Building walkie talkies

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Fizbin, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking for a tutorial or some help on constructing the guts of a pair of walkie talkies.

    I don't really need anything hi-tech and the range doesn't even have to be great. Actually, all I need is a basic send/receive set up that runs on a 9 volt or AA batteries... nothing complecated. But, it does have to be no larger than 3" tall, 3" wide and 1" thick. If anyone knows of a cheap retail kit, that would be even better.

    Any thoughts? :confused
     
  2. clonesix

    clonesix Sr Member

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    can you buy a set of 2-way and rip the guts out?
     
  3. Bobster

    Bobster Active Member

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    clonesix has the right idea. I build electronic things and would do as he recommended. For about $20 you can get a cheap set and for $35 to $40 there are the nice Motorola ones. If you still want to build them the best direction would be to look at back issues of QST magazine or Radio Electronics. When I was a kid there were projects like that in Radio Electronics. They still exist in some microfilm collections. QST is current and I see things like this regularly there. Another option is a kit from Jameco or Digikey.

    Another idea, try Radio Shack. They sometimes have things like this in the electronics section for five or ten bucks.

    Regards,

    Bobby
     
  4. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    I thought about using the guts from a set of existing walkie talkies, but most of what you find these days consist of digital parts and have more features than what I actually need. :cry

    Just a one or two button send/receive mechanism is quite adequate for this project so, I'll give the suggestions that Bobster mentioned and see what I can come up with. If anyone else is interested in my findings, lmk and I'll post the results.

    Thanks :)
     
  5. Bobster

    Bobster Active Member

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    Try this one out. I went to Toys are us. It took a min to find, but they are Little Tikes WT for 9.99.

    http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?p...rentPage=family

    They are the right price and well made. I am going to have to pick up a set to play with at that price. No extra stuff just the radio part.

    Regards,

    Bobby
     
  6. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    Well, after endless searching on the net, I couldn't find anything suitable for my needs. So, I headed down to my local Toys-R-Us and bought the "Little Tikes" pair of walkie talkies.

    Unfortunately, they are utter pieces of crap. There's nothing but static at all times and you can only hear a garbled voice, no matter how close you are to the other person. At first I thought they were defective so, I did some review research on Amazon.com and found that everyone had the same experience. Needless to say, these are going back to the store for a refund. :thumbsdown

    TRU has a few other walkie talkie sets that I'm going to test, since I can't seem to find any reviews of them online. Wish me luck. :)
     
  7. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    Well if you don't like the static and sorts, I believe your best bet is going to be going the FSR/GMRS route for about $25-$30 a pair... Almost all "toy" walkie talkies have a crap load of static on them, the FSR/GMRS are way overkill probably but they are FAR superior in every aspect...
     
  8. Bobster

    Bobster Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(alteregos @ Jul 8 2006, 10:50 PM) [snapback]1277037[/snapback]</div>
    I am sorry to hear that. I hope the others work out.

    Bobby
     
  9. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    exoray:
    Yeah, the static is a minor problem, I'm more concerned with getting an ungarbled voice when receiving. I have a couple of FRS units with digital frequency readouts on them somewhere around here so, I'll dig them up and take a peek inside. At this point, I'll eventually figure out how to build my own by studying other walkie talkie guts, then I can just order the parts I need.

    Bobster:
    No worries, bro. Not every lead pans out and I'm not placing anyone at fault (well, except maybe Little Tikes :lol ). After all, how could you have known? Hopefully my experience will at least save you from a trip back to TRU. ;)
     
  10. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    <div class='quotetop'></div>
    Well, most of the ones you crack open will have proprietary ICs and won't teach you anything really...

    In truth building your own isn't cost effective... You will probably easily drop $100 getting something of equal quality to the LT ones you purchased... But, good luck on your quest...
     
  11. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'></div>
    Yeah, I was afraid that comment was going to rear its big ugly head sooner or later. :lol

    Well, you can't blame a guy for tryin', I guess. It just amazes me how few people actually build stuff like this anymore. Seems you can't find resources for even the most simple of materials for DIY hobbiests in this day and age. Am I just old or has the world gotten lazy? :(
     
  12. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    <div class='quotetop'></div>
    We live in a day and age of cheap MASS produced items, you simply can't purchase the raw parts cheap enough... You can source most of the items you are looking for and even plans, but you will find that transmitter circuits are kind of "taboo" in the DIY field as without the right equipment and sorts you are bound to create real world radio interference that violates FCC guidelines... Not a big issue all in all but no DIY magazine wants to have the FCC's finger pointed at them for providing "pirate" radio equipment...

    I'm not saying that the plans are not out there and can't be sourced it's just that you won't find many and you won't find many people that will help you along...

    Also once you start to source parts you will see what buying power like the big Asian electronics markets have, you literally pay pennies on the dollar for componets in 10,000 lots verses 100 lots, and single unit cost is just plain whacked...

    I don't know if I would call in lazy just economical, kit bashing mass produced electronics can save you a fortune on some designs...
     
  13. Fizbin

    Fizbin Well-Known Member

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    Isn't technology wonderful? :angry

    But I suppose you're right, things really have changed in the electronics field, which makes simple gadget projects like this virtually impractical. I predict that soon the "fan made" market for working props will be a lost art due to those very reasons. :cry
     

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