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.


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. 


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?


Dathan Alley avatar

I really like this idea. But I think I really really like the Stranger things references!

Russell Davis avatar

i’m getting old. tried to watch Stranger Things but after 4 episodes decided “Meh”

emily avatar

Stranger things gets better. Besides, if you went 4 deep you’re halfway to the end. Can you quit after a 50% commitment?

Liz Upton avatar

This is friendship-ending stuff, Scone. Keep watching or else.

Russell Davis avatar

I think it might be too late as i’ve never watched Game of Thrones or Mr Robot either

Russell Davis avatar

Daniel’s TalkiePi is darn cool though

Sabrina avatar

Interesting project. Thanks for sharing.

Dan avatar

This is a cool idea. It does seem like a little overkill though to use a RPi 3. Would this be possible with a Pi zero? Price and form factor would be ideal.

I’m not geeky enough to invent these things so forgive my ignorance if the answer is obvious to those who are.

Russell Davis avatar

Daniel was working on a PiZero version a couple of weeks ago but RL got in his way and I think he’s put it on hold for a bit

JDW avatar

Its not RL, its RU that will keep the Kiwis entertained. C’arn the Wallabies!

AndrewS avatar

WiFi-powered walkie-talkies? What was wrong with two tin cans and a bit of string? ;-)

Dex avatar

The string! :)

Jeff avatar

HAM radio is a good place to spread your technical wings and expand your technical horizons. Sometime a high button and knob to light ratio is a good thing. Think QRP experimentation.

73, de Jeff WD4ET

// WiFi, without the confusion of frequency dials, random buttons, and all the other clicky, turny, pushy options

Homer Hazel avatar

Wow, have you ever felt like the world of technology is leaving you behind? I used to think I was a bit technically savvy, but after reading this forum for several years, I have to admit that I am no longer in the running. I am probably okay with it too. But I have bought a lot of other folks kits and things that I plan to get to Real Soon Now as Jerry Pournelle used to say.

Ian Bowden avatar

I was all fired-up to build at least two talkie-pi, maybe more, but I find that I can’t get the USR 9610 here in the UK. Pity. They are so cheap in the US. What am I gonna do?

julez avatar

Nobody else got the Goonies homage here?

Alan Mc (Irish Framboise) avatar

Thanks for the flashback to babyphone/interphone hacking age ~8. I had completely forgotten about that. Never did get it to work as a “talkie-walkie” (that’s French for “walkie-talkie” btw). Woulda been so much easier with a Pi…

Christian avatar

Does this run independently?
Or do you need your own mumble server somewhere?

TheMainMan avatar

You can set up your own server, Mumble calls the server side software Murmur. Instructions and compatible platforms can be found here: or here:

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