DIY: How To Turn Your Old Cell Into A VOIP Skype Handset

DIY: How To Turn Your Old Cell Into A VOIP Skype Handset

Range Govindan
Oct 9, 2008

Who hasn't got an old cell phone lying around? Almost all of us do, since we change cell phones every other year. There are programs by service carriers to recycle phones, but there are other things that you can do with those old phones, like turning them into a Skype handset. We love skype, but the headsets aren't always the best to use. There are dedicated USB/VOIP phones out there, that you will simply need to plug into your computer, but how about creating your own for a lot cheaper? Instructables author JFDuval did the same thing with his old phone. Here's how he did it.

This is a really good way of reusing two items that were destined for the trash bin. It's also a reliable way of making Skype calls. The two main items needed for this project are an old cell phone and a cheap headset that you might have around. This project requires a small bit of soldering and case opening, but the call quality and the comfort on the ears is noticeably improved.

It's a great way to reuse, recycle and save money while creating something useful at the same time.What's really amazing is that call quality improved significantly when using a basic phone, more than if you were using a newer model phone.

Items needed
- An old and/or broken cellphone (LG in his case)
- A cheap headset (Chinese he bought on eBay in my case)
- Some basic tools (small screw drivers, knife, soldering station, etc.)

You'll need to disassemble the phone and cut the wire in order to proceed. Have someone who's comfortable with those types of things help you if you are really nervous about doing this. However, you have to remember that even if you aren't successful in your build, in the worst case scenario, you'll just end up throwing it away, which was what you were going to do in the beginning. Playing around this way with the phone is something that anyone who's studied electricity can do easily. This can be an electrical engineering student, to a someone in IT to just a DIY enthusiast.

This build requires only two solders, so you can test your progress while you work. The phone connects to your PC via the audio and microphone jacks. While you work on it, you can set-up your Skype to test it out. It's a basically sound and easy build, which should make you comfortable with working with some electronics.

Here is his step-by-step tutorial from Instructables. Here is a link to the manual which you can download in PDF form.

[photos by JFDuval]

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