Speaker from an MP3 player headphone with cord
MP3 player playing a 30-minute, custom-edited
Female insulated spade lugs ( 2) for earpiece
Male spade lugs ( 2) for headphone jack
Electrical tape to insulate connectors
Tape to cover the hole in the bottom of the phone
Counterpoint-music.com sells a
2-CD set of Judy’s self-recorded notes for her
Wire cutter/stripper/spade lug crimper all in one!
Saw, Dremel, or metal shears
First aid kit
Telephone table white metal with custom,
garishly upholstered padded seat
Vodka bottles ( 3) 1qt Gordon’s and 1pt
Seagram’s ( 2)
Tonic water can
Drinking glass, 8oz with garish gold and
Glass pill bottles ( 10) with custom labels in
Los Angeles (Mayer Drug Co.) ( 2)
New York (Luft Drug Store) ( 2)
London (Palladium Drug Co.) ( 6)
Large scarf in garish black and colored print
1b. Obtain or record your audio. The audio should
be longer than your audience’s attention span. The
Judy phone has 30 minutes of audio. You don’t want
your audience to hear a repeat; that’s just sloppy
dream sharing. Also, it might be nice to filter the
audio so it has the same limited frequency range
of a telephone, but it’s up to you.
1c. Get a small, cheap MP3 player, one that’s simple,
tiny, and has less than 1GB (Figure A). Find one at
a thrift store or on eBay. Avoid proprietary devices,
like Sony’s or Apple’s, that force you to download
software to use the device.
1d. Load the MP3 file onto the player (it helps if the
only file on the player is your Ghost Phone audio),
set the player to permanent loop/repeat, press play,
and you’re set.
152 Make: Volume
2. Replace the speaker in
You don’t want to use the existing telephone
speaker because speaker technology has advanced
considerably over the past 10 or so years. Also, the
analog telephone speaker’s impedance doesn’t
match an MP3 player’s.
2a. After you remove the telephone’s earpiece,
you’ll see that the speaker is screwed into the wiring
by 2 spade lugs. Remove the screws and toss the
2b. Take the headphones that work with your MP3
player and break off 1 earpiece, keeping about 3" of
the wire pair. Strip ½" of insulation from the end of
2c. Crimp 2 insulated female spade lugs onto
the speaker wires (Figure B), then plug the male
and female spade lugs together (Figure C). No bare
wires should be visible. Check for shorts. Wrap it
up with electrical tape.
3. Connect the audio plug to the
telephone’s terminal strip.
3a. Take what remains of the broken headphones,
and cut off the wires about 12" above the plug.
As you can see, the sleeve for the headphone wires
contains 3 conductors: left, right, and common.
You need to join the left and right wires.
To find out which is which, plug the audio plug into
the MP3 player and join 2 of the 3 wires together.
Take these 2 conductors and touch them to the
speaker. If it plays, then permanently twist the wires
together. If not, untwist and try another combination.
Still not working? Untwist and try the third possible
3b. Once you’ve figured out the wiring, crimp on
male spade lugs.
3c. Take the cover off the phone and look for the
main terminal strip. It’s under the handset cradle.
I’m pointing to it with my favorite yellow screwdriver
NOTE: All phones are not the same, so some
experimentation may be in order.