DIY Tuesday: ‘Star Trek’ communicator

Bluetooth communicator!

Bluetooth communicator!

As everybody who ever met me can tell you, I’m a geek, a nerd, a complete chump for any and all pop culture detritus that strikes my whimsy, especially anything from prior to the early ’80s. One thing I’ve always wanted and could never have was a cell phone that was also a replica of the Star Trek communicator from the original ’60s iteration of the show. You’d think this was a no-brainer, and that cellphone manufacturers would be having knife-fights in front of Paramount to get the license to make such a thing, but you’d be wrong. Hasn’t happened. Probably won’t.

There are some difficulties to making a communicator into a functional phone, which probably explains why nobody’s making them; first, there’s no place to put the keyboard. When the lid is flipped open, there is a collection of geegaws and fiddlybits that have to be there in order for it to look like a real communicator. I suppose they could be on a removable panel that covers the keyboard, but that would be inelegant and cumbersome. But Diana Eng at Make Magazine’s blog has come up with a perfect work-around; instead of making a phone, she made a Bluetooth device that links to a phone. Genius.

A bit daunting....

A bit daunting….

My pal Mordechai over at Techcitement found this and shared it with me, and now I’m sharing it with you: here is a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own Bluetooth Star Trek communicator. It looks fairly easy, if a little daunting; it involves a lot of little electronic components and some soldering, so it may be a bit out of the average person’s depth, in which case, you should simply look around for a nerdy hobbyist you can send this to, then beg, plead, implore, cajole, grovel and bribe (especially bribe) until they consent to assemble it for you.

Hailing frequencies are open, Captain!




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