Duophone TAD-114 Remote Control

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First, an unrelated question: How come phone answering machines no longer beep every 10 seconds. For the last 25 years or more? Was the law changed and nobody told me?
Second: I just got at a rummage sale a Duo-Phone machine TAD-114, and it is labeled "Remote Control". What could they mean by Remote Control? AFAICT, one has to touch the machine to make it do anything (except if one calls in and leaves a message).
It's full label is "DuoFone TAD-114 Voice Actuated * Two Way Record Dual Cassette Remote Control Telephone Answering System"
This device was made in 1983, when remote message retrieval with a beeper existed, and when beeperless remote was just about to start, or had just started.
But this machine has a knob one turns to go from off to playback to rewind to answer to announce only to record announcment. Though some of these obviously change electrical connections, the knob also changes physical things related to the cassette mechanism. It couldn't possibly play back messages remotely, afaict. And the mini-manual glued inside the cover says nothing about "remote".
(DuoPhone is the Radio Shack brand for this kind of thing.)
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Our answering machine will beep every 15 seconds if there is a new message. I believe it is a Uniden just purchased this past Christmas.
The only "remote control" I can think of is the ability to access the machine from another location (work, hotel room, etc..) to check for messages using a touch tone phone and entering a preset code.
-Felder
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wrote:

My recent Uniden will beep on the phone line, ONLY if you use the feature that makes it record a 2-way conversation, NOT when a caller is leaving a message.
It also beeps through a speaker (NOT on the phone line) AFTER a message has been left, as a reminder to check your messages.

That's remote.

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On Thu, 01 Feb 2007 17:52:39 -0600, Mark Lloyd

That certainly makes sense. But I know a lot of other machines don't beep even when one is .... well, I guess I've only tried this while recording 2-way... maybe just on one Code-a-Phone. That one didnt' beep. Maybe 1 or 2 other machines, but probably only for 5 or 10 seconds during testing. I'll have to check more carefully from now on.
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As far as I know the regular beep was only required if you are recording the conversation . If leaving a message the person knows they are being recorded and has the option of not saying anything.
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mm wrote:

Hi...
Can't speak for the radio shack model, but I have and still use a panasonic of about the same vintage... so for what it's worth...
It has a remote control, several buttons on it to operate several functions. I simply leave it in the answer mode. I call in, when it answers *during* the outgoing message I hold the remote to the phone and press the playback/reset button. It automagically plays me any messages it's taken.
I suspect if you can find a matching remote for your machine it will do much the same.
Take care.
Ken
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wrote:

I used to have an old Panasonic machine. It didn't require a remote, but would use the keys on any tone phone.
BTW, there was a '3' sticker on the back, next to a 3-position slide switch labeled "3-5-7". That meant the code for remote operation could be set to 33, 35, or 37. There might be a built-in help system, but probably not on a machine that old.
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My Phonemate answering machine plays back remotely by punching in a 3 number code after the beep. It was set from the factory at 123. It also gives several verbal options, save, delete or change playback message.
My Radio Shack/Duophone telephone recorder (TCR200) has an optional beep. I don't use it for anything that needs to be kept legal (getting up in years, can't remember who said what) so never use the beep. I turn it on mostly if I am ordering something over the telly. RM~
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Just remembered, my son had a RS/Duophone back in the early 80's that had a remote that looked like a garage door opener. You would hold it to the mouth piece after the beep and push the button and it would produce a tone that would trigger the playback. RM~
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I have a TAD-260 from that era. It can be programmed to phone (dial out) another number after taking a message and from that other phone (cellphone etc), and once answered, you can input a security code (3 digits) and retreive the messages. It is a fine machine and is still working. Last year I had top replace the rubber drive belt that finally broke, and last week I got around to replacing the color burst (3.58 MHz) crystal for the internal DTMF decoder that makes the remote features work. My wife keeps bugging me to get a new digital unit, but none I find so far has the dial out feature. The new digital ones all have terrible interfaces.
I suspect your TAD-114 has a feature that allows you to call it remotely and retreive messages using DTMF.
Mine has a "beep" function, but I don't use it. I suppose the new units won't let you turn the record feature on independently of answering the line. Mine will allow me to do this and I suppose the beep function is to provide that legal protection.
These were made for Radio Shack by the major answering machine manufacturer (I forgot the name) of that time and so thedesign and quality is exceptional.
mm wrote:

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On Thu, 01 Feb 2007 20:14:05 -0500, **THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**

The thing is that TAD-260 has a quite-a-bit higher number than TAD-114. So it is newer and might be fancier.
I looked again at the machine and it works such that when put on Answer Phone, the rubber capstan wheel is firmly against the capstan. When it is on Rewind, they are apart (and the record and erase heads are away from the tape, but that part might not matter).
How is going to rewind remotely if the capstan wheel is pressed against the capstan.
Aren't all those who replied to my qustion talking about machines that use push button electric switches and servos to change from one mode to another? Not a knob attached to a mechanism.
So far, as hard as it is to believe, since this was a popular model, I can't help thinking it was mislabeled!

I haven't fully tested this one, but so far it seems to work fine.
mm

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The TAD-260 has a microprocessor to work the electro-mechanical servo solenoids for message retrieval. It is a marvel of hybrid electro mechanical technology. It does all the work remotely. I am not sure about yours, certainly if there is a mechanical knob controlling the capstan without any servo solenoids, it would be interesting how it could rewind. Perhaps all you can remotely control on that model is to turn on and off the record function.
mm wrote:

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On Thu, 01 Feb 2007 20:14:05 -0500, **THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**

I bought a machine like that last night at the BARC minifest in Baltimore. 3 dollars, made in 1990. PhoneMate, Named ADAM, All Digital Answering Machine. :) A couple big problems: 1) Will only hold 5 minutes of messages, minus the time you use for your outgoing message and message transfer message. 2) This model forgets everything** including your incoming messages if unplugged and the batteries are dead. But I bought it anyhow because it was so cool.
This was the suggested message transfer message: "Hi, this is Bill Johnson's phone machine. Could you call him to the phone, please. I have a message for him. Thank you." Straight out of "Hidden Planet".
I also bought another machine, that turned out to have that feature, off of EBay, for 10 dollars plus 8.50 shipping. That was a lot for a machine that turned out not to work, but it was Code-a-Phone so I was willing to take a chance. It was called a "Commercial" machine, model 7550, so it had a couple extra features, but even though it lights up etc. I'm having trouble with a lot of them, including just playing the tape.
**On the other hand, I have a much newer all digital SONY, that has been unplugged for 2 years or more, and doesn't seem to have batteries, and it still had all 7 messages that the previous owner got, in original condition. Because SONY is still in business, I was able to dl the owners manual, but it is 44 pages and I haven't read yet how many minutes of message it can hold. (What I really want is a dual microcassette tape machine, but this is turning into a hobby.)

I agree with you.

It seems a lot like the VCRs. They used to make some very fancy machines with many many features, but those disappeared and the last 5 or 10 years they've been making cheap machines with the popular features, like slow motion, but only the popular features.

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The TAD-260 has dual cassettes. The ougoing message cassette hold 15 minutes per side and you can flip it over to handle two messages. The incoming message cassette handles 60 minutes per side, you can flip it as well so you don't have to record over the most recent messages. It is a beauty. I suppose that somwhere there is a new digital model that has all the correct bells and whistles, but it would be a long search.
mm wrote:

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On Fri, 02 Feb 2007 19:57:04 -0500, **THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**

One useful feature those old ones lacked was a timestamp. It helps to know WHEN a message was left.

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I used these models for many years, remote early version was little tone generator, later used touch tone keypad, it got hard and expensive to buy outgoing loop casette, and over time they become flakey.It could rewind new messages and play them back
I use machine for business, and finally settled on AT&T / LUCENT 1772 answering machine. digital and highly reliable bought a BUNCH WHEN THEY WENT OUT OF PRODUCTION.
new answering machines are purely built for cheap price have short record times like 10 minutes and are junk if you ask me
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My elderly neighbor bought a new ATT branded digital machine that had the time stamp. "great feature", the designers didn't think to put a back up battery in the device. Whenever the lights blinked (often happens in Florida) the unit would shut down and do nothing except a blinky light show until someone reentered all the time settings via the multifunction button sequence. My neighbor couldn't figure it out and frankly I thought the device was a PITA and a POS.
I simply ask callers to tell me when they called and why in my outgoing messages.
Mark Lloyd wrote:

My elderly neighbor bought a new ATT branded digital machine that had the time stamp. "great feature", the designers didn't think to put a back up battery in the device. Whenever the lights blinked (often happens in Florida) the unit would shut down and do nothing except a blinky light show until someone reentered all the time settings via the multifunction button sequence. My neighbor couldn't figure it out and frankly I thought the device was a PITA and a POS.
I simply ask callers to tell me when they called and why in my outgoing messages.
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On Sun, 04 Feb 2007 02:35:20 -0500, **THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**

Now, if you have caller ID it could set the clock from that.

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Thats the implication I guess. They suck you into buying a cheap POS answering machine and when you complain about it acting up, ATT tells you to sign up for the caller ID feature at an additional monthly cost. They win, the consumer loses.
Mark Lloyd wrote:

answering machine and when you complain about it acting up, ATT tells you to sign up for the caller ID feature at an additional monthly cost. They win, the consumer loses.
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I built a bttery backup for my old machine for many of the same reasons. Or plug into a cheap UPS
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