Real communicator


I'm a big Star Trek fan (aka Trekkie) and have had this toy communicator for a while.

It's life-sized, but doesn't actually do anything except play some sound effects when you press the buttons, powered by a small button cell. I took it with me to Comic Con once to go with my TNG science officer outfit.

I opened it up and saw that there might be enough space to build something cool, so this page is to document my efforts in doing this!

Primary goals

In the first instance, to capture my voice (and button presses) and send these to my Node-RED instance, which controls my smart home, other automations, and even GPT-3-powered flows. Once I've got that, the sky's the limit. I could then:

Secondary goals


  1. The ESP32 -- dirt cheap WiFi and Bluetooth that I wish was available 10 years ago; the fun I could have had!

  1. This little serial mic from atomic14 which he made a bunch of and sold on eBay

  1. An old spare Raspberry Pi Zero

I highly doubt that I can power all this off those small button cells, but let's see! Maybe I don't even need the RPi, I genuinely don't know yet as I've never used an ESP32 before. Let's see how it goes!

Amar Memoranda > Real communicator


Building a real-life Star Trek communicator

I've been planning to start this project for a while, as well as document the journey, but never really got around to it. I had a calendar reminder that tomorrow the N-O-D-E Christmas Giveaway closes, which finally gave me the kick in the butt needed to start this one! I also want to use this as an opportunity to create short-form videos on TikTok to learn more about it (in this case, documenting the journey). The project page is here.

Jan 30, 2023 • #projects