80s-Era Headset Gets a Bluetooth Upgrade

After attending a swap meet/retro giveaway event, hacker Quinn Dunki found the perfect headset for work: an 80s-era headset complete with…

Jeremy S. Cook
a year ago

After attending a swap meet/retro giveaway event, hacker Quinn Dunki found the perfect headset for work: an ’80s-era headset complete with a mic boom and its own distinct #36 emblazoned on the earpiece holders. While externally immaculate, the device’s functional state was largely unknown, and due to the decades old electronics inside, it was a bit heavy to actually wear on a constant basis.

Inspection revealed the headset to be some sort of two-way radio, meaning that her goal of converting it to a Bluetooth device wasn’t actually that far off from its original purpose. This also disclosed that little of the original hardware could be salvaged.

1980s components were swapped out for a Bluetooth audio breakout module, along with a LiPo battery and amplifier to power everything. After discovering that one of the original speakers was blown — and found to have a 260 ohm resistance rating — these were be replaced with new models. Finally, a custom set of control buttons was added to the top of the cans, which although tastefully done, meant that little if any of the original electronics were used.

While any thoughts of internal originally may not have been met, the larger goal of having an awesome and mostly original-looking headset definitely was. Be sure to check out the write-up for a look into how this kind of project progresses, and perhaps for tips if you’d like to try something similar yourself!

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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