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Make: Technology on Your Time Volume 25 by Mark Frauenfelder

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Vintage VoIP

Convert a classic 1930s telephone into a Skype phone.

BY ANDREW LEWIS

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Photograph by Andrew Lewis

I use Skype, but I’ve never liked the design of Skype phones. Their cheap, lightweight, plastic cases and shrill alarms can’t hold a candle to the sleek lines, comfortable heft, and melodic peal of older telephones. So I converted a 1930s Bakelite desk telephone to receive Skype calls. The new old phone detects when its receiver is off the hook, and its metal bells ring, just like they did in the phone’s previous life.

This project has 2 parts: converting the old telephone handset to work with a USB phone (aka Skype phone), and enabling ...

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