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10-14-2008

Cheap Headset and Broken Cellphone = SkypeCell

For this first Instructable, I'll show you a recent hack I made.

I had a cheap malfunctioning headset and a broken cellphone (cracked screen) and I needed a reliable solution to make calls with Skype... so I combined two ready-for-trash items in a good SkypeCell!

A) If you are wealthy:

  • A brand new cellphone with cool "calling" features: MP3, video, internet, etc.
  • A brand new well-performing headset
  • Some basic tools (small screw drivers, knife, soldering station, etc.)

And you will end up with a so-so quality PC phone...

A) If you are !wealthy:

  • An old and/or broken cellphone (LG in my case)
  • A cheap headset (chinese crap bought on eBay in my case)
  • Some basic tools (small screw drivers, knife, soldering station, etc.)

And you will end up with a better quality PC phone :)

You'll need to completely dismount the cellphone. I used a small knife to pry the cover and to remove the small rubbers. With a Philips screw driver, I removed all the small screws. Then I forced the opening of the case with a small knife.

What you will do depends a lot on the brand and the model of your phone.

For the headset, it's really simple: just cut the two 3.5 mm jack from the rest. Keep as much wire as needed. Strip of the insulators off each wire (about 2 mm).

First, you need to find the speaker in the phone. It's usually located near where you place your ear (what a coincidence!). Then you will find its 2 connections to the PC board.

Second, you need to find the microphone in the phone. It's usually located near where you place your mouth (another coincidence!). Then you will find its 2 connections to the PC board.

Now, you need to examine the phone to locate 1 or 2 places where you can enter the wires in the phone. I used an old tip on my soldering station to melt the case plastic, then I inserted the wires in the phone.

I will assume that you now have a dismounted cellphone (PC boards exposed) and a green 3.5mm jack with 2 wires connected.

Solder the 2 wires from the plug on the speaker's PCB connections.

At this time, you can test this half-finished project by plugging in it in a PC. If you can listen phone-quality music by holding the speaker near your ear, it's good!

I will assume that you now have a dismounted cellphone (PC boards exposed) and a pink 3.5mm jack with 2 wires connected.

Solder the 2 wires from the plug on the microphone's PCB connections, or directly on the mic.

At this time, you can test this almost-finished project by plugging in it in a PC. I used the free Test Call from Skype to test it. If you're able to talk and listen back, it's working.

You can secure the connections with some electrical tape. You then need to reassemble the phone.

It sounds easy... now do it ;)

There is nothing more to say than: use it. You'll probably be pleased by the enhanced quality (in comparison to the original headset).

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