If you need a landline for work or home, why settle for a run of the mill gadget that you found at some generic store for $10? You could convert a military TA-1024A/U field telephone to act as your communication device instead, as hacker CuriousMarc shows in the video below.
The build starts out with Marc tearing down the unit, which comes apart easily save one screw underneath a sticker. Inside is some truly beautiful Mil-Spec hardware, with seals and board designs that were meant to withstand the rigors of combat use. One clever feature is that, rather than a physical hook button sticking out of the base, it has a reed switch inside actuated by the magnet that also powers the headset’s speaker. Sadly, this bit was replaced with a physical switch, and the keypad board was heavily modified to work with the innards of a cheap-o donor phone.
Once done, however, the project looks nearly stock, and Marc is able to connect it to the phone system not using a conventional plastic connector, but via two binding posts, similar to what you might find on a receiver/speaker setup. The phone also includes volume controls for the phone and ringer volumes, as well as a light the flashes when someone’s trying to get in touch with you.
If all of that wasn’t enough, the phone is even equipped with a row of curious buttons labeled “FO,” “F,” “I,” and “P.” These were at one time used to designate a priority of a call, with FO designated as “Flash Override” — not “freak out” or other words you might come up with — and to be used only by the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, or Joint Chiefs of Staff. So pretty serious. While most are not used, P is now set up as redial; likely to be used in much less strenuous situations that originally intended.