Fairytale Phone

The Fairytale Phone is one of my first Raspberry Pi Projects I have made. I had already published this on my Blog makerblog.ch, but now this will be a more in depth instruction to build the Phone.

The finished phone will be able to play 10 different MP3 Files (In my case fairytales) with every number chosen from the dial.

You will need the following items to create the phone:

  • An old Rotary Dialer Phone
  • Raspberry Pi (A, A+, B, B+.. are all OK)
  • 5Volt 1Ampere USB Power Supply
  • SD Card with Raspbian
  • Soldering Equipment
  • Some Wires

    In Step 1 we will disassemble the Phone first.

    Step 1: Scrap the parts from your Old phone

    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone

    Disassemble your old phone until you get all the Parts shown in the pictures. Make sure you don't cut the wires from the rotary dialer. With the Raspberry Pi, the Power Supply and the SD Card that makes all the main parts you will need.

    Step 2: Solder the telephone earcap to the Headphone Jack

    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone

    Unscrew the telephone earcap protection in order to find the two wires from the earcap and solder these directly to the under side of the Headphone Jack from the Raspberry Pi as shown in the picture. Be sure to test the audio after the soldering.

    Step 3: Solder the Rotary Dialer to the GPIO Outputs.

    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone
    Fairytale Phone

    First find the wires wich close the dialer cirquit and do not click (In my case that where the yellow and the blue wire) Solder one of each pairs to the Ground Pin (14) in my case this is the yellow and the pink wire and one of each circuit to the Pins 12 and 16

    Step 4: Mount the Raspberry Pi

    Fairytale Phone

    Mount the Raspberry Pi in the phone. Since there are many ways to mount the phone I suggest you find your best choice for yourself. I used some distance bolts and screws.

    Step 5: Install the software

    Boot up the RaspberryPi and login. First update your Repositories:

    sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y

    Install Python3, Python GPIO and mpg123

    sudo apt-get install python3 python3-gpio mpg123

    Create a file in /usr/bin

    sudo nano /usr/bin/phone

    Copy the following code from this Gist to /usr/bin/phone:


    Make /usr/bin/phone executable:

    sudo chmod a+x /usr/bin/phone

    Copy your MP3 Files to /media, rename them to 1.mp3, 2.mp3 ... 10.mp3

    Test your phone first :


    Update /etc/rc.local

    sudo nano /etc/rc.local

    and insert bevor exit 0;

    /usr/bin/./phone &

    Step 6: Aaand your done :)

    Fairytale Phone

    If your phone works put the shell back on and enjoy.


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