Hack an Old Payphone Into a Boombox That Plays ’90s Songs

Before the days of mobile devices, those who grew up in ’90s had to rely upon finding a payphone to call someone when out and about. So…

Hackster Staff
3 years agoMusic

Before the days of mobile devices, those who grew up in ’90s had to rely upon finding a payphone to call someone when out and about. So what do you do with this obsolete piece of technology? You hack it into a fully-functional boombox that spins, you guessed it, ’90s hits.

This is exactly what “digital alchemist” Fuzzy Wobble did using an old-school payphone that he bought online. To bring his “90 From The ’90s Boombox” to life, he used an Arduino Mega, an Adafruit MP3 Maker Shield, a 20W amplifier, a 20W speaker, and some other components.

There’s also rangefinder that detects whenever someone is nearby, triggering the phone to ring and tempting someone to pick it up. (Becuase after all, a ringing phone has to be answered doesn’t it?)

Upon answering the call, Fuzzy Wobble programmed the phone to play a recorded menu along with instructions on how to select one of several pre-loaded songs. Hitting the star key sends the device into broadcast mode.

But here’s where the real magic happens. Attached there is a mini booklet filled with images of ’90s singles — including Coolio, the Offspring, Sugar Ray, Semisonic, LFO, and countless others — each with a four-digit code on the back. A user punches in the number and the payphone begins to blast the nostalgic jam.

You can check out Fuzzy Wobble’s entire build here, and see it in action below!

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