HTC EVO 4G image from WikiPedia because I'm too lazy to walk downstairsSomething I’ve researched in my other life as a father is some of the ways I can take some of the tech junk I have and turn it into useful items. In particular, I happen to be the proud owner of five HTC EVO phones: two EVO 4Gs, two EVO 3Ds, and my steady rocking HTC EVO 4G LTE.

There’s also an iPhone 4S and a Windows Mobile 6 HTC Diamond Touch Pro? I’m pretty sure if I dig far enough I could find my Treo 655 and my wife’s T-Mobile burner phone and old Blackberry. While that is a lot of phones, I write about four of them and have not had a chance to recycle or return the others as they became buried in the tech graveyard that is the bucket of tech stuff.

However, with a charge, each one of these phones can be a life saving device as they can all dial emergency services. This can be a blessing and a curse as one family learned after police finally managed to find a girl who dialed 911 162 times over the course of 24 hours – extremely useful if you’ve got an emergency and no charge left on your primary phone, kind of bad if you’ve got a kid who doesn’t respect 911.

If you’re having issues with your primary phone, if you’ve got an old one that’s on the same network you can dial account services on some carriers and have them walk you through working on your primary phone. That’s a sometimes scenario however. Alternately, if your main phone is out of whack for any extended period of time, many carriers like Sprint allow you to activate any phone that’s capable of being activated on their network from the account management website.

For me, I’ve got a cell phone next to the baby’s room, it plays Willie’s Roadhouse on Sirius XM streamed over WiFi to a Bluetooth speaker in her room for a couple of hours every night. For some reason, that makes baby sleep, I’ve given up trying to figure out why Americana soothes the savage baby’s soul, but it does and I can control the volume, channel, etc. without entering the room.

Using an application called GrooveIP I can also make and receive phone calls as an IP phone for the times I’ve got my phone down flashing some ROM, patch, or if anything happened and I was in the baby’s room and not able to get to my phone.

Maggie and the tech arsenal

Add to the list you can use your old phone as a webcam, intercom, gaming system, level, music and media server, or whatever you can think of if you’re connected to WiFi. All said, you’ve got a pretty powerful reason to keep your old working cell phone around with a little bit of a charge in it, even if you’re now sporting the fancy new model.

You can also enter the root world on older versions of your phone without worrying that you will miss a single call due to your activities. They’re great learning tools for anyone interested in getting into rooting and all the things you can do with it. Keep in mind, charging a cell phone that’s not on for a year is going to cost you, so plan to shell out an additional three cents per year to keep that old phone charged up and able to call 911 in the event of an emergency.

I should point out you should check with your carrier as to whether your old phone will dial 911 in the event of an emergency. I’m pretty sure that’s a given these days, but it would be terrible to be wrong and need it. Do not call 911 on the deactivated device to ask if it worked. Seriously.

It’s not hoarding phones if I tell myself it’s not hoarding enough.