talkiepi: A Raspberry Pi Walkie-Talkie

talkiepi walkietalkie

talkiepi is a single-button, push-to-talk walkie-talkie build that allows users to talk with their friends easily over WiFi, without the confusion of frequency dials, random buttons, and all the other clicky, turny, pushy options that caused me to break my own walkie-talkies as a child.

Talkiepi

It’s the brainchild of Daniel Chote, native New Zealander, self-proclaimed Code Monkey and all-round Wonder Dad, currently residing in the USA.

Whereas many parents would simply hop on the internet and purchase their kids a set of walkie-talkies, Daniel decided to make his own.

SPOILERS, SWEETIE. Though not without good reason… for many reported that his son was stuck within a parallel universe… of sorts, literally trapped within their mutual space… kinda… ish. It’s like a tightrope walker but upside down? I think that’s what they said. And… hmmm… oh yeah, he’s only able to communicate via fairy lights and walkie-talkie technology and… eeeerr… I think I need to watch that show again. SPOILERS, SWEETIE.

The talkiepi can be built with or without an enclosure. Though Daniel uses a 3D printer to complete the build, you could use the components as they are, though they wouldn’t look half as good and would be a pain to make portable. But forgoing the case at the start will help you get a better idea of how everything works… so get a little naked to begin with.

Once you’re ready to put everything together, Daniel has provided the files needed for the print. Or, for added awesome, you could utilise any tin or Eggo box you have lying around. 

I’ll have Eleven Eggos, please…

Daniel cannibalised a USB speakerphone for sound and voice, installed a Raspberry Pi 3 in the casing and used a handful of components he already had, including a GPIO header connector, nuts and bolts, and LEDs. A push button with built-in LED acts as the means of activating the talk function of the talkiepi. 

talkiepi

The software for the device runs primarily on Mumble. Mumble allowed Daniel to create groups for the talkiepi, meaning that only those within the group could communicate. And with the added benefit of the Mumble app, those without the talkiepi can still join in with the fun via a smartphone or computer. All you need can be found at Daniel’s GitHub page.

We really like the fun factor of this build. It’s clean, simple and easy to use. On a larger scale, the system could work within more ‘grown up’, professional locations to allow for an easy method of communication. But for now, we’re working out how quickly we can build a set and start make-pretending Stranger Things in the Pi Towers office.

… did anyone else just see the wallpaper ripple?