Jun 06, 2023, 07:28 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Paul G's NST in Norway

Started by pgordon, Apr 05, 2021, 01:14 pm

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Jul 26, 2021, 02:07 pm #60 Last Edit: Jul 26, 2021, 02:17 pm by pgordon
So I'm back even sooner than I thought... despite the fact I'm supposed to be working today, I couldn't resist getting started on the remaining to-do list, to wit I'm looking at what I can do with the phone...

The handset is going to be the tricky part I think...

It appears to be a single moulding... I can't discern any join lines in the body of it, so I think there's no way of opening the whole thing up, so it will have to be entirely keyhole surgery...

Removing the screw-on caps on both ends reveals a little of what's inside...


The revision I want to make is to put a proper speaker in the earpiece, I've no plans to add a mic to the mouthpiece, but I'll need that opening for access. Without removing any of the internals I can see I have a about 40mm diameter to play with:


This metal part has a void which is 17mm deep, but is filled with magnets & mounting parts which are pretty well fixed in place (looks like 4 rivets, and perhaps some spot welds?) - I guess they made things properly in 1949...

I can remove that entire metal part from the earpiece...


That gives substantially more room to play with, but the main problem with dispensing with that part is that it provides the threads for the outer cover to screw on to, so I'd have to fashion another way to hold the cover in place. I think I can 'fettle' those magnets & mounts out of there and keep that part in place, - I think 17mm depth is still enough for a modern mini speaker...

The other problem is that behind this metal part, the body of the earpiece is not open, so I don't have easy access to the hollow interior of the handle... I could dremel some of that out for sure - perhape remove that indented rectangular area, but perhaps I don't need to... - I was assuming I'd need to feed wires up inside the handle from the mouthpiece to the earpiece, but it looks like there are 2 connectors built in to the body of the handset - the 2 brass circles in the back of the earpiece must be connected internally to 2 of the connecting posts in the mouthpiece (I'll test this with a meter shortly), In which case I should be able to use the existing solder tags inside the metal insert to connect to my new speaker, then I only have to connect the amp to the posts in the mouthpiece. that would make life a while lot easier...

The cable from the phone enters the mouthpiece at the bottom. There are 3 wires within the braided cable, and all of them screwed to binding posts within the mouthpiece:


I was (am?) planning to replace this cable completely - there is some wear in the outer braid in one place, so I don't know if any of the 3 cables inside are damaged - perhaps I can get away with the OEM cable so long as at least 2 cores are good...

I'm looking at something like this for the speaker, - unless I can find something suitable in my spares pile...

Will update again when I make some progress...



Looks great.  Top notch. 

Yeah, that's kind of the problem with building a TARDIS:  you learn all kinds of things about how to build a better TARDIS, but 99% of people never have an excuse to build a second TARDIS. 

I like all the bells and whistles you've added. 

That's another problem with building a TARDIS--especially if you do a good job:  All that's left is maintenance.  It's kind of boring.  If you get a bunch of stuff wrong (fixable stuff) then you have things to go back and work on.  I've lost count of how many tweaks I did to my signal lamp before I settled on its final(?) look. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Jul 26, 2021, 03:24 pm #62 Last Edit: Jul 26, 2021, 03:49 pm by pgordon
I may be in a minority then, since I plan on NOT taking this box with me when I move house, which I plan to do in some 5-ish years or so. And I definitely want a new TARDIS wherever I end up, so I fully expect to build my 2nd TARDIS within a decade...

Next time round I will make the base out of concrete, and I may look into using a sheet material called asphalt plate for the walls... the next house will also have a much larger workshop, and if I get my way, a barn...

the NEXT one will be much better. :-)




Quote from: pgordon on Jul 26, 2021, 03:24 pm...I plan on NOT taking this box with me when I move house, which I plan to do in some 5-ish years or so.

That will make for a very interesting selling point to any future buyers!  I wonder how a real estate agent will address that?

"Along with the spacious patio, you'll also be getting this distinctive, uh, storage shed.  Yes, let's call it that."

"A storage shed?  Then why does it have an antiquated phone which, when I pick up the hand set, I hear the haunting, ghostly voice of a child asking if I'm his mummy?!"


HAHAHA! This little audio board is brilliant and lots of fun...

First thing I had to do was to solder on these headers...


Get the iron hot & the helping hands ready...


It's been many years since I last did any soldering, and my first couple weren't quite as neat as my last couple...


However, I've got it up & running ready for testing on the bench. It's a line-level output on this model, so it has to go through an amplifier, so I've jury-rigged a connection to a set of powered PC speakers.


There are 8 trigger inputs on this board, but since I'm planning to use the hookflash button on the phone, I'll only need to use one of the triggers. Fortunately, even with only one trigger, I can still have it play up to 10 different audio files either randomly or in sequence - all controlled by nothing more than the filenames I use for the files..

I've got 6 or 7 files on it currently, and I'm playing them in random order... each press of the button plays 1 audio file in a pseudo-random order - by which I mean it always plays ALL of the available files - in whichever order, before it will replay the same file over, so it shouldn't ever play the same file twice in succession - which could happen if it were truly random.

So here's the thing... the VERY first file I thought of was "Are you my mummy" and I certainly have that one on there...

But what else to use? - so this is my appeal to the collective for recommendations for "suitable" audio files... this can be any bit of dialog from any episode of the show, but I'm looking for things that would be "right" to hear when picking up the phone... I've also got the "Don't blink" speech by DT which sort of works...

clips should be:

Spoken dialog that might reasonably be said on the phone
Free from background music or too much effects noise
not too long... up to about 30 seconds say...

The other ones I've got on there - for now - are perhaps not the best, I've got a couple of Dalek phrases, a Cyberman phrase, a Sontaran phrase

So let's have it!

Oh, and I only need recommendations, not actual audio files... if you can suggest the episode name and roughly a timecode for where in the episode it appears, I can go & find it & record it myself...


Paul G.


Next job... I've taken a Dremel to the back of that metal part which I needed to keep in place to provide the threads to screw the earpiece cover on... removing the back gives me a good bit more depth to work with, so I'm sure I'll have no problem finding a speaker to fit in there.


I also confirmed with the multimeter that the 2 screw points in the earpiece cavity are indeed connected down the handle to 2 of the screw terminals in the mouthpiece, so it will be trivially easy to connect the speaker - just wire the 2 terminals to the solder tags that are already present on the 2 screw holes - which of course I didn't cut out, then connect my amplifier outputs to the 2 terminals in the mouthpiece.

Talking of amplifier, I'm going to need to either purchase a separate amplifier board to go with this sound board, - OR, I'm quite tempted to buy another sound board with an amp built in... - I can certainly always make use of these boards... I may want another as the main FX board for the TARDIS as a whole.... I'm just using the PC currently, but that's completely manual - i.e. double-clicking on a sound file in Windows explorer. Using one of these boards would allow me to take triggers to automate some things... - I could have a magnetic door sensor hooked to the trigger pins to automatically play a sound whenever the door is opened and/or closed - the sensors I have provide both NO and NC outputs, so I can connect them to 2 soundboard triggers & detect both open and close states, and play a different sound for each.