As a kid, you probably held objects up to your head in order to “make phone calls,” whether this be a banana as a joke, or perhaps a calculator as something that could perhaps trick those that weren’t looking closely. Taking this several steps further, what if you were actually able to make phone calls with your calculator? This may seem like a silly idea on the surface, but, YouTuber BoomBrush actually was able to hack his TI-84 into a functional phone.
While you might be thinking that sourcing and rearranging the needed parts for a phone into a calculator’s housing isn’t that impressive, his build can not only send and receive calls, but retains its original calculator functionality. Phone control is via the calculators original buttons, using the port on the top of the calculator. This interfaces with the Arduino and SIM5320E cellular module stuffed inside the calc’s housing. In order to produce the needed voltage, BoomBrush somehow even found room for two additional AAA batteries.
While impressive, the calculator doesn’t “quite” look stock with these additions. A cable protrudes from the top of the TI-84 constantly, and the device is sealed via electrical tape on the bottom, allowing for a tiny bit more room inside. While it can make and receive calls, the speaker doesn’t work correctly when connected, meaning only one-way communication is currently possible. Even with these limitations, it’s pretty awesome that this could be done.