Retro Telephone (T65) remote control for XBMC

This bright orange retro telephone is now the remote control for our XBMC audio system.


The phone supports the following functions:


A demo is given in the following youtube clip:

What you need:

  • A T65 telephone. This model was widely used in the seventies and eighties in the Netherlands. It can be bought on eBay, marktplaats (the Dutch eBay) or, if your lucky, during the flea market on King’s Day. Normally it is grey but it also comes in some nice retro colours (orange, green, brown)
  • A raspberry pi with an usb wifi device
  • A headless (without monitor) device with XBMC running. I intended to use a raspberry pi as an XBMC player but its user interface appeared too slow. Therefore I still use my  first generation apple TV.


  • solder
  • 1 kOhm resistors
  • 10 kOhm resistors
  • jumper wires
  • breadboard

Connect the switches to the GPIO of the raspberry using a Pull-Up and Pull-Down Circuit with Output Short-circuit Protection for each switch. The circuit is taken from [1]





  • On the raspberry install wheezy and python
  • install the GPIO python library
  • enable wifi
  • copy the following 2 python scripts to your raspberry (you have to make some changes to IP addresses and playlist names):
  • Run the script at startup

4 thoughts on “Retro Telephone (T65) remote control for XBMC

  1. Pingback: Turning a phone into a media center remote | Cool Internet Projects

  2. There is a simpler way to use GPIO. You don’t need R1 and VCC as the RPi input ports can be configured with a pullup resistor (same as VCC & R1). You can eliminate R2 as long as you can be assured the GPIO won’t be configured as an output, i.e. you are willing to have the chip fried as punishment for a software configuration error.

    You could also use a matrix instead of 1 GPIO per key as long as you don’t need to read simultaneous press, and you have access to both pins of each switch. Connect one end of each button to a vertical wire, 3 columns to a GPIO output, the other into horizontal rows, 4 rows to 4 inputs. Then you only need 7 inputs and resistors instead of 12.

    You can detect no-press, single press with key, this way. You can detect double press events, but gets more complex, and can’t be distinguished from 3 or more presses.

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