth

evbus

[Soren Coughlin-Glaser] runs a mobile photobooth in the Portland area. It’s built inside of an electric Volkswagen bus. The conversion to electric hasn’t been easy though. He’s spent most of the last few months rebuilding it after an electrical fire. Last fall he installed a 9 inch electric motor from Hi-Torque Electric after his smaller one blew up. We really like this project and look forward to seeing it back on the road… once he replaces his stripped transmission coupler.

[via Boing Boing Gadgets]

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