Hacking a vintage phone into an old VW minibus to use as a kids/driver intercom


26 Responses to “Hacking a vintage phone into an old VW minibus to use as a kids/driver intercom”

  1. Funk Daddy says:



    Hands free or gtfo.

    LoL, j/k I know it’s not for actual use.

  2. jnordb says:

    I miss the VW bus my parents had when I was a kid….

    • Funk Daddy says:

      Like a home away from home.

      But the older they got the crankier they seemed… especially transmission wise 

      In 03 I got stuck on a steep uphill in Seattle by a stop light in thick traffic, too it out of gear by habit, realized I would need several feet of rollback to get it back into gear… sweat city.

  3. zotlerg says:

    How to get arrested for using a phone whilst driving! Part 1.

    • Michael Ellis Day says:

      Clearly this is intended for use by a nondriving second adult in the front passenger seat, not the driver?  After all, without a ringing phone, the only way a front occupant would know someone in the rear wanted to initiate communication would be by turning around and looking in the back — not something to do when driving at 50 MPH.  And besides, if there wasn’t a second adult in the front passenger seat, why not have the kid sitting there?

      • Funk Daddy says:

        Well, I’m pretty sure someone right behind you can initiate communication without a ringing phone… aren’t you sure of that now too? :)

        But yeah it’s clearly for funsies not for while driving.

    • Richard Dagenais says:

      Where do they arrest people for traffic violations?

  4. bcsizemo says:

    I think it’s kind of sad that my kids will probably never experience a home land line or the joy of dialing your own number, hanging up, and then laughing as your parents answer and no one is there.

  5. Stephan says:

    More important question: Where are the seatbelts?
    “…while we’re flying down the highway…”

  6. AirPillo says:

    The VW minibus isn’t *that* old if it’s on a 12V system. Vintage VWs had 6V electrical systems.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      45 years old is still pretty old.  Few families still drag their families around in 47-horsepower tin cans with optional seat belts.

  7. Hey, I have a phone! Can he make a minibus from it for me?

  8. hobomike says:

    …Or, you could just put in some insulation. What I wanted for my bus was an auto-pilot so I could go back to grab a beer without pulling over.

  9. Richard Eldred says:

    90vAC should trip the ringer, it does for Australian phones at least :-)

  10. Richard Dagenais says:

    You could just insulate the van so it isn’t so loud.

  11. Ramone says:

    So where do you guys live that you assume it’s illegal for everyone to use a handheld phone if you’re driving? In the Great North, there’s no law against it (yet). I imagine there are plenty of other places where talking on a non-hands-free phone is still legal.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Aw, there are those who would frown on driving kids around in a VW bus in the first place.  No airbags, no crumple zones, geared for a top speed of ~65mph, heater that burns gasoline… if I drove my kids to their preschool in one of these, somebody there would probably call the cops.  Who would probably respond to the call via their radio, with a handset.  Or are the fuzz all into the Bluetooth these days?

  12. jamsie says:

    Very cool idea, and I like using the old phone equipment. 

  13. Tim Downing says:

    You usually send 100 V AC through the same pair to get the phone to ring.  Ever been working on the line when someone calls in?
    The yellow/black pairs don’t carry the ring current.  They carry the signals for a second line.  You could add a fax machine to your van.

Leave a Reply